Review: e*thirteen's New Helix R Wide Range Cassette

Oct 8, 2020
by Mike Levy  


Both SRAM and Shimano would likely tell you that if you want the best results, you shouldn't mix and match components from other brands with their drivetrains. They might also use the word 'ecosystem' sternly. There's a good chance that most of us stick to the same, er, ecosystem when it's time to replace a cassette. But what if you didn't have to?

e*thirteen's new Helix R 11- and 12-speed cassettes fit onto SRAM's common XD freehub, but they're saying that it's ''engineered to bridge the compatibility gap between SRAM and Shimano components.'' In other words, you can use the same $289.95 USD Helix R cassette with either a Shimano or SRAM ecosy... Drivetrain.

e*thirteen Helix R Details

• Compatible with SRAM, Shimano drivetrains
• 12-speed range: 556% (9-50)
• 11-speed range: 511% (9-46)
• Fits XD freehubs
• Replaceable alloy large cogs
• Steel cluster available separately
• Weight: 355-grams (12-speed, actual)
• MSRP: $289.95 USD (11 and 12-speed)
www.ethirteen.com
e*thirteen also says that it's lighter, less expensive, and offers more range than either brand's high-end 12-speed cassettes. Oh, and they'll also sell you the aluminum and steel sections separately.



The $289.95 USD Helix R cassette fits SRAM's XD freehub body, but e*thirteen says it's also compatible with Shimano drivetrains. There are 11 and 12-speed versions, different colors, and you can buy the aluminum and steel sections separately.



So Many Numbers

The Helix R cassette can be had in a 12-speed version with 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 20, 23, 27, 31, 36, 42, and 50-tooth cogs that offers a massive 556% range. For comparison's sake, SRAM offers 520% and Shimano 510% range for their widest 12-speed cassettes. My scale said 355-grams for the Helix, 363-grams for an XX1 X-Dome, and 376-grams for XTR.

None of them are inexpensive, of course, but the Helix costs the least at $289.95 USD. If you want XX1 or XTR, that'll be $449 and $379.99, please.


With 9-tooth small and 50-tooth big cogs, the 12-speed Helix R is the range champ.


There's also an 11-speed version (available early December) of the Helix R cassette that gets 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 20, 24, 28, 33, 39, and 46-tooth cogs for a 511% range. It retails for the same $289.95 USD, and e*thirteen says that it weighs 325-grams. I'll let you dig up the numbers for the comparable SRAM and Shimano 11-speed bits.

The Helix's two-piece design means that e*thirteen can sell the larger, faster-wearing aluminum cogs separately. Orange, purple, black, or bronze will cost $129.95 USD on their own, or there's a $159 USD, PVD-treated blue option that's said to offer "double the durability compared to anodizing.'' We'll be putting that one on a long-term test bike. The hollowed-out steel section that makes up the rest of the cassette should last much longer, but you can also buy it on its own for $159 USD. It's like Build-a-Bear but pointier.


SRAM... and Shimano?

Now that we're squeezing way more cogs into the same amount of space between the spokes and dropout, there's not much difference between SRAM or Shimano's 12-speed cassettes when it comes to where the cogs are sitting. To give you an idea of how tight it is down there, a SRAM shifter moves the cable roughly 0.15mm more than Shimano does, or about the thickness of a piece of paper.

That rather tiny gap is why you can use a 12-speed SRAM cassette with a Shimano derailleur and shifter or vice-versa and have it be close to bang-on, even if they'd rather you didn't.


The steel section (left) is machined from a single piece and helps contribute to the low 355-gram weight. The 9-tooth cog (right) means you can drop to a small chainring size without losing anything on the high-end.


So, is it as easy as just splitting the difference between the two drivetrain giants? Not so much.

''Both SRAM and Shimano use different spacing and sprocket thicknesses in different parts of the cassette,'' e*thirteen told me. ''While the spacing is important for a cassette to work properly, the biggest challenge to designing the Helix was to make it work well with Shimano's new chain design. We also had competitor IP to consider, which surprisingly factored into the sprocket spacing as well. The net result is decidedly not what you would get if you split the difference between SRAM and Shimano, but it works well.''



I paired the 12-speed Helix R cassette with both mechanical and electronic drivetrains from SRAM, as well as Shimano's XTR system.


Does it Work?

e*thirteen's cassettes use a modular, two-piece design, with the bottom section slotting onto the XD freehub's splines and getting locked into place via 3mm pinch-bolt at a low 3Nm of torque. Your freehub bearings are under there, so best not over-tighten it.

Next, you slide the steel cogs (with its bushing) onto the freehub, making sure to align the indexed locking section on the two pieces before using a chain whip to rotate and lock it into place. If your chain whip is in the shop for repairs, you can put the wheel on your bike, shift onto one of the steel cogs, then hold your rear brake while pushing down on the pedals, just like how you'd lock a quick-link together.


The two halves of the Helix R cassette interlock, and there's a 3mm hex key to ensure everything stays put.


Turning the steel section to the right sees fins machined into its backside interlock with the aluminum section, and there's a tiny image of a padlock for you to line up and make sure it's done correctly. Next, thread the 3mm hex screw (3Nm again) into place and you're ready to roll. Wait, you put grease where the instructions told you to, right? Good.

Embargo timing meant that I haven't put in a ton of miles on the new cassette, but I did pair the 12-speed, 9-50 tooth block with three different drivetrains to see if e*thirteen's claims of cross-compatibility hold true: SRAM's wireless Eagle AXS XX1 and cable-controlled XX1 systems, as well as Shimano's XTR drivetrain. And yeah, everything seems peachy. Shift quality with either SRAM system matches the stock performance, with shift speed and noise seemingly unaffected by the third-party cogs. This wasn't always the case with e*thirteen's previous cassettes; I've had good luck with them, but some riders weren't able to get their shifting bang-on perfect and without the odd delay or tick, tick, tick sound. While I can't comment on durability, the new Helix R seems to match the performance of SRAM's stock components.

Okay, but does it play nice with Japan? Shimano's Hyperglide+ tech, and specifically the design of their chain, lets you shift under heavy pedaling loads in a way that just wasn't possible before, but do you lose that if you're not using a Shimano cassette with it?

I put the Helix R on Giant's new Trance X Advanced Pro, pairing it with a Shimano XTR derailleur and XT shifter, then went out and shifted like a ham-fisted gorilla up every single hill. In other words, just a normal ride. The results: While maybe just a hair away from matching a full Shimano setup, the chain moved over the cogs silently and without any bangs or worrying noises, much like a full Hyperglide+ setup. Impressive.


Shimano's Hyperglide+ components let you shift under load without issue, and that doesn't change if you pair them with the Helix R cassette.


As for reliability, I have no clue - it hasn't been long enough to talk about that yet. That said, the PVD-coated blue option that's claimed to offer double the life of the standard anodized cogs sounds interesting, so we'll put that in the long-term plans for a review down the road. Also, both SRAM and Shimano cite friction and chain wrap issues for not using the 9-tooth cog that e*thirteen has at the bottom on their cassettes, but I suspect that it won't be trouble given the limited time the chain spends in that gear. We'll see.


Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Helix R's weight, range, and cost numbers are hard to ignore, as is being able to purchase only the part of the cassette you need to keep your bike rolling. The cross-compatibility means you can pair it with any 11 or 12-speed drivetrain from SRAM or Shimano and, most importantly, e*thirteen seems to have nailed the shift quality. Mike Levy







285 Comments

  • 73 0
 This looks rad. I've replaced my TRS+ 950 aluminum section twice now since i got it last year and it saved me a ton of $$ because I didnt have to buy a whole new cassette. Why doesnt everyone do it that way? Nice to see the price is not out of this galaxy on such a high end looking piece of kit.
  • 25 53
flag eugenux (Oct 8, 2020 at 8:10) (Below Threshold)
 What do you mean, 'not out of the galaxy'; with the exception of my xc set-up that was full golden eagle, the rest of my cogs were always around 70-90 USD, be it, gx, nx, deore xt or different option from sunrace(which are actually pretty decent); I and probably, no one is a better rider by having 300 USD on their bikes.
  • 20 0
 Yeah my 9-50 TRS+ has been great as well. Got it for the same price as a GX cassette and it’s a nice chunk lighter. Stoked to give this a try next! That orange will look great on my Megatower.
  • 40 0
 @eugenux: Not out of this galaxy compared to XTR and XX1. Still out of this galaxy compared to Sunrace, NX, and Deore but all those are boat anchors....Some folks don't care about weight and and some do, and some will argue they ride better with a lighter bike. Different strokes for different folks!
  • 13 24
flag eugenux (Oct 8, 2020 at 10:48) (Below Threshold)
 @Marky771: no man, I'm all for lightness..on bikes that require lightness. From trail to dh, there is no specific need for lightness; or maybe it is just me.
  • 10 5
 You could probably pedal up a steep hill as fast as I can walk with that thing.
  • 24 8
 Twice in a year? I have over 3000 miles on an XT cassette and haven't replaced anything. I still don't get this 9 or 10 tooth thing. It is like the gear that gets used on the short section of pavement downhill from the trail.
  • 8 2
 @foggnm: Depends on where you live and how much time you spend in the aluminum granny cog. I've worn out an 11 speed XT cassette 46T cog in 6 months but I have very steep climbs at my disposal so I'm in that gear a lot. I wish I could have replaced just the alu cog but had to buy a new cassette. I ditched the XT 11 speed anyway because the 37 to 46T jump was awful...I for one love 9 or 10T cogs too. When I take my Enduro bike into the park it's a gear I use when mashing downhill!
  • 3 0
 @foggnm: you never use your 9-11 tooth bottom gear? Going from a 10 to a nine isnt an "improvement" but everyone uses that gear plenty. We all have access a crazy amount of range, yet there is still no universal chainring size.
  • 1 5
flag mcvittees (Oct 9, 2020 at 6:42) (Below Threshold)
 @foggnm: Agreed on the 9 and 10 tooth thing, Much rather have smaller gaps than these "use on the road" gears. I suspect they're used only so as to make a bigger gear range marketing figure for the least additional weight.
  • 5 2
 Have X01 cassette and didn’t have to replace nothing in past 2 years...
  • 24 0
 @epideme: so what did you replace?
  • 6 0
 @epideme: you'll get another ten years out of it if you just never ride... why do people make these claims in terms of time?
  • 5 0
 @thegoodflow: or he could ride more and not replace nothing more often Razz
  • 4 0
 @privateer-wheels: I don't not understand what you're trying to say.
  • 6 0
 @thegoodflow: I didn't think you didn't!
  • 1 0
 @ReeferSouthrland: Good point. Why ride when you can walk?
  • 1 0
 @ByStickel: Trying to picture you pedalling up our hike a bike freeride trails. MX riders have tried???
  • 3 0
 At first I was like huh. Then I was hmm, and finally ahh. This does look very good. Expensive, but not relatively, and really smart design choices that make a huge amount of sense.
  • 2 0
 @privateer-wheels: Haha. He won't get it
  • 1 0
 @foggnm: A smaller cog at the back like a 9T or a 10T is not necessarily a higher gear than an 11T. It's more range and you can do whatever you want to do with it. For example you can fit a smaller chainring, gain ground clearance, retain the same high gear, get a lower low gear.
  • 4 1
 @foggnm: a 10t cog is like a Trojan magnum, if you don’t need it you won’t understand what it’s for
  • 2 0
 @Marky771: If you're spending a majority of your time in the granny gear, it might be time to consider a smaller chainring
  • 1 0
 @epideme: you mean you haven't had to replace anything in the last two years ????
  • 37 4
 I've been using this cassette undercover for the past month and without a doubt it is outstanding. Being an old school xc racer I love to shift and am OCD about what gear I'm in going up. The range is great. (I've been using a 9-50) with a 28 tooth up front. I will repeat..... I shift ALOT. No chain drops, no sticky situations. As smooth as my XTR has been. I run XT shifter and deraileur with a XX SRAM chain. I've put close to 800km on it and seriously no issues. Thank you E13!!
  • 16 31
flag whitebirdfeathers (Oct 8, 2020 at 8:22) (Below Threshold)
 What are you riding where you need 28 tooth up front and 50 out back?
  • 10 2
 why run a sram chain over a shimano?
  • 6 2
 @whitebirdfeathers:
It's what the guys set it up with. I think I will likely change to a 32 in future.
  • 3 1
 @lukazy:
It was the recommendation. And they're prettier....... :-)
  • 1 0
 @lukazy: something something dont believe in ecosystem hype
  • 2 0
 @lukazy: magic link?
  • 5 3
 @Bobthewelder: 32 - 50 in the sea to sky is perfect.
  • 17 4
 @Bobthewelder: Try ride up LOTS and you'll be happy for the 28T.
  • 1 1
 i too get excited and thankful about free advance product
  • 12 1
 @MMOF: LOTS is a downhill only trail. So no, please don't try to ride it up.
  • 5 1
 @Loche: Hahahaha. Yeah, I know. You know what I mean. You need to head up Into the Mystic. I am talking the loop.
  • 1 1
 @whitebirdfeathers: sounds similar to Laguna!
  • 11 1
 @lukazy: XO and XX 12spd chains have longer service life
  • 2 0
 @DonkeyTeeth: tru dat! My original GX chain lasted 300km before skipping unuseably. Replaced it with X0 and it's still going over a year later!
  • 2 3
 @whitebirdfeathers: they aren't riding anywhere with that setup, but they are spinning really fast while doing it.
  • 1 0
 @lukazy: XO1 chains are the goat. I pretty much get almost 2000 miles for each chain.
I've also only ever seen/personally broken shimano chains, but that's probably an isolated thing.
  • 1 1
 @DonkeyTeeth: Really? ZFC found that SCAM couldn't make a chain to save their lives; the artist formerly known as Friction Facts concurred on separate grounds. Convince me.
  • 1 0
 @werics: I had an XX1 eagle gold cassette and chain for a year and never broke the chain and the cassette was still great, the gold xx1 stuff is very very durable regardless what reviewers say. I've broken many shimano chains in the past and this is coming from someone who generally prefers Shimano for it's shifting, great cranks and price. I have an affinity towards Shimano for some reason, maybe because that is all I rode when I was younger back when Sram was just cheap shit and XTR was king but I can't deny xx1 cassettes and chains are the most durable long lasting I have ever used and I use my bike every day. The derailleur and especially weak clutch that breaks on Sram mechs though leaves something to be desired.
Look after your drivetrain, wash grit off it and keep it lubed and it will last a while.
  • 1 1
 @werics:
I think ZFC’s chain longevity test clearly demonstrated that SRAM’s expensive chains outperformed everything else by a wide margin.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: GX chains can go MUCH longer than 300km. Something else was wrong there.
  • 1 0
 @HollyBoni: I totally agree. I've never had any chain go that soon. But I held it up next to a new chain and the difference in length was visible without needing a ruler! I'm guessing a materials problem with the chain.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Yeah, I have no idea what was wrong, but that's not normal.
My gravel bike has a GX chain and that chain has at least 2000kms in it. 300km on that bike is like 4-4.5 rides. Big Grin
  • 40 13
 I hate the close spacing and extra weight of 12 speed drivetrains. I hate that we had to go back to long cage derailleurs for 50t+ cogs. But the ship has sailed. Even alternatives like Prime 9 need the 50t low cog since most frames nowadays have their antissquat tuned for 30-32t front cogs, and 29ers need that 50t out back to prevent people from putting 28t front chainrings on.
  • 12 0
 The prime 9 is a solid choice though. Loving mine!
  • 5 0
 @skierdud89: out of stock till the Second Coming....
  • 4 1
 Seconded, Prime9 is where it's at. I really want that fancy cassette to come back in stock!
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: if you really want one there's a seller on ebay that has a few full drivetrains for like $165! That's where I bought mine. It's an E-bike set but a dremmel will allow you to multi-shift. Easy peasy.
  • 10 0
 i got a buddy with a 26t chainring and 10-52t cassette and he loves it. he can climb anything its ridiculous
  • 28 41
flag clindblomenduro (Oct 8, 2020 at 8:45) (Below Threshold)
 or just run sram 11 speed, 42t is all you really need with a 32t chainring
  • 34 2
 @clindblomenduro: You are either much stronger than me, or don't have very steep mountains.
  • 14 3
 @clindblomenduro: Not out West. 2,000 foot ascents and my 28 front 42 rear hard tail could use an even lower gear.
  • 15 3
 EXACTLY my thoughts on 12s. Finally someone else that gets it. Plus smaller chainrings give you more ground clearance. It is a real shame, but the anti squat layout of most frames pushes you to 12s for 90% of the manufacturers. And even 32/50 is not a light gearing on a 29er imo.
Regarding the e13 cassette: the 9-11 jump sounds horrible, that is too bog of an jump...
  • 12 2
 all good reasons to adopt high pivot with idler bike designs. Then we don't have to worry about the chainring size affecting the kinematics drastically. Your unhuman sponsored atheletes can put on their 38T rings and us mortals can put on our 26T rings and winch up the cliff.
  • 5 1
 @ArturoBandini: Small chainrings give better ground clearance, but larger chainring/cog combos have less friction/wattage losses due to chain wrap angle. On a typical mtb ride where you spend 45 minutes going uphill for every 5-15 minutes down it seems to make sense to optimize for lower friction in the climb gears.
  • 9 0
 No one "needs" anything. You'll just get different results with different chainring sizes. If you want to lessen the chaingrowth you increase the chainring size, if you want to reduce pedal bob you decrease it. As for what frames are "optimized for", it depends. What a frame is optimized for with a given chainring size might not be what you want. You might want to improve the pedalling performance, or the suspension performance. There are frames that I could stick a 34t chainring on, and they would still not have pedal bob. Others might force me to install a 30t to decrease pedal bob, but both bikes are sold with the same 32t chainrings. The newer cassettes with 50+ teeth push me to 34t or 36t chainrings, but it seems to me that most frames are optimized (pedalling wise) for 30t chainrings. I don't think frames have yet optimized their antisquat profile for the larger chainrings that these wider range cassettes allow.
  • 7 0
 @freestyIAM: I wish someone like Forbidden or Commencal would release some data on the drag that an idler adds. I have no doubt they have used cassette style power meters and crank based power meters to measure it.
  • 8 0
 Running the microshift 11-48 on my firebird; loving it and its under $200 for the whole thing
  • 1 0
 @jewpowered: Ya thats probably what I'm going to end up with until Box is back in stock.
  • 5 2
 @hamncheez: why would the drag on an idler be more than on a jockey wheel? Im 100% sure its less than a jockey wheel since they can solid mount the idler. Eat an extra gummy bear before you ride to compensate for the energy difference.
  • 9 1
 @RonSauce: The idler cog is on the tensioned side of the drivetrain; the jockey wheels are on the non-tension side.
  • 4 6
 I have 34t chainring with 42T, been riding it for two years, even +3000m (not feet) elevation rides...its a little hard, but its a matter of getting use to it... the good thing is I just use cheaper 9-42 cassettes.
  • 5 3
 @gporras: Total elevation doesn't mean anything if it's a constant 8% incline. Try doing 3000m with regular 20-24% inclines on dirt then come back.
  • 15 0
 @tonit91: I know this sounds wild, but can't we all agree that we are all from very different terrain and need different things out of our drive trains?
  • 2 0
 @RonSauce: Amen to that! I personally only get in this type of discussions when someone says something like "drivetrain x is stupid" because it's not something that they would use.
  • 2 1
 What I really want is a nice wide range 7 speed 11-46t or 11-50t system (made to fit 7 speed hub spacing)
  • 1 0
 @TimTucker: This is as close as you're going to get www.sram.com/en/sram/models/cs-xg-899-a1
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez I agree. I hate the long cage.

I like the idea of the 11 speed cassette, perhaps with an 11 speed derailleur (medium cage) and a Shimano 12 speed chain.

All the ranges, better shifting, shorter cage derailleur, and lighter. May be a great option.
  • 2 0
 @privateer-wheels: the 12 speed chain is too narrow I think.
  • 2 0
 I also forgot to mention the worse chainline from the cassette dishing over the spokes
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: I use a 12 speed chain on my 11 speed e*thirteen cassettes, a SRAM X01. On both of them. By far, cleanest shifting between all the chains I have tried (Shimano/SRAM/KMC/YBN), runs quieter, and doesn't drop from the biggest cog like every 11 speed chain. So I can tell you they work first hand.
  • 4 0
 @RonSauce: Amen, brother! Plus, we should all have enough humility to recognize that some dudes are just more fit than others. I'm in decent condition for a 45 year old, but at 6' and 220 lbs, I'm never going to be winning any hill climbs. Just because I spend a lot of time in my first few gears doesn't mean everybody else does.
  • 2 0
 @privateer-wheels: Really?

I want to put together the most frankenstien drive train possible (until Box is back in stock). Maybe I'll try that!
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: yep! Really. I've read that some YT bikes actually shipped with e*thirteen 11 speed cassettes and 12 speed chains. But for sure, it cured most of the issues I had. I would have chucked the cassette otherwise, because it was terrible at the extremes with 11 speed chains.

So, I wouldn't hesitate to use a 12 speed chain on the new one. If they have corrected the residual issues on the last one I think using the 9-46t with an 11 speed XT or XTR derailleur and a 12 speed Shimano chain may be the ticket to not having to use a long cage derailleur.
  • 3 0
 @skierdud89: I read this and immediately bought the prime 9 groupset. Thank you.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: exactly why I still have 2x, with a 20/32 up front and 9-42 10sp out back. I can climb the super steeps at my leisure and still have plenty of gear to bomb fast DH.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: It isn't noticeable. If you care more than that, then don't run an idler bike. Weight-weenie, XC-types wouldn't put up with the added weight of an idler, anyway. I care a lot about drag, and I feel absolutely none. Downsides: more chain, more weight, more chain wear. The benefits FAR outweigh the negatives.
  • 3 0
 @Twenty6ers4life: I regret going single chainring. I had a 9 speed x0 setup that was just great. Awesome shifting and so easy to set up. Short cage mech, less weight havnging off the wheel and hardly ever dropped the chain. Also on the host link bike, small chain ring and big chain ring would change suspension performance; more active by down, more bitey going up
  • 2 1
 @Twenty6ers4life: I have that 9-42 cassette now, but it's worn and shifts like crap. plus my 28t front ring makes too much anti squat for modern frame designs
  • 1 1
 @tgrummon: im a racer, my needs are different than most’s. In my experience and situation, the most reliable and durable comes before ease of climbing, so I run the 42t cassette because I can run a shorter cage derailleur, but I acknowledge that my setup isn’t best for everyone
  • 2 1
 @privateer-wheels: the cage length is nothing to do with number of gears, it's about the difference in teeth between largest and smallest sprocket. So a 2 speed 10-50 will need the same cage length as a 12 speed 10-50. Granted, it would stick out less.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: I know how cage length works. No where did I say cage has to do with number of gears. It's about being able to capture enough chain slack to cover the differential in teeth (the important thing is number of teeth, not percentage range) from top to bottom cog, AND, whatever chain growth you get when you cycle though your suspension.

Medium cage derailleurs work just fine for 9-46T on all the bikes I've ridden them on, and for anyone who doesn't want to dangle a long cage off their bike, running a 9-46T cassette seems to be a great alternative in many cases, in my opinion, provided their bike doesn't have chain growth that would put them into a long cage at the 46T mark.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: Problem is high antisquat (chaingrowth) is in fashion again, so if you run a 28t or 30t front ring you are really getting up there in antisquat, and on some bikes you better not bottom your suspension while in that 50t cog unless you have a long cage derailleur.

Also where can you buy a medium cage anymore?
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: yes, I can appreciate the antisquat point. And I wouldn't suggest using a medium cage on something with a 10-50 or 10-52 differential, even without a lot of chain growth if you bottom in 50 you are going to blow up your chain and gears.

The 9-46T differential with a medium cage has worked for me fine however, with a medium cage. Shimano Still makes medium cage derailleurs in their most current 12 speed line up, and seems to be stock of 11 speed gear still out there to buy also.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: nope, works fine for me too.
  • 17 0
 I had an 11spd ethirteen cassette a year ago and I could never get it to shift right. And trust me, I tried everything. I'm wondering how this new cassette will do under shifting. (I hope well because for the money this cassette is pretty sick).
  • 2 1
 Bought one straight from the beginning and never had any issue at all. It shifted great. No hesitation to upgrade to the 12 spd when that came out. I always get a kick out of reading the comments though.
  • 2 0
 Same here. Have two 11 speed cassettes (most recent non Helix gen), have used on two bikes, with half a dozen different chains, and both 11 and 12 speed derailleurs. They have never been 100%. Same issues on both bikes, both cassettes, no matter the chain. On the upper end, down shifting often means the chain drops two gears and self corrects up one. Makes for clunky shifting. Doesn't happen every shift, but pretty frequently when shifting down from one of the larger cogs in particular.

I'm hopeful on the new one, since PB has said they seem be shifting well.
  • 1 0
 I had an 11 speed e-13 cassette a year ago and never had any problems.
  • 15 0
 I've been ripping the teeth off the granny gear on my GX eagle cassette. Having the ability to change just the granny gears following damage sounds great! Also, for not that much more money, this cassette is substantially lighter. Hopefully it shifts well...
  • 9 41
flag Monsterman156 (Oct 8, 2020 at 8:25) (Below Threshold)
 GX blows. XX1 is king.
  • 4 0
 Unless your rear suspension is unduly affected by going to a smaller ring on the front....it’s probably worth downsizing that chainring.
  • 27 1
 @Monsterman156: he says while burning mountains of money in front of poor people
  • 7 0
 @parkourfan: Anti-squat levels when using climbing sprockets range from about 10% to well over 160%, with a typical range spanning about 50%. If we already consider such variability to be acceptable, altering it by a few percent via chainring size is of little concern. So go for it: downsize that chainring and enjoy the ground clearance and low climbing ratios.
  • 1 3
 Me - I ripped apart my Original GX rear cassette. 2 years and the GX system gave me the irates and then the upper mid section was fn round and I just powered through it destroying the cassette and chain. Replaced all drive chain except the cranks with X01 - happy puppy now. Shifts are dialed and quick. If this was on market a month ago - I would have looked at it as well. The X01 rear cassette - certainly notice the 100g's less weight. Quite surprised how it felt to be honest. Have the 50tooth cassette paired with a 32 Absolute Black Oval chainring up front. Works for me.
  • 18 5
 First off, I like E13 as a company, BUT, their cassettes are not all that reliable. I have twoE13 cassettes sitting on a bench that I can't use because they wobble and the locking mechanism is sketch.

Second, I can order an Shimano 12sp XT cassette for $150 off Ebay, direct from Asia, so how is this cassette a deal?
  • 31 3
 Why would you order grey market on eBay for $150 and wait a month when MSRP is $159 from a local shop? How is THAT a deal?

This is made to compete with XTR, not XT. If the extra 115g of rotating unsprung mass on the XT means nothing to you, then you aren’t the target market for this new cassette anyway.
  • 1 0
 I've had good ones and bad ones with E13 cassettes. On my one bike, its held up excellent with good shifting performance. On another there has been issues.
  • 22 2
 Hey @nurseben - We will send a DM and can help figure out what is going on. The wobble issue is a pretty straightforward diagnosis and we can address your concerns about the locking mechanism as well.
  • 2 0
 I have an e-spec 9-46 with little over a year and still on the second chain, and it wobbles a lot. Don't know what the hell is the matter with these cassettes, where even a solid block of steel with no perforations, from 9 to 39t, becomes warped from the torque I apply to it. Now the chain is jumping even from the 3rd or 4th gear (from heaviest), so bye-bye to this cassette, and bye-bye to e*13, even though I was really into the 9t cog and reluctant to change.
  • 6 2
 @DavidGuerra: The wobble is a fairly straightforward issue to diagnose and resolve. We will fire you a DM.
  • 1 0
 @ethirteen-components: hey you got any extra 27.5 TRSr or TRS+ or LG1 tires lying around? I love how the older version absolutely shreds. Also could really use a chainstay mounted upper chainguide to keep the chain away from the tire on my Reign... mounted anywhere really but I'm working on homemade guide now
  • 6 0
 @rad8: Depends which older version you are looking for. We have a few Gen 2 kicking around that are not on the webstore but Gen 1 are long gone. We are not planning any CS mounted guides currently but have you taken a look at Chris Kovarik's STUF Bike guide? That would probably do the trick for ya. If you are looking for Gen 2 tires, fire us a DM and we can see about getting you sorted.
  • 2 0
 @ethirteen-components: wobbling E13 cassette here as well, if it is a simple fix, pls send me a DM as well, thanks Wink
  • 7 0
 @ethirteen-components:

Wobble or no wobble, customer service has always been bar-setting! Good work.
  • 2 0
 @Macek123: Agreed. I had one and they resolved it.
  • 1 15
flag skelldify (Oct 8, 2020 at 15:10) (Below Threshold)
 I love seeing manufacturers come on here and try to address complaints people have with their products. How about making a product without problems?? What about all the users that don't visit this Pinkbike comment section??
  • 2 0
 @skelldify: Im sure any mfg's goal is always to have as few issues as possible. Issues are expensive in a number of ways and cost companies $. Manufacturing things on a large scale is no easy task and even the best of the best have issues. My buddy had a wobble issue with his e*thirteen cassette and it turned out the XD driver on his hub was not within the XD specification. Once that was warrantied, it worked great. If that is the issue these guys are having....its not really even e13s fault.
  • 2 1
 Watch out, a lot of the Shimano stuff from Asia (mainly China) are counterfeit parts. Sometimes it is really hard to tell the difference. I have order some parts that I compared with the real stuff and they looked similar but were junk. Main telltale sign is they don't come in a manufacturer box.
  • 1 0
 @ethirteen-components: What material it is PVDed with?
  • 3 0
 @skelldify: haha you don't understand manufacturing do you? There is no such thing as making a "problem free" product.

Even everyone's favorite brand Shimano has had tons of issues on thier lastest products. The shop I work at has had complaints of creaking Cassattes, thier new hubs last a few hundred miles at most before creaking like crazy, and the wandering bite point in their brakes blows my mind. how on earth have they not fix (imo) such a glaring issue!
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy: in Indonesia, we can find many Shimano parts sold without manufacturer box. They are original (non-counterfeit) but I don't think they were meant to be sold as aftermarket (supposed to be OEM).

With that said, yes I've seen counterfeit Shimano parts. Usually badged as lower-tiered Shimano drivetrains (mainly Acera, Alivio derailer). I have yet to see XT counterfeit cassettes though.
  • 9 0
 While some have had issues with their TRS+ Gen 1 cassettes (lockring, no pinchbolt), my Gen 2 with pinchbolt has been pretty much perfect for two years of moderate use on my hardtail. This is a nice evolution of the TRS+ and I would definitely buy one when it comes time to replace my GX cluster.
  • 6 0
 Same. I ran the Gen 2 9-46t TRS+ and loved it. Low weight and low cost we’re serious winners over even X01. This upgrade looks killer
  • 1 0
 Good to hear the the issues I had with the lockring version are not carried forward. I destroyed a hub driver trying to get one off and swore off.
  • 4 0
 My pinch bolt broke while torqueing it with a torque wrench. I had just received new steel cogs through a warranty claim (broke one of the cogs). I got tired of messing with the e13 cassette and bought a GX cassette.
  • 2 0
 I had issues with the pinch bolt version. It shifted nearly as reliably as a Sram or Shimano cassette, but no matter what I did, it would always make a clicky sound in 2-3 of the cogs. I had it professionally adjusted on a couple occasions, but nobody could get it perfect. It was also an nightmare to remove it after a couple years of riding. It had torqued itself on there so tight that I literally broke one of my chain whips trying to loosen it. It's a shame; I definitely prefer 9-46t 11 speed over 10-50t 12s, but ultimately I decided it wasn't worth the trade-offs. Hopefully they finally got all the kinks worked out in this latest iteration.
  • 3 0
 @jeremy3220: Identical experience here. Not a fan of the pinch bolt set-up. XT Microspline now on my new rig and couldn't be happier.
  • 3 0
 @BamaBiscuits: same here, like the gen 2 9-46 11s TRS+. Light weight for the price, and good gearing steps, prefer the 2nd and 3rd lightest steps over the bigger steps of Shimano XT.
  • 1 0
 Same. gen2 TRS is working great for me 32x46 is all I need for 2000ft climbs - on my light 29erx2.3 hardtail. I have 32x47 11sp shimano xt on my heavier bike and it's fine. I find anything lower and the speed drops to a point that you might as well not be riding anymore. I also have strong legs from years of powerlifting! Squats baby!
  • 10 1
 "there's not much difference between SRAM or Shimano's 12-speed cassettes when it comes to where the cogs are sitting. [...] a SRAM shifter moves the cable roughly 0.15mm more than Shimano does"

Who care how much the cable moves? Cable pull would apply to mixing shifters and mechs, not cog spacing.
  • 5 0
 Yeah, statements like this make me question how much these guys really know.

""Both SRAM and Shimano use different spacing and sprocket thicknesses in different parts of the cassette,'' e*thirteen told me." - This isn't making a lot of sense to me either, if anyone cares to clarify.
  • 7 9
 Cable pull dictates how much the derailleur moves. If it moves more you need wider cog spacing. If it moves less you need narrower cog spacing.
  • 1 0
 @skelldify: I think they mean that there is variable spacing within a single cassette: maybe slightly wider spacing for the small cogs, but smaller spacing on the big ones. The smaller ones might need more room to ensure the chain doesn't prematurely grab the shift ramps, but the bigger ones don't have as much overlap and the big shifts might also benefit from tighter spacing.

But it's the first I've heard of variable spacing within a cassette. I have heard that the overall spacing is very slightly different between SRAM Eagle and Shimano 12sp
  • 2 0
 @leadsledpaintrain: I know you already got negged to oblivion, butmaybe this helps. It's the cable pull combined with the mech itself that determines the movement of the cage and thus the cog spacing:

blog.artscyclery.com/science-behind-the-magic/science-behind-the-magic-drivetrain-compatibility

Check that out for more info. Notice in the chart that the cable pull doesn't really match up with gear count. Some long pull systems have lots of gears, and some short pull systems have very few gears.
  • 1 0
 @leadsledpaintrain: Why is this being down-voted? I feel like I'm missing something obvious because to me what you said makes perfect sense.
  • 2 0
 @JakeEPooh: because it's wrong (note, I am not one of the ones that downvoted it). Both cable pull and mech design determine how far the cage moves to match the cog spacing. Cable alone doesn't tell you anything without knowing the ratio of the mech itself. Even SRAM's previous "1:1" mechs didn't actually have a ratio of 1:1. Notice in the page I linked, that the cable pull never aligns exactly with the cog spacing.
  • 1 0
 @just6979: Ok, that makes perfect sense! Thank you!
  • 1 0
 @just6979: Thanks to all who educated me, I deserve the neg props for thinking I knew something I didn’t!
  • 10 1
 Excellent weight! I think it's worth spending more for a lighter cassette. Unsprung weight matters. Better suspension performance by far.
  • 7 1
 For me, the cassette is the best place to spend extra cash when it comes to a drivetrain. Less rotational weight and unsprung mass on the back wheel is very noticeable. Being able to get a lighter cassette at a fraction of the cost of X01 and XTR is awesome. When my X01 cassette wears out I'll probably be going with this E*thirteen cassette.
  • 5 0
 This looks better machined than their older 9-46 'Plus' and 'Race' cassettes in the past.

I initially had the TRS+ 9-46 but the machining tolerances were off at the smaller cogs which caused shifting issues and noise. I did a warranty claim and eThirteen were kind enough to send me a replacement smaller cog assembly, but in the lighter 'Race' version. I ran that for a little while and it was great. But over time, as it wore down or 'broke in' I started having shifting issues and random noise again in the smaller cogs. Visually, the steel teeth looked like new. Which led me to believe that it was probably my derailleur and chain. Realigned my derailleur, still making noise and shifting like crap. Put a new chain and derailleur in and it was still shifting like crap. I said f*ck it and put in a Shimano XTR 11 speed cassette with a 45t Wolf Tooth cog and had zero issues since.

I wanna like this, but I'm just not confident in their quality control. Though their warranty department is excellent.
  • 6 1
 Options are great. This cassette is a way better way to increase your overall range rather than the SRAM solution of putting a 52 tooth cog next to a 42 tooth cog with the 10 tooth jump. In my opinion the 8 tooth Eagle jump is too severe as it is. The TRS solution is to allow you to run a smaller front chain ring. The only issue I've had with previous TRS iterations of this is that you can really feel the 9 tooth cog when you rarely pedal at full speed. Bluntly I think going with a Shimano 10/51 is a much better solution. To put things in context - I just did a race called the Merritt Crown. Over the 123 km and 3200 m of climbing/descending - if I was in my 10 tooth for more than 5 minutes of the 10:30 riding time - I will be a monkey's uncle. Agreed that I am not a superlight or mega fit fella but statistically if you're going to tell me to man up and get stronger - I'm still likely stronger than you are 9/10 times on an open fire road downhill. My point is I don't believe that the 9 tooth cog is essential.
  • 4 0
 I have used the 11-speed 9-46 on a SRAM GX drivetrain for about a year. I needed a lower range than the SRAM 11-42, and the e-thirteen seemed the only practical option. The cassette mounted easily on the hubs of my e-thirteen carbon race wheels. Shifting dial-in took quite a bit of tinkering, and the cassette was grinding the top jockey wheel under load. I fiddled with the B-screw quite a bit, more than I ever have on any derailleur, but eventually got it locked in to smooth and full changes up and down the range. It works well and I recommend it for 11-speed riders that need a lower range.
  • 5 1
 I've owned a few of the last generation to this series e*thirteen cassettes. I've tried them with Shimano and SRAM chains. I've made sure hangers were straight and derailleurs were properly adjusted. I've also tried multiple derailleurs. The issue remains no matter the combination, that sometimes in the upper end of the cassette a single down shift (to a smaller gear) at the shifter will result in two downshifts than an upshift at the derailleur. It drives me nuts. Most chains will also spit down a ring or two with Amy amount of back pedaling in the biggest cog. Ultimately, I really want to like these cassettes but the shifting is just not up to par with SRAM or Shimano.
  • 3 0
 I am happy to hear Pinkbike say that e*thirteen got the shifting right now however!

Shifting was pretty good on last gen, aside from a few quirks I just couldn't get over, as listed above. Shifting was smooth most of the time, but miss-shifts were just too common.
  • 4 0
 I’ll stick with XT derailleur and shifter, Sun Race 11-46 11 speed cassette, and SRAM chain. This is the winning combination for price, reliability, and gearing range right here.
  • 3 0
 I run the same but the cassette is heavy. Wish there was a bit lighter option for the HG free hub body. I love the shifting and the gearing though
  • 4 0
 @iantmcg: Garbaruk 10/46 11 spd is the answer. XD and Shimano HG versions. Quality spread. Sub 300 grams. Reasonably affordable.
  • 2 0
 @TerrapinBen: oh wow... that cassette does look nice. Great looking jumps in between gears too. Still got another chain or two before I need a new cassette but I will keep that in mind for when I do. I like the Sunrace and it is cheap but it is indeed a boat anchor.
  • 3 0
 @iantmcg: Sunrace 11-46 weighs 464g vs Shimano XT 11-46 which weighs 439 grams. A 25 gram weight penalty for the Sunrace is worth the gear range it offers.
  • 1 0
 @kwl1: I was responding to TerrapinBen and his comment about the Garbaruk which is sub 300 grams. The XT and Sunrace are boat anchors compared to the Garbaruk. I agree on your comparison of the XT to the Sunrace. The gearing is way better on the Sunrace.
  • 4 0
 Cool company, great customer service but the TRS+ version was a turd. Replaced 3x under warranty and all failed in a different manner. Eventually threw in the towel and went XT 12sp.
  • 1 0
 How's the XT treating you? Same experience with the TRS+. Wonderful customer service but I didn't like the riding experience.
  • 1 0
 Same thing here. Bent over the granny gear on 3. Customer service was always great and overnighted a new one each time, but wasn't worth the hassle. On XT 12 speed now and its noticeably smoother and quicker shifting.
  • 3 0
 While I like the concept of the "simpler" cassettes like Box Prime9, it's 645g! So you're not getting any weight savings from fewer gears (www.boxcomponents.com/Box-Two-Prime-9-11-50T-Cassette-Black). I'm doing just fine with my current SRAM XG1275 at 453g (and $215 replacement), but now E13 is telling me that for ~$75 difference I can shave ~100g (0.22lbs) and be able to swap my rear tire between my ht with shimano slx and my fs with sram GX, and pick some cool anondized color (which will probably wear fast unless it's a really hard, kashima style anodizing). I like this offering from E13 when it's time to replace the XG1275
  • 4 1
 My biggest complaint is the exact same one as i have about SRAM -- the 50t is treated as a "bailout gear", not a part of the gear range. That's exactly where Shimano did it right, even though it cost a few grams.

36-42-50t is a lot less useful than 39-46-51t on the big end of the cassette (SRAM/e13 vs Shimano). It's the difference between having two good climbing gears and three. My local trails certainly demand good climbing gears, not a cassette with a bailout gear.
  • 6 0
 @ungod - Our current TRS+ 9-46 12s may suite your needs if you are looking for tighter gearing jumps. Still more range than a 10-51 by a hair but with tighter gearing jumps across the range. We spend a lot of time and testing deciding on the gearing and sympathize with your point. Tighter spread on the larger cogs mean sacrifices need to be made further down the cassette somewhere. We generally get postitive feedback about our gearing and by retaining the 36/42/50 like on our TRS+ 9-50 it allowed us to retain backwards compatibility with the TRS+9-50 cassette parts already on the market. Cheers!
  • 1 1
 @ethirteen-components: I wish you guys still made that 9-44t 11sp. It was/is perfect for my gravel bike and SoCal climbs.
  • 1 0
 @ethirteen-components: Appreciate the response, and totally understand that my trails don't necessarily represent the needs of everyone across the spectrum. Unfortunately I'm on a 29er so I really need all the gearing I can get, otherwise the 9-46 would be a good bet.
  • 3 0
 I keep waiting for a company or Sram to make a cassette that as a 46T btw the 42T nad 50/52T. Perhaps i am a minority that finds that jump in candece to big, i have a 34 in the front. IMHO the 46T is a great way to keep a good cadence, well at least in the North east USA where we dont have 2K/3K ft climbs before the dh.
  • 3 0
 On my 2020 build, I went with full Shimano XT because I was sold on hyperglide+. It works as advertised, but I have been very tempted to try out the so-called "AXT" setup where you throw an AXS derailleur into the mix. Its been said that a good mechanic can get this system to work - now I wonder if using this cassette (with its "difference splitting") would further refine this custom approach!

556% range + light weight + low cassette cost + electronic shifting + hyperglide+. This could be a WINNER!
  • 2 0
 I have never been able to get my 11 speed 9-46 trs to work right. sometimes it slips off the free hub body and I need to take the whole thing off to fix it. never shifts right. And this had been with 2 different cassettes and free hub bodies, thanks to warranty. Not impressed. I can switch to 12 speed shimano for the price of one of these cassettes.
  • 2 0
 "pairing it with a Shimano XTR derailleur and XT shifter"

And what chain. Assuming XTR HG+ chain, but would be nice to list it explicitly. Same for the Eagle setups: assuming XX1 12sp chain, but should be explicit. Because it sounds like a decent chunk of HG+'s goodness may be in the chain...
  • 1 0
 It says with the HG+ chain
  • 1 0
 @cork: "pairing it with a Shimano XTR derailleur and XT shifter, then went out and shifted"

Nope, only mentions the shifter and mech. The previous paragraph did mention that the HG+ chain is an important part, but did not actually specify that an HG+ chain was used.
  • 3 0
 THANK YOU for the 11 speed 9-46 option + great pricing!

If this indeed offers improved shift quality and durability from the gen2, it will likely be my go-to cassette for the foreseeable future.
  • 2 0
 as much as I feel like the most recent non gearbox drivetrains have become kind of an evolutionary rat race, its still confusing to me that ethirteen is the only manufacturer I know of with 9t cogs. If they weren't so expensive I'd be happy with a 9-42 cassette and like a 26t chainring. I get that chainrings that small can mess with anti-squat but the range is so close to eagle and the clearance/weight savings seem really great. or just jump the shark and do a 9-52 already
  • 2 0
 No doubt that it shifts fine with both drivetrains.
It is interesting that if 0.15mm is on one shift, then times 11 shifts the difference is 1.65mm. Not sure if this is still negligible. I guess the trick is to set it perfect in the middle of the cassette and have ~0.8mm mismatch on lowest and highest gear.
  • 2 0
 People always scoff at the price of these cassettes, but they're massively lighter than the cheaper steel equivalent. An $105 NX Eagle cassette is a whopping 335 g heavier. An $120 GX, or an $80 11-speed XT 11-46 cassette is 100 g heavier.

These parts aren't cheap, but there are a lot of places people pay way more money for less weight reduction.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, cassettes SEEM like an easy place to save money, in reality it is some of the best bang for your buck as far as weight saving and performance. You will feel a difference, unlike spending an extra $40 to save 18g on a stem.
  • 3 0
 MicroSHIFT's 11-48 10-speed Advent X cassette weighs in at 424 grams with an MSRP of $65 USD. That's plenty of range for me here in British Columbia and I keep well over $200 USD in my pocket at the expense of 70 grams.
  • 4 0
 very pretty but too much cash as opposed to Deore. I do like the colour hues
  • 8 0
 Very true but Deore buyers aren't the target customer here...For weight weenies that want to save some cash this looks like a great option!
  • 2 2
 @Marky771: I agree but there MUST be some kind of performance enhancement and there is NOT. Shimano does not need a band aid. If Deore does not cut it then go XTR or XT or SLX
  • 5 0
 @madmon: WEIGHT SAVINGS is the real enhancement, along with the ability to buy just what you need as it wears or breaks.
  • 2 0
 I mean you get the full shimano XT 12 speed upgrade with casette, chain and shifter for 270 around here...
  • 2 0
 @tabletop84: ya mon just trying to be real during a pandemic
  • 2 0
 @madmon: Just saying for SOME people the lighter weight, similar shifting performance, AND cheaper price is worth it over XTR. Again not for everyone!
  • 1 3
 I paid $4$0 for two cassettes, two shifters, two derailleurs, and two chains, direct from Asia via the slow boat. Add in another $50 for two microdrive DT Swiss drivers. $250 per bike.
  • 2 0
 Also a solution if you like Shimano shifters/derailleurs but don't have Microspline.
  • 3 0
 I have the sunrace 10-46 11 speed with x1 sram and it shifts better than my gx eagle on my other bike. More companies need to make 10-46 11 speed cassettes.
  • 3 0
 Garbaruk 10/46 11 spd is the answer. XD and Shimano HG versions. Quality spread. Sub 300 grams. Reasonably affordable.
  • 2 0
 I decided to move away from e13 and try Garbaruk to upgrade my 11s with their cage too to go from 42&46 to 50. While this new offering looks great, I’m not a fan of the installation method.
  • 4 3
 I hope they’ve figured things out. This is the third version of their shit locking system and the quality control has always been an issue. Shifting performance has been lack lustre since the beginning.
Friends don’t let friends ride E13.
  • 1 0
 I had no real problems with version 1 and 2's lockrings, but i did not care for the shift quality and could never seem to get it where my X01 and XT cassettes were on the same bike.
  • 1 0
 ''Both SRAM and Shimano use different spacing and sprocket thicknesses in different parts of the cassette,''

Can we all just collectivelly yell at them for doing this. Chain & cassette or shifter & mech should be the only things that must go together.
  • 3 2
 "The 9-tooth cog (right) means you can drop to a small chainring size without losing anything on the high-end."

It also means you could drastically change your bike's anti-squat and chain-growth. You don't want to change chainrings willy-nilly _just_ because your cogs are smaller or bigger.
  • 1 0
 That is my big question to. Bike is designed for 34T. What happens if I drop to a 30T?

I may try sometime.
  • 1 1
 @vapidoscar: You will get a bit more anti-squat most-likely. This might be good, but it might also result in less traction and/or more bob when under power.
  • 2 0
 @vapidoscar: you may have chain clearance issues with the frame and find the chain sitting and dragging on the chain guard when you are on the small cogs of your cassette
  • 1 0
 Going down a ring increases anti squat, which at this point could be used a marketing item since people want to get into MTB and do as little work as possible.
  • 1 0
 @IMeasureStuff: I know that a 22T does not work. How do I know...

Well I am lazy/sneaky and I have a 2X crank. I replaced the 36T with a 34T narrow-wide but I left the 22T on the crank. This was a mistake. I forgot to turn my clutch on and bounced the chain from the narrow-wide onto the 22T. When I started pedaling again the grinding on the chain stay was horrendous. Have a pretty nice scar in the aluminum now.

This trick was nice on my hardtail. When I had a terrible climb ahead of me I dropped by hand into the 22T and had a 22/40 ratio to crank up the hill.
  • 1 0
 "As for reliability, I have no clue - it hasn't been long enough to talk about that yet. That said, the PVD-coated blue option that's claimed to offer double the life of the standard anodized cogs sounds interesting"

I'm very curious about this because everything else sounds great - basically like SRAM cassettes but way cheaper...
  • 1 0
 In fact, it looks like only the 2 bigger rings are coated, so maybe its not as good as I though. On the eagle cassette the smaller cogs always use up much faster than the bigger cogs
  • 1 0
 The only issue I have with E13 cassettes is the 9t cog. I've played around with different cassette/chainring combo's to get that sweetspot gearing and every time I've used the 9t it feels horrible and inefficient. It's not the ratio, I can pedal higher ones when up in the 11-15t range with a bigger chainring, it's the small size if that 9t. It just sucks up all of the meagre power I put out! Even 10t feels odd!
  • 2 0
 9T cogs are bad engineering. This cassette is not for people who push the high gears.
  • 2 0
 @SickEdit: which begs the question: why bother with a gear you can't really use?
  • 1 0
 Question for the people biking for the last 30 years: Have high end cassettes always had high price tags? or is this a new thing in recent years? While I want to complain about the price, if cassettes from 1990-2000 cost $100-$200 for the 7-8-9 speeds, then it's nothing really new. Just curious really.
  • 1 0
 Good question. I've been biking for a little over 20 years. The quality and weight has drastically changed. By my observations, the price for high end cassettes has gone up a little, but not at the same rate as frames, forks, etc.
  • 2 0
 Back when I worked in a bike shop around 2000 a high-end XTR cassette was roughly a week's wages for your normal retail job. The current XTR is a little less than the basic weekly wage whereas SRAM stuff is a bit more so it's roughly the same.
  • 2 0
 I don’t have that much experience, but part of the reason behind the cost increase is modern one-piece construction. Compared to the old stamped construction, machining a one-piece cassette out of a solid block of metal is much more difficult. Shimano is slightly better than SRAM in that regard thanks to their pinned construction, but it’s still a lot more work than just a pile of loose cogs and spacers.
  • 1 0
 Its insane how expensive a consumable part can be. Specially for us in Brazil because.. currency is tough! I switched the drivetrains of my bikes to Shimano 12 speed with a chinese 9-50 XD cassete that costs 60 usd and having good results with it. hope they last a long time. The downside is that they weight about 540g, but costs 1/3 the price of GX.
  • 3 0
 This seems like a really good option for folks who want to switch to a Shimano drivetrain from the (very common) SRAM OEM without a switch to microspline...
  • 1 0
 My bike came with the e13 9-46 cassette with a 32t up front. I dropped it to a 30t on the front, and it motors up most things with a couple gears to give. I did have an issue with the e13 rear hub driver, but they covered that under warranty without issue. They even sent me a replacement for the aluminum gears since mine got a little chewed when the driver failed mid climb.
  • 1 0
 E13 have awesome support department, any complaint addressed within days!
  • 3 1
 The cog spacing on this is STILL wrong. The jump from 42 to 50 is so dumb. Shimano is the only one doing it right. And now Sram has a TEN tooth jump to the 52 tooth. Way to innovate Sram....
  • 1 0
 I'll wait for a long term report on shift setup. I had great customer service from E13 and they refunded a 12spd cassette that I just could not get to shift properly - I could either use the 9 tooth or the 50, but not both. This sounds encouraging though.
  • 1 0
 I've bee using the TRS+ race 11 speed cassette for some time now. Installing it was rough. It took me a month...including a LBS visit where they made it clear that the cassette would not fit the driver. In the end, E13 manned up and sent me a fresh aluminum half of the cassette that would fit my driver and it installed in minutes. It seems E13 had some issues with tolerances between different driver manufactures. Hopefully they have that sorted out by now. Regardless of that mess, I've been very happy with that cassette. I must say, I don't understand the point of 12 speed. 11 is enough.

I wasn't feeling so great when I saw that the TRS cassette was dropped from their website. If I remember correctly, the Helix is a little heavier than the TRS Race. That might be a good thing. The colors are a bummer. I liked the all black look of the TRS. It was relatively unique. IF my buddies thought I was running a cheap SunRace, that's on them. The Helix just looks like a Garbaruk cassette. Maybe next time I'll get a Garbaruk to avoid the possible install complications.

It is sad that Sram has that cassette design locked down to the point that no one can sell a XD completable cassette in the states without it being some Rube Goldberg-esque setup. Thankfully E13 found a way around it. Meanwhile, Sram could make their own 11 speed cassette that adds a little more range but that would cut into selling all of us fools on a full 12 speed group. I would rather save a little money and weight by sticking with what I have.
  • 1 0
 This looks awesome. E13 has been close when it comes to their cassettes for years now and if this lives up to what it looks like, then they finally got to where they were trying to get. If the power shifting works on shimano in theory you should be able to run it on a sram drivetrain with shimano chain compatible chainring and gain that feature. Could make for the ultimate sramano axtr setup.
  • 1 0
 This sounds good and the idea of two pieces to replace separately is nice, but I struggle to determine when I should replace one of those.
I check my chain regularly, but don't have a tool to measure cassette wear? Are there any workarounds'
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: since you're testing the e13 already, could you do a shootout of alternative cassettes? Would be real rad!
Include ZTTO, Garbaruk, Sunrace, KCNC, Ingrid and the likes and see how they stack up against each others and the big two!
  • 2 0
 Every time I'm reminded how much sram asks for their cassettes I feel like I'm being trolled by the company because I slightly prefer their shift levers
  • 2 0
 Does this open up the possibility if using a sram chain on shimano rear d or vice versa? I have one shimano mtb and one sram, and it would be cool to run same chains on both.
  • 2 0
 Yes, you can run Sram chain, Shimano MECH and the Helix cassette. You're the ideal customer here I think!
  • 2 0
 In the race for biggest range spread, that 42-50T gap is big enough to fit a shark into. The industry has jumped it.. can your chain?
  • 2 2
 If your going to replace a cassette, shouldn't you just replace the whole thing, especially if you are putting a new chain on? Putting a new chain on a partially used cassette leads to skipping problems, and the used part of the cassette is gong to cause your new chain to wear earlier.

It might have a 9 tooth gear but good luck adjusting your Shimano derailleur so that you can actually get into it reliably once you've done a mud ride and it's not brand new anymore.

The 2 piece design is a pain, requires 2 chain whips, too much cleaning and greasing, and tightening small screw that could strip the soft aluminum.

Alot of compromises to save a little weight seems to be the ethos of this company, I'm happy with cheapo Sunrace.
  • 2 0
 unsprung weight & typically it's the larger 2 cogs that wear out much sooner than everything else. As long as you watch your chain wear. This is amazing if their QC works and the longevity is decent.
  • 3 0
 Every major manufacturer uses aluminum rings for the large cogs and steel or cromoly for the smaller cogs. The softer metal wears faster, so no, swapping the whole cassette does not make sense.
  • 1 0
 Umm, the cassette doesn't wear much as long as you are using a good chain that is properly lubed. If you let that chain stretch and keep on using it, that is when the cassette starts wearing.

There is no real need for two chain whips. It is way easier to use one whip and the bike's chain.

E13 is doing something useful. Who else makes a cassette for an XD driver that you can buy in the states? I'm pretty sure it is just E13 and Sram. They are making a smaller and lighter cassette with more range. It's hard to argue against that. If you want a sunrace cassette that weighs twice as much, have at it.
  • 1 0
 @bertbc: Yeah, I looked into it a little later and saw that. I thought Sram had stopped other companies from making XD cassettes. It's nice to see we have another choice.
  • 2 0
 I think the only real advantage this has is that 9 tooth. I'd love to have extra speed on straight clear trail or on the ride to/from the trailhead.
  • 4 0
 Blue, orange, black, purple, and even bronze, but no red?!
  • 3 1
 Is there a reason they don't have a Micro-Spline model? Thinking this would be an awesome upgrade over the boat anchor NX cassette, but wrong hub adaptor.
  • 4 0
 Microspline drivers unfortunately take up too much volume to allow the 9 tooth cog. We really tried, but have not come up with a viable solution just yet. Hopefully your wheel manufacturer offers an aftermarket XD freehub body! Thanks for the support!
  • 1 0
 @ethirteen-components: Thanks for the follow up! I think the manufacturer does make an aftermarket XD hub, so that will probably be the easier route!
  • 2 0
 I'm glad they put the percentage right there on the cassette so I can show my riding buddies how cool I am without having to do complex math on the trail...
  • 2 0
 When should I take my 11-36T off?

I don't live somewhere like California with crazy steep long climbs (found out after riding them that nobody rides them!).
  • 4 0
 Doesn't go to 69. Not interested.
  • 1 1
 If you skip the whole pointless N+1 cog bullshit you also skip the spacing nonsense. If you go with a wide ratio 9 or 10 spd for effectively the same gear range you also get real gear changes you can feel with each click and you don't have to row up and down 4 cogs you don't need. Get chains for half the cost so you can replace them when you should.
  • 1 0
 Depends on where you ride. In the Netherlands I never use the 42 and 50 but I use everything from 17 to 36 a lot. But then on a trip to the ardennes I use 13, 15, 42 and 50 the most.

So basically, I use everything, but never in one ride Wink
  • 1 0
 @makkelijk: you might get away with a singlespeeder in Holland =)
  • 1 0
 I'll be tempted after the XO1 I have wears out. I run the 32 up front just because I have a few jumps and other occasions where I really want that top end, but would rather a 30. Either this or the 52 Eagle with a 32.
  • 1 0
 I run XO 10 spd shifter GX 12 spd eagle rear mech 11-46 sunrace and no issue I've built for a friend Zee 10 spd shifter XT sgs 11 spd rear mech 11-46 sunrace no issues either
  • 1 0
 @ethirteen-components is it compatible with a 11 speed XT (the 9-46 ofc)? And what chain works best with it? I'm currently using a gx 1x11 cassette with sram chain but I wouldn't mind a bigger range
  • 2 0
 9-46 works great with shimano 11-speed gs mid-cage derailleurs and xx1 or xo1 eagle 12-speed chains.
  • 1 0
 Love e13 support team, while their product could have issues, support are rock solid and supperior! Casset itself, as for shimanonfanboy, i will not probably choose product due to freehub, however design wise - 5 star
  • 3 0
 pretty colors, take my money
  • 1 1
 Awesome! Just bought my XX1 Rainbow cassette though.... Wish I would've waited just a couple weeks! Maybe get this as a backup for those really grimy ride days. Nice to see the price and weight in check.
  • 2 1
 Ecosystem... LOL "The Eco- Root Word is a combining form representing Ecology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings."
  • 4 1
 Yeah the word "ecosystem" also makes me cringe in this context
  • 1 0
 any details on the cost of the replacement parts? would be great if they match SRAM's durability anyhow, but a (relatively) cheap half replacement is double interesting Smile
  • 1 0
 The difference in comments between here and FB is crazy. FB is pissing all over this. Seems much more positive here on the website.
  • 2 0
 Is that really how much we are spending on cassettes nowadays?!
Id expect it to last my lifetime if I spent that much
  • 1 0
 I'm running a 26t front /Deore 10spd 11-42 T out back.
Anti squat? Not sure, don't care.
The bike runs just fine and pedals near the same as the 30t it came with.
  • 4 4
 I want to see how this holds up to a pro XC racer on an eBike. Someone who puts out a boat load of power. The problem with most reviewers is that they aren't...fast.
  • 3 0
 Something tells me Pro XC riders aren’t buying this for their gram counting race day eBike (is that a thing?). And if they are, then best of luck to that 1 customer who apparently doesn’t have a drivetrain sponsor and goes with this.

As for the other 10,000 average riders buying this, it’s good to see a review from someone with similar average skill to give useable feedback.
  • 1 2
 @ninjatarian: I'm saying that I want someone who can actually put some power into the pedals for a long ass time to be the person testing this thing. Someone who will find its flaws, if they exist.
  • 2 1
 @LeDuke: You'll probably poopoo this but I bet many pro enduro racers are putting out way higher peak numbers than xc racers. What really tests a cassette is sprinting and shifting under load and of course total wear.

XC racers have high thresholds and watt/kg but in terms of peak output I'd wager they are not at the top of output. XC racers are more like the GC and time trialists of the road world, not the sprinters or track racers.
  • 2 2
 @heatproofgenie: Both are good tests. My point was that I want to see some form of elite athlete putting this thing to the test. Nino Schurter is riding 5x the mileage that Richie Rude is; they will each exact a toll on a component, albeit in different ways.
  • 2 0
 @LeDuke: Agreed. Both are great use cases.
  • 1 0
 @LeDuke: perhaps you could test it and report back, since you're so eager to broadcast on every forum about what a fast and powerful xc rider you are...... nobody is impressed and nobody cares.
  • 1 2
 @thegoodflow: Huh. The only fast people I mentioned are Nino Schurter and Richie Rude. Stop projecting, fatty.
  • 1 0
 @LeDuke: oh, so you're not fast then? I must have misunderstood when you constantly brag about your strava on mtbr. Good to know.
  • 2 0
 Woah, that's 100g less than my GX cassette. tempting.
  • 3 0
 Looks super promising
  • 1 0
 That 11 speed might get me to test an E13 cassette again. The last ones I was burning through 3rd gear at a furious rate.
  • 1 0
 To give you an idea of how tight it is down there... Yeah baby, talk dirty to me!
  • 1 0
 The last gen TRS can be had for ~$190 totally a bargain for the range and flexibility it offers.
  • 2 0
 Has anyone tried those Zitto 9-50t cassettes on AliExpress?
  • 1 0
 One of the first hits on google links to the MTBR post that says it is "utter garbage." Considering it weights at over a pound, it isn't worth any consideration.
  • 1 1
 @PrivilegedBikeR: its lighter than SX, GX, Box Two Prime 9, and others
  • 1 0
 Yes, awesome product, 1y warranty, just works;
No hg shifting - like shimano tho
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: And? I wouldn't consider any of those either.
  • 1 0
 @PrivilegedBikeR: apparently they released a new version that's decent
  • 1 0
 Pretty excited about the 11 speed option. Only 1 Al gear, nice wide range, good weight, really sounds ideal.
  • 1 0
 This would be so great if they didn't ficus on range. Let's see a 10 or 11 to 46 or 48.
  • 1 0
 Did you use the 50t or 52t compatible SRAM mechs?
  • 1 1
 With an xt cassette about 90 € street price I can't see any good reason to buy another kind of cassette.
  • 1 0
 I’m pretty certain that is the new stumpjumper.
  • 1 0
 This will sell like hot cakes, just a matter of availability........
  • 1 0
 I want it purely for the purple! LOL!
  • 2 1
 $290 for a gd cassette?!?!?! No thanks
  • 1 0
 Look at the weight then compare it to xtr or xx1. This isn't a nx, gx or slx level cassette. If this cassette is as good as it looks on paper then $290 is a pretty good price.
  • 1 0
 Sticking with the two piece design? ...that’s a shame. :/
  • 2 0
 The creaking!...not a bad cassette if you don’t mind taking it apart every couple months and regreasing the prongs that connect the aluminum and steel cogs together. To me it just became a part of the general maintenance with the freehub so it didn’t bother me much.
  • 1 0
 Still more expensive and heavier than what Garbaruk offers.
  • 1 1
 I will stick to my X01 cassette. Yes it costs twice as much, but also will last at least twice as long...
  • 1 0
 so use this on shimano and lose the shifting under load.
  • 1 1
 Does it work with Hope hubs without that horrible shim?
  • 1 1
 xt 11 spd GS - medium cage
  • 1 1
 If you want to go fast you need less brakes instead of more gears
  • 1 1
 *Hugs 3x9 Drivetrain*
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