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New Campagnolo patent applications reveal wireless derailleurs

Each derailleur will have its own SRAM-style clip-on battery rather than a Shimano-esque central battery to power both

We told you a couple of weeks ago that Campagnolo’s Super Record groupset is definitely going wireless and that it’s ditching thumb levers, and new patent applications now show how the derailleurs will operate.

> Campagnolo is definitely going wireless and ditching thumb levers… and these pictures prove it 

Our previous story was largely based on documents submitted to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) relating to Campagnolo’s wireless shifters. None of these documents concerned the derailleurs. However, five patent applications have been published today giving more details.

2023 Campag front derailleur patent application - 1

Part 2 (above) is the 'electrical power supply' or battery

The main thing to note is that each of the derailleurs is powered by its own smart battery, so Campagnolo’s system is completely wireless like SRAM eTap, rather than semi-wireless like the latest versions of Shimano Di2 (which uses a single battery within the frame to power both derailleurs).

Patent application US 2023/0101681 A1 concerns the provision of “an electric power supply unit which may be attached and detached in an easy and quick manner”.

2023 Campag front derailleur patent application - 1 (2)

As you’d expect, “The electric power supply [the battery] is… removably attached to the bicycle equipment, in order to allow the recharge from the mains (possibly through a recharging base) besides any of recharging it on board of the bicycle, and/or in order to allow it to be replaced in case of performance degradation.”

The battery can be attached and detached without the aid of tools. It simply clips in place, a little latch holding it there.

Patent application US 2023/0102759 A1 gives more detail on the derailleurs.

“The derailleur may… comprise a communication device, for example for communicating with other bicycle equipment mounted on the same bicycle and/or with a different device, for example, a smartphone or similar,” says Campagnolo.

“The communication device may be for example a communication module, preferably a short range and low consumption one, for example according to the Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, and/or ANT+ protocol.”

There’s nothing unusual there.

2023 Campag rear derailleur patent application - 1 (1)

Part 12 (above) is the 'electrical power supply' or battery

“The derailleur may comprise a movement detector, for example an accelerometer and/or a vibration sensor,” says Campagnolo.

That’s probably just to tell the system to wake up after a period of inactivity.

The rear derailleur features a push button and a light that will be used to aid setup.

The push-button allows the user to input certain commands while “the light may be emitted for a prefixed time interval, or until a prefixed event internal to the bicycle equipment, or until an event performed by the user”, says Campag.

“Some actions may require, for example, that the user confirms a request, acting on the push-button,” it says.

2023 Campag rear derailleur patent application - 1 (2)

That might be to confirm a factory reset or a firmware update, for instance, or to join a new network.

“A preselected coloured light emitting pattern” might be used to communicate to the user that another action is required.

We usually mention on a patent-related story that there’s no certainty that any of these products will ever make it to market, but added to the FCC documents from a couple of weeks ago, we don’t think there’s any doubt that Campagnolo will launch new wireless Super Record sometime this year, most likely in the next couple of months.

There’s a chance that the final derailleurs will be a little different from those shown above but Campag filed its latest patent applications at the end of September 2022 so we’d be surprised if they’re greatly altered.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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