This is the first of a set of four patents from 2011 that describe an electronic derailleur system. The inventors are shown as Claudio and Davide Tiso, owners of the eponymous Tiso brand of derailleurs and CNC-machined bicycle jewellery.
The rear derailleur design has the following interesting features:
- It does not use a parallelogram, but uses a toothed belt driving two toothed 'sprockets' to keep the pulley cage in alignment. This general arrangement is also proposed in patents that cover the SunTour Superbe Tech series of derailleurs. More pertinently, it is described in astonishingly similar detail in a 2009 Taiwanese patent held by FSA.
- The electric motor is mounted underneath the parallelogram-equivalent, and drives this element through a series of gears in a configuration that is similar to the FSA K-Force WE, except that the FSA K-Force WE dispenses with the toothed belt and uses cogs instead.
- The gear controls on the handlebar communicated wirelessly with a controller box mounted down by the gears. This box communicates through wires with the front and rear derailleur. This is also very similar to the way that the FSA K-Force WE system functions.
Finally, one of FSA's promotional videos indicates that the FSA K-Force WE was designed in Italy by Italians - which is interesting for a Taiwanese company with strong links to the USA.
All of this leads me to believe that the legendary (mythical?) Tiso electronic derailleur was eventually reincarnated, in much improved form, as the FSA K-Force WE.