e*thirteen's LG1+ Cassette
e*thirteen's extra wide range 9-44 tooth cassette
made a splash when it was announced last year, and now the company is turning their sights on the DH race world with a new 9-21 tooth cassette designed specifically for an updated version of their LG1 downhill wheels. The pint-sized seven-speed cassette has the freehub mechanism attached directly to its aluminum 21 tooth cog (all of the other cogs are steel), a clever space saving design that allowed e*thirteen to increase the distance between the hub's flanges by 12 mm. This creates a better angle between the spokes and the rim, and in turn a stiffer wheel that's capable of handling the punishments doled out by World Cup racers.
Aaron Gwin and Mick Hannah both played a part in the cassette's development, and found that even with a 32 tooth chainring they still had a wide enough gear range to sprint from the start gate in the 21 tooth cog, and then drop further down the cassette without spinning out. Running a smaller chainring allows for more ground clearance, reducing the risk of suffering a race-ending mechanical. Although e*thirteen makes chainrings and cassettes, they don't make a derailleur of their own, leaving riders to choose their preferred brand, but they did say they had good results running a Shimano Saint derailleur with the new cassette.
The LG1 wheel and cassette combo is expected to be available in April in 12x150 and 12x157mm spacing, although the exact dates and pricing have not yet been determined.