SRAM Eagle eTap wireless groupset — further images emerge

Detailed photographs show parts in the wild

A detailed image showing the rear derailleur from SRAM's eagerly anticipated Eagle eTap group has emerged. The shot, which was posted to Instagram yesterday by UCI mountain bike photographer Michal Cerveny, shows the dusty, wireless rear derailleur from the yet-to-be-confirmed mountain bike group on Nino Schurter's Scott Spark.

It's the first time we've got a detailed look at the component, which aside from finishing touches, such as stickers, looks like it's almost ready for production.

The original story continues below

SRAM's Eagle eTap might be on the way. Photos posted on Instagram appear to show an electronic version of SRAM's top-tier 12-speed mountain bike group mounted to cross-country world champ Nino Schurter's Scott Spark.

Tom Marvin weighs in on what eTap Eagle might look like

Is Eagle eTap on the way? By the looks of Nino Schurter's rear derailleur the answer is yes
Is Eagle eTap on the way? By the looks of Nino Schurter's rear derailleur the answer is yes

The leaked images appear to show a battery-equipped rear derailleur paired to a 12-speed Eagle cassette.

Here's another angle of Schurter's Scott Spark that appears to be missing a gear cable from the right of the handlebar
Here's another angle of Schurter's Scott Spark that appears to be missing a gear cable from the right of the handlebar

Even Schurter's own Instagram account offers a potential clue. While not entirely clear, it appears that his bike is without a rear derailleur cable coming from the right-hand shifter.

Studying the image shows what looks to be three hoses coming from the left side, which would consist of the front disc brake, fork lockout, and rear shock lockout. That lines up with his RockShox suspension sponsor and its hydraulically-actuated lockouts. 

Patent drawings

As reported by the Dutch mountain bike website, Velozine, SRAM's US patent drawings have also been released. 

Interestingly, this patent drawing for an electric MTB rear derailleur is from October 2013
Interestingly, this patent drawing for an electric MTB rear derailleur is from October 2013

The patent drawings are owned by SRAM LLC for the rear derailleur and SRAM Deutschland GmbH for the shifters.

With a battery added to the back of the derailleur body, the Eagle eTap rear derailleur appears to be a mashup of the current XX1 Eagle and Red eTap rear derailleurs. 

Eagle eTap shifters

This under bar shifter looks similar to what most riders are accustom to. It does appear to use a index finger trigger whereas current SRAM shifters are thumb only
This under bar shifter looks similar to what most riders are accustom to. It does appear to use a index finger trigger whereas current SRAM shifters are thumb only

Three shifters have been presented in the patent drawings. One appears to resemble the standard under the handlebar shifter that attaches via SRAM's existing clamps.

Contrary to SRAM's current thumb-only shifters, the drawings seem to indicate thumb and index finger buttons or paddles. 

The shifter looks to be like nothing we've seen before
The shifter looks to be like nothing we've seen before

The other shifter features a clamp that surrounds the bar similar to Shimano XT and XTR Di2 shifters. Despite its mild GripShift appearance, it looks to have two buttons or paddles for controlling the rear derailleur.

This appears to be the smallest and most elegant possible shifter solution
This appears to be the smallest and most elegant possible shifter solution

The third shifting option looks to be the smallest and most elegant with the majority of the electronic gizmos tucked inside the handlebar. The patent drawings detail a lock-on grip with a very small button or lever protruding through the grip. 

When is electronic Eagle coming?

BikeRadar has contacted SRAM for comment on the development of this new group. We've yet to receive a response.

Russell Eich

Tech Writer, US
Russell fell head over heels in love with bikes in the '90s, and has been involved in the bike industry ever since. Between wrenching in bike shops, guiding professionally, and writing about bikes, Russell has honed an appreciation for what works, gained knowledge of what doesn't, and can barely contain his enthusiasm for what comes next. His two-wheeled passion continues in the Rocky Mountains high above Boulder, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: High altitudes, forgotten singletracks, bike parks, roads without cars
  • Current Bikes: Custom Meriwether steel hardtail, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29, Kona Jake the Snake, Trek 69er, and a bunch more
  • Dream Bike: Yeti SB5c, Intense Tracer 275C, Black Cat custom road
  • Beer of Choice: Gin + Tonic
  • Location: Rollinsville, CO, USA

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