The idea behind the system was to combat the complexities of modern mechanical (rear mech) cable routing with wireless shifting, but without the added expense of buying a whole new groupset.
The system works by replacing the shifters on your current bike with a simple electronic ‘pod’ on the bars — both mountain bike (flat bar) and drop-bar versions are available — and adding a chainstay-mounted motor unit that emulates the mechanical cable pull (well, it pulls a small length of cable) to provide slick, quick shifts.
Basically, the XSHIFTER system's the wireless motor unit (with self-contained battery) sits on your chainstay and a short length of cable activates any mechanical rear mech. Then it's a case of simply mounting the minimal micro-pod shifter next to your standard shifter.
The system is paired with a companion app so you can tweak shift speed, button operation and set up the pairing.
XSHIFTER tells us you can tune the system to work with any current mechanical system, so that’s Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo, and any number of sprockets on the cassette, so 10-, 11-, or 12-speed and even 9-speed are catered for — although I can’t imagine anyone of that disposition would want to go wireless.
We got a chance to go for a very brief spin with the system in place and it does exactly what it says it will: shifts your rear mech accurately and with no fuss.
XSHIFTER tells us battery life is thousands of shifts between charges and the unit is fully sealed against the elements. At 117.3g, the system adds very little weight (especially when you subtract the cable weight too).
Priced at $399 with either the X-Pod (flat bar/MTB) or Mini-Pod (road/gravel), the accuracy of electronic rear shifts is now affordable for many more of us.