Shimano has been granted Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval for a wireless derailleur and control. The FCC regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable across the United States and approval is required to ensure it complies with their standards before it can be released.
Spotted by mtb-news.d
e, this is the second FCC approval Shimano has been granted this year following WY7-3GK1
a rear derailleur and WY7-927A
a wireless module (shifter) posted in January
, which turned out to be for the new Dura-Ace Di2 R9200 and Ultegra Di2 R8100, released at the end of August
Once again, the details on this new groupset are locked away behind a confidentiality agreement but we can definitely wildly speculate as to what might be going on here. Of course, our first thought is that this could be the first hint of a wireless Di2 version of the current XTR groupset. Shimano last updated the XTR groupset back in June 2018, which will mean it hits its four-year anniversary right around the time the confidentiality agreement runs out on this filing. Shimano's doesn't currently have any wireless shifting in their mountain bike drivetrain lineup, whereas SRAM now has AXS capabilities on three of its offerings, XX1, X01 and GX. Shimano generally adopts new technologies later than SRAM but they must certainly be feeling the pressure to have their own wireless groupset now we're two years on from AXS' introduction. It's surely a question of when, not if, Shimano drops a wireless mountain bike groupset.
Are there any other possibilities for what this could be? Of course there are. Firstly, both components work off the same frequency (2,478 Mhz) as the Dura Ace and Ultegra groupsets released earlier this year. This could just be Shimano's favored frequency or it could be that they are bringing the technology down to 105 level in their road line up. To me this doesn't make a huge amount of sense as it's doubtful they have recouped the cost of R&D enough to trickle down the technology. Instead, it seems more likely that this is just a similar technology to the current road groupsets and could share the 'wiredless' method of wireless controls linking to a central battery that controls the derailleur using wires.
The second thing to notice is that the filing is for a 'dual control' lever. We read that as a lever that operates the brakes and well as the gears. There are no prizes here for pointing out that Shimano has produced Dual Control mountain bike brakes
in the past but we highly doubt they're returning to that technology in 2022. Instead, we'd look to their GRX gravel groupset to be the alternate possibility for what the dual control levers operate.
Whatever the case, the confidentiality agreement will end on 15 June 2022 so put that date in your diary for a potential release of this new technology. You can check out the FCC filings for the derailleur, here
, and the control, here.
Shimano said, "Shimano is constantly working on the development of new products. However, we do not comment on rumours or speculation about products, whether they are in development or not."