e*13 Prototype Chain Rings - First Look

Mar 5, 2013 at 16:44
Mar 5, 2013
by Mike Levy  
 
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Chain management on a downhill bike is pretty straightforward these days, with a number of different guides to choose from that all perform quite well, but things become a bit less obvious when talking about keeping the chain in place on an all-mountain or trail bike that runs a single ring setup. One could fit a full-featured DH chain guide (so long as the bike's design permits), yet running a relatively heavy guide intended for much more abusive riding isn't ideal, and lighter-duty, upper slider-only setups sometimes do not offer enough retention on rough terrain. SRAM was the first to look at the chain rings as part of the solution, with their XX1 X-Sync rings employing tooth profiles that act to hold the chain from rattling and bouncing off of the ring, especially at the six o'clock position where it most often occurs. The XX1 system has been proven to work (we've experienced just a single dropped chain after months of use without a chain guide), but riders must use the system as a complete group, meaning that you have to pony up for the entire impressive, yet very pricey, 11-speed drivetrain to see the benefits. A similar concept from e*thirteen looks to open the doors of compatibility for riders who may not want to go with an 11-speed system.

e13 chain ring prototype

It's All In The Teeth

By looking at the photos shown here of e*thirteen's prototype chain rings, they look to be tackling the challenge from the same angle - chain ring teeth with profiles that work to keep the chain on the ring - but we have hopes that e*thirteen's system will be compatible with a wide range of drivetrain components, thereby allowing riders to see the benefits without being required to change their entire drivetrain. Having said that, it is XX1's system integration that allows it to function so well, with the wide-skinny-wide tooth profiles employed on the X-Sync rings designed to mesh like puzzle pieces with the proprietary chain's inner and outer links. It looks as though e*thirteen is applying that same theory. Todd Bischoff told us that the rings are being evaluated with both 11 and 10-speed chains, and the idea that we may be able to simply swap out a single chain ring onto our 10-speed setups without needing to replace the chain, crankset, rear derailleur, and cassette has us excited.

We've been told that the prototype ring design will see production in 2013, although it sounds like we will still have to wait awhile before we discover how well they work with a 10-speed drivetrain (assuming that they get the go-ahead for 10-speed chains). ''This is all e*thirteen. We have been working on it for a few months,'' Bischoff says. ''Right now we are dialling in the chain ring tooth shapes to achieve the best function vs. the least wear. We see chain ring wear as being one of the biggest issues with longevity of the system and have a few new really strong chainring coating processes on the table.'' While they are evaluating a 104mm BCD option, the prototype rings are currently only being tested in a spider-less version that fits their TRS series cranksets - lets hope that the 104 BCD version makes production. The rings will only be available in even numbered options for obvious reasons, and there is no word on expected pricing at this point.

www.bythehive.com/e-thirteen
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91 Comments

  • + 31
 looks rad! always stoked to see a new e*13 product come out
  • + 145
 Looks like a Trek Session..
  • - 28
 Nope looks like a Kona, get in the game homie!
  • - 10
 i lol'd
  • + 76
 norbs got robbed
  • + 19
 I'm gonna get that on a t-shirt
  • + 4
 That's what she said
  • + 5
 @pinkkrow excelent idea man!!! Make 2 please!!!
  • + 6
 I love pinkbike comments. ahaha
  • + 4
 I'm gonna get it as a tattoo.
  • + 3
 @pinkkrow, i'll take one too
  • + 2
 HA! Comments like this make my work day bearable.
  • - 3
 Wow pins and majic locking teeth with no chainguide and 10-11 speed flamingo drivetrains. I going to email this to my roadie friends right away.
  • + 4
 @pinkkrow seems like you're about to get a business going here!!
[Reply]
  • + 13
 This looks rad. What a great solution for the components you now have the choice to run. You are not locked in to the carbon Sram XX1 cranks. Another good point is that these e*13 cranks have interchangeable sprockets, single ring, and dual ring setups. I am currently running e*13 TRS+ 24/38 cranks PF30 bottom bracket. They work great, light stiff and shifts well. Over all I am impressed with the quality of the e*13 product.
  • + 2
 Yay! more over priced options! You can count on e13 to provide you with another way to blow all your money.
  • + 13
 First the 3rd eye chainsuck preventer, then Dave's chain device, then then the Bullit Bros. chain tensioner, then MRP guides, 1 x 9 chain guides, then the clutch derailleur s, now special chainrings???

Just give it up and improve the gearbox systems. I'm sick of these gimmicks that are not foolproof, I'm tired of damaged chainrings, and hate that I have an expensive $200 200 gram stupid rear derailleur clanking around on the side of my bike, ready to be destroyed or ripped off by a rock at any moment.
  • + 6
 For once I agree with protour, the gearbox is the way forward. Once they work well and are a good price (pinion are getting there) that's what I'll have in my bikes. No more flimsy rear mechs getting ripped off by trail debris and catching chain rings on rocks etc.
  • + 5
 also been trying to wish them into existence for awhile, the pinions do look like they're getting somewhere with it, the problem is getting thee bike manufacturers to embrace it. would love an intense tracer 275 with an internal box, still a 'dream'
  • + 1
 Agreed - gearboxes are the way forward.

They haven't got there yet - they're still too heavy and too expensive - but Pinion are getting close. The only thing that's really holding them back is the compatibility issue and the requirement for a proprietary frame. Unless they manage to come up with a new system that can be fitted to a standard frame, which seems unlikely, as there's isn't room in the bottom bracket, then it's probably going to take one of the big manufacturers (Spesh, Trek, Giant, etc) to got on board and produce a gearbox frame for the mass market.

I live in hope.
  • + 1
 Gt already tried they msrp'd for I think 5500 but they sold them at performance bike for 4400 I think we just sold it last year for like 1800 it sat in Seattle for five years nobody wanted it cool bike.
  • + 1
 The hammerschmit is a gearbox that fits a bb. If they made one more big change it would be good enough for me. Most people only use 3 or 4 gears anyway. I would like to see one that lets you put your own crank on it.
  • + 1
 I'd want a full spread, I ride XC with a 1x9 and use all of the gears.
  • + 1
 I played around with some Sachs (pre-SRAM ownership) geared hubs on mountain bikes in the mid 1990s as our DH race team was sponsored by Sachs in Germany

their hubs were bombproof and very innovative for the era. Probably the best product I tried was a mixture of hub gear and derailleur, the "3x7" hub with 3 speed internal hub gear and 7 speed cassette with rear derailleur. Allowed a single front chain ring with prototype chain device, yet 3 hub gears to play with for going up, along or down the hill

found a unique situation with that setup racing dual slalom where shifting into the 3rd hub gear would effectively give about 50T front ring allowing you to blow past your competitor once the course came into the finish straight
[Reply]
  • + 8
 I love all the people bashing the new stuff that comes out. Saying its a waste of money and so on. But I don't see anyone rocking their 1984 Stumpjumper at the trails! haha All this new stuff makes our industry go around. I love geeking out on this, I can't afford a new La Ferrari but I can afford a sweet new bike part. You know you do too! Smile
  • + 5
 Ha, LaFerrari. You must be the first to cite it on PB. Cheers to you! Smile
[Reply]
  • + 6
 here is another company going after srams new tooth profile innovation and they will eventually 104BCD, 64BCD, as well as Sram and Middleburn direct mount rings: wolftoothcomponents.com/Product_Catalog.html
  • + 9
 here is another company about to get sued into oblivion over patent rights...
  • - 9
 weagle will try to sue the shit out of anyone......
  • + 7
 What does Weagle have to do with it?
  • + 0
 Got the patent lawyers in the house
  • + 1
 Local to me and I'm hoping to get my hands on their chainrings in the next few weeks here.
  • - 5
 Tea-addict, weagle founded e13, then continued to create Evil. Weagle tried to sue Trek for the abp system claiming it to be closely related to the DW link. For the cycling community, shooting down the big manufacturers who keep the sport what it is today, and enable funding for huge events doesn't make sense to me and that to me is why I'm not a big fan of weagle.
  • + 9
 hey summit800 your facts are a little off. Weagle founded Evil first then E13. He sued Trek because it closely resembled his Split Pivot not the DW Link, 2 separate patents and the Trek ABP was a ripoff of the Split Pivot. I believe the only reason it didn't win the patent is because of how close in time they came out. The judgement claimed development happened at the same time. PS. Weagle doesn't own E13 anymore, the Hive does.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Why do companies try to make this so hard? For those who don't want chain guides: jeffdavis.me/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/IMG_7841-1024x682.jpg
It works. It is cheap and light.
  • + 3
 you answered your question with the word cheap...there's no R&D in a 5$ plastic cover. I'm sure it works fine just like a simple seat tube clamp mount chain guide does too (aka ft derailleur without a cable). But they bring out a new product that cost more to do the same job. Its called capitalism and marketing...the sky is the limit for price, but functionality is finite.
  • + 3
 Yep. the industry feeds the fools. It's like living in a dilbert comic.
As for the bash: it is pretty sweet. Works great. Lasts years. costs $12 plus shipping. If we all bought it this crap might stop.
  • + 1
 That design works but full suspension frames have chain growth that throws the chain forward.
  • + 1
 I ran it on a six inch travel frame for a season. It works.
  • + 1
 ...I don't get it. Looks like a old-school MRP without the rollers.
  • + 1
 What's not to get, you just summed it up.
  • + 1
 taletotell, there's quite a lot of frames out there with insufficient chainstay clearance to fit a 32t inner bash, let alone anything bigger. So there's that.
  • + 1
 Ah, ok, wasn't sure if there was something going on I couldn't see.
  • + 1
 @svalgis: True. My cousin bought one and it didn't clear. It is the kind of thing you'd want to check. i can tell you it fits the commencal meta 6 and the diamondback mission though.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I'm bored of the standard derailluer system, the same thing over and over again since the 80's. Don't get me wrong it's a great system in many ways and affordable to the masses but I would like to see fresh ideas coming through. Someone please make an affordable, light and effective gear box for an off road mountain bike that can be added to a normal bike we already have. I pray for the day it happens. Pinion I salute you for your efforts and look forward to your future domination but man are you expensive and you need a dedicated frame. You young kids out there reading these forums, go to school, get a degree in gear box engineering and in years to come you can free us from broken derailleurs and mud clogged gears.
  • + 0
 Added to a normal bike you allready have? No gear boxes need special frames... right now you couls run a hammer shit and a internal geard hub.. but you still have to deal with chain growth... all current bikes do.. so you could add a tenshioner but might asswell have a derailure at that point... if they had a frame with zero chain growth then youd be good .. but you would be riding a single pivot with the bb as the bearing location... go invent it your self. Wink
  • + 1
 Fuglio, thanks for stating the obvious. We kind of already knew this. I have a Rohloff rear hub and a Hammerschmidt crank and they are heavy as hell and super expensive and need a tentioner. They are not for the masses and are not efficient and the hub will not fit to a normal bike frame hence my previous post asking for all these things to be made possible. As for inventing these things myself well it only takes a little look inside moder car gear boxes, found in many of todays automatic car and 4x4's to see that these problems have already been solved by the real engineers in this world and that the biking manufactures want to milk the derailuer system for every single penny before adding a differnt ( not new ) tech to bikes.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I know of plenty of people who use an XX1 crankset and chainring on 1x10 setups to improve chain retention and remove the need for an upper guide. The 10 speed chain being a bit wider fits easily onto the chainring, just not quite as snug as the 11 speed chain. They all seem happy with it though.
  • + 15
 I think the most surprising thing about your comment is that you know multiple people who can actually afford XX1 Razz
  • + 1
 Crankset can be found online for $250. I am thinking about getting it to run with 1/10.
  • + 1
 Yep, similar info on Finnish MTB forums, ppl running 1x10 setups with XX1 crankset and Sram type2 or even XX derailleurs with good experiences, at least so far. However, proper testing grounds are not yet available here, as here it is snow on the ground making trails a lot smoother than during summer, so not much rocky&rooty terrain available for proper testing...
  • + 1
 I am happy that people tried that before me as its much cheaper option than getting full set , I was going to make my self afford one than run it on 10 speed but was not sure how much will that work due to link dimensions If I'm not wrong difference between 11 and 10 speed chain was 0.1mm
Running 11 xx1 ring or similar design with 10 speed cassette
In theory
with 10 speed chain :11 speed ring will not be able to do their job
with 11 speed chain :will result noise and short life of components

Any thoughts or experience ?
  • + 4
 I run an XX1 crankset with an XT Shadow Plus derailleur, XT cassette and KMC 10 speed chain - no guide. The trails here in Central Texas are full of rock gardens and limestone ledges. I have yet to drop a chain - and I've tried. The magic is in the chainring teeth and the clutch derailleur.

$240 shipped for a new carbon crankest is pretty reasonable.
  • + 1
 Deko2222 how long you have been using this setup any wears on chain ring tooth?
  • + 1
 @ deko2222 It's certainly not that I don't believe you, but it would be great to see some pics of this set-up on your profile.
  • + 1
 H-Monster - Been running it a couple of weeks. During that couple of weeks I've been picking the rockiest baby-headed lines possible and bashing through them full bore to try and throw the chain. I had an e13 hive single ring before this and the chain (w/o a guide) would come off on moderate bumps and drops. Good question because time will tell, but so far the chain w/ the new crankset hasn't even hinted at coming off.

Jack - I'll post up pics to my profile later today.
  • + 1
 sweet cheers
[Reply]
  • + 2
 DHers and, to a lesser extent, trail riders have known that custom rings without shifting ramps improve chain retention for ages, since before XX1. I run a custom ring on my DH rig without a chain guide and when I'm not bottoming out, the chain usually stays put (however, no guide is temporary, I'm putting a guide back on soon). It's not as good as having a guide, but it really is a surprising improvement.
I will definately look into this for my AM rig for which I don't really want to run a chain guide - trail bikes get damn mucky, and it's just another thing to keep set up, maintain, get in the way of cleaning...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 By the way you don't need to run the full xx1 group to run their crankset with the xx1 ring.... It works killer with a 10 speed group as long as you have a derailleur with a clutch or sram type 2. Been riding the dh trails in vic park for months with this set up and no dropped chain
[Reply]
  • + 0
 i dont get it. why would you not want to run a chain device and buy a magic groupset that leaves you with a sore bum....
id rather run one for the "just in case" it jumps off . id be pissed if i spent all that money on a groupset then it still came off when riding hard. and all this "saving a few grams" shite . if your bikes too heavy stop being a pussy and man up.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have a north shore billet ring on my XO cranks and a SRAM type 2 X9 derailer and have not dropped my chain once. That being said I have only been out twice for about 2.5 hours each time.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 These look great and hopefully will be a good option in 104 but won't have the chain holding capacity of the XX1 rings. Not only do the XX1 rings have the alternating thick/thin teeth but they also have higher teeth ... which these don't have.
  • + 4
 You sir, are blind.
  • - 1
 Any why would you say that?! Take a look at the XX1 rings and educate yourself before hitting the keyboard.
  • + 2
 Bogey is right! All e13 has done is made the teeth with alternating widths. They didn't change the profile, so they've only done half the job. The XX1 ring has a directional and taller tooth profile that is critical to the rings function. With the ordinary profile this ring is using, the advantage is severly diminished. So it is only going to work half as well as the XX1 ring.
  • + 2
 So what's Blackspire doing? I love your chainrings on my XTR 970 crank and would jump on your XX1-ish ring in a second.
  • + 2
 you'll see soon Wink
[Reply]
  • + 3
 These look pretty awesome!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I bought 30T, 104 BCD chain ring here www.extralite.com/Products/octaramps_anglo.htm
Have not tried it yet. But I think it should be good.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the whole idea of alternating tooth sizes seems pretty good... probably helps keep your chain on well.
  • + 2
 And looks like SRAM could not patent it.
  • + 2
 chain drives are on more things than bikes, i'd be amazed if xx1 was the 1st alternating tooth sized chain ring.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 you can patend the solution to a problem, but not the idea itself. they just have to change the method up a little. making these rings compatable with a standard chain is awesome!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i want these for sure!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Blackspire is also testing rings like this as well.
  • + 1
 Hey... that was a secret! lol Ours are going into production next week Wink
  • + 0
 can you make oval ones please
  • + 1
 Oval!! Why? You want knee surgery?
  • + 2
 Big Blackspire fan...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Not only are your eyes having sex with this but your legs as well!!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 This is pretty much what mrp is already doing with their bling ring for the xo and x9 cranks.
  • + 3
 Except they do not have variable tooth width.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 looks pretty dope
[Reply]
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