For a few years now, serious cyclists have been able to purchase electronic derailleurs. These shift gears at the press of a button, but that command is not relayed to the derailleur through a cable, rather through an electronic signal. It’s fast and precise. UK-based Cambridge Consultants have taken this approach a step further and developed a system that shifts gears automatically. The idea is that the rider dials in a preferred cadence (the number of pedal revolutions per minute) and the smartphone-based system shifts gears to maintain that cadence. It connects to an electronic derailleur through Bluetooth, and is in complete control of the bicycle’s gear combination. If the wind is suddenly at your back, for example, and you can go faster, the system will downshift automatically to keep your pedalling pace even.
Further down the road, developments to the system could use GPS and map data to preemptively upshift when the rider is approaching a known hill or vice versa. While not currently available commercially, Cambridge Consultants is looking for partners to bring the product to market where it’s expected to cost around $2,300 with an Ultegra version of the regular Shimano Di2 derailleur system.
VIA [ Gizmag ]