Home / Cycling / Instagram Peek: SRAM Blackbox Eagle eTap wireless mountain bike shifting

Instagram Peek: SRAM Blackbox Eagle eTap wireless mountain bike shifting

We’ve heard & seen rumors of a wireless eTap version of SRAM’s 1×12 Eagle mountain bike drivetrain for months now. But the project seems confirmed now, thanks to an Instagram photo posted overnight by respected photographer Michal Červený of Nino Schurter’s bike ahead of the South African opening of the XC World Cup this weekend.

SRAM Blackbox Eagle eTap wireless derailleur prototype

SRAM-Blackbox-Eagle-eTap_prototype-wireless-derailleur-protoype_photo-by-Michal-Cerveny Instagram Peek: SRAM Blackbox Eagle eTap wireless mountain bike shifting
via Instagram of Michal Červený

Červený got up close with Schurter’s 12-speed Blackbox Eagle eTap rear derailleur. The derailleur has an entirely new geometry vs. either current mechanical Eagle derailleurs or current eTap road designs. It tucks what looks like a standard eTap battery into a new skeletal upper link design. And it appears to also sandwich the actuator motor up there as well (vs. Red eTap which puts the motor on the lower link.) A machined outer parallelogram plate again supports that this is not yet a production part, with a small window letting some of the electronics peek out. Of course there are no wires to be seen, leaving the Scott frame with unused internal routing ports.

The prototype Eagle eTap derailleur gets a Blackbox logo over the lower P-knuckle, where we can see the standard SRAM cap over the Type3 Roller Bearing Clutch. As if the giant golden XG-1299 Eagle Tech 500% cassette didn’t confirm it, the prototype derailleur mount calls out ‘Eagle Technology”, and it uses the standard offset wide-gear-range pulley design.

The pulleys themselves are a new design, though. They look to use an overall wide profile that tapers to the narrower teeth vs. the current versions that are thin, but have wider protrusions on alternating teeth for chain retention. That could be a welcome change for real world usability, as I have seen the current version to collect debris and be more difficult to clean (although these dusty pulleys don’t promise a much cleaner solution). The outer cage looks to be quite similar, but not identical to X01, although that could be explained by it being a prototype vs. a final production part.

No longer just the realm of hacked together projects, it looks like a wide-ranging, wireless  Eagle eTap mountain bike drivetrain is in the development pipeline. And out in the real world getting race tested.


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