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Spotted: SRAM prototype electronic drivetrain

SRAM’s long-rumored development of an electronic drivetrain went public Sunday when a rider in SRAM-branded kit raced on what is clearly a prototype shift-by-wire system at the Illinois cyclocross state championships.

SRAM is remaining tight-lipped about the groupset. “That’s a developmental product. I have no comment,” SRAM marketing manager Michael Zellmann told VeloNews.

With the public, if accidental, unveiling of an electronic group, SRAM joins competitors Shimano and Campagnolo in the steady move away from mechanical shifting.

Little is known about the group, aside from what can be seen in this photo. What is obvious is that an electric wire, not a cable, is actuating the rear derailleur. There is also something mounted to the rider’s stem, which we assume is some sort of battery.

The derailleur is has a short cage, indicating that the initial group will be targeted at the road and cyclocross markets. The shifters are matched with cable-actuated brakes, not the company’s hydraulic braking system.

The finish is rough, and the components are quite obviously in the prototype phase. We hope to learn more soon.