E.13 TRS+ cassette turmoil (I've learned things)

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E.13 TRS+ cassette turmoil (I've learned things)
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Posted: Nov 21, 2018 at 10:41 Quote
I've learned a few things about the E13 cassette. If this is TLDR...just skip to the last paragraph.

My 2018 Enduro was down because of the “stop ride” Ohlins fork recall. While it was down, I thought I would upgrade the drivetrain. This bike has a heavy (still lighter than Eagle) GX 11 speed cassette that doesn’t quite give me the climbing gear I really want. There are a lot of options out there, but I really did want to stick with an 11 speed setup. The E13 TRS cassette seemed like a good option for this with its 9-46 tooth range. E13 had updated this cassette after too many owners had issues with creaking noises. The newer models had a pinch bolt instead of an inner lock ring. If I’m going to buy such a pricey item, why not just go for the lighter TRS Race version. Going from a XG1150 cassette to the TRS Race would be a drop of nearly 90 grams of rotating weight. I found a good deal on a new, and unopened, TRS Race cassette on ebay for under $300. The TRS Plus cassette was about $60 cheaper and only adds 30 grams.

Once the cassette was dropped into my mailbox, I got to work. Just for background, I have changed a few cassettes before but nothing involving an XD driver. I did have a rough time removing the GX cassette. It was a lot of spinning, and a lot of pinging noises as it was failing to come off. Although, it did finally happen!

Anyway, this is where the story really starts. The instructions were clear and I followed along. I put it all together without much issue and attempted to mount the wheel to the bike and…no, not happening. The 9 tooth cog was up against the frame. I scratched my head a little and then realized that the cassette wasn’t all the way on. There are two pieces to this cassette. There is the biggest aluminum inner rings (the carrier) and the 8 steel smaller rings that attach after the first three are installed. It turns out I didn’t push those first three far enough on to the driver. So dumb of me not to notice. I dug my already greasy hands back into it. Using two chain whips is no fun to take this cassette apart. I suggest leaving the bike in the stand while using one chain whip and bike’s own chain. Anyway, I do it all over again and…same problem. Those first three rings just don’t want to push all the way on to the driver. Not even close. I’m guessing there is a four millimeter gap from the backside of the largest cog to the bottom of the driver.

This is when I emailed E13 to show off some pictures of the issue and ask what I could do to make this happen. A representative got back to me as quickly as I could expect. Let’s call him Korrie . He asked me a few basic questions and in the next email he gave me a suggestion, the penny trick. He asked that I turn the pinch bolt around and put it into the threaded side first and place a penny in the slot. After turning the bolt a few times, this expanded the hole a little. So hopefully it will not fit as tightly now as it was before. Total fail. The splines of the cassette were the real problem here. All the penny trick did was take a round hole and make it oblong. This helped the cassette to go on farther but sideways. It was a “no duh” sort of moment. With and without the penny trick, out of desperation, I used a rubber mallet. (Of course there was an item or two between the mallet and carrier) Nope. All that did was force it on so tightly it couldn’t be removed without yanking the XD driver from the hub. And regardless of how hard I pounded, it still didn’t go on any further. All I really managed to do was ruin a pawl in a frustrated attempt to reseat the XD driver into the hub. I suck. Korrie and I went back and forth on this issue via email for three or four days with no real conclusion. Several times he did say things like, "We have never heard of this issue before." He suggested I should take it to a bike shop. I was ready to do so anyhow. At this time, Ohlins had a small announcement and it was clear that the recall would be wrapped up soon. I waited another week and brought all of these problems to my local Specialized dealer. The Ohlins recall was free service and they swung me a reasonable deal to put some fresh pawls in there and of course install the cassette. They had no issue with the first two tasks but not the latter. Same problem for them. I asked my bike shop to summarize their experience with the problem in an email and I got back in touch with Korrie and included the information from the bike shop. He replied to my email (this is the same chain of emails from a week before) as if he had never heard from me before. Sure, anyone can make that mistake but it really didn’t take much care to figure it out. In my next email, I asked, “do I really have to rehash what we have already gone over?” He then said, “you opened a new ticket, but I was able to find the old one.” This is where my feelings toward Korrie changed. Not only did he state that “I” made a new ticket, but he said he was able to find the old ticket. I had no control of E13’s ticket system but I did see from how their email system works, it was clear that my new ticket number was automatically linked to my old one. Korrie didn’t find my old ticket, he just ignored the link to the old one and acted like he actually did something when he finally “found it.”

Anyway, in our previous round of back and forth, several times Korrie assured me that their cassette should fit any XD driver with only a few issues that do not affect my XD driver. Now he was saying that some XD drivers from my brand are machined a little differently and so many of these companies fail to stay within the designated parameters that Sram laid out and that isn’t E13’s problem. He suggested that I buy another XD driver to replace the one I have. I then asked, what if I spend that kind of money on a new XD driver only to have the same problem with your cassette AGAIN? He failed to answer as he more or less said, "that's tough." He even went on about how E13 cannot refund labor time. Which isn’t an unreasonable policy unless an E13 representative tells me specifically to take it to a bike shop and even the bike shop can’t install it. Korrie, don’t tell me to spend money to fix a problem that cannot be fixed and then tell me that E13 can't be responsible for my foolish actions that E13 specifically told me to take.

At this point I would like to say something pretty simple. I’m a grown up. I’m good at not allowing my feelings to lead me into performing foolish actions. But if I wasn’t, I would drive up to Petaluma and I would shove my fist through Korrie’s nutsac.

Then I picked up the phone and called E13 and started talking to a gentleman that…you’ve been there before, right. Whatever side it was on, you’ve been there when a customer wants to talk someone’s ear off and even though the guy who is listening could just say, “shut up, I don’t have time for you to vent, but I already have a solution for you that you’ll be happy with because we always take care of our customers.” Nope. He just listened to me whine about Korrie for five minutes and then presented my options. It turns out they have changed their tolerances on the carrier part of the cassette a few times. I guess they are trying to have this cassette fit every XD driver out there but Korrie was right (the second time), not every XD driver is the same. Although, I doubt if buying another XD driver to replace my perfectly good XD driver would have been helpful. E13 is having a rough time with this item because the tolerances are touchy. Again, this is my guess but they don’t want loose or squeak cassettes and it's a fine line between the two. They’re making changes as they go along to avoid it. So this gentleman from E13 asked me a few questions and then shipped me another carrier that should fit more loosely. For free! So now I have a cassette and a half for the price of one.

That call was late in the afternoon on a Thursday. By Monday afternoon I had what I needed in the mailbox. The new carrier fit much better. Although, I still did have to give it a tap of the rubber mallet. I don’t see how I could have just pushed it on with my hands. From there, everything was fine. I adjusted the rear derailleur and it worked flawlessly. Okay, well, I could hear a little noise as I tested it around the neighborhood. On my first proper ride the shifting was perfect. Even better than the GX cassette. Although, the shifting performance might have been aided by the new, and pricy, KMC X11SL DLC chain.

So, I don’t know what Korrie was thinking. All of this lasted for over two weeks but it could have been sorted out in just a few emails. It seems Korrie doesn’t understand that E13 has to stand behind their product. They claim that cassette fits XD drivers. If it doesn’t they have to step in and make it right. Korrie even suggested that I just send the cassette back to the ebay seller. What? That ebay seller treated me fairly and has to make a living. I’m not sending back this very used looking cassette as a new return. I had wasted hours on this mess. And between the extra grease, the pawls and the labor at the bike shop, I’ve spent a good amount of money beyond what I originally paid. I’m not paying for shipping the cassette back to the ebay seller to make that worse. And all of that would lead to some random ebay seller associating my name with the word "jerkoff." Korrie is the jerkoff.

In conclusion, I've heard some bad stuff about the TRS 11 speed cassettes. Like too much noise or aluminum gears folding over. People do struggle with them. E13 has made several changes since they first started producing these cassettes, including batch by batch changes that might affect your install mattering on your XD driver. Both my bike shop and I COULD NOT install the first E13 cassette I purchased. The carrier (the first three aluminum cogs) were too tight to fit my XD driver. I had weeks of email messages to E13 that did nothing to help the situation because of one extremely unhelpful customer service representative. Once I called E13, the problem was solved in just a few days at no further cost to me. I couldn't believe how quickly my situation changed. I've had a few rides on it and its great. I'm totally happy with it but I still do have my worries. If you look at the numbers, it's hard to not be happy. My 11 speed GX derailleur is way cheaper than an XX1 Eagle derailleur and comes in at the same weight. This E13 cassette is 40 grams lighter than an XX1 Eagle cassette and some how still has more range. Although, the nine tooth is kind of silly. E13 made this right for me by giving me $130 worth of product to fix my issue but if you still have worries and your feeling adventurous, Garbaruk also makes a light weight expanded range 11 speed cassette.

Posted: Nov 22, 2018 at 9:11 Quote
E13 is one of those brands that I want to like, but would never rely on anything they make other than a bash guard

Posted: Jan 4, 2019 at 18:31 Quote
That super tight one they should sell to people with dt hubs. I could pedal and pull the TRS cassette crooked on a dt hub, it fit so loose. I went through 3 of their cassettes, tolerances are all over the place. I had one cassette have the steel section come loose from the alloy. 2 where the chain would rub the frame in the 9t. The one that didn't rub is the one the steel section came loose on in about 10 rides. I would never buy any of their stuff.

Posted: Jan 5, 2019 at 6:44 Quote
I didn’t read this full novel but sounds like a familiar story around here. I had the original two piece cassette and it worked great but had some play where the steel and aluminum interlock. I emailed the hive and they sent a new pinch bolt cassette next day, no cost.
I have put thousands of miles on it and 0 issues. Shifts great, no creaking.

What I do like about e13 that you won’t find with many companies is they will RA your products from an email or phone call. Whereas other companies who make components will force you to take them into an authorized dealer to even start the replacement process. As someone who does 99% of my own maintenance, this is some bullshit.

Posted: Jan 24, 2019 at 5:28 Quote
I have the TRS cassette and generally like it. I had a similar experience with e*13 when I needed to replace the cassette that came on my Jeffsy (lock ring version) with a new one (pinch bolt version) because it was worn out. I had a hell of a time installing the lock ring version on my DT Swiss M1900 wheels. I had to remove the freehub body from the hub and use a mallet with quite a bit of force to fully seat the carrier on the hub. Then the collar against which the pinch bolt tightens broke when tightening it, and, yes, I did use a torque wrench.

I got the same BS when emailing. It was suggested that I take it to a shop, etc. That was irritating. Installing a cassette is not hard. Whatever. I have come to learn that there are a lot of morons out there that break stuff or try to take advantage. I always initiate a product inquiry via email so there is a written documentation. I have found that picking up the phone is the best way to get results. In some ways I think it shows the rep on the other end that they aren't dealing with some jackwagon that's trying to rip them off. They actually ended up sending me 2 carrier units when I had my issues.as the first replacement they sent me also broke during installation.

At the end of the day I like what e*13 is doing. I like that they are willing to innovate and even change a product on the fly to make it better. As far as the cassette goes, specifically, I like the range, weight, and shifting performance. The lockring version I had originally did creak but I took it apart, cleaned and greased it and it never creaked again. I wish the aluminum cogs were more durable as they seem to wear out pretty quickly but at least they offer that as a separate replacement part so you don't have to spend $250 every time they wear out.

At the end of the day I don't know why they switched from the lock ring to the pinch bolt. It seems that created more problems that it solved. Also, FWIW, when I bought some new Industry Nine wheels the cassette fit perfectly on the torch hub, that is, once I managed to get it off the DT hub...

Posted: Jan 20, 2020 at 7:42 Quote
I'm reviving this thread because I bought a bunch of these Gen 1 & Gen 2 cassettes from PB members. Of the 2 older Gen 1 cassettes I bought, none came with the lockring nor lockring installation/removal tool. Luckily I didn't need these and can swap the newer ones back and forth, but I rode one of the older Gen 1 cassettes w/o the lockring and though this was crap!

The 9T cog rubbed and the steel group got loose until I realized my folly.

The issue is- e13 is all of out the lockrings, and I can't locate any elsewhere. I received an email that they should be back in stock soon, but if anyone can locate a cassette lockring (not the crank lockring), please let me know. Or, if any other type of lockring would work- post it here! Thanks

Posted: Jan 24, 2020 at 5:35 Quote
FWIW, two years ago I ran into some trouble fitting an e*thirteen cassette on a customer's bike. It was the newer pinch bolt version. When I spoke with them about it they said that SRAM had got a hairball about using the threads on the XD driver to secure the cassette, so they were forced to go to the pinch bolt design to avoid legal action. Having said that, they then went on to tell me that some manufactures such as Hope and i9 had made some XD drivers just a tiny bit smaller than SRAM's specifications called for and that it necessitated using shims to take up the extra space. They sent me the shims. The shims worked. My customer hasn't had a problem since.

Posted: Jan 24, 2020 at 5:44 Quote
RunsWithScissors wrote:
FWIW, two years ago I ran into some trouble fitting an e*thirteen cassette on a customer's bike. It was the newer pinch bolt version. When I spoke with them about it they said that SRAM had got a hairball about using the threads on the XD driver to secure the cassette, so they were forced to go to the pinch bolt design to avoid legal action. Having said that, they then went on to tell me that some manufactures such as Hope and i9 had made some XD drivers just a tiny bit smaller than SRAM's specifications called for and that it necessitated using shims to take up the extra space. They sent me the shims. The shims worked. My customer hasn't had a problem since.

Yes, I got free shims from e13 for my Hope hub as well, and they come standard, but I didn't know about i9 hubs needing them too.

Still waiting for the damn lockring to be available!!!

Posted: Jan 24, 2020 at 6:05 Quote
Staktup wrote:
RunsWithScissors wrote:
FWIW, two years ago I ran into some trouble fitting an e*thirteen cassette on a customer's bike. It was the newer pinch bolt version. When I spoke with them about it they said that SRAM had got a hairball about using the threads on the XD driver to secure the cassette, so they were forced to go to the pinch bolt design to avoid legal action. Having said that, they then went on to tell me that some manufactures such as Hope and i9 had made some XD drivers just a tiny bit smaller than SRAM's specifications called for and that it necessitated using shims to take up the extra space. They sent me the shims. The shims worked. My customer hasn't had a problem since.

Yes, I got free shims from e13 for my Hope hub as well, and they come standard, but I didn't know about i9 hubs needing them too.

Still waiting for the damn lockring to be available!!!

I think if I was stuck in that predicament I'd try to look up the thread pitch on the XD driver and have my local machine shop fab one. You wouldn't really need to reproduce e*thirteen's outer profile, just SRAM's threads. You could make the outside round and then file a square notch in it to engage a spanner wrench. Pretty simple work if you have a lathe or know someone who does.

Posted: Feb 5, 2020 at 0:58 Quote
I’m pretty much at the end of my patience with this 11 speed TRS+.
Fitted it originally quite easily with an XT chain, XT mech and Absolute Black 30 tooth that were about 7 rides old. Pretty good in the stand, but went for a test spin and it was very noisy.

Decided to try a new GX 12 speed chain as it’s a tad thinner. Spent hours fiddling with minute adjustments to the limit screws and cable tension, got it reasonable, but out on the trails it was pretty bad for noise.

I’ve spent so many hours faffing with it again and it’s just so sensitive to the most minute adjustments. I put a new mech hanger on to see if that was any better, but I can’t get it perfectly indexed, it’s even noisy when the chainline is straight- move the limit screw a touch and then it won’t drop to 9 tooth even without cable tension.

Tonight I’ll try a new cable outer, swap the mech and shifter over from another bike and have a play.

I’ve got no wobble in the cassette.

I actually bought 2 of these cassettes, a new direct mount crank so I could go down to a 28 oval ring in one bike. New wheels with XD driver, new XD driver for my other wheels. If I bin the cassette I’ve been trying with, that means I’d have to go to 10-46 so 28 tooth ring is likely going to be too small. A hell of a lot of money wasted when my 11-46 Sunrace and Xt stuff was perfect- the E13 range just seemed such a good idea and shaved quite a chunk of weight off.

Worst thing is I’d read how noisy and troublesome they can be and still I bought 2 of them. Bring pretty handy at indexing gears, I thought I wouldn’t have any trouble.

Bit of a rant, but I don’t see how I can use this cassette when it’s so sensitive, what happens when it gets a bit muddy?

Posted: 1 days ago Quote
alcooker wrote:
I’m pretty much at the end of my patience with this 11 speed TRS+.
Fitted it originally quite easily with an XT chain, XT mech and Absolute Black 30 tooth that were about 7 rides old. Pretty good in the stand, but went for a test spin and it was very noisy.

Decided to try a new GX 12 speed chain as it’s a tad thinner. Spent hours fiddling with minute adjustments to the limit screws and cable tension, got it reasonable, but out on the trails it was pretty bad for noise.

I’ve spent so many hours faffing with it again and it’s just so sensitive to the most minute adjustments. I put a new mech hanger on to see if that was any better, but I can’t get it perfectly indexed, it’s even noisy when the chainline is straight- move the limit screw a touch and then it won’t drop to 9 tooth even without cable tension.

Tonight I’ll try a new cable outer, swap the mech and shifter over from another bike and have a play.

I’ve got no wobble in the cassette.

I actually bought 2 of these cassettes, a new direct mount crank so I could go down to a 28 oval ring in one bike. New wheels with XD driver, new XD driver for my other wheels. If I bin the cassette I’ve been trying with, that means I’d have to go to 10-46 so 28 tooth ring is likely going to be too small. A hell of a lot of money wasted when my 11-46 Sunrace and Xt stuff was perfect- the E13 range just seemed such a good idea and shaved quite a chunk of weight off.

Worst thing is I’d read how noisy and troublesome they can be and still I bought 2 of them. Bring pretty handy at indexing gears, I thought I wouldn’t have any trouble.

Bit of a rant, but I don’t see how I can use this cassette when it’s so sensitive, what happens when it gets a bit muddy?

UPDATE to my original post above:

After a couple years running these once the one I have now wears out I will be going with SRAM. These are just a royal pain in the ass to get decent shifting if you even can. I really wanted to like the concept and I can't complain about the weight but I threw a leg over a bike with GX Eagle on it and I was blown away at how crisp and precise it felt in comparison to the e13.

Posted: 1 days ago Quote
RunsWithScissors wrote:
Staktup wrote:
RunsWithScissors wrote:
FWIW, two years ago I ran into some trouble fitting an e*thirteen cassette on a customer's bike. It was the newer pinch bolt version. When I spoke with them about it they said that SRAM had got a hairball about using the threads on the XD driver to secure the cassette, so they were forced to go to the pinch bolt design to avoid legal action. Having said that, they then went on to tell me that some manufactures such as Hope and i9 had made some XD drivers just a tiny bit smaller than SRAM's specifications called for and that it necessitated using shims to take up the extra space. They sent me the shims. The shims worked. My customer hasn't had a problem since.

Yes, I got free shims from e13 for my Hope hub as well, and they come standard, but I didn't know about i9 hubs needing them too.

Still waiting for the damn lockring to be available!!!

I think if I was stuck in that predicament I'd try to look up the thread pitch on the XD driver and have my local machine shop fab one. You wouldn't really need to reproduce e*thirteen's outer profile, just SRAM's threads. You could make the outside round and then file a square notch in it to engage a spanner wrench. Pretty simple work if you have a lathe or know someone who does.

That requires.... effort, but I appreciate the advice and your time on this dilemma. I'm just going to sell these 2 casettes and hope someone already has these older style ones and a lockring already.

Posted: 24 hours ago Quote
Typical e*thirteen:

• Release a product before the bugs are worked out.
• Outstanding customer service for those affected by problems.
• Products are sorted after about a year.

I don't know how I feel about this. I can't be too upset because they really do hook you up when things go wrong. And it does accelerate their product lifecycle and cash flow, so it's probably best for business. It's just ... well ... fine, e*thirteen, keep being you.

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