Hydraulic Mountain Bike Shifters

Mar 16, 2009

Hydraulic Mountain Bike Shifters Coming to Market
Called A-GE, the mountain-bike system is the brainchild of engineer Christoph Muthers, who debuted the technology five years ago but was never able to bring it to market. Muthers now works for Acros, and the company has put his design into production, with availability set for late spring or early summer.

Typical shifting setups use cables and return springs to move the derailleurs back and forth across the gears. The A-GE design houses tiny master cylinders in the shifter bodies (the parts that attach to the bars). As the rider depresses the shifter paddles, pistons push mineral oil through two tiny hoses connected to the derailleurs. A straight push on the paddle will move the derailleur in one direction, while a minor twist before pushing will move it in the other.


May 14, 2010
Looking good, i wonder what is a difference between Di2 and A-GE in shifting performance.
Jun 10, 2009
To be totally honest, I initially mis-read the headline on the CN article and assumed it was about integrated hydraulic braking for road STI shifters...very disappointed.

This looks very tidy, but I'm not sure it solves any real-world problems. 9 times out of 10, if I'm having shifting problems it's because I've smacked my rear derailleur into something. Of the other 1/10, 0.9 times the cause of shifting issues is vast amounts of mud and grit all through the drivetrain. Dirty cables just don't rate that highly in terms of problems in my experience.

As someone who does all their own servicing of everything except suspension parts (and that mainly because its hard to get parts promptly and cost effectively), the added complexity puts me off. To be fair I have found hydraulic brakes to be entirely trouble free for years of use, and bleeding them simple so perhaps these would be the same, but with all the extra pistons and detents I'm not too sure.