- Fair Wheel took on the fun project for one of its wheel builders. He'll be sporting a one-of-a-kind drivetrain on this unique beauty. Photo: Fair Wheel Bikes
- Okay, we know this looks bad, but ... Photo: Fair Wheel Bikes
- Fair Wheel Bikes created a hybrid electronic drivetrain from Mavic and Shimano spare parts. By all means, try this at home ... though Shimano and Mavic probably wouldn't agree. Photo: Fair Wheel Bikes
- The wiring may look intimidating, but Woznick says it was actually fairly simple: just a matter of cutting and splicing wires. Photo: Fair Wheel Bikes
- Mavic's Mektronic levers are unmistakable. They're also not UCI-legal. Photo: Fair Wheel Bikes
- Fair Wheel got custom decals and gussets for the Ti Cycles frame. Photo: Fair Wheel Bikes
- The drivetrain uses Mektronic levers and Dura-Ace derailleurs. Photo: Fair Wheel Bikes
- Both the front and rear derailleurs are operated on the right hand control. There are four buttons total. Photo: Fair Wheel Bikes
- Mektronic hit the market in 1999 and disappeared shortly thereafter. Reliability issues plagued the wireless drivetrain. Photo: Fair Wheel Bikes
- Custom ti. Not hard to look at. Photo: Fair Wheel Bikes
When it comes to electronic drivetrains, Mavic was the first. Shimano is the best. And now the mad scientists at Fair Wheel Bikes in Tucson, Arizona have cobbled together their own Frankenstein monster from the two: the world’s first ShiMavic — or ShMektronic — drivetrain.
It’s a beast that takes the reliability of Dura-Ace Di2 derailleurs and pairs it with the unmistakable brake hoods and shifters of Mavic’s long-deceased Mektronic drivetrain. If you don’t know what Mektronic is, that’s because it was only on the market briefly after its introduction in 1999. The wireless drivetrain was plagued by radio interference that caused ghost shifts, so its demise came swiftly.
Despite Mektronic’s troubled past, Jason Woznick, one of Fair Wheel’s owners, says the frankendrivetrain works quite well. “We did this probably seven or eight months ago. Both derailleurs are hooked up to the right shifter. The buttons on the hood shift the front derailleur, and the buttons behind the brake paddle shift the rear derailleur.”
It may look like a pretty complex wiring job, but Woznick says it was actually pretty easy. “The original Di2, 9070 I believe, it’s easy to replace buttons. Just cut and splice.” So by all means, try this at home.*
The cannibalized drivetrains aren’t just for show, either. One of the wheel builders at Fair Wheel will be sporting Shmektronic on his Huffy-branded custom Ti Cycles frame from builder Dave Levy. “We made custom gussets and decals for it,” says Woznick.
Don’t hold your breath for the ShiMavic monster to hit stores soon … Actually, don’t expect it ever. The experiment was just for fun, after all.
No word yet on when Fair Wheel will introduce MektronTap by SRAMvic.
* You probably shouldn’t try this at home.
FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech