Italian bike component brand Campagnolo might soon launch its first wireless shifting levers, recent filings have shown.
Campagnolo has sought a licence from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the body that oversees the regulation of electronic products in the US, for a new wireless shifting product.
A company would generally request an FCC licence if it had imminent plans to sell its product to the US market.
Filed last week under the name ‘PRJ-330 ERGOPOWER CONTROLS + CALIPERS’, Campagnolo S.r.l.'s FCC application is for a “digital transmission system” that operates with Bluetooth frequencies. The product appears to constitute new brake hoods and levers, fitted with a wireless mechanism.
It is thought that the product relates to an updated version of the brand’s Super Record groupset, which will be able to communicate wirelessly with the drivetrain for the first time.
Further analysis of the corresponding patent, filed by the company as ‘manual control device for a bicycle’, appears to confirm this.
The patent says: “The invention relates to a manual control device for a bicycle, as well as an electronic bicycle system comprising it.
“Control devices are used to issue one or more commands to one of more mechanical and/or/ [....] electro-electronic equipment of the bicycle, such as a brake associated with a wheel, a gearshift associated with the hub of the read wheel, a derailleur associated with the bottom bracket spindle.”
Imagery provided within the patent clearly shows the need for button cell batteries within the brake lever hoods. This does not exist in the brand's current Super Record design.
Plans of the new product show that Campagnolo will also incorporate two finger-operated buttons for shifting. Previous products only had one button on the lever, as well as a thumb-operated shifter on the hood.
Should this product reach the market, which looks likely, it would mark the Italian brand’s first wireless shifting groupset. Currently, Campagnolo’s electronic Super Record is fully wired from the shifters to the derailleurs.
Other component manufacturers have long offered wireless groupsets, with Sram selling its top-tier eTap products since 2015 and Shimano’s latest Di2 range now coming fitted with wireless shifters.
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