Tom Wickles about his bike: “The design is reminiscent of the first hardtail which some people might have seen already. My taste hasn’t changed that much since. After using two SRAM Blips and the very clean cockpit, I was looking for a more ergonomic solution. I am still riding the hardtail and apart from a cable break at a solder joint it has never given me any trouble. It has several thousand kilometers on the clock and the paint still looks great even though there are a few scratches and chips due to the not so tender use. But technically, it still operates as flawlessly as it did on day one.
Nevertheless, I wanted to try something new. I kept thinking an AXS shifter would actually have to look like an E7000 Steps E-Bike shifter, but since I am not an electrician the option to build something like that was not going to happen. At some point I came across the Zirbel Twister, which work with the Blipbox and I got that much desired clean look back. They work great, are intuitive and clean up the handlebar. The cables (just 2) and the brake cable head into the frame where the Blipbox, wrapped in foam, is clamped behind the headtube. Not great for fine-tuning shifting and for battery changes, but at least really clean. There are also Zirbel for the Reverb AXS for Links, but I think the look of 8-Pins is just phenomenal and that’s why I went with the extra cable on the bike. So, I went on a search for a lever that looks similar to the shifter. I am not totally satisfied with the result quite yet – anyone have a better idea? The cable down the brake definitely doesn’t work, a similar “twist” function like the shifter would be nice. That way, the cockpit would look relatively clean again, especially since I went without the suspension elements’ remote. Speaking of cockpit. You can probably guess where that comes from and what that means going forward. I personally find the color integration ingenious.