Aaron Gwin's Mystery Derailleur - Leogang DH World Cup 2018

Jun 8, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  
Aaron Gwin Mech

We first spotted Aaron Gwin running an unmarked derailleur and shifter over the winter, but when the World Cup season started this year a SRAM X01 DH derailleur and shifter had been installed on his YT Tues.

That's changed for Leogang, and the mystery derailleur has returned. The short cage unit appears to have a small switch to turn a clutch mechanism on or off, along with short lever that can be flipped up to move it out of the way for wheel swaps.

Aaron Gwin Mech
Aaron Gwin Mech

There's still no clear answer as to who this creation belongs to, but I'm inclined to think that it's either e*thirteen or TRP, two of Gwin's current sponsors. E*thirteen already make every other component necessary for a drivetrain; it'd make sense if they decided to complete the package. TRP's focus has traditionally been on brakes, but given their manufacturing capabilities it's not hard to imagine them expanding their offerings. This article will be updated if any new information comes in, but in the meantime, feel free to speculate away.


157 Comments

  • + 399
 It's a prototype piece that catapults your chain clear of the bike at a set number of pedalstrokes out of the gate(predetermined by rider or team mechanic, internally adjustable).
  • + 8
 This comment just made my day! Smile
  • + 55
 Rachel Atherton and Dakotah Norton were secretly testing these at Fort Bill too.
  • + 14
 Who's the man of mystery parts,, win on any terrain with or wthout a chain,,,, GWIN,, you dam right! I can dig it
  • - 2
 @Socket: How come AG tested the protoype during 2015 Leogang WC? Wink
  • + 0
 Speculate all you want? Pretty sure danob figured it out.
  • + 3
 @fecalmaster: SHAFT!!! Richard Roundtree killin' it on the WC DH curcuit.
  • + 1
 Yeaaa hahahaha he would be stylin and profiling down the track as he crashed everywhere. Someone needs to go all out and race a WC in a fur and velvet kit.
  • + 8
 Sunrace has a rear derailleur, and a close inspection of the pulley cage is a match! singletrackworld.com/2018/04/exclusive-new-1x12-drivetrain-from-sunrace
  • + 2
 Had to upvote this.. 250..
  • + 0
 Bunrace ,,,bigga bunns me go chase. She pulley my cage while chain droppers sit in rage.
  • + 0
 Gwin rode this at Fort Bill, GMBN already did a piece on it last weekend so did wide open mag or single track magazine
  • - 1
 OMG I cannot stop laughing xDxDxD
  • + 94
 Its made by whoever paid for that big ass house
  • + 128
 Jesus?
  • - 25
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 8, 2018 at 10:31) (Below Threshold)
 You mean Jesus?
  • + 47
 Well that's what happens when your one of the best at what you do, have smart management, and a good head on your shoulders. You get a big-ass house.
  • + 127
 Nah, Jesus is probably the one that built the house. And not that Jesus.
  • + 2
 Specialised and YT didnt make it
  • + 38
 @Jhou: I don’t know about building the house, but for sure he built his hot rod.
  • + 22
 @VwHarman: Ding a ding a dang a dong dong ding dong 
  • + 15
 Jesus did an excellent job with the drywall in my garage. Fair prices too!
@Jhou:
  • + 25
 Can I just stay that I love that Waki makes the exact same response as someone else, and is downvoted to oblivion, while the other comment is upvoted a ton. We love our Waki.
  • + 8
 @hamncheez: -11 are rookie numbers. Waki has to pump those numbers up.
  • + 4
 @hamncheez: Repeat posts are a surefire way of collecting negs. He probably realised he hadn't yet hit his quota today. But it's Friday, so fingers crossed that drunk Waki will be along any minute.
  • + 8
 @BenPea: not fair, I was beatn to it by a few seconds.
  • + 0
 No, he hung the drywall. @slumgullion:
  • + 2
 Every time I reply with out ready the other comments.....(face palm)
  • + 2
 @BenPea: drunk waki is my favorite waki
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: every single post has several possible meanings, freeform jazz trolling. It's an education.
  • + 0
 @BenPea: @BenPea: Never perform "freeform jazz trolling" in front of a festival crowd. You are witnesses at the new birth of WAKIdesigns Mark 2....
  • + 0
 @BenPea: to the level of art form. Personally I like it.
  • + 2
 @SystemShaper: ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long
  • + 1
 @makripper: you mean down
  • + 1
 @h-beck83: yeah haha pump down those numbers
  • + 29
 a bit of a reach, but this proto cx mech from a couple years ago - that was speculated to be from trp - has a similar composite knuckle design: www.cxmagazine.com/prototype-shimano-compatible-clutch-road-cx-rear-derailleur-molly-cameron
  • + 4
 Interesting. It does have the same cover over the clutch, and similar placement of the adjustment bolts
  • + 1
 The design of the parallelogram also generally reasembles certain 2010 shimano models
  • + 23
 It's a disguised chain cutter.
  • + 17
 What’s the shifter look like? Any pics of that
  • + 28
 There was a whole scene about it in Warner's house visit vid.

Ooooooh, "shifter"! Sorry, tired eyes...
  • + 14
 What's the point of this derailleur without chain? Smile
  • + 12
 It's E-thirteen.
  • + 5
 Looks like it with the composite pieces and geometry on the cage. Has a similar visual language to the chain guide pieces.
  • + 2
 I'm pretty positive it is E13. They have been testing a full drivetrain for a few years now and as partners of Gwin it makes the most sense to have him race testing one now. I am sure we will see it finally at Eurobike this year.
  • + 0
 The derailleur will be one piece of carbon and be 650 euros
  • + 2
 if it is e*thirteen, then I'd tap that
  • + 1
 in the team UNNO article earlier this year, one of the E13 reps had spoke that they had something big in the pipeline drive train related that would debut at sea otter. they did not debut anything at sea otter but as @Ghostifari mentioned possibly at eurobike.
  • + 9
 Gorilla Billet Proshift?

Paul's Powerglide?
  • + 11
 Oooh, I wish. There's not enough rasta anodized bits in the mountain bike world right now.
  • + 1
 I can't find one anywhere. At least there used to be one on fleabay for $1200+
  • + 4
 Hope it shifts better than Box. What a let down. More choices are good for all of us and (theoretically) leads to better and cheaper products. Someone needs to keep SRAM honest.

Whatever it is, you can be assured that Shimano is in complete denial about it.
  • + 8
 Sunrace
  • + 3
 just read this an went "ooOOohh" Big Grin
  • + 1
 Isn't SunRace connected to Sturney Archer?
  • + 2
 Sunrace has a rear derailleur, and a close inspection of the pulley cage is a match! singletrackworld.com/2018/04/exclusive-new-1x12-drivetrain-from-sunrace
  • + 3
 looks pretty well polished like it's close to production. my money is on e.13. can kind of sort of see some design cues in the cage that look like some of their other drivetrain components and being that they have released a cassette, why not round out the complete package?
  • + 6
 Campy's long-awaited entry into the MTB game??
  • + 8
 You mean return to MTB?
  • + 3
 Record O.R.! Maybe if Bianchi makes a race winning DH bike...
  • + 0
 their first entry almost bankrupted the company, I don't think they have any desire to try again.
  • + 2
 For sure not Box. When the shifter dropped he said it wasn’t a box, also not sponsored by them.

Tektro Racing Products, could likely be doing it. Huge manufacturing ability.

E-thirteen is also possible but seems unlikely as they don’t have the global footprint to move such a big investment I wouldn’t have thought.

Option 3, it’s a whole new game.
  • + 6
 I’ve seen that stuff before it’s a Mitsubishi!
  • + 4
 My bet is a John Hall design. He said during a very recent podcast that he'd been working on some still hush hush bits.
  • + 3
 Maybe they should start doing chain-less downhill like they do with pump track races. Any of the riders sponsored by SRAM will eventually need the practice. Hehe
  • + 3
 I'm just going to drop this link here: www.sunrace.com/en/products/mz-12-speed
Sunrace have a got 12 speed shifter but no rear derailleur… Strange, isn't it? Wink
  • + 3
 what significance is that for a 7 spd DH drivetrain?
  • - 1
 Sunrace has a rear derailleur, and a close inspection of the pulley cage is a match! singletrackworld.com/2018/04/exclusive-new-1x12-drivetrain-from-sunrace
  • + 1
 So, let’s look at everything here real close.

First off, TRP is out. They’re owned by Tektro which is soley a brake company. High end Tektro stuff really. Brakes or brakes, that’s their focus so they’re out.

Ethirteen is very likely as it is the only drivetrain bit they are missing.
Sunrace is highly likely as they have the capabilities and already launched a high end group recently.

Box. The design cues all seem to point to box and they are gravitt influenced. Think they offer a DH cassette already, and well they are already deep in the derailleur biz. Logical next step.

Microshift. Maybe? They tend to go lower end and starting the hugh end i DH seems unlikely.
  • + 4
 I'm thinking Box or Sunrace. The box cassettes are rebrand SunRace stuff.
  • + 1
 It's a Box components derailleur. I would bet money. Doesn't look quite like their other stuff, but knowing Gwin he had some changes to make to their design and this is the result. That and they've been advertising a box dh derailleur for more than a year.
  • + 3
 Also, upon further inspection I wouldn't bet any money. It looks interesting though
  • + 1
 I think it's Microshift.
  • + 1
 @LoganKM1982: I'm going to agree with you since Box already have a 7 speed DH. This is gonna get good..
  • + 4
 Betting it's TRP. They already make all sorts of mechanical components.
  • + 3
 Hmm gwin needs this derailleur for first 3 strokes, then he puts it in chain-less mode and gwins the race once more????????
  • + 3
 My money's on TRP. Their brakes are finally picking up, with a drivetrain they could be serious competition for the big S's
  • + 1
 TRP's brakes are polished silver: I'd imagine a derailleur from TRP might be polished to match. So maybe not?
  • + 1
 Sunrace MZ 12 speed ? Sunrace cassettes are good in my experience, but their derailleurs ?

They have a gold chain, with a rising sun on each link...... take my money !!!!! #sunraceforthewin
  • + 3
 I'm sure it's some company from Taiwan paying him loads of cash.
  • + 2
 Man idk, maybe it's just me but i don't get that excited about an unmarked derailleur
  • + 0
 An oil refinery and a scrapyard. What the hell is going on here?... You want to know what they're looking at? Is this guy good or is this guy good? You know what they're looking at?... Us. We just got made.
  • - 1
 excuse my ignorance but aside from possible weight savings and cost per unit is there any reason that we don't use internal gear hubs with drive belts or another alternate system? Derailleurs to me, are the most out of date component on modern bikes; very finicky and extremely delicate!
  • + 1
 Cost, weight, parasitic loss, ease of serviceability, been around for decades which means we have a global supply chain. If shimano got into it in a big way, then we might see the frame manufacturers who matter actually make frames compatible. Gear boxes also refuse to shift underload, derailleurs grind but will follow through. Try riding a pinion or the like, I found it fairly annoying. Come around a corner to an unexpected pinch on a climb and you have to stop pedalling, remove load and then shift. It was not ideal.
  • + 2
 Looks like a Microshift a bit. The on-off rocker for the clutch is similar to what they have.
  • + 3
 E-thirteen with a matching 9-24 cassette
  • + 4
 Microshift!
  • + 2
 Never mind the mech wtf's up with the silver spokes ?????
  • + 3
 Prototype Box?
  • + 1
 not box, Aaron Gwin already said its not
  • + 1
 Certainly not Shimano. Because they would come up with a serious press release, not with these stupid teasers.
  • + 2
 I don't know about you, guys, but this thing looks cheap to me...
  • + 2
 Because it has no brand stickers on it?
  • + 1
 typical sunrace/e13 really
  • + 2
 ....return of Sachs to the show...
  • + 11
 Sachs never left it just moved into SRAM's house.
  • + 2
 I wonder if its going to be made by TRP ?
  • + 1
 Well, I dont know how it speaks for durability but it looks like it has already taken a hit
  • + 1
 HHMM hanger looks Shadow, cable guide looks Sram, cage pivot/clutch looks Box componants.............
  • + 1
 Kinda has a MicroShift look to it.
  • - 3
 Protruding lever above the fixing bolt = completely, utterly bizarre. If you're already grasping the "B-Knuckle" to disengage the clutch, you simply pull back on the B-Knuckle to get the derailleur "out of the way" for a wheel change. Why on earth would you add a protruding metal arm at a point that A) provides negligible leverage over the mech below, and B) makes your design stand out 5x as far from the frame, searching for rock strikes, as a Shimano shadow+ derailleur?
  • + 29
 I'm sure Gwin's team have absolutely no idea what they are doing, as he hasn't even won a race in a month and a half! Hopefully, they read the PB comment section.
  • + 4
 That's a bottle opener.
  • + 1
 Is it Singlespeed for my 26" DH Bike?
  • + 1
 Why use a clutch switch if it's a DH oriented derailleur?
  • + 2
 Wheel outs and chain maintenance
  • + 1
 @nick1957: But why have a lever to lock the derailleur to easier take off the rear wheel then?
  • + 2
 Box Components?
  • + 2
 Box derailleur.
  • + 1
 agreed
  • + 1
 Aaron Gwin already said hes not dealing with box
  • + 1
 Brought to you by Jesus, God rest his soul.
  • + 1
 I thought Jesus was his derailleur.
  • + 15
 Jesus would not down vote.
  • + 2
 @jonnycanfield: if jesus was real you mean
  • + 1
 its trp boys
  • - 1
 Clinton Server Manufacturing - Also know as CSM ....they are producing top quality drivetrains!
  • - 2
 Sunrace has a rear derailleur, and a close inspection of the pulley cage is a match! singletrackworld.com/2018/04/exclusive-new-1x12-drivetrain-from-sunrace
  • - 1
 It's TRP according to GMBN
  • - 3
 Looks like saint. Adjustable clutch tension to minimize susp interference. Slacker chain = better suspension action. But rougher courses need more.
  • - 3
 Saint is dead.
  • - 3
 I feel like it might still be a prototype SRAM shifter. If not, I think it would be E*Thirteen.
  • + 2
 He's not sponsored by Sram so he definitely does not get blackbox components before any of the riders on the sram developmental program.
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