With the impressive SRAM Red eTap groupset being used by two WorldTour teams in 2016, it might seem like wireless is the way forward. But according to Shimano that’s not the case, with the Japanese company seeing no demand for a wireless groupset at the top level.
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Speaking to Cycling Weekly, Takao Harada from Shimano’s component division, said that although the company is constantly speaking to its WorldTour teams as it works on future products, there has not been the demand for wireless shifting from anyone working and riding at the top level of the sport.
“We always ask what they [the mechanics and riders] want at races, but they always say that they are satisfied with the level of Di2. Basically, they haven’t asked us about it.”
However, that’s not to say that Shimano is resting on its laurels, with Harada also confirming that testing has taken place with wireless shifting. The only thing holding it back apart from the lack of demand at the top level is the lack of general confidence in using wireless compared to Di2, which has been developed over a longer period.
“We’ve already tested wireless, but basically we need people to be confident in the system.”
That said, a lack of public confidence in a system hasn’t held Shimano back in the past, with the release of Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 in 2008 greeted with suspicion among many in the cycling community. However since then, the system has proved both reliable and popular, so we could well see a wireless groupset from Shimano if SRAM Red eTap flys off the shelves.