Patent Round-Up: The Future of AXS? Axle Batteries, Solar-Charging & Self-Charging

Jan 27, 2023 at 9:25
by Seb Stott  
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Digging through patent documents can sometimes offer hints at what we might be riding in a few years' time. Many of the weird and wonderful designs don't see the light of day, but even then it's interesting to see what ideas the bike industry's brains are working on. Here are a few that we've spotted lately from SRAM that all relate to AXS electronic shifting components.



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SRAM's Axle-mounted AXS battery

A patent filed by SRAM in 2021 called "power supply in a bicycle" shows a battery housed in a thru-axle that could be used to power an electronic derailleur or other electronic components. The patent art shows the axle battery connected to the derailleur in several different ways, but all the drawings show a style of direct mount derailleur like the one we saw here and which was patented earlier in 2021 - we covered that patent here.

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Some embodiments (possible versions) have an external wire connecting the axle to the derailleur's "bracket" - the cage which extends down from the frame and is separate from the rest of the derailleur. Others show how the wiring could be routed inside the bracket with a charging port on the back.

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The advantages? The patent mentions that the axle battery could supply power to more than just the derailleur, for example, "a derailleur, seat post, bicycle lighting, an air pump, a GPS transponder, a shock, or other component." So, perhaps, one battery could power multiple devices. Also, the patent goes on to say that the internal location protects the battery from water and dust ingress, as well as impacts. It may also have a larger capacity than external batteries, which it says "may be limited in size to reduce unbalanced weight or reduce likelihood of impacts". Finally, the document says the battery may be charged without removing it from the bicycle (something which isn't possible with current AXS batteries). "Alternatively," says the patent, "the power supply may include disposable batteries that may be replaced by the user."



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Solar spare battery charger

Another SRAM patent filed in October 2020 describes a solar spare battery charger. The small solar array could be mounted to a fender, bottle cage, or elsewhere on the bike, and would be connected electronically to a mount for a spare AXS battery. It wouldn't be able to charge the battery while it's in use but would slowly charge up a spare and keep it charged. This is potentially useful because batteries slowly lose charge over time, so a spare battery stored long-term on the bike might otherwise be useless by the time it's needed.

In low light conditions, a capacitor could store energy from the solar cells and periodically discharge this energy into the battery, thereby allowing the battery to trickle charge even without strong sunlight. Presumably, it would take a long time to charge up a battery unless you ride in the desert (theoretically, a 10*10 cm solar panel could charge a 2.2Wh AXS battery in a couple of hours in ideal conditions, but with trees, mud, and clouds it will take a lot longer), but there is value in just stopping the battery from going flat over long periods of time.



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Self-charging (& self-shifting) derailleur

If solar charging wasn't enough how about this: SRAM could be working on an electronic derailleur that charges itself as the rider pedals, and maybe also shifts gears automatically.

The patent, filed in May 2021, was brought to our attention once again by an article on Bikerumor. It shows a derailleur which houses a small generator in the cage assembly, which is powered by the rotation of the upper jockey wheel via a mechanism of gears and pulleys which step up the rotation speed. Potentially, this could mean never having to recharge or replace the battery. Indeed, the drawings don't depict a removable battery or a charge port.

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The obvious drawback of this approach is that the energy required to do the shifting will come from the rider and not a battery. But this is true of a mechanical system too, except there the energy comes via your thumb instead of your legs. Besides, the energy requirements will be very small.

A current SRAM AXS battery contains 2.2Wh of energy and lasts for around 20 hours of riding. That means an AXS derailleur is drawing on average about 0.1 Watts of electrical energy. So if this system is 50% efficient at generating electricity (which isn't great - electric cars can recover over 80% of their kinetic energy during braking), you're still talking about 0.2 watts or so, on average. It will be more if you're shifting frequently, but potentially less if you're not. The point is, you're probably not going to notice any drag.

Also, the electronics for shifting the gears seem to have been moved from the back of the derailleur body to the derailleur cage - a bit like SRAM's electric road derailleurs.

More interestingly, the patent mentions the possibility of automatic shifting. The pulley wheel generator could act as a chain speed sensor which, along with information about the chairing size, could tell what cadence the rider is using in real time. Potentially, it wouldn't be so hard to have an automatic shifting algorithm (perhaps configurable to your tastes in an app) to keep you in a sensible cadence automatically, much like Shimano's XT Di2 drivetrain is meant to do.

Will it see production? I suppose that hinges on how many riders find it a chore to remove a battery to recharge it after every few rides. For forgetful types or those who like multi-day rides in the wilderness, it could be very appealing.




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Member since Dec 29, 2014
306 articles

204 Comments
  • 176 0
 Solar spare battery charger would be amazing in Ireland! We've the perfect weather for it
  • 35 0
 Sram will change Ireland's weather so that the solar charger is usable
  • 10 37
flag Mtbdialed (Jan 27, 2023 at 17:10) (Below Threshold)
 Ireland you say? why do you have the flag of the Ivory Coast???? Wink
  • 14 0
 How about a propeller for wind charging option.
  • 43 3
 @Mtbdialed: Showing American education at its finest.
  • 7 0
 @rivercitycycles: How about cable actuated backup?
  • 16 7
 @fatduke: lmao. you see the wink emoji?

I thought you Br'ish blokes were good at the sarcasms?
  • 13 27
flag fatduke FL (Jan 28, 2023 at 9:34) (Below Threshold)
 @Mtbdialed: Apologies good sir, sometimes the written text can be misinterpreted as just dumbness as is the case with your attempt at sarcasm.

We're as good at sarcasm as Americans are at school shootings
  • 3 0
 Maybe instead of a sunlight collector, we can develop a rain collecting energy generator. We can split the costs between Ireland, Schotland, England and the Netherlands!
  • 3 0
 @Mac1987: Dude, Norway's feeling left out here Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Needs to be higher up on the bike tho. Like on the grips? DM me SRAM, let's talk.
  • 12 2
 @fatduke: and you are as good at apologies as your people are at dental care.

good day, old boy!
  • 1 0
 @megatryn: fair enough, Scandinavia can join as well !
  • 1 1
 @Mtbdialed: and good day to you sir.
  • 3 0
 Shouldn't it be possible to extract electric energy through the damping circuit? Not sure how hard it is to make it sufficient and consistent, but at least it is a place where there is an abundance of energy you want to get rid of.
  • 1 0
 @fatduke: enduro-mtb.com/en/sram-factory-visit actually, Germany is prime designer of SRAM, as well as other countries
  • 2 0
 @barrysbikes: Isn't SRAM just a couple of brands being bought and rebranded under the same name? So SRAM gearing comes from Sachs, brakes from Avid... Truvativ, RockShox, Zipp are still strong enough names to be sold under their original names (just getting the "powered by SRAM" subscript) but I've got this feeling not much has changed otherwise. It seems like a lot of different companies operating from their original locations, just like the brands from the Hayes group are doing.
  • 79 7
 How about a derailleur with more ground clearance? How about a derailleur less susceptible to damage from the trail?
  • 44 4
 I'm pretty sure the new direct mount is both of these
  • 17 3
 They have literally done that with the new one coming out...
  • 24 0
 Oh boy you're gonna like those 32in wheels next year!

/s
  • 24 0
 @Archimonde: irrelevant since the 15 speed drivetrain will have a 76t gear on the cassette.
  • 31 3
 what about a derailleur that is actually a box of gears attached to the bottom bracket
  • 20 5
 I never understood how so many people break their derailleurs so often...? I live in the PNW and never hit one in my life on anything. Is this a rocky terrain thing?
  • 5 17
flag RonSauce (Jan 27, 2023 at 15:29) (Below Threshold)
 @steelpolish: are you running a 12s? If I set my bike down. On the wrong side seems like I have a 50/50 chance that I bent the hanger or twisted the derailleur. I never damaged a derailleur until I went to a 12s.
  • 4 0
 How the hell are they going to sell replacements with that sort of idea??
  • 17 1
 @huvudvind: the honest question is why aren't ebike motors integrated with a 5-6 speed gearbox? that's literally all you need on one anyways.

ask me about the number of $350 cassettes I have seen destroyed on Ebikes because the owner only uses the top 3 gears. lol
  • 4 0
 @Mtbdialed: yes this would be sweet. also probably a good way to get standardization/ trickle down for non ebike gear boxes. Most motors allready allready have a planetary reduction inside. Seems like an obvious solution.
  • 6 1
 @steelpolish: I hit my derailleur fairly often, judging by the amount of scrapes in them.

And yet, I haven't broken one yet either.
  • 9 1
 @steelpolish: agreed! You gotta be a total hack to be smacking the derailleur on things
  • 3 1
 @steelpolish: rocks definitely don't help. I used to break a ton when I was racing DH and doing a lot of dumb urban and natural freeriding. Haven't broken one in years now though.
  • 2 8
flag derekr (Jan 27, 2023 at 20:27) (Below Threshold)
 @steelpolish: ride faster budz
  • 9 2
 @RonSauce: don’t lay your bike down on the drive side, jeez.
I’d be real surprised if you actually did either of those things by laying your bike, unless you mean in a crash.
If you weren’t twisting der and hangers in the heyday of 9spd, then you’re not doing any damage to current 12s stuff.
  • 5 1
 @RonSauce: so don't set it down on the drive side?
Seems like user error on your part dude. ;-)
  • 4 1
 @steelpolish: Have you ever crashed? Crash on the derailleur side sometime and that'll answer your question
  • 2 0
 @Mtbdialed: Totally agree!
cavaleri bikes / effigear does it. Only that they work with a not very known motor brand and that I already pre ordered two of their non e-bikes and both of the models disappeared on the webpage after a few months and I got refunded.
Seems like no one is capable to build a payable, reliable gearbox and obvsly no Gearbox motor.
Pinion are leaking quite often (can see it in our shop) plus they are terrible in sandy conditions and so far they don't seem to work with a motor company, even though they have some patents pending.
Panasonic tried it but people have the option to shift themselves so they never shift and the motors melt...same story as with the 3 top gears.
I guess a reliable option that is customer proof would need to be fully automatic, shifting only after 90 crank rpm, needs to be sealed like crazy and, and, and.
A package like this would probably cost more than an E-Bike of these days.
I still hope that we are going to see some tinkering hero who has the knowledge and patience to build a gearbub in to the frame similar to the high pivot design of zerodes G2 DH-Bike.
If you'd run a Shimano Motor and a Nexus/Alfine Di2 hub that would pretty much tic all the mentioned boxes above.
If only I won the lottery and knew how to weld.
But let's hope the industry hears us...
  • 1 1
 @BarryWalstead: I mean "put it down" as in crashing. Seems no matter the size of the 'crash' if the bike touches the ground I might be walking off the trail again.

I dont just throw my bike driveside down out of the back of a pickup into a pile of bricks after every ride.
  • 1 0
 @Mtbdialed: That will be the future of ebikes starting with BRP (Bombardier). They recently acquired the brand Pinion and seem to be moving forward with developing a gearbox ebike. They even have a design sketch of it on their website and it looks so good without a derailleur hanging off the back of it. If they can nail this design like they do with all their other products, this my very well be my first ebike.
  • 1 0
 @Mtbdialed: the engagement on some of the gearbox models is like 30 degrees. Terrible
  • 1 0
 @DCF: except it decreases the chance of damage, but increases the level of damage when hit, with dropping the sacrificial derailleur hanger.
  • 2 1
 @huvudvind: next you're telling me we could swap the chain for a belt drive, eliminating the need for periodic lubing. Madness!
  • 79 13
 Still don’t want electronics.
  • 45 9
 Good thing you have the option not too
  • 43 9
 I'm an engineer working in IT and I'm right there with you. Another engineer I ride with bricked his fancy electronic shifting doing a firmware update. Had to warranty the whole thing. That's the kind of frustrations I ride to escape from.

I have working drivetrain components on old bikes from the 90's. I can't imagine any of the electronic stuff lasting a fraction that long. It's like the old household appliances that used to last 20+ years, but now you're lucky to get 5 out of the washing machine that has an app and tweets you when your laundry is done.
  • 24 17
 @pixelguru: with axs, you spend less time on derailleur adjustment andaintemance. Also it's very clever the way it sucks up when it detects am impact. I know of at least twice it saved my derailleur. There will always be that person's mates, friend who had an issue. 99.9% work perfect. The only drawback or negative is the price for a lot of people it really is a great thing axs
  • 5 0
 @bmied31: For the time being.
  • 22 2
 @pixelguru: Oof. Feeling this one. Not 5 minutes ago our new washer was delivered. The 20 yo one recently gave up the ghost. All the high-capacity (family of 4 w/ two young children. literal mountains of laundry over here), energy efficient ones that are well rated seem to have a bazillion unnecessary features. Wtf does my washer need to be on my wifi? Gonna be fun figuring out which domains to block on the PiHole to keep it from sending usage stats back the mfr. to be sold to advertisers so I can get spam emails with detergent coupons.
  • 14 0
 @endorium: All derailleurs are able to be pushed in towards the frame. The spring pulls the derailleur to the smaller cogs, the shifter tension pulls the derailleur into larger cogs. Take literally any derailleur mounted on a bike and push it sideways, it will move as the only thing keep it aligned is spring tension and tolerance from the chain/cassette interface.

Problem is most derailleur impacts are not a sideways only motion, typically the rider's forward momentum provides the force, so the AXS movement doesn't really help a lot.

AXS haver here, just felt it would be fair to compare apples to apples on that aspect. Without AXS having that feature, it would have been *worse* than a standard derailleur in terms of impact, that feature puts it in line.
  • 10 1
 @pixelguru: @SoCalTrev:

Yes! I don't understand why people want every device in their home to be a smart device...making it more expensive, more buggy, more things to go wrong.... I wouldn't care so much, except it's difficult to find items now that aren't "smart".
  • 3 7
flag RonSauce (Jan 27, 2023 at 15:09) (Below Threshold)
 @westeast: nobody wants all their devices to be smart, and you definitely have the option to but a dumb appliance. That guy just wants to sound ahead of the curve talking about his PiHole.
  • 10 13
 I don't have AXS and spend zero time charging a derailleur, which seems completely absurd to me. It's still an exposed derailleur and can be destroyed by a simple stick on a trail.
  • 5 10
flag Ghaytnd FL (Jan 27, 2023 at 15:21) (Below Threshold)
 @pixelguru: what does being an IT engineer have anything to do with the story?
  • 1 0
 @bmied31: Wrong Wrong WEont nonononono!
  • 1 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: that shifts like a dream. “Snick, snick, snick,”
  • 1 2
 @Starsky686: dude you fing kidding come on bro. We oyz i thought. Guess you dont know someone til you kpow someone you know
  • 7 1
 BEEP BLOOP BOP! I AM YOUR ROBOT OVERLORD HERE TO TELL YOU HOW AND WHEN TO SHIFT....RESISTANCE IS FUTILE
  • 1 2
 @bmied31: Hopefully it stays available for a while longer. Seeing how the road market is dumping mechanical on their top tier options is depressing.

I have AXS on two bikes. It's nice. But...I'm not sold on it being the greatest thing ever. I still want a cable on my commuter and my trail bikes. It's kind of a bummer knowing that my Dura Ace equipment roadie, with external cables, can't be upgraded to a top tier group set without going wireless.
  • 4 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: aren’t you an ebike fan?
  • 1 1
 Cool story bro
  • 2 16
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Jan 27, 2023 at 20:57) (Below Threshold)
 @kingbike2: Don't try to compare charging an e bike with charging a stupid derailleur. When I charge my e bike bike I'm able to blow by snailers like they are standing still and do twice as many runs in the same time. When you charge a derailleur you are only verifying you pay alot of attention to bicycle marketing and are a fool and his money easily departed.
  • 1 0
 @bmied31: problem is sram might go axs only with their new x01/xx1 line so what option do i have then if i wanna ride highend sram stuff besides stocking up on the old one? hope the rumors aren‘t true!
  • 4 2
 @pixelguru: ever opened one of those old school appliances and compared it to a modern one ? It all comes down to build quality. When adjusted to inflation, those old appliances were crazy expensive. Metal gears, metal piping, bearings everywhere, etc.

Anyway, you can build extremely durable mechatronic systems if you're willing to spend the money. Another good example are electronics in cars, which we often complain as being a source of unreliability. Ever compared the electric connectors of an average car to those in a , say, Valtra tractor ? Or even to those in a Leopard tank ? We're just not willing to pay tractor or tank level prices for our car, but still want the electronic gimmicks. So it's not necessarily an issue with the electronics
  • 1 2
 @endorium: agreed. The only problem I see with AXS at the moment is, that there is zero room for a slight bend at the hanger. So even though the derailleur "sucks up" most bike companies build to soft hangers and the shifting is all over the place.
Hopefully this is getting better with the new design...
  • 2 1
 @JSTootell: For MTB I don't see the need of electronic shifting either, it just makes no sense but for road I couldn't go back to mechanical instead. Specially Shimano DI2 which has the best shifting I've ever experienced. On the road bike, being able to quickly shift with a touch of the knuckles while on the drops or just using the pinky on the hoods while in an aero position without having to pull hard on a lever and having perfect shifting all the time is amazing.
On an MTB I can only see disadvantages in electronic shifting. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against electronics in MTB, I ride all the time with a Garmin and a powermeter, and couldn't do without them, but mechanical has also the advantage to control the pull and that's a good thing in MTB when you're grinding or maybe suddenly find yourself in a harder gear than you should. These scenarios just don't happen on the road when you're always at much higher cadences.
  • 1 0
 @sherbet: Before AXS I used to keep spare derailleur hangers in my toolbox for my bike. Now I have a derailleur that looks like it's survived WW3 and still works fine, and I'm yet to have to replace a derailleur or hanger. So I'd say it works quite well.
  • 1 0
 @scatterbrained: Can you explain what an AXS derailleur does that a standard one does not?
  • 3 0
 @sherbet: makes you look rich?
  • 2 1
 I kind of regret getting AXS, it was expensive, I have to charge a battery (no riding for 4 months in winter), software updates, the shifting performance isn’t really a game changer, and no real weight savings. It really is over rated for the cost and added complexity, but looks pretty. I have seen plenty of riders with dead batteries because they forgot to charge them. I am seriously thinking about going back, mechanical is really good.
  • 1 0
 @kuna26: I’ll trade ya
  • 1 0
 @striveCF15: It's happened in road groupsets. Prepare yourself.
  • 2 0
 @kuna26: I am not sure how you can say, "the shifting performance isn't really a game changer".

The shifting is dead perfect, EVERY.SINGLE.SHIFT. always, unless something is bent/broken. So you know immediately if you need to address it. There is no cable/housing to compress, get gunked up and degrade over time. The mech doesn't rely on a spring that slowly loses tension over it's life, for shifting.

Yes, it's expensive. but the performance difference is absolutely quantifiable.
  • 40 2
 Meanwhile I'm out here building another single speed...
  • 7 0
 Just built up one recently. So much fun!
  • 2 0
 @mtnfox37 thinking about doing the same with a hardtail build in the future…any advise on gearing?
  • 5 7
 @crag79: 32 tooth oval chainring. 20 tooth cog. For a 29er. You gotta go oval chainring for a single speed.
  • 3 0
 @crag79: really depends on the ready of the build and the application of riding.. what's your style, where do you ride dude?
  • 2 0
 @crag79: I'm on 32 oval : 18t cog. It's lively with a 27.5 and harder with 29 but I get along with both wheels. 20t is probably better for 29 if you are peddling up steeper hills.
  • 1 0
 I'm building an XC SS right now, so 30/20. My DH/Park SS is 32/11
  • 3 0
 I'm not there...yet.

Can I look forward to being a curmudgeon SS rider?
  • 1 0
 @JSTootell: absolutely.
  • 1 0
 OG Wireless
  • 1 0
 @OliOliOli: Was planning on it being for mellower trails and a bit of bike packing, although it’s max two nights, so not massive amounts of gear/weight. Was planning on it being fully rigid too, 27.5, with 2.6 tyres….it’s just a thought at the minute.

Cheers for all the replies, good starting point.
  • 38 8
 I declare we reached the peak with Shimano/sram 11 speed. Nothing since has made my ride lighter, stronger, more reliable, faster or cheaper. My next bike might be wide range microshift....
  • 11 0
 Still rocking M8000 11-speed. Refuses to die and 11-46t is just enough in the S2S
  • 4 0
 I'm running Zee short range on a 7 speed mech lol .. I've run newer, wider range shifting components but there's something so alluringly simple and effective with the zee mech
  • 5 0
 Also, Microshift Adventx is banging .. not just for the price it is, its just a very good derailleur.
  • 8 0
 I have moments where I just want to stock up on shimano 11 speed xt when things are on sale. absolute workhorse of a drivetrain.
  • 6 0
 @adrennan: I only put the sram part to not trigger the sram fanboys. We all know i was talking Shimano...i would argue the slx and even deore are pretty darn good if you can't justify xt money.
  • 8 0
 I wish they made a 10 speed with the largest 10 cogs on modern cassettes. I rarely if ever use the bottom (hardest) gears and if I do it’s in a road / downhill fire track scenario where an additional 3/4kmh isn’t going to make any difference.

I’d love the climbing ability and range of the first 10 gears combined with reliability that comes from the thicker materials and lower tolerances of less gears. Lasts longer not as prone to skipping due to tiny misalignments etc.
  • 1 0
 I ran the Box 2 Prime 9 and absolutely loved 9 speed. I always felt that I was shifting twice on 12 speed. Sadly I had countless issues with it but that was mostly due to it not lining up with my derailleur hanger tab and some masterlink issues. I installed Microshift on my friend's bike and it performed very well.
  • 3 0
 Love my 11-48t advent X! Less gears with the same ratio = more better.
  • 5 0
 Unpopular, but don't care. I still prefer the 10-50 cassettes. I use all that range.
  • 2 0
 Still on a 2x
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: I've got XT 1x11 and XT 1x12 drivetrains in boxes still, trying to figure out which one to put on my next build, my three other whips are all XT 1x11 M8000.
  • 1 0
 11 speed has not enough range for XC. I'd say even 2x10 is better for XC than 1x11, IMO.
  • 2 0
 After 5 years my GX 1x11 was worn to death so I got a new 1x11 GX derailleur on sale for 30 euros. perfect for another view years
  • 27 0
 Dude, what if we used the power of the human body to move the derailleur? Like, we're all kind of batteries, you know? That energy could be used to shift!
  • 13 0
 Quiet! Are you trying to create The Matrix?! Don't let the machines know we're all copper-tops!
  • 9 2
 MTBs should be purely mechanical devices. Leave the electronic stuff for E-bikes.
  • 7 0
 THE FUTURE can F off.
  • 1 0
 #thematrix
  • 19 0
 I think we're getting very close to clap-on shifting - count me in.
  • 5 0
 The only time you can get it to shift is if you throw a sui and clap your hands behind you. Perfect.
  • 3 0
 @Ajorda: what do you call a sui with both tires on the ground?
  • 4 0
 @Ajorda: that’s how you downshift
  • 3 0
 Voice activated shifting please.
  • 4 0
 @stevemokan: "Siri shift 3 to my higher gears please"

"I found this one the web for "Siri shift 3 to my higher ears please"
  • 1 0
 @noodlewitnosteeze: I'm sorry, I don't see Dr Dre's /The Chronic/ in your music library
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: good album, not a regular listen but overall really enjoy it when the mood strikes me
  • 1 0
 @noodlewitnosteeze: I found a Pizza Hut on NE Broadway and 7th Ave, would you like directions?
  • 14 1
 If they continue to innovate at this rate, one day the guys at SRAM might even come up with a way to shift gears that completely forgoes any electronics or batteries. You know, shifting, but with mechanical actuation. That would be really cool.
  • 18 8
 Gearbox please.

PS all you daft bastards who actually buy these ridiculous electronic derailleurs etc are probably part of the reason we don't have proper gearboxes yet, why would they change things when they've got all these pay piggies spending 700$ a pop on what are essentially consumable parts...
  • 7 0
 Amen.. preach brother.. preach !
  • 5 1
 They are out there right now and people don’t buy them. That’s the issue. I’ve tried to love them but the drawbacks are there. It’s doesn’t help that zerode hasn’t updated their frame in a coons age. Regardless I hope gearboxes get better with electrification. That or a variable frequency drive. That might have some promise
  • 1 0
 just waiting for trinitymtb to keep this party going to derali in the box
  • 2 0
 As long as you can't shift while pedaling, they are of no use for me. Otherwise, I would consider one on my next bike...who knows when that will be.
  • 1 0
 @Bm1117: exactly, they've been available for a while, in some pretty reasonable implementations.
I sometimes get the feeling that some just like to pretend like Pinion doesn't exist just to act frustrated and "against the Man"
  • 1 0
 Once they figure out the slip/clutch that is required to shift while pedaling I'm in. I think derailleurs are overpriced rube-goldberg machines that miraculously work... sometimes. They are way better than they used to be but still just not the right way to go about the task at hand.
  • 10 1
 “We did such a good job packaging the battery, let’s put a tiny cable off of it just to make sure there is something to break”. But seriously if this isn’t to integrate a sensor for flight attendant or trigger an internally geared hub, get the f out. Some bikepubes level product innovation here.
  • 2 0
 SRAM likely have absolutely no intention what so ever to use either of those patents in the real world. As far as I'm aware SRAM has a patent blocking other companies from building a derailleur with the battery attached to the derailleur (this is why Di2 is still the way it is I would guess) and now they are just closing down any other potential battery placement options before anyone else gets around to patenting them.
  • 1 1
 @kornbrot: every patent they’ve published has been an indication of something they’ve later done. Find a block example because I’m sure not aware of one. With flight attendant being a system that requires certain things from the frame, building sensors into an axle makes tons of sense. Not for me, but that would make it a redeeming design to need this little bit.
  • 6 0
 It'd be cool to not need a shifter, but I don't see auto-shifting ever being feasible for MTB when you often need to shift before grade changes or obstacles in anticipation of needing a different gear rather than waiting to shift until after your rpm has changed.
  • 4 0
 Automatic cars piss me off enough when driving on hills or windy roads. I hate to think how much the inability of my drivetrain to think ahead would do my head in on a mtb. Hopefully the option to change gears manually on two wheels doesn't come as close to obsolescence.
  • 1 0
 right, there are a bunch of scenarios that wouldn't be accounted for just keeping revs constant. Slow speed tech climb sections where you might want a lot of torque. Or legs cooked at the end of a day and you just want to spin lightly. Or or or...
  • 6 1
 Why are we still investing in external drivetrains?! I get the need to make money from selling replacement/broken/worn out parts, but geez, we know there's a better way of running gears on a mountain bike, there's only so much you can polish a turd!
  • 5 0
 I think an in-axle generator of sorts is a actually a pretty cool solution to the whole “having to charge your drivetrain issue.” It also kind of feels like a marketing scam because you’ll have to pay more money for a solution to a problem that we didn’t really have before electronic drivetrains. Either way the progression of e-group sets is looking pretty interesting.
  • 3 0
 You don't have to pay for it... because you don't have to buy it.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: I don’t buy it haha. Still just a thought and admittedly it’s more worth considering if you don’t have to charge it.
  • 6 1
 None of my mtbs have electronic drivetrains, but I have SRAM Force AXS on my road bike. Necessary? Not at all. Do I like it? Very much. I love the look of zero cables to the derailleurs, I like being able to program what I want the shifters to do, I love the microadjust capability through the app. A "new" AXS with a cable would be a big no from me, but a future bike with upgraded self-charging rear derailleur is a yes. Also a no to an axle-based battery that needs a few cm of exposed cable to then run internal to whatever devices. Di2 annoys me for this reason (though Ultegra Di2 does feel pretty amazing too).

As for charging on the bike, no thanks. I like that I can take those batteries off and conveniently leave the bike where it is without having a dirty bike in a hallway or trying to buy some 6 metre USB charging cable to reach the bike. Disclaimer, live in an apartment now with no lift, no garage, and a cozy kitchen living room. We have enough stuff jammed in here without trying to eat dinner with a bike leaning on us at the table. I'm about to install a Knog Scout to try and not looking forward to charging it.
  • 8 0
 I am so looking forward to the day i snap a rear axle and my bike promptly sets itself on fire.
  • 2 0
 SRAMS new ACS axle- Anti Case Trainer
  • 2 0
 Anti-eXorbitant-Shenanigans
  • 5 0
 Rear axle is a pretty shitty place to add a bunch of battery weight. Especially if it might optionally power a seat post or bar-mounted head-unit. Just put it in the seat tube or down tube.
  • 5 0
 Yeahh more unsprung mass to fuck up with the suspension!
  • 2 0
 In order to fit a AA battery in its 100% coming with the new rear axle standard we've all been hoping for, 148x13mm
  • 9 1
 Just hurry up with the gearbox
  • 15 8
 Aha Pinkbike keeping an "eagle" eye on Bikerumor again
  • 9 0
 Outside funding, hard at work.
  • 4 0
 Vojo mag did the same article the 10th of January, then it has been translated by Bikerumor and finally it gets to Pinkbike.
  • 4 2
 It was in a Vital forum as well.... PB has that site on constant refresh.
  • 10 0
 @jaydawg69: I'm glad Pinkbike trawl other sites for this kind of news, cos I sure don't have time to. Saves me from vitals eyesore UI too
  • 1 3
 @L0rdTom: agree on Vital's UI but kind of lame at the same time.
  • 7 0
 When bikes have a small nuclear reactor to power them I'll be all for it.
  • 1 0
 I too like my personal belongings to be as aggressively dangerous for the environment as possible.
  • 8 2
 I am 100% content with my cable-actuated XT shifting.
  • 4 0
 They could use regenerative braking to charge the battery. Local area riders have a lock on needless braking, thus always full battery.
  • 2 0
 What about, a very long and skinny battery, that can be hidden inside the downtube, and plugged into the shifter so that the friction of the shifter can be used as a dyno to charge the battery, and we cab make that battery of a very thin metal cable, and wrap it on a brake-like line for protection from the elements….
  • 5 1
 Imagine the possibilities if they put their combined efforts into a Sram electronic gearbox...
  • 4 8
flag jaydawg69 FL (Jan 27, 2023 at 13:25) (Below Threshold)
 doubt it will ever happen.... no getting around weight, extra drag and design compromise.
  • 1 0
 No new wheel size so they must figure new ways to keep the wheel turning. Now they will fill up the bikes with electronics but the day will come when the sales argument will be something like "simple and reliable". All this seems too farfetched
  • 1 0
 I like it.
Except broken axels happen.
I suppose there’s going to be a DUB wheel axel standard now to make this work, hubs will be the new BB when it comes to ….is this the right one that will work with what I have .
Would have figured a direct contact would have been nicer than a cable
  • 1 0
 Put the battery where its NOT needed...so you open opportunity for never ending marketing of battery capacity, recharge devices, than you wont be able to change just battery only to be forced to upgrade to new component...AND finally one day you wont go shreading your bike because there is no electricity in the circuit to recharge your ONCE it TIME fully human powered kinetic machine. Biking industry ONCE was owned by passionate cyclist...not any more
  • 4 0
 Wonder who is gonna make the first solar panel helmet? Any takers
  • 3 0
 That powers a head torch for night rides.
  • 2 0
 Prepare to have your mind blown :

www.bikeradar.com/news/poc-omne-eternal
  • 1 0
 @Arierep: hahaha!
  • 3 0
 Putting the battery in the axel seems like a smart idea tbh, although how much standardization is there on thread pitch?
  • 2 0
 I've pretty much only seen 1.0, 1.5, and 1.75 axles tbh.
  • 6 0
 It's Sram, they will obviously come up with a new thread pitch for this.
  • 6 0
 @warmerdamj: 10.99mm axles, 1.099 thread pitch. Call it DUB-L-U
  • 5 1
 They need to go back to affordable prices instead of absurd innovations.
  • 1 0
 I'm not really understanding the point...there is a problem to charge batteries for electronic devices?
I don't remember no one complaining about that issue...I mean, does not looks a market demand.
  • 3 0
 That's why marketing teams exist. There are enough people out there who will swallow whatever is put in front of them that a demand can be manufactured more easily than the product.
  • 3 0
 So now we're gonna replace all the mechanical cables eliminated by AXS with electrical cables running to a central battery?
  • 1 0
 Battery in the rear axle is clever. Put the solar panel on your head. Auto shifting sounds terrible and a self charging derailleur with a generator! Just use some wire cable ffs.
  • 3 1
 As a career-long technology mechanic, I find all this unneeded electronic crap thoroughly disgusting. I will die alone amongst the roots and rocks and ferns and mushrooms.
  • 2 0
 Imagine if you could save weight, cost, complexity and the environment by powering your mech and seatpost control with your thumb.
  • 1 1
 The pinkbike comment section collective edgelord consciousness cant fathom the onset of technological advancement that solves a specific set of requirements that other people might have.

Especially with electronic shifters.

Electronic shifters remove a bunch of potential mechanical failure modes pertaining to precise shifting during a ride.

Cables that stretch and need adjusted over a length over time.
Sheathings that can get kinked or otherwise damaged in a way that may inhibit to prevent smooth cable actuation and cable return(which is the important bit).

For someone like me who might get 2hrs max a week riding, that is a very valuable thing to have... Shifting that is repeatable and not dependent on a cable and sheathing during a ride and requires no maintenance ither than keeping the derailleur clean and charging a battery (or not with the self charging one) Ensuring shifting is repeatable and has little failure modes during a ride is more important to me than being able to replace a cable or sheathes in the garage at another point. Time constraints....bad shifting ruins a ride that i wont get to do for nearly another week or more and pisses me off.

Even the idea of a self charging derailleur battery is something i can get on board with, but as with anything it has to be implemented correctly and maintained.

Im not at this stage yet, im still on purley mechanical 11spd gears but i did kink a gear cable last ride in a crash and i still haven't had the chance to fix it yet. But if i had the money i do see the value in investing in axs.

There is perceived value in AXS in the eye of the beholder who has the right set of riding requirements that AXS satisfies.

The majority of pinkbike commenters most likely do not fall into this category.(this is a big potentially egregious assumption..20/30 something..single...alot of spare time)
  • 1 0
 At 2hrs a week your cables won't stretch appreciably for at least 2 years.
  • 4 0
 More reasons to ride a singlespeed.
  • 1 0
 Pretty innovative. Smart of them to patent this technology. A lot of times we don't give bike companies credit for thinking far enough into the future. I think this is exciting to see what's possible.
  • 1 0
 Seems like what is needed, is a central battery with wires extending to powered components, and a hub-mounted dyno that charges when coasting.
  • 2 0
 Damn, it's almost like if the system were all mechanical they might not even need a motor! A revelation
  • 1 0
 we are crazy, creating energy in useless ways for useless things, think how much economic and ecological savings leaving everything mechanical as it is!
  • 1 0
 Uh am I missing something? Why are there patents for a direct mount derailleur. I figured we have all moved away from that forever.
  • 2 0
 A self shifting derailleur would be weird as
  • 1 0
 Let's add some unsprung weight to an already sensitive suspension.. dumb arses
  • 1 0
 Next step. Mini compressor built in to the rim. HUMMER style. No flats ever.
#cantstopwontstop
  • 1 0
 The should put a genorator in the rear axle to charge electic things like the deralor insted of dolor power
  • 1 0
 after or with. did they invest prior or in conjunction with their stake. i am confuse. headlines.
  • 2 2
 One day SR*aM might even come up with a way to shift that doesn’t require electricity at all. That would be so crazy!!
  • 1 0
 I have to admit, the first thing I saw was a new 152mm axle standard.
  • 1 0
 Starting to become e-bike without motor
  • 2 1
 You guys use derailleurs?
  • 1 0
 in many countries winter shine but little sun
  • 1 0
 This kind of crap makes me LOVE my dirt jump bike
  • 1 0
 100011100010010 001010001001 00101010101
  • 1 0
 what, why are my tires suddenly flat??
  • 1 0
 Still cannot beat a vape in a handlebar
  • 1 0
 Anything in here about mitigating excessive chain slap?
  • 1 0
 What a time to be alive.
  • 1 1
 Why is there still no regen braking for ebikes ?
  • 1 0
 Because it wouldn’t do anything meaningful
  • 1 0
 Mooga Oomgawa
  • 1 0
 FK sram
  • 1 2
 Way to go if electronics are going to be a must
  • 4 0
 Never
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