The Japanese sport manufacturing company Shimano dominates the bicycle component market in all all aspects of cycling, while also producing goods for fishing and rowing. Shimano was instrumental in helping wireless drivetrains on bikes develop over the past ten-plus years thanks to its Di2 componentry. Now the company is taking a further step in wireless development as it appears to be looking to create a completely wireless bike.
According to patent information, the future of electronic bikes is set to extend past just electronic gears and e-bikes. Shimano is now proposing to make virtually everything on the bike connect wirelessly. The idea stems from technology already being utilized by electronic component manufacturers. While SRAM eTap technology arrived as the first wireless groupset, Shimano appears to be planning its own groupset that will also connect wirelessly. The patented vision from Shimano presents a wireless system that can operate essential parts of the bike through one linked connection, including wireless brakes.
The patent abstract posted on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website provides more proof that Shimano is working on the wireless system, although it does also include some hints that there might still remain some cabling with the new system, similar to what we see now in the current Di2 set up:
“A control apparatus for a human-powered vehicle comprises a first controller,” the abstract reads. “The first controller is configured to establish, in response to a user input, a wireless communication channel between a first wireless communicator of a first communication device and a second wireless communicator of a second communication device via a wired communication channel which is established between the first communication device and the second communication device through an electric cable and a first communication port configured to be connected to the electric cable.”
Simply put, the new system will control everything from the derailleurs to the brakes (and even a camera and computer) from the handlebars.