FSA have thrown a proverbial spanner in the works by revealing what looks to be a semi-wireless electronic groupset at the Tour de France.
The Italian firm has been rumoured to be working on a groupset for some time and now that’s been confirmed, with prototype components spotted on a spare bike of Etixx-QuickStep rider Michał Kwiatkowski ahead of stage 17 of the Tour.
Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo have held a firm grip over the groupset market for some time, with Shimano the dominant player by some distance, but FSA want to muscle in for their share with a road gruppo of their own.
This video from the Global Cycling Network shows the components on Kwiatkowski’s custom-painted Specialized S-Works Tarmac. FSA are remaining tight-lipped on details but the groupset appears to be semi-wireless. Not completely wireless, like SRAM’s long-awaited electronic groupset, but with wires connecting the front and rear derailleurs. The components are clearly marked as prototypes but FSA are confident enough to put them on Kwiatkowski’s machine, even if it is his one of his spares. That said, Kwiatkowski abandoned the race on stage 17, so this bike will remain tucked up in mechanics’ truck.
FSA have long made chainsets and finishing kit, and provide Etixx-QuickStep with equipment, so it’s an obvious step to develop a full group, but whether they can do enough to wrestle market share from the big three is another matter. Only time will tell, and we’ll also find out more details about the new groupset in due course. As soon as we know more, you’ll know more, but for now, check out the GCN video above to take a closer look.