5 things you need to know about WheelTop EDS OX Series drivetrain
- Fully wireless drivetrain with a removable battery
- Compatible with 12- and 11-speed cassettes from SRAM and Shimano
- A single flat-bar shifter is currently available, with the potential for a road shifter to be offered in the future
- A matching crankset is also available from WheelTop
- Available to buy direct from WheelTop for around $400 USD
Who is WheelTop?
WheelTop is a well-established Chinese OE manufacturer that is focused primarily on producing cranksets and belt-drive components.
The brand was founded in 1951 and supplies components to large brands including Giant, Trek, Rad Power and the Accell Group.
WheelTop EDS OX Series rear derailleur
The rear derailleur is compatible with cassettes up to 52t. Jack Luke / Our Media
The WheelTop EDS OX Series rear derailleur is based around a typical slanted parallelogram layout.
It is constructed from alloy and is coated with a tough anodized finish. This feels nice in the hand and lends it a premium look.
The derailleur is compatible with cassettes up to 52t.
The catalogue for the derailleur claims it’s compatible with 1×11 road and mountain bike drivetrains, in addition to 1×12 road bike drivetrains.
However, speaking to BikeRadar, a WheelTop spokesperson said the derailleur will work with anything from 7-speed right up to 12-speed cassettes. This is because the firmware for the system can be adjusted to suit the spacing of any cassette.
It is not clear whether these adjustments can be made by the end-user or if they must be performed by WheelTop.
The jockey wheels run on cartridge bearings. Jack Luke / Our Media
The pulley cage is also made from alloy. The injection-moulded plastic 12t (upper) and 14t (lower) pulley wheels spin on cartridge bearings.
The layout of the limit screws appears to have been tweaked on this version of the derailleur. Jack Luke / Our Media
The clutch sits beneath an alloy cover. This is adjustable and user-serviceable.
3mm hex head screws are used to adjust the derailleur limits and B-screw.
The limit screws on the sample we saw sit on the front face of the lower pivot.
However, the derailleur pictured on the WheelTop site features limit screws on the outward face of the derailleur body.
It is unclear which is the production or final version of the derailleur.
The brand currently has no plans to develop a front derailleur, claiming that its target market is more likely to be interested in a 1x setup.
WheelTop EDS OX Series shifter
Only a flat-bar shifter is available (for now). Jack Luke / Our Media
A flat-bar shifter is currently available. This uses a two-button layout and can be mounted either under or over the handlebar.
The buttons have a very tactile and almost metallic feel, emitting a satisfying click when depressed.
A coin cell battery powers the shifter. Jack Luke / Our Media
Speaking to BikeRadar, the brand suggested it may develop a drop-bar shifter if it sees demand from road and gravel riders.
WheelTop EDS OX Series battery
A chunky battery powers the rear derailleur. Jack Luke / Our Media
The rear derailleur is powered by an 800mAh lithium-ion battery. The battery is held secure by a chunky alloy clip. Power is supplied via a three-pin flat contact on the inside face of the battery.
The batteries connect via a three-pin connector. Jack Luke / Our Media
The derailleur is claimed to have a battery life of “approximately one week of riding”, though this will largely depend on your riding style.
The batteries charge in a standalone cradle.
What about cranksets and cassettes?
A wide range of cranksets is available to buy from WheelTop.
A single 11-speed 11-40t cassette is also available. However, the brand says the system is compatible with all 11- and 12-speed cassettes from SRAM or Shimano.
How can I buy it?
The groupset is available to buy direct from WheelTop. Jack Luke / Our Media
The WheelTop EDS OX drivetrain is available to buy direct from WheelTop for around $400 USD. For that, you get a rear derailleur, the shifter, batteries and a charger.
In addition to consumer-direct sales, the brand is also looking to spec the drivetrain on complete bikes and is seeking international consumer distribution.
We have requested a sample drivetrain for testing and hope to bring you a full review of the system soon.