Shimano has never been a company bent on courting controversy, so I wasn't surprised by their response when I requested an official company statement on the patent.
"Shimano is constantly in development of new products, but does not comment on rumors, innuendo or speculation about products whether they are in development or not.”
Well, okay then. The company doesn't want to deal in speculation, but I will...it's in my job description.An Electric World...It's Coming
It's not like Shimano has been hiding their electric intentions. They debuted Di2 for road bikes in 2009 and rolled out e-XTR in 2014. We've tested the stuff extensively. But as we noted in this double header XT Di2 review
, while novel and accurate, electronic shifting hasn't been a game changer in the dirt world. It seems like a fair bit of wires and hassle to accomplish a task that a $3 steel cable already does pretty damn well. It kind of makes you think that maybe the end game was always something much bigger than moving a rear derailleur left and right.