Hydraulic shifting device (Author: Anders)
Hydraulic shifting device
One of the big maintenance issues on a mountain bike is the wear and tear
on the cables. This leads to increased friction, which again leads to bad
To solve this problem, you would have to replace the wire cable, with
something else, which would not be contaminated with mud and water.
Incorporating a completely closed system based on hydraulic fluid, would be
the obvious solution.
The development began is 2000, and was inspired by an American company, that
produced a similar product. One problem with their product was, that it was
very expensive and in our opinion too large.
Our system consists of two similar hydraulic actuators, connected by a
Magura hydraulic tube. The pistons in the actuators are connected to a small
length of wire cable that goes into the shifter and rear derailleur in the
normal fashion. So when you push the shifter, the oil pushes the piston at
the rear derailleur, which then shifts the gears.
The main problem with the system at the present stage is that it is very
difficult to fill it with oil. Because of the small diameters of the tube
and cylinders, itís very easy for bubbles to get trapped in the system.
So the first filling of the system requires patience and is a two person
operation. We donít consider the system completely finished before this
issue has been solved. Slow but thorough!
On the above pictures you can see the actuators on the shifter and rear derailleur.
Notice that the cable stops are drilled out; so thereís no way back. And
finally the 5WT shock oil used in the system. Maybe you think that the
actuator on the rear derailleur looks fragile and exposed, itís not.
The screw on the derailleur will be the first thing breaking.