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Shimano Patent #7032475: Hydraulic Shifting Mechanism

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First hydraulic disc brakes. Now hydraulic shifters?! A US patent published 3 days ago (#7032475) from Shimano describes a shifting mechanism that uses hydraulics. Abstract:

"A hydraulic shift gear mechanism for a bicycle having a positioning mechanism for controlling the motion of the piston of a master cylinder assembly is described. The master cylinder assembly is in communication with a slave cylinder for operation of a derailleur. The positioning mechanism preferably includes a pivot shaft spaced apart from the handlebar, a rotating member rotatable about the pivot shaft, a push mechanism for rotating the rotating member in a first direction and a return mechanism for rotating the rotating member in a second direction. In a more preferred embodiment of the invention, an adjuster piston is threadingly engaged with the master cylinder assembly for adjusting the initial position of the slave cylinder."

Time will tell whether hydraulic shifters will ever see the light of day for bicycles. The success of hydraulic disc brakes may foreshadow that of hydraulic shifters.

Update: I just found this article on of someone modding their existing drivetrain to shift using a magura brake hydraulic system.

Related articles:
hidraulic deraulier? (

2 Responses to “Shimano Patent #7032475: Hydraulic Shifting Mechanism”

  1. Anonymous Anonymous 

    love this site -

    there was an austrian company couple years ago that had a fully functioning
    hydraulic shifting system - on the market -

  2. Anonymous Anonymous 

    Like Specialized say, 'innovate or die'. I think hydraulic shifters/gears would be a major innovation to mountain biking

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