Opinion: The Eagle Has Landed

Apr 28, 2016
by Richard Cunningham  

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SRAM's 12-speed Eagle proves that a one-by drivetrain can match or better the range of a multiple-chainring transmission, which in turn, has doused any hopes that the front derailleur's smoldering embers will ever be rekindled. Eagle was a must for the Chicago-based parts maker, because its premier XX1 ensemble could not match the range of Shimano's sharp-shifting two-by drivetrains, and descriptors like "virtually," "similar to," or "nearly," are not the vocabulary of a winning team. The addition of a 50-tooth cog to its 10 by 42, eleven-speed cassette provides a 500-percent gearing spread, which exceeds Shimano XTR and XT's ranges and thus, should silence all doubters, even the staunchest two-by holdouts in Germany. That twelfth cog, however, may have consequences that reach beyond range and MSRP.
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SRAM's Eagle 12-speed

Eagle has only been released at present to a handful of media, racers and OEM customers for evaluation, but all reports have been quite positive. And, in spite of the expected pushback from potential customers who have grown weary of SRAM and Shimano's the cog-of-the-month competition, those who have time on the group have unanimously applauded SRAM for extending the lower gearing range to accommodate fitness levels that fall below professional athletes, without sacrificing top-end speed.

Less advertised, but perhaps more important, is the fact that improved frame geometry, advanced suspension and wider, grippier tires have made today's mountain bikes far more capable climbers, especially in technical situations, where the rider's legs and lungs have become the only limitations to topping ascents once deemed impossible. I am sure that Eagle will be embraced by the sport's strongest athletes when they begin to push those boundaries.

Shimano will be forced to respond, at least with a larger cassette cog, and we anticipate they will also jump to 12-speed as well. Shimano will offer a 46-tooth option and, because their present cassette design restricts their smallest cog to an 11-tooth, barring a new driver design, there is nowhere for Shimano to go except for up. Shimano fans who do not want to wait for the next iteration of XTR can jump ahead of Japan and purchase OneUp's Shark kit, which updates the cassette to a 10 by 50 to equal the range of SRAM's Eagle, and it updates the rear mech with a longer cage in order to handle the extra chain and new cog diameters.

The bottom line is that Eagle is destined for success, and in a short time, we will get used to seeing larger cassette cogs, just as we have learned to ignore wheel diameters and boost-width forks. That said, the acceptance of Eagle will also mark the time when the industry walked away from two hard fought improvements - both of which had profound effects upon the dual-suspension trail bikes we have recently come to know and love.
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OneUp's 50t Shark kit for Shimano.

The first victim is the mid-cage rear derailleur. The long-cage rear derailleur was a product of the industry’s adherence to the triple crankset and the huge amount of chain take-up that it created for the rear derailleur. Riders hated them because the low-hanging cage reduced chain control and made the derailleur susceptible to damage. Switching to two-by drivetrains and later, SRAM's introduction of XX1, made it possible to reduce the length of the cage and the mid-cage derailleur finally became the industry standard. With the debut of SRAM's Eagle and Shimano's extended-range XT and XTR come some of the longest rear-derailleur jockey cages in the history of the sport.

The second loss is more difficult to explain, but it begins with a guy named Bob Girvin, a pioneer suspension designer who patented the forward pivot location of a bicycle's swingarm near the top of a 34-tooth chainring. One quarter century later, nobody has found a better location. Chain tension and the angle that the chain pulls from affects the suspension and how the suspension feels under pedaling loads. Girvin's compromise was to stabilize the drivetrain when it was in the middle option of the triple-cranksets everyone used back then. Girvin knew that shifting to the larger or smaller chainrings would adversely affect the suspension's kinematics, which is a problem that also gives present suspension designers headaches.
SRAM Eagle
Bob Girvin's pivot location plays well with one-by drivetrains.

By accident or by design, SRAM's XX1 and its derivative one-by-eleven drivetrains stabilized the relationship between the chain and the rear suspension by fixing the size of the chainring almost exactly where Girvin placed it and the XX1 cassette encouraged the rider to keep the chain in the most neutral range of angles in relation to the rear suspension. Shimano's present close-ratio two-by cranksets also maintain that relationship. It can be argued that, in the past three or four years since the relationship between the drivetrain and the rear suspension has been stabilized, almost every long-travel bike made has been a good performer. The trend toward huge cassette cogs may unfortunately reverse that problem by exaggerating the chain angles, and could play havoc with the suspension kinematics once more. In support of Eagle, the angular chain component only occurs when it is shifted into the largest cogs, but those are also the moments when power output, control and grip are highlighted most.

It will be interesting to see how all of this ends up. Suspension designers will be able to tweak their kinematics to compensate for the changes, if needed, and rear derailleurs are pretty robust these days. I find it questionable, however, that after working so long to attain a stabilized drivetrain and instigate the mid-cage rear derailleur standard, that we would throw away both without a care just to widen the bike's transmission ratios. It’s worth considering.





510 Comments

  • + 138
 PB gearbox brigade incoming in 3,2,1

TIL some cool new technical hx of gearing and bike kinematics. Thank you!

@richardcunningham, though I joke, do you see these changes accelerating the R&D of gearboxes? Or do you feel that these are not feasible and the new challenges of the 1X(insert double digit here) will have greater attention?
  • + 65
 This is ridicules! What happened to the unsprung mass effecting the suspension debate??
Seriously SRAM and Shimano, stop thinking short term and gives us gearboxes in different price ranges. You will make money on spare parts for gearboxes also!
  • + 10
 Personally, I believe that gearboxes could be a way to go. Now that bikes are getting so much lighter, let's make them heavier right?
At the same time, the whole world is looking at these drivetrains thinking they need to make a better one, not a new solution... So things may take some time.
Interesting read though, I enjoyed this whole thing
  • + 14
 @Lookinforit at the moment, they are the way to go, except probably not for xc or (some) DS. If you can ride one, definitely do. The shifting takes some getting used to, but just like other improvements that, at one time, felt foreign, you adapt quickly.

@Raffe this, along with the concentrated mass low and center on the bike, is reason enough for me not to go back to derailers for anything where I am concerned about downhill performance. It's mind blowing how much better the suspension feels without an extra pound or more of weight on the rear axle. Weight that isn't rotating, and some of which slaps and giggles around.

@ghettoflash reporting for duty, sir!

There are certainly some drawbacks, especially because of the currently very small market, but none of the issues people seem to think are going to be big issues actually end up being so.
  • + 24
 @trialsracer: Adese

I think the biggest issue I here about is that gearboxes are less efficient. I imagine this has something to so with increased surface contact of the gears. I also feel like there is some seriously impressive gear tech being born in this decade in other industries. From a sales and marketing standpoint, I'm not confident the consumer is ready (if it aint broke don't fix it). From a tech standpoint, the industry would have to establish some standards to keep such a thing viable. With so many companies, and non-written standard to reference, there would be proprietary gearboxes everywhere. It would become the PC race of the 90's all over again which would leave a of companies exposed to loss.

Now with that said, from an obsolescence standpoint...and if I was a bike OEM, I would stand to make A LOT of money. The gearbox industry is massive! You could get huge players with gigantic purchasing power to develop these at a reasonable price point. I see massive potential for the industry. If I was a CEO I would start patenting tech, securing supply chain, developing standards in conjunction with the big frame developers, and allocating marketing money to convince the "if it aint broke" crowd of this tech.

Why do I bring this all up? Because to make gearboxes a thing, there needs to be a serious commitment and leadership to organize the industry. The effort needs to be super focused, more so than adding a gear to existing tech. I think you will see this happen in 5-8 years if the demand is large enough. Too much tech right now that will need to be phased out. From a financial standpoint, I couldn't release a gearbox after I released my new 1X12...I need to make my money back from the T&M effort.
  • + 63
 @ghettoflash: I would like to see a efficiency comparison between gearbox und a muddy bad chainline 1x setup. PB can you do that?
  • + 11
 @SickEdit: This would be an awesome comparison!
  • + 5
 @SickEdit: That's a really good point. However, gearboxes still have chains and chain rings to transfer power to the rear wheel. Granted you don't have a laterally loaded chain line, but to be fair, you would have to muddy this chain as well.
  • + 6
 correct me if im wrong but bikes with gear boxes have an incredible amount of drag. this was the problem with the honda bike at least. dont see why any company would put a pile of money into r&d of something that has been attempted by a company with an impressive group of engineers and could not be perfected. if you watch the rob warner interview with minnaar he talks about this and how they tried all sorts of things like putting the gear box in an oil bath (increasing weight) to try and make it run smoother.
  • + 28
 Lets look at all the reasons gear boxes are not going to take off any time soon. Heavier, increased drive-train resistance, dedicated frame design, cost, lack of accepted standards and compatibility between manufacturers and the biggest one of them all, few of you gear box fan boys are willing to put your money where your mouth is. Even for DH, it is hard to justify. Compact 7 speed cassettes are light so not much unsprung weight. Has anyone ever actually worn out the cassette on a dh bike? Mine is 4 years old and I pedal it a lot. And at $60 for a Zee derailleur, even 3-4 a year isn't a big expense and it isn't a big deal to leave a spare in your vehicle or pack. Drive-train parts are also readily available and cheap if you run XT.
  • - 8
flag knarf1 (Apr 28, 2016 at 9:44) (Below Threshold)
 @Lookinforit: Wait for it .E-bike gives you ample power when you need it and you can run the perfect cassette range to compliment your suspension kinetics. There I said, let the hate start.
  • + 20
 Check out friction facts webpage. In short - muddy chain brings 30-50% extra friction. There's also friction related to the chain offset, approximately 50% more friction in the most extreme position in relation to a straight chainline. Then there's the reverse correlation between the size of the sprocket and the amount of friction. The more power you produce less friction the power train produces procentually.
All in all the worst case scenario at 250W a 1x would produce 15W or 6% friction losses.

Pinion was measured at 200W with 10% efficiency loss by german magazine Fahrrad Zukunft ausgabe 20, although I personally think the measurements were a little flawed.

Rohloff was measured by Chester Kyle and Frank Berto in magazine Human Power issue 52. at 200W with 9% efficiency loss.
  • + 7
 @ghettoflash: Spot on. Gearboxes top out at about 80% efficiency usually whereas a chain drive like on a bike can get up to around 95%. While 5% difference may not seem like a lot on the page it is very noticeable to the human body. Your right about the mud too... a muddy gearbox chain would maybe be ever so slightly better than a muddy 1x12 with a bad chain line. All that aside I still hate how much even good derailleurs bounce around.
  • + 57
 I think a frank and informative comparison between the gearbox and the derailleur should be done. I am circling that topic at the moment. Presently, the most compelling argument against the gearbox, assuming that cost is not an issue, is scalability. If a major player invests development and marketing funds in a successful bid to bring the gearbox mainstream, the dillemma is that there is no viable option to move that gearbox down the range and take advantage of the momentum. The efficiency of a gearbox lies in its precision - all those moving bits need to be perfect to approach the numbers that a roller-chain transmission enjoys. The least expensive derailleurs perform within a fraction of a percent of their most expensive alternatives. Until some breakthrough in gear and bearing technology arrives that allows a less-expensive gearbox to perform similarly, it won't gain traction among the likes of Trek and Specialized. That said, perhaps the only positive aspect of e-bikes is that they essentially ARE gearbox bikes and thus may plant a seed which may lead to a future development.
  • + 12
 @taquitos: I'm pretty sure that 95% number, while fantastic, is based on data from fixed-gear singlespeeds. I highly doubt a typical MTB is putting up anywhere close to that (though I would 100% accept data to prove otherwise).
  • + 1
 @bmck: That number is based on typical chain drives, not mtb drive trains. Nonetheless, once you get it into a certain gear the only thing separating it from being equal to a single speed in the eyes of physics is the chain line and two really small cogs on the derailleur. This might amount to the efficiency being a few percentage points lower, but nothing crazy. I haven't done any test to back this up though besides the 12 years that I have been riding single speed and multi speed bikes. I've definitely single speeded a bike and hardly noticed slight improvement in efficiency.
  • + 2
 @ghettoflash:

Not if you use a drive shaft!
  • + 1
 @bmck: just assuming that's true (idk if it is), where would all the extra losses come from in a rear derailleur system? The pulley wheels spin freely and there's very little tension in the chain there.... aside from that it's basically the same as a single speed. Chainline can have an impact, but I can't see it being worth >10% efficiency.
  • + 11
 @RichardCunningham: Thanks for the response! The industry is warping into the future and I feel is having an identity crisis. As popularity grows, so does the market, and everyone wants to capitalize on this growth. I don't know the marketing numbers of this industry, so I don't know how gearboxes would scale. I do know that a der. has little to no application in any industry other than cycling. But contained power transfer is HUGE!!!!!!!

Most applications don't require such large efficiency numbers because energy is so cheap. Now imagine the human machine accounting for every % it spends, this could be a huge driver for the gearbox industry! There is no current demand for really efficient gearboxes, so there is not much investment in this pursuit. Imagine a gear geometry that is 10% more efficient in power transfer? To a mine or ship engine designer, that it CRAZY savings!!! That said it is very expensive to eak out even 1%, so the fact that it hasn't been done might mean it's impossible with current manufacturing tech.

Now this is just me speaking, but if I was a gearbox marketer looking at the 5-10 horizon, and I could pay for my R&D through another industry...scratch that...I found SOMEONE willing to pay for my next generation gearboxes...I would be all over that partnership! The Der. is a complete R&D project that the bike industry has paid for decades...it has not other application other than bikes. That is a level of investment not seen in many industries.

That is my marketers argument to SEW, or Bosch, or Bonfig, or Baldor, or GE, or (insert one of the hundreds of gearbox designers)
  • + 6
 @teamAWESOME: the Honda "gearbox" was actually a rear derailleur, chain, and cassette in a box. There are pictures out there. Can't explain their drag problems, though.
  • + 7
 @ghettoflash: I've said this before, but you touch on how much R&D money Shimano & SRAM have into Derailleurs. That's hard to let go, especially since you're not going to see any reduced cost by switching to gearboxes: road cycling is never going to go gearbox, because the UCI wants to keep road racing bikes "traditional" looking. So no matter what, Shimano & SRAM have to continue to invest in derailleur development.

For this reason, I think you're going to see a separate company, like Pinion or Effigear bring this mainstream. there's just too much expenditure for an established drivetrain company to take a risk on gearboxes.

@kabanosipyvo I would honestly take that as an intermediary between current tech & gearboxes. especially with 50t cogs.
  • + 5
 @ghettoflash: The way I see it the gearbox industry is more focused on the other billion dollar industries that it serves. There is already the drive to produce efficient gearboxes from the auto, aerospace, and energy industries. Provided these are on a much larger scale. But still, from an economic standpoint I don't see why they would want to dive into a new industry. Especially one that many applications engineers would tell you isn't a good fit for a gearbox. What I think would be much cooler to see on bikes is a CVT style drive.
  • + 3
 @teamAWESOME: the Honda bike wasn't a gearbox, it was a cassette and mech inside a box..
^^^beat me too it ^^^
  • + 5
 @bat-fastard: Yea, Pinkbike needs to start looking at AJAXing up their comment system so you don't have to refresh to see new additions.
  • + 13
 @ghettoflash: "There is no current demand for really efficient gearboxes"

Cars, compressors, turbines (jet, wind, hydro, whatever) for power generation... basically any large rotary equipment. A couple percentage points of efficiency in these applications can mean tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in energy savings/sales. The idea of the bicycle industry leading the charge for a more efficient gearbox is kinda silly... if these other industries could get it they'd be beating down doors for it. Other industries (including mine) are light years ahead of the bicycle industry in the use of gearboxes, and yet, when efficiency is paramount you just don't use a gearbox. There's no way around the losses and the noise.

Gearbox tech has been around for hundreds of years. Nobody is about to invent a new tooth profile or lubricant that will magically make them as efficient as direct-drive, belt drive, or chain drive.
  • + 2
 @taquitos: NOW you're talking. I have no idea if it would be practical, but a CVT bike would be super interesting to try!
  • + 2
 @bkm303: magnetic gearboxes?
magnomatics.com
  • + 3
 @ghettoflash: THE REASON for gearboxs being less efficient is that it is two stage drive rather than chain/ mech is direct drive
  • + 0
 @RichardCunningham: wHAT ABOUT SEALED DRIVES?
  • + 1
 @ZigaK13: nah. Putting aside how expensive/heavy it would be to arrange a crapload of very strong permanent magnets in your bike, magnetic gears have a slip threshold at higher torque. Sounds like a recipe for some nasty crashes, right when you're putting in maximum effort!
  • + 1
 I don't know anything about gearboxes other than what i read in these comment sections. I can't help but think that if they were as good as everyone says, then why aren't pro riders on them?
  • + 6
 Honestly it all comes down to both Sram and Shimano's profitability. Gearboxes are heavy(ier) yes but, it only requires 1, ONE oil change per year and thats it. typical systems need a cassette, derailleur, chain and chainring repair/replacement whenever a bike shop tells innocent consumers to.
  • + 7
 @poundsand: because Pro riders are sponsored
  • + 4
 @Kabanosyipivo - the drag in Honda was caused by freehub being in the gearbox itself. Similar drag can be experienced on singlespeeds with freehub in the BB. In such case spinning wheel has to move the chain around all the time and in Honda you had one chain more. Double trouble. In "standard" system the only thing spinning wheel has to overcome is the freehub ratchett. There is no reason why A.gearbox couldn't be made so that freehub is in the hub, and B, you couldn't fix cassette to a wheel, put ratchett mechsnism into the BB and still enjoy shifting without pressing on cranks.
  • + 2
 @bkm303 @ghettoflash Whilst I firmly believe gearboxes are the way of the future for most MTB (trail, enduro and DH - XC race still need to be as efficient as possible therefore will probably keep deraillers) but as @RichardCunningham pointed out they don't scale (at least at the moment). Deraillers have been around for a very long time and are very refined and quite efficient and although I hate to admit it they work quite well. I am sure Shimano and Sram have gearboxes they have been developing (Shimano already has the Alfine and Nexus which are essentially gearboxes) but there is no incentive to release them yet.

I'm not sure if anyone has touched on the servicing of gearboxes... its another plus for the LBS. In the future I see the bike industry going the way of the car industry... there are a few big flashy sales stores and lots of garages that fix cars. The big bike companys will have flashy sales stores and the LBS will service things.

As to putting one money where ones mouth is - now we are down to two wheel sizes and geometry is settling down (I see it still changing for another 5 years albeit slower than now) I think there will be more development of gearbox bikes. The shape of the bike must be right first before you worry about how to make it go forward. I for one will be looking to buy something with a gearbox for my next bike because it makes sense.
  • + 2
 @bkm303: talk to @NoSkidMarks he's got the low down on CVT and most things gearbox for that matter.
  • - 1
 @viatch: yes but still. if gearboxes were so amazing then the bike companies who want riders winning on there bikes would push to use them on their rigs.

If they are so amazing, riders would do better with them, if riders win on certain brands of bikes, those certain brands sell better... therefor the bike manufacturers would be pushing to use them. (i would think)
  • - 3
 If I read "unsprung weight" one more time I'm going to throw my computer out a window. Any of you that think the difference in unsprung weight from a gearbox vs a standard setup or the fact that the weight is carried in the middle vs rear of the bike will make a noticeable difference are either on drugs or you are such a high level rider that nobody here is even worthy of reading your posts. The only time weight maters these days is for a top level pro and even that is questionable given how close the weights are of bikes these days and how much companies are reducing the weight of everything.
  • + 4
 @trialsracer: Totally agree. Been riding GT it-1 and the Zerode for 8+ years and it was a pain going back to derailleur because I haven´t found any Enduro bike I liked with gearbox. Smashed 3 derailleur hangers in 6 months! And don´t let me start talking about the chain slap!
  • + 3
 @groghunter: That's a very good point. If the UCI says no...then that's that until the industry can convince them otherwise. I also agree that an established company will not be willing to sink the capital into developing a product that would compete with their already established offerings and tech.

However, this is a market. As the market grows, business either have to match it or be willing to accept that in the differential between their growth and the market growth is space for competition to root. Think of it as a patch of dirt. If each year that patch grows at a rate that outpaces the growth of the grass, then that is increased room for weeds, or flowers, or anything else that might grow in the new dirt. If there is enough demand, and the market continues to grow...it will happen by the mechanisms that make up commerce. The UCI has pushback, but the tides of market growth are more or less non-relenting. My point, if there is enough demand...it will happen
  • + 4
 @ghettoflash: The example I've used in the past is RAAM bikes. Since RAAM isn't UCI sanctioned, they've been free to experiment with design. www.bikehugger.com/images/blog/raam_09.jpg that bike has no seat tube. That makes it illegal in UCI racing, but they found some serious benefits to the design. It never went any farther than this because of it's limitied application. There's also the Spinachi example: www.cinelli.it/EN/spinaci/storia

The UCI does not always bow to reason.
  • + 1
 @bkm303: you're right, magnetic gears are not viable for mtb use right now. I'm talking about other industries, like wind farms, container ships, trucks, trains ...
After it's developed, and the magnets get even smaller and lighter - then it will be viable, even for road bikes? We'll see in a few years time, or not.
  • + 0
 @poundsand: Honda had Minnaar and Fairclough (and Needles???) on one. Albeit a "mech in a box" it was still a gearbox. I am surprised Nicolai doesn't have a WC team but then they're a fairly small company.
  • + 6
 @warmerdamj: increased unsprung weight is terrible when it is on the rear wheel. I've ridden Rohloffs and they are are susceptible to pinch flats and they bang around when it's rough. You have to run higher pressure otherwise you'll dent your rims (negating one great aspect of tubeless). And I like the product.
  • + 2
 @poundsand and @fartymarty - the nature of business case does not lay close to demand, it's about generating demand. XX1 or droppers or plus sizes blew surprised most people. Then the actual performance is not measurable since man is the engine, traction control and ABS, not to mention that it can lift the bike 2ft off the ground in place or generate speed using hip movement (pumping) and last two treats cannot be done even on MX. Di2 has nothing more to do with performance in road cycling than engineered feel which you are told to like.

Possibilities of buyer manipulation are endless in cycling. Gearboxes are not developed because for big companies it would require submitting a big part of the design (including the part where accountant comes in with his red pen) to a currently not existing mounting standard. There is a difference between coordinating several companies for making more tyre clearance or widening the hub spacing and developing a whole new piece of super precise enginery. Derailleurs are simply easier to mount.

However as RC said in a comment somewhere here, electric motors are bringing us closer to this.
  • + 5
 All these different "standards" cannot survive. There will be a purging in the next couple of years.
I'm not buying any of these "standards" until I know the standards will last longer than a few dozen months.
  • + 8
 @abzillah: it won't. It's planned obsolescence 3.0, it comes from clothing industry and it iscalled fast fashion. People buy and sell bikes before they break them in. People buy bikes for a race and then sell it.
  • + 9
 Shout out to @ghettoflash for sparking an excellent debate in the comments section. All of these responses are kind, respectful, educated (enough) and interesting to read. Good job mate
  • + 2
 @Lookinforit: Thanks man!

I love talking about this stuff! Very few people in my life care.
  • + 2
 @taquitos: speaking of jockey wheels, Alberto Contador had a custom cage with massive jockey wheels in an attempt to improve efficiency. I read many years ago that one of the major points of power loss was the circuitous path of the chain through such small wheels.
  • + 12
 To all of you who think there is going to be an amazing in industrial advance in gearbox tech, let's look at the facts.

Chain Drive = 95-98% efficiency

Not bad, we've seen these numbers. Basically hard to beat, now let's look at what makes up a bike gearbox using the effigear setup for simplicity.

Assumptions;
Final chain drive = 98% max efficiency
Helical Gear = 98% max efficiency (used in the first stage of the effigear)
Spur Gear = 98% max efficiency (used in the actual shifting stage of the effigear)
Gearshafts = frictionless

Gearing Estimation;
Stage 1 = Cranks to lower gear cluster with helical (98%)
Stage 2 = Gear reduction through spur gears (98%)
Stage 3 = Output shaft to rear wheel (98%)

Stage1 * Stage 2 * Stage3 = total efficiency
.98*.98*.98 = 94% MAX efficiency

So the best possible case for this efficiency would be 94% efficient and that's with frictionless gearshafts which we all know is impossible. This makes the ~90% efficiency figure of the Pinion gearbox pretty good especially as they have a more complex configuration.

Will it ever be possible to make a gearbox as efficient as a chain drive? Maybe? But it would take some pretty crazy inventing power to increase the efficiencies of the components beyond 98%.

But is it worth the removal of the derailleur, cleaner packaging, and reduction of unsprung weight? Maybe. There are tradeoffs as with anything else. Do I want one even with the efficiency loss? You bet I do. It's sexy. And expensive. And sexy.
  • + 1
 @SickEdit: You can check the internet, it's out there. Actually, here's one with a perfect SS. I'm sure you can figure out approximately what a dirty chain would be. Also, this shows the gearboxes BEFORE they have broken in. fcdn.mtbr.com/attachments/drivetrain-shifters-derailleurs-cranks/1061303d1459508136-do-you-have-pinion-gearbox-bike-come-pinion-efficiency.jpg

@ghettoflash @bkm303 @groghunter excellent discussion and points, lads.
  • + 2
 @bkm303: This is really debateable. I can't argue that other industries aren't looking for more efficient drive trains and gearboxes. What I will argue is the power input and duty cycle is order of magnitude higher in a car, jet, crusher, etc. In many of these industries, efficiency has to be balanced against a very large duty cycle and power input. Gears have to be stronger, surface hardness has to be higher, and everything that holds the assembly together has to be more robust. I don't think this is the case with bikes. Maybe some peak torque loads? I'm not sure.

I'm not dismissing what you're saying though, as now my argument is double speaking. However, there are some new tooth profiles that are making changes. They are very hard to make, but manufacturing tech might catch up.

If I was an aerospace engineer, I probably wouldn't waste too much time designing a super efficient system that doesn't meet my other performance criteria.
  • + 2
 @ghettoflash: Yeah I get it too... Start getting excited about things like this and people's eyes kinda gloss over hahaha. Basically my favourite part about this site is the interesting tech and subsequent discussions. Good times Smile
  • + 2
 @ghettoflash: On one count there, you're actually wrong: If you look up the amount of torque a normal human puts out just standing on the pedals, we actually rival cars, & can exceed them by quite a bit best consensus I've seen is we can max out around 300Ft/lbs. We just don't have the horsepower to turn that torque into speed. www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/210283-maximum-human-torque.html

TL: DR: a bicycle gearbox actually has to withstand more torque than most motorcycle gearboxes do.
  • + 3
 @groghunter: Wow! That's damn impressive. I guess it makes sense when you consider the force of a person landing on their pedals and the radius of the crank. Thanks for sharing!

I'm now interested in the impact forces associated with backlash in automobiles.Maybe they are so robust because of the rate of acceleration? We may rival cars, but why are car transmissions hundred of pounds? To handle the reactive forces of a large mass?

To my study!!! ~flashes cape disappears in a cloud of smoke~
  • + 7
 Yeah, bring on the gear boxes where chain angle and position can be stabilized to a single position. Why the hell can't everyone see the advantage to getting rid of both derailleurs. Before you talk smack do your research. An internal system can use a gates or any other Kevlar belt drive that is much lighter, quieter and lower maintenance.

The Pinnion is heavy, twice the weight of Shimano's Alphine internal hub. With Shimano Steps XT e mid drive just announced how hard would it be to use that same interface for a mid drive Alphine gear box? There is your next project OneUp.

Shimano can lighten Alphine, make it stronger and add a 12th gear if they must. More sensible would be a simple internal two speed rear hub and 8 speed in the front. That would keep the relationship between crank and wheel fixed and therefore be a better system that is easier to work around.

Stop buying into this bullshit that derailleurs are the only way to shift gears on a bicycle. Its stupid. All other chain driven systems have the chain wheels in line. All other outdoor transmissions are sealed. DUH. All of the narrow wide, chain guides and clutch derailleurs are not innovations or improvements they are simply things that help force a chain driven system to work with offsets and chain angles chain driven systems were never intended to have.
  • + 0
 @groghunter: Exactly. It's not an easy problem you can solve by throwing money at it.
  • + 4
 @ghettoflash: The mid drive e bike mount will also bring gear boxes to the masses. As for their lower efficiency that's more myth than truth in the real world of dirt, wear and the horrendous chain angles of 10 spd+ and 1x.

There already are mount brackets to put mid drive motors on regular frames and such brackets have been used to mount Alfine hubs as gear boxes on DH bikes. It will be the aftermarket like OneUp and small independent bike companies who will lead us to gear boxes just as they did most recently with 29r and 27.5 wheels.

If the Alfine actually is much less efficient than a derailleur system at its average and maximum offset gear combos that would have been fixed by now had they put as much effort into Alfine as they have into the shit they have been selling us for the past 25 years.
  • + 1
 @ghettoflash: At least part of it is going to be grip, & the mass to be moved: we produce a lot of torque, but a transmission we're driving doesn't have to transfer that force to move 1000s of lbs, nor do bikes have anywhere near the grip that car does. Torque+grip+lack of movement is what starts stripping teeth off gears.

Also, auto transmissions don't weigh as much as you think: an AX5, which is a light duty truck transmission, is under 100lbs(at least without fluid.)
  • + 1
 @ghettoflash: Also compare a gates drive with those other two. Mud might affect the pulley interface, they have worked around most of that though, but mud will not cause the belt to bind up like it can do to a chain.
  • + 4
 @teamAWESOME: Internal hubs don't have the same amount of drag. Internal hubs will also improve when they start focusing on building them for performance. Shimano is so far ahead of SRAM on internal drives it really seems to be the place they could stop SRAM's march to the top od the heap dead in their tracks. Too bad they don't seem to see it.
  • + 0
 @knarf1: That will be one of the options. While riding the Lapierre Overvolt I thought a lighter e drive used in the manner you describe would be and will be a great option. Screw the haters.
  • + 2
 @taquitos: That 95% you speak of is in ideal conditions, no dirt, wear or offset. In real life the efficiency isn't that high. It may not be a lot lower but it is lower.
  • + 5
 @RichardCunningham: Shimano had the lower cost Nexus as well as Alphine. They could convert more production lines as needed. Nexus could come back. Lower line could also mean combos like Sram's Dual Drive 3 speed internal/ 7 speed derailleur hub until production increases and improvements lower the cost per unit.

As I said above it will be the aftermarket who starts making conversion kits to use the Alfine as a gear box that will increase demand and help push internal shifting forward to the masses. Had Shimano put the money and effort spent on Di2 into an internal shift system imagine where internal shifting would be by now. Of course the same can be said for Sram and Hammerschidt.
  • + 3
 @RichardCunningham: So what your saying is that Shimano is working on a gear box. That would explain why they have been so far behind Sram as of late. If anybody can do it well they can.
  • + 7
 @whilgenb: R&D takes money, changing tooling and production lines takes more money. I was in a meeting with a shimano rep back when they were testing a 35 speed internal gear system with guys like Greg Herbold. When asked when we would see the system in production he said we wouldn't because Shimano invest too much in derailleur systems.

Its a similar deal with Sram and 1x. with its horrendous chain line and until now lack of range isn't good for consumers its good for SRAM. A 1x crank is simpler than a multi crank, takes less time to make, fewer skews to inventory, 1x instead of 1x 2x and 3x, and lets them with Eagle eliminate their front derailleur division and all the expenses that go with it.

Hey, did SRAM charge less for their 1x cranks? No, they charge more. Lower cost for them same high cost for you equals more profit for SRAM. You think Sram will pass the savings on when they eliminate derailleurs? They haven't so far so why would they now?
  • - 2
 @davemud: damn you're annoying. We've been over every single one of the many posts you've consecutively made. There is no way around the lower efficiency of a gearbox and the dirt argument is null since you still have to get power from the pedals to the hub with a gearbox too. On top of that a well designed chain negates bad chain line. I would never buy a gearbox driven bike because how sluggish the pedaling would feel would drive me insane. Now shall we continue beating a dead horse?
  • + 4
 @taquitos: Idk man the first like 30 comments were great... I think that this'll become another debate. Just like the people who can't stand 29ers or the good ol' "carbon fiber is devil's stuff" argument.
I am interested in the development of these technologies. Definitely a gearbox somewhere down the line could (should) be viable, but what if we come up with a chain that can bend on two axes instead of just the one? Chainline problems gone!
All the things happening in this rapidly changing industry are so exciting I'm happy we could have this 40+ comment opinion-fest.
  • + 1
 @Lookinforit: I'm all for progressing the discussion, but it drives me crazy when someone goes back and references a bunch of posts higher up. Chains currently do bend. That's why they can do 1x12. Could be better though. They definitely wear worse if they are run at a bad angle a lot. Bikes just really aren't the application for gearboxes though. I really think a cvt with a tensioner would be much better or a new take on a derailleur.
  • + 1
 @taquitos: Yeah I just hope that people will occasionally take a step back from improving something and try to find a new way to do it.
You're right though, if you're gonna post something, please please please make sure it wasn't said already thanks Smile
  • + 2
 Funny all these people whining about gear box's but I don't see one of them with a Zerode which has a gear box lol just shut the beep up already your arguments are getting old
  • + 4
 Zerode have released indicative pricing. USD 3395 for the Frame and then USD 1375 for the Gearbox.

Who is still keen?

Im very keen to test one but the price would put it out of reach for most and it meant that its no longer a certainty for me. It has to be mind-blowingly amazing for me to even contemplate going ahead with it. Never say never though.
  • + 0
 I'm still happy camping 1X Zee rear 28X40t bomb proof. Me pushing a 4lb gearbox uphill, is never going to happen engineers think about it.
  • + 5
 @ghettoflash: Yes but you also need to consider energy saved by not having to push a mech up gears, being able to be in the right gear more often, not having to think always about when you can change in rocky sections, corners etc, not having to power hard to lighten chain tension to soft pedal a change through, not putting up with a slightly out of tune mech, chain guide or chain. At the end of the ride I think these make up for a lot more than maybe 10% less efficiency in a lab. Also need the tester to be used to a gearbox, so they're taking full advantage of being able to change any time.
  • + 0
 @teamAWESOME: Just because it was honda, doesn't mean it was done right. Lahar had better results in New Zealand Worlds with a Rohloff as gearbox. Honda was chasing patents as much as results I suspect.
Gearbox advantages mean less energy lost from being in the right gear more often and other smaller gains. All out efficiency lost in a lab isn't a fair comparison. Caleries lost at the end of a ride is more to the point.
  • + 5
 @kathwill: Zerodes reliabilty is ten fold over any other DH drivetrain. Watch any DH race and you'll see failed mechs.
Profit is the only reason gearboxes aren't out. When they are by the big brands they'll be made light and perishable to support probability.
  • + 3
 @taquitos: then theres damaged or out of tune drivetrains we all put up with every now and then. Less likely with a gearbox. and again, being in the right gear more often with a gearbox isn't taken into consideration in a lab test.
  • + 5
 @RichardCunningham: sounds a bit biased.
I have a gearbox bike(a few) and a mech bike. and I can tell you I would rather take the gearbox bike to conserve energy on a long or arduous ride than the bike with a mech. Mech bike is 29er, gearbox 27", would still choose the gearbox. and would expect far less chance of mechanical issues out in the middle of nowhere.
Centralized weight, being in the right gear more often, are two massive bennefits to gearboxes that can't be justified by numbers and lab tests. Ride a gearbox for a year, get fully used to it, then ride a bike with a mech and you're saying to yourself what is this primitive monstrosity of a gearchange system, bullying the chain up a group of sprockets. Mechs are a joke.
  • + 1
 @viatch: another aspect that can get forgotten is tooling. The two S's wouldnt abandon mechs, so gearboxes would require an expanded or altogether new manufacturing facility and machining and tooling within. The expense of that, only to build something that competes against your own established product would have to be a way bigger slam dunk forbcorporate to invest the capital. Obviously going from 8-9-10-11-12 speed is going to require tooling, but only changes within an existing system. The industry of this industry is super interesting to me, and so multifaceted. Love this comment thread already.
  • + 1
 @kabanosipyvo: There was minimal drag on it. just a ton of money involved with no ROI.
  • + 3
 @bkm303: Honda origonaly had CVT.
  • + 3
 @poundsand: because they're paid to ride mechs so we buy them. SIMPLE as that. 95% of sponsored riders probably would ride other brand bikes if not being payed. They don't choose a brand based on performance. All brands are good enough now pretty much.
  • + 1
 @poundsand: Look at any rider that has changed to a Zerode. Nearly all are more succesful racing. Look at how many races are lost from drivetrain mechanicals, then compare that to Zerodes also. Race results are how they are because Shimanno and Sram pay for them to be that way through sponsoring the best riders or brands that do.
  • + 2
 @warmerdamj: Nonsense. With a Pinion the weight is at the BB. Not at arms length out the back. Hold a cassette and mech at arms length in your wanking arm(cause it's stronger)and just a sprocket in the other. Hold your hands out to your side at shoulder height, tell us what one drops first. It's only a small bennefit to gearboxes, but it all adds up.
A gearbox bike could also run a shorter axle and narrower hub with the same dish and save weight there too.
  • + 2
 @Raffe: yeah, people don't get how bad mechs are because it's all they know. They're used to putting up with poor shifting, having to power hard to soft pedal, putting up with being in not quite the right gear, not quite well tuned gears, keeping their mech away from rocks, less chain ring clearance, less noise, less chance of failure, less maintenance, etc etc.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: They do have riders in WC I think.
  • + 3
 @taquitos: I don't notice any sluggishness with my Pinion. Keep flogging your dead horse mate. ride a gearbox for six months, then come forward with an experienced debate.
  • + 0
 @NoSkidMarks: if iwas bad at predicting performance off of well researched numbers I would be out a job. On a dh bike there are a billion other things that create more resistance than your gearbox. Even the tires are aweful for pedaling. Slap a chain guide on and see how it feels. Your lack of a chain guid offsets the gearbox. I'm talking about bikes run 1x with no chain guide though... on a long ride I have no desire to forgo some watts since you definitely notice it if you ride for long enough. I've ridden plenty of other setups that are only slightly less efficient than what I'm on now and it is quite noticeable.
  • + 2
 @taquitos: Perhaps one day you'll get to eperience all the bennefits of a gearbpx and see they save energy compared to some lab tests suggestions. and even if they still don't, the amount of lost energy is still less than stated.
  • - 1
 @NoSkidMarks: I guess we'll agree to disagree. For me the pros aren't worth the cons. The only real derailleur problem I've ever had is one unthreading from the hanger up at whistler.
  • + 3
 Zerode Taniwha, simple game over, or should be, but people r sheep! hence ever changing stds yet crap remains the same, people r easily lead, esp in this industry, baaaaaa!
  • + 3
 @RichardCunningham: As Mountain bike enthusiasts we often forget how small our market is, when you compare it to the general purpose bike market I.e entry level Mountain bikes and the road bike Market. Gear boxes currently and in the conceivable future are going to be too expensive for the entry level market and they are not efficient enough for the road market. Even if you invest millions and get the price down in the enthusiast market they are going to be the equivalent of xtr etc which is a tiny market compared to deor slx etc. So you have a product that will be a niche within cycling and a niche within that niche. As you can see why it doesn't stack up for manufacturers to invest in gearboxes
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Cassette and mech in a box actually makes a tone of sense - more than a heavy pinion type. If you had a freehub to the rear wheel, then drag should not be much worse. Additional drag would come from the extra chain and sprokets to exit the drive to the main chain. You could use existing mech and Cassette technology so not too much r&d cost. Electric shifting. A small company like Hope could make one pretty easily.
  • + 1
 @bat-fastard:
The first one was a CVT. It was banned by the UCI and replaced with a cassette and derailleur in a box.
Possibly. Or truth is it wasn't terribly efficient.
ridemonkey.bikemag.com/threads/new-honda-rn01-at-keystone-bike-park.234712/page-2
  • + 1
 @bat-fastard:
The first one wasn't. It was CVT. But I don't think it was ever raced. ridemonkey.bikemag.com/threads/new-honda-rn01-at-keystone-bike-park.234712/page-2
  • + 6
 @RichardCunningham: talk nicely to Zerode, fly to NZ, ride incredible trails, compare transmissions, drink incredible beer, fly home, write article. Easy!
  • + 1
 @ShreddieMercury: That beat was taken from the Too Short song "I love", which I can image SRAM singing to RC

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hakIIk7AU9o
  • + 1
 @kabanosipyvo: they did that after the gearboxes to try another way.
  • + 1
 @dwojo: Well the 12 spd Eagle will set you back $1500 and a Nomad frame will set you back another $3000 so it's not that far off.....
  • + 1
 @Lahar72: I hope Zerode don't open the door to a possible bias review by a reviewer payed by the competition. People are just going to have to work it out for themselves unfortunately.
There was a Lahar reviewed years ago by a magazine here in Oz. They put it in a group shoot out against the distributors wishes. The other bikes all beat it, the other bikes all had massive advertisments in the magazine. Basicly an infomertail.
The Lahar is still ahead of most bikes and it's what, ten years old. Press fit BB, same size BB bearings as headset, gearbox, carbon, current geo now ten years ago, and many other little great ideas. The Lahar is definitly a better bike than a Mongoose or Giant of the time, it was tested against.
  • + 1
 @Lahar72: that's what it sounds like, but to me it's still not clear whether they ever raced the CVT version. I'm certainly no expert on the esoteric historical minutiae of possibly campaigned, but never manufactured bicycle transmissions though.
  • + 3
 @Raffe: the same thing that happened to the " small and unnoticeable in your pocket" mobile phone debate...
  • + 1
 @bat-fastard: That was the 2nd gen because the first gen had too much drag. On the outside they looked the same but 1st gen had a weird reciprocating arm thingy and was a "gearbox".
  • + 3
 Gearbox may have too much drag but that is a problem that grows smaller the more travel the bike has. Efficiency losses are mainly a thing of racing. Nobody should really care about that when not racing. For XC 8% efficiency loss is a game over, Enduro, well hard to tell. For EWS gearbox is a no go, too much pedalling, for own use, it's an option just like PLUS tyres having more rolling resistance and that trend will go big. For DH both GB weight and efficiency are non issues, as long as ratchett mechanism sits in the rear hub. Bikes of pros are often above 35lbs. Gearbox equipped DH bike will always be faster than derailleur equipped bike (considering same geo, componentry and suspension layout) because the rear end bouncing up doesn't have to carry 1lbs more weight. Dirt and GMBN tested bike with and without chain and differences with and without pedaling were so little that they are completely irrelevant for anyone who doesn't race DH World Cups.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: The preview of the Shimano XT e drive on Dirt looked interesting. If this becomes the future at least we may get a standard gearbox / e-drive mount. What you choose to have at your bottom bracket and hanging off you back wheel is up to you.
  • + 3
 Use a gear box and you only have one chain line to the rear sprocket and the chain does not effect the suspension. Derailluers compromise the action of the suspension. Derailluers suck! Sram read the top comments . Then sell us what we want. Not some new and improved crap.
  • + 81
 Its like the razor companies. Two blades is better than one, no, three blades is better than two, wait, you need four blades. The new Schick Quatro with lubricating strips. NO FIVE BLADES is BEST!!!! the Mach 5 from Gillette, the best a man can get!
  • + 153
 Then the stupid e-razors came out, and I was all like What? Electronics don't belong on a razor.
  • + 2
 double post, my bad.
  • + 25
 @steelpolish: I know right! Now they are putting these loud exploding box things inside of our coaches?! what the hell is that? Horse drawn carriage 4 life yo.
  • + 18
 I was going to say the same about the smarphone industry too. Same point. Let shove more shit into it, damn now we need a faster processer, woah, now we can shove more shit into it, now we need a faster multi core processor or multiple processors, cycle continues and now we have phones that cost 1200. Pahah suckers
  • + 5
 perfect analogy, actually!
  • + 23
 @curtaincarot: If we evolved from monkeys, how come there are still monkeys? Checkmate eBikes.
  • + 11
 Let's not forget plus+ razors! An extra blade on the back that feels a bit vague around the jaw corners.
  • + 4
 Safety or straight razor is the only way.
  • + 3
 @BrownestBiker: I've been shaving with a straight for about 2 years and can't imagine going back to cartridge. May not be as quick but the shave not to mention not paying a small fortune in replacement cartridges.
  • + 8
 @makripper: Very soon, our shifter will text the rear mech what to do next... While fetching your emails, updating your Facebook, Twitting your gear rations live on the web ... Hey, wait a minute, my neighbourgh just got one. I want one too!!!
  • + 2
 I can still buy sensor excel with two blades... What am I saying?! Use razor or grow a beard if you want to call yourself a man! Big Grin
  • + 1
 Now that you wrote about self lubricating, the next derailleur to come out will have an oil cartridge that lubes the chain periodically lol
  • + 1
 Dara just summed up men so accurately with that one! The exact same thing is happening now with this here. When will we ever learn?
  • + 1
 @yeti951SD: found the hipster! Jk i'd like to learn the straight blade. Easy to do it by yourself?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: that's like using a 7spd stx rc component group. Nah not even stx rc, just regular stx.
  • + 1
 @poundsand: already been done: Rohloff Lubmatic. It sounds like I'm joking but I'm not. And you will LOL again when you see it.
  • + 3
 are you saying theres going to be a a 5bucks a month rear hub spacing option...sign me up
  • + 1
 @steve9train: this thread gives me hope for pinkbike.
  • + 1
 @makripper: it's not bad, there is a bit of a learning curve but the worst i've ever cut myself would have been equal to a little nick from a cartridge razor. Had a decent technique down after about 4-5 shaves and was pretty comfortable after a month. Understanding how the hair grows on your face is very important because everyone is a little different. I keep trying to teach my wife so she can touch up my neck but maybe that's best for the barber!
  • + 1
 I still stuck with those rectangular razorblades with the slot in the middle (Gilette Supersilver, Wilkinson Classic etc). I don't shave often enough so my beard gunks up these small gaps between all those multi-blade razor systems. It is as safe as those multi blade systems as well as the holder keeps the blade at the proper angle anyway. And if you mess up, you have one single cut, not five Wink !
  • + 1
 @makripper: those $1200 cell phones this year are paper weight next year at least bikes hold their value a bit better than that
  • + 53
 Missing a bit of math? 1050 has still LESS range than a dual. Just do the math for 26/36 with 1142 (or 1140) cassette. Want more: 26/38 and you are are at 560%, use 1146 and you are ready to cross the Alps with a tent on tow.

And yes, you need a low hanging long derailleur, something that was only necessary for a triple.

And yes, shifting is questionable, not even close to the performance of a dual and a more compact cassette.

And yes. elephant in the room, the spacing of the SRAM cassette is silly, with 20% gap at the extremes and 10 speeds wasted to go 12 to 42.

And yes, a 50 cog will influence cinematic more than a dual.

So ... bring on a 56 and let's see where this silliness is taking us
  • + 11
 Good points.
In many situations 1 by doesn't bring more than "hey look, my cockpit is cleaner", and chain retention can be improved.

Weight gains? Yeah sometimes but more unsprung weight with heavy cassettes.

And please don't say there's less hassle with a 1by and 10-50 cassette than a 2by...

I know it's personal but as Richard Cunningham says, how many sacrifices just to drop the front derailleur ?Personally I would love a 10-36 1x10
  • + 3
 And yes, thank you for bringing this up.
  • + 1
 Running a 32x10-25 on my trail duty dreamliner and still living to tell the tale!
Just waiting for the 70 tooth cassette :p
  • + 10
 @uuno, During my last visit at Lake Garda I decided to take my time and count mountain bikes passing by in this European mecca of MTB. You will hardly find a place where on a casual summer day, you can count 100 bikers in a matter of two hours. So I sat there eating gelato and watching my kids play on the playground on 3 different occassions. I counted bikes qualifying as mountain bikes and skipped junk. So, how many of what kind of bikes fits in 100. by average 60% were some form of XC hardtails. 20% were full suspension XC/XCish bikes. The rest was Enduro. There were 3 DH bikes I saw in total during 3 counts.

Now that means that front derailleur is nowhere close to be dead. Staggering majority of people ride double and tripple chainrings. The only question is: who stopped the time in 1995 for so many people? The answer is: some people just won't adapt. Rationality does not exist and we may as well argue about why won't Baboons wear underpants to hide that disgusting big, red arse?

I don't give a flying fk about front mechs existence. I want GEARBOX
  • + 8
 @WAKIdesigns: had a long ride at the weekend on a hard saddle, I may need those Baboon pants.
  • + 0
 So wait, you didn't have enough range with a 3x setup with an 11/36. Now you need a 2x setup with an 11/42? If the FD lives then why not stick with 3x? Maybe they should develop 4x so that we can get to 1000% range differentials?

99.999% of riders are not going to be crossing the Alps with a tent in tow so that is a ridiculous requirement to try and fulfill. XX1/XO1 took care of the large majority of riders from a gearing perspective. In fact I don't know of a single person still running a 2x setup, but I also don't circulate in the XC crowds either. Most of the riders I know are running 34T rings as well despite the fact that riding locally has a lot of elevation change. Eagle gives even more options for riders looking to make the switch. If you want to stick with old tech and run FD's have fun. More options is never a bad thing.
  • + 1
 @Uuno: I am confused by your statements. You seem to be against Eagle, but then say you want 10-36 1x10. Are you saying that you want a smaller gear ratio? What is the difference between a 10-36 with a 32T and 10-42 with a 36? Same low range with even more top end.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I'm curious what cutoff constituted as a real mountain bike. I don't think not wanting to adapt has anything to do with them being stuck in 1995, but rather it is cost.

As someone who was shopping for an new bike, it would have cost me $4600 CAD for an almunimum Norco Sight with GX 1x11 or $5200 for the carbon version. Stumpjumper 6Fattie with GX would be $4600. Cannondale Bad Habit 1 at $4500 and the Norco Torrent 7.1 at $3400.

My wife has an entry-level Giant Talon from 2015. $600 for a 3x8, and she was balking at the price. I am sure my LBS sells many, many more of those than the Trance and the Reign.

Anyways, I decided there wasn't enough value in buying a new bike with 1 x 11. Ended up building a bike from a 2016 Carbon Sight frame purchased on here with 1 x 11 for about the cost of the entry level aluminum version. I can't imagine the average person seeing the sense in purchasing a bike for the price of one that comes with 1 x 11.

Despite what people say, 1 x 11 is still far from cheap.
  • + 0
 @Uuno: Just had that done and picked it up yesterday. Love it and enough for me. The best part is it ran me $131.00 parts and labor. Converted it from a 2x
  • + 2
 All I want is a cassette that doesn't look f'ing rediculous and doesn't have stupid gaps in the range that make pedalling at my preferred cadence a pain in the arse. I'd happily have a electronic 2x 11-32, synchro shift the crap out of it and it'd be perfect for mine (and I'm sure the majority) of riders. Just a few years ago we were riding around with no complaints on that range, so why is everyone being softcocks now?
  • + 1
 Exactly my thoughts!
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: They probably come from a roadie background. They're never going to get rid of 2x. For the record I got rid of all my front mechs in about '97 and have been riding 1x since.
  • + 4
 @salespunk: I think people overlook the entire purpose of the 50t ring, it's not to get a lower granny gear, it's to get more top end gearing. I hate 30t front, almost no ability to pedal down hill when you need it
  • + 4
 @fartymarty: off course they do Wink Swedish DH racing barely exists, Swedish Enduro Series Race has like 120 participants. Cykelvasa marathon has 20fkng thousand showing up. All over the world there are roadies occasionally riding dirt, there are thriathletes doing that too, then there's a huge bunch of other people who like gravel and flat bars. They are many maaaaany more than statisctical Pinkbike user kind of people. We are outnumbered. We are the 300 Spartans! We are here to fight for 26" wheels and flat pedals!
  • + 1
 @Norski: Freaking hilarious!!! Do baboons where enduro goggles?
  • + 2
 @rrsport: what kind of shitty mountain bike trails are you riding where you can maintain a 'preferred' cadence? Are you cycling with your grandma?
  • + 2
 @theorifice: you clearly never ride if you haven't experienced the crappy moments with xx1 where you're either spinning or grinding because the gaps are too large
  • - 4
flag Maverickdh00 (Apr 28, 2016 at 22:37) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: people dont know what they dont know, thats hardly a scientific reason why the front derailuller is still popular, its more of an effect of dumb humans still riding what a stupid LBS sold them and nothing has changed since some retard school kid wanna be bike wrench put the bike together, most people are sheep, buy cheap and dont know the arse end of said bike if they fell over it , it has wheels bars and goes forward, yeah must be a mtn bike aye!
  • + 1
 @theorifice: Don't blame @rrsport . Multisporters just don't quite get N'Duro.

:P
  • + 11
 Right on.

The supposed death of the FD goes hand in hand with the "I live only for the DH" attitude. Silly attitude when 95% of the time you spend on your $5000 rig is spent pedaling uphill.

DH is fun and I have a DH bike and do plenty of lift assist, but real AM/trail riding is still my favorite, and I love tech climbing. Having a 2x goes hand in hand with steep, sustained, tech climbs.

Just rode Moab, and I chuckle when I see the young bucks on their 1x who can't tech climb to save their lives, and are walking upper Ahab, but "live for the DH". Then turn out to be not so fast on the DH either!

Some of the best rider I know are in their 40s, who've been at it for 20 plus years, and most are still on 2x. They like crushing both the steep techy climbs and the DH - you know, trail riding.

I don't think plate sized cassette cogs with a meter of chain and a RD cage th length of a golf club is the answer.
  • + 3
 @rrsport: I care about cadence on my road bike, but on my mountain bikes, I want wide range and simplicity, to respond to quick changes in terrain, I couldn't care less about perfect cadence. I would ride a 1x6 or 1x7 10-50 if I could buy it. I don't need 12 cogs
  • + 3
 @xeren: There's a 9 speed Pinion with quite a wide range.
  • + 4
 @xeren: I agree with this 100%, give me a 1x5 10-42 with a clutched derailleur and I'd be happy. I hate having to click through a ton of gears every hill, and I usually always shift 3+ gears at a time anyway
  • + 2
 My 2012 reign has a fd and I have no issues with it and would rather have the extra option of the 2by rather than 1by I'll admit using 3by is pretty crappy but a bash and 2by work exceptionally well for me
  • + 3
 @Uuno:

Yeah, I honestly couldn't really give a shit about 12 speeds.


f*ck, give me 8 speeds with 10-42 cassette range and I'd be happy. Easy 4 tooth jumps between each cog and that'd be perfect.
  • + 2
 @brussell: 16 speeds with 2 tooth jumps will be made before your dream (or gearboxes) are even considered.
The recurring profit from the mech system outweighs any possible starter price for a gearbox. Its about $
  • + 1
 @brussell: 4 tooth gaps wouldn't create a good cassette...
  • + 1
 @siderealwall2: I hate to say it but you are probably right.
  • + 2
 @salespunk I'm not "against" Eagle, I just find it hard to justify for anyone. As I said one undeniable benefit of sticking to 1by is chain retention with better chain guide options. So I don't understand who needs DH worthy chain retention (possible only with 1by), and gearing that suits both mtbiking (low gears ie 24x36) and commuting (high gears ie 44x11) on the same bike.
My bike is a compromise with 34x11-36, it's not ideal for commuting to the trail, but perfect on sweet singletracks. And why not 10-42 for those who want it.
Then choose your ring appropriately, cf @lRaphl who points out that less fit people need smaller rings, not a wider gearing.
Why 10-36 over 10-42? because 360% would be just enough for me and 420% would bring only more weight and a longer RD. To each their own, I just wanted to say that it's personal and in my case my perfect setup dosen't exist except custom cf @garcmol

@WAKIdesigns so you're saying the FD should die but some people just won't adapt?
If they stick to the FD I assume it's because it works (no dropped chains etc). On my hardtail I have 2x10, which works fine and is sweet when I cycle on the pavement to the trail.
Another example is my gf's 2x9, she's ready to adapt but it's just not worth the price (she would need 10x42, so XD driver, new RD, new shifter, new cassette, 28t ring which is impossible on a 104BCD etc).
And my drivetrains work fine so I don't understand this gearbox greed yet Smile
  • - 1
 @Uuno: front mech should die. My wife loves 1x setup with wide range cassette. One lever less to operate. Also if you go to a place like Lake Garda you find people riding with crossed chains on RS-1 equipped bikes. Go talk to a boss at any larger bike store, they will tell you that people want front mechs because they want more gears. My father in law said it to me, that he wants 9 speeds on his crappy merida recreational bike because 8 speeds is not enough gears. He wants an upgrade. Yes we are so dumb when considered as a whole as human race. Prevailence of the front mech and adding gears to the rear has nothing to do with fully reasonable arguments you are bringing.
  • + 8
 LOL! That's an awesome pic...
  • + 3
 lol
  • + 9
 wa-ha-wow, that is a looooong chain
  • + 6
 @groghunter: Every time I see a pro XC rider, I just want to start a fund for them and donate all of them dropper posts and 2 extra bolts for the brake rotors. On topic, that chain is huge!
  • + 6
 Wow.. that chain probably weighs twice as much as a dropper post.
  • + 5
 Holy shit its TEAM-ROBOT! There hasn't been a blog post since he sold out to Felt so I thought maybe we'd seen the last of his refreshingly snarky commentary. Did they drop you like a chain on Eagle already?
  • + 0
 HAHA!! Yeah really great Big Grin
  • + 0
 HAHA!! Yeah really great Big Grin
  • + 0
 @CaptainBLT: looks like he sold all his felt bikes already so probably
  • + 2
 @FrEeZa: Absalon used a dropper post in Cairns, looking for seconds in the rockgardens...
  • - 3
 @Gruta: I know, it was the only person I saw with a dropper post, I think there was one more out there. I just wish XC was at a more professional level, mentally.
  • + 41
 the ONLY cool thing about this eagle ""REVOLUTIONARY"" system is ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. the colour.
  • + 40
 Just stop it already. Just like with boost, it's another article praising whatever SRAM does and basically tell us it's better for us and we'll have to accept it. That comment about how we're already used to boost spaced forks... I've never even seen one.
I'm a hard-charging big rider, and I've been riding since the early 90's, and I have never felt in all those years that I needed a 50 tooth cog. If it's steep enough for that, it's just as fast (and probably saps less energy) to walk.
I love pinkbike's coverage of racing and the photos, but bike reviews are nearly always positive, and "opinions" like this leave a sour taste. I know RC has been around the block for a long time, but I'm starting to lose respect for the guy. Maybe he's right, but I, like so many others, are so f*cking sick of new "standards" every month, and the arms race to sell the latest thing. I'm sure it's great gear, and if someone gave it to me for free, I'd rock the hell out of it, but I can't afford to keep up with this shit, and I don't know many folks who can.
You've lost a reader.
  • + 12
 My jaw dropped when I read the line about being "used" to several new standards. Anyone can venture into the comments section and find a whole community that is upset at the new standards
  • + 5
 Don't rattle the hipsters!
  • + 24
 This article reads like the most blatantly paid advertising piece I've ever read....
  • + 9
 @LazarusTaxa: who do you think pays Pinkbikes bills
  • + 4
 I understand the confusion of new "standards" (which are really ideas), but nobody is being forced to buy them. Your current bike works the same as it did yesterday and parts supplies are plentiful. So my question is why be pissed? Should we have stopped at QR's front and rear? How about 11/28 cassettes with 46/36/26 3x? Maybe we should have stayed with 17mm wide aluminum rims? How about cantilever or even U brakes?

My point is the pace of innovation is acceleration across every facet of life. Doesn't matter if it is your TV (480i/720P/1080P/4K), your car (drum brakes>disk brakes, carbs>fuel injection, airbags, navigation, crumple zones) or your home. If you can't afford or don't want the new things that is fine because nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to buy. At some point you might not be able to get replacement parts, but that time is so far off that it is irrelevant. Instead embrace the fact that all of this technology will trickle down to affordable levels soon and improve even casual rider's experiences. Everyone complained about the first full suspension bikes, disk brakes and dropper posts. These are all things that are seen as basic requirements now and most can be found on department store level bikes. If 50T is unnecessary, which I think it is overkill too, then nobody will buy it. Most likely though is that 3 years from now we will all be running it and not even thinking about it.
  • + 4
 I think RC was questioning how far this "just add one cog" thing can go...
  • - 3
 I have the latest and greatest Stumpy FSR 6Fattie with the 1x, Boost, 27.5+, dropper, etc. Love it. As an experiment, I took my old 2010 Trek Fuel (26" 3x9, no dropper, QR release, 2.1" tires) bike out for a ride yesterday.

It sucked! Could I ride the trail? Yes. Was it a pain in the rear to do it? Yes. Was I slower? Yes. Was my other bike significantly more fun? Hell yeah!

It's not about the industry pushing stuff on us, its about giving us better stuff to make mountain biking even MORE fun! Embrace it my brothers!
  • + 8
 Yeah, this was a pathetic article and a paid advertisement if I have ever saw one. It contradicts itself by being called 'the opinion' but then puts fourth all the information as though it were fact. Maybe I should just avoid these segments because it makes us riders look like the muppets that run Sram and pay RC to write this rubbish. And stuff you Sram, for my new bike next year I'll be going 1 x 10 Shimano. And enjoying all the benefits you never will.
  • + 1
 @salespunk: Exactly, I'm not buying it. Some improvements have definitely been good, and I embrace them. But usually years after they've been introduced and proven, or there's no other choice.
The pace of innovation is amazing, and no doubt some great stuff comes out of it. But I'm tired of having everything shoved down my throat like this. I don't need to buy new shit to have fun on a ride. And yeah, I actually thought triples with 11-28 were pretty good back in the day. If that's all there was available today, I'd be just as happy on it. I enjoy reading about all this new stuff and drooling over it like anyone else, but don't tell me it's better and I need to just hurry up and buy it.
To disguise it as an "opinion" is BS.
  • + 3
 @Thustlewhumber: But I bet you enjoyed the hell out of that old bike at the time right? And if you gave it a week, I bet you'd enjoy it again. You can get used to anything.
I'm sure I come off as a luddite, and in a way I am, but I am getting tired of an industry that comes up with some genuinely great ideas, and a million "innovations" that are really just new marketing and sales ideas.
  • - 1
 I was pushed into going "1x" when I used to work at a bike shop. I was afraid that I might not be able to do some of the climbs on my local trails, but the guys at the shop said "if you can't climb it, it's probably too steep to climb anyway." They also assured me that I'll get used to cranking a bigger gear combo--and they're right. I will never, ever, go back to 2x again. I'm even waiting for when road drivetrains adopt 1x as the norm.

I see Eagle as a way to appease the weak climbers, which is fine. But at the same time I feel we're at the point where we're discouraging developing fitness. God only knows how many squats and lunges I do to get better at pedaling.
  • + 1
 @uphill-blues: Getting up a hill in too high a gear uses different muscle groups to spinning up in a lower gear. Just saying. Walking/pushing uses different muscles again. I'm ripped with those muscles ;-)
  • + 40
 GEARBOX
  • + 17
 I'm super pumped on Zeros new trail bike with the pinion gearbox, but I'm just gonna wait a while until all this advances and wrinkles are ironed out down the road. Until then, I'll just continue with my 10spd mega cog set up. That saves me a LOT of money and headache of trying to keep up with the jones.' My concern isn't pedaling up the hill, it's flying down it!!! So 10spd does me real well!
  • + 2
 @diggerandrider:
sorry buddy - fat thumbs on a bumpy bus - you get a +1 from me
  • + 1
 @JungleT: I threw one in on your behalf. Need one more to make it square.
  • + 34
 Listen everyone, Pinkbike says drink the Koolaid so get your credit card and buy the Eagle drivetrain now.
  • + 2
 It sounds like Koolaid up front but actually it's questioning the Koolaid at the end. I don't think people are finishing the article.
  • + 27
 With Di2 coming to XT, staying with a 2x10 or 2x11 drivetrain with a close-ratio two-by crankset and a not-so-big rear cog would keep chain angle to something reasonable and permit the use of a mid-cage rear derailleur. Suspension kinematics would still be easy to manage so that would keep all the advantages! Sure you would have a front derailleur, but who cares if you can program the shift patterns as you like.. and anyway you would only have one shifter to manage!
  • + 5
 Yes suspension kinematics... There are so many blokes running their suspension too soft on gravity bro side of the spectrum and those who overuse lock out for the fireroad crowd. Not to mention those Superflies or Sparks on semi slicks Pumped to 40PSI. The good news is that a tiny group will consciously benefit from Eagle, or rather has already benefited from 11sp XX1. Eagle is a bold move from SRAM. After all these years of going head to head by doing almost the same thing SRAM and Shimano are finally at each others throats with their balls out. Both companies seem to have put out a serious gamble and coming years will show which mutation will suit the conditions best. Let's do the evolution!
  • + 1
 I'm more in line with this kind of thinking. I have used 2X10 and 1X10 and 1X11. I like them all to be honest. I'm actually running a 2X-N-W drivetrain without the FD. Di2 Synchronized shifting is the perfect answer, except that it may end up being a tad heavier, but the range is there with only one control to use. That said, I would love to be on a gearbox bike. I can see the advantages, but I can't see it to be as efficient as a chain-driven bike. As long as you want to give up the efficiency for the convenience, gearboxes are the best option.
  • + 19
 Im all for a bigger range but what Im not all for is more gears. I run 1x10 systems on two bikes and I am constantly double or triple shifting because there is so little difference from one gear to the next, with 12 gears I can't imagine. It's just getting stupid, when I'm riding the trail isn't undergoing slight elevation changes it's technical climbs in a low gear and steep descents in a high gear and it changes quickly. 1x11 is what I have on my road bike and it works great there, for mtb, nope. What I really want is an 8 speed 11-42 cassette.
  • + 19
 Here is what nobody talks about.....

On a bike with two front chainrings:

On a full suspension bike, when you shift to the small front ring, the chain helps keep the suspension from moving, because you are pulling the chain forward BELOW the pivot point. After shifting to the big ring in front, the geometry is more linear (if designed as such).

So you can have your cake and eat it too. With a single front ring, you only have one "geometry".
  • + 4
 This is a well-known phenomena. And while it seems like it helps, it is far, far easier to optimize suspension kinematics around a 1x drivetrain rather than a 2x. That's why most longer travel AM bikes these days don't have a provision for mounting a FD.
  • + 3
 Where are you getting this information from? Out of curiosity, is this an original thought or are you referring to a specific study that evaluates how geometry changes based on shifting?
  • + 4
 Some might argue that when you're in the small chainring on a 2x drivetrain, the effect of stiffening up the suspension is desirable. On most bikes, anti squat is way higher in the little ring. And you're generally climbing while in the little ring, so stiffening up the suspension might not be a bad thing. Of course, too much anti squat can reduce traction on steep climbs, etc. But a well designed frame can make the differences in anti squat between the chainrings work to its advantage.
  • + 7
 @rbernard: They are referring to the anti-squat aspect of kinematics. Dave weagle has some interesting stuff about it on his site. There are many others to read as well. You calculate anti-squat values of various suspension designs using various spreads of gears quite easily if you have a CAD program. You can also download "Linkage", which is a low-cost program were you can load various bike models (or design your own), and check out these kinematic values. I have Linkage, and it's only $25. A very useful tool if your interested in bike design.
  • + 5
 Another handy resource for understanding anti-squat, is the book "Motorcycle and Handling Chassis Design" by Foale.
  • + 2
 @rbernard:
As Mammal said, the book "Motorcycle and Handling Chassis Design" by Foale is one of the best resources on it. Dave Weagle has a few blog posts floating around as well.
  • + 1
 In my understanding anti squat generated by application of the force on top of the chainring and pivot location is one thing. And pivot can be placed wherever it suits you. The higher it is the easier the rear wheel has it to ride over an obstacle. The other thing is application of power per wheel revolution and theoretically that doesn't look as well for high cadence folks. There must be a golden ratio here of how many suspension compressions you get per covered distance. Irrelevant on HTs, and the more relevant on FS, the more travel it has. Let's toss bobbing plus tyre into it.
  • + 1
 Anti squat is based on the position of the CoG and is always calculated with the bike on flat ground. I have a hard time figuring out how its value changes when the bike is tilted upward or downward...
Does somebody know?
  • + 17
 I'm all for 1x (all my bikes are now 1x in fact), but this isn't going to help the front derailleur crowd at all since it only makes chainline issues worse. That's the achilles heel of 11 and 12-speed 1x...deflection noise, difficulty of tuning, and the notorious big cog drop during backpedal.

I haven't experience an iteration of drivetrain that didn't have annoying universal issues though, and 1x solves alot of other problems.
  • + 3
 Some manufacturers, like Liteville, adjust the chainline (Syntace EVO6). Just saying. You're not wrong but there're exceptions.
  • + 7
 I have a brand new 11spd XT drivetrain on a brand new bike with all the correct/recommended parts and I can't seem to get rid of the backpedal derail. It is an incredible design flaw for a company like Shimano, whose well-known product failings were in concept not execution (Dual Control sucked but they were nicely made). Now I'm on a bike that doesn't take a front derailleur whose chainring cannot sit any further inboard clearance-wise, that cannot backpedal in its lowest gear. It's pretty incredible really.
  • + 4
 We need to come up with a name for the 1x10 and 1x11 derail on backpedal in the lowest gear. The OnebyRail? Anyone? Or are we confident we'll solve it quickly enough for it to not need a name?
  • + 0
 @alexsin: why back pedal ?
  • + 3
 @alexsin: It's not a design flaw and it's not Shimano. It's caused by the extreme angle forced by bike frames still designed around 2x and 3x cranks, and huge rear cogs. You will find the problem both on Shimano and SRAM drivetrains. It's also not consistent. It's really a matter of drivetrain and frame combination.

That said it's a moot point because I have yet to hear someone adequately explain to me when a rider would really need to be able to backpedal in their lowest gear.
  • + 2
 @TheRaven: DH racers backpedal in the gate. That's what Pinkbike sees.
  • + 1
 @owl-X: Yup, that's on the list of "well, one time this guy...", but doesn't make the list of reasons riders NEED to backpedal.
  • + 10
 @owl-X: Oh yea, DH racers are totally backpedalling in the gate in a 42t gear all the time. Facepalm
  • + 7
 @TheRaven: My new Evil should be designed around the latest chainline requirements (one would think). Where I live there are lots of super steep, super rough climbs. If you need to restart midway through a section sometimes you need to ratchet a bit to get in your pedals or to avoid a rock. Not being able to do this basically means if I get stalled then I'm resigned to walk the rest of that section, which sucks.

Though it looks like I can get away with a slightly smaller chainring so I'm going to try that and basically not use the 42. Hooray back to 10 speeds.
  • - 1
 You just need to go sram.
  • + 0
 @alexsin: Yup, considered this one too. However, if you are ratcheting for a restart, you aren't spinning far enough to drop the chain down. The only time that would happen is if you get stuffed in too high a gear, in which case you would have to do the seat lift, spin and shift method.

Very few bikes, even brand new ones, are designed with a chainline optimized for 1x. So no, I would not expect your brand new Evil to be either.
  • + 1
 @thebikings: As noted above, that wouldn't help. SRAM has 42t cogs also.
  • + 1
 @TheRaven: It's only partially on restarts. Until I got this drivetrain I had no idea how often I would unconsciously do a backpedal while standing or whatever. Apparently a lot.
  • + 0
 @TheRaven: Given your response to @alexsin's explanation we can ammend your previous statement?

"I have yet to ^comprehend^ that someone ^has^ adequately explain^ed^ to me when a rider would really need to be able to backpedal in their lowest gear."

You're welcome btw Smile
  • + 2
 @groghunter: Pinkbike commenters are DHers from planet Neverhappened, in the Imaginary Nebula: flat pedals, don't train, 26 for life, talmbout "moto whips" all day, only pay attention to math when they want to, etc. Unfortunately backpedaling in fake starting gates is just about all we got. That's why this is a problem for .
  • + 0
 @Injuredhippo: Uh...did you actually read what's been posted or just take a wild guess?
  • + 20
 That price justifies a gearbox ,not a 1×12
  • + 2
 When you evaluate the cost over time of a gearbox, it's actually cheaper. Let's say you're super careful and meticulously maintain your bike, and get two seasons out of your derailer and shifter, and one out of the cassette and chain. They're mountain bikes so expecting to get much more and never break anything is pointless. Anyway, you will easily hit the price of a $1200 gearbox over the course of two seasons, may more if things don't go your way.

Also, a GB is far less likely to break. In the event that you do grenade your bb/downtube into a rock, I would personally rather have the gearbox take the hit instead of destroying my frame. Just my .02
  • + 1
 Exactly
  • + 11
 @trialsracer: You actually easily spend $1200 on your drivetrain in 2 seasons? Holy crap.
  • + 3
 @bishopsmike: Yeah I was thinking the same thing. I haven't spent that much over the last two seasons and I built three bikes all with brand new drivetrains.
  • - 4
flag e46s54 (Apr 28, 2016 at 14:11) (Below Threshold)
 @trialsracer: No one replaces parts like that... Parts aren't that expensive... Derailleurs work more than fine...Gear boxes are heavy, expensive, and complicated. Bikes work fine, go ride yours, and quit posting idiotic shit online
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike @TheRaven : No because I don't buy brand new, top of the line parts at retail. However, if I rode Eagle for 2 seasons, you bet I would. Sorry to be an ass, but there's no other way to say this - maybe y'all don't like to ride in conditions that are less than perfect for your drivetrain's well being, maybe you don't put in very many miles, maybe you haven't destroyed the whole drivetrain when a derailer gets bent into your spokes, etc etc -- BUT, I can provide you a list of dozens of riders from across the country who will tell you that, if they were riding Eagle on one of their bikes, they would be replacing the parts that often.

Now, let's just take normal, x01 stuff. Say you have some on the DH bike and on your trail bike, and those are the only two bikes you ride. You get in 200 days a year, and do 5 races (meaning you ride, rain or shine, drivetrain killing mud or not). You guys don't think that, if buying brand new, you wouldn't spend $1200 in 2 full years - 400 days - of riding??

@e46s54 Refer to the above. Maybe no one you know, but almost every serious mtb rider, from xc racers to dhers, either a) deal with crappy shifting because they are broke college kids and run JensonUSA 2012 specials b) get mid end/upper mid end parts at cost or on eBay c) have well paying jobs and just pay to replace parts or d) ride single speed. When I used to race 8-20 xc races a year, and train probably 6-9 hours a week on my mtb, I would replace a chain and cassette and chainrings twice a season, and derailers probably once a season or two, assuming nothing ever broke and I didn't have to do a mud race. Last year, I witnessed at least 5 separate DH riders destroy derailers while I was riding with them.

Sorry you disagree with me, but it's no reason to call me an idiot. You wouldn't say that if you new anything about engineering or what actually goes on inside a gearbox (it's not that complicated), and you would know what I'm talking about with drivetrain wear and tear if you didn't ride like a pussy. Have a good one, pal.
  • + 6
 @e46s54: I'm with trailsracer on this one. I do a similar amount of training. I will get about 5k km out of a drivetrain and I swap chains and clusters to prolong the inevitable. There are Rohloff hubs with over 100k miles on them, and you can run steel rings, cogs, and SS chains (which don't already have looseness built into them because they don't need sideways play).
  • + 2
 @iamamodel: Thank you for backing me up. I know my last response was aggressive, but I can't stand being labeled an "idiot" because other people can't understand that a lot of us ride our bikes quite a bit, and not always in peachy conditions
  • + 3
 @trialsracer: Who called you an idiot? You may be reading into things a bit much. I just usually get at least a year or even much more out of the majority of my $150 Zee drivetrain. I ride hard enough and in all kinds of conditions, although I'm sure I'll never be a navy seal that can wear out things as fast as you. I'm all for gearboxes 100%, but I'll bet as a business case, the number of people who drop $1200 a season on just their drivetrain is pretty limited.
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike: Re-read my post; the first bit was directed at you and @TheRaven The second was not. I wasn't directing anything negative at you two. I don't think "riding hard" has as much to do with destroying drivetrains (hence why those comments were not about your skill) as accidents (clip a rock), mileage, and wear and tear, especially from your conditions. Aaron Gwin, riding in socal, could probably keep a drivetrain longer than the 60 year old Scottish dude who rides xc year round, 5 times a week (in Scotland, that is. Nothing to do with being Scottish, ha!)

You guys weren't aggressive, just skeptical. I appreciate the discussion and didn't mean to make y'all feel attacked. Another reply told me "no one" wears out stuff like that, and told me to stop posting "idiotic shit". Probably shouldn't engage in the internet dick-waving, but angry, ignorant attacks are just too easy to respond to...
  • + 3
 @trialsracer: Ah, sorry - I'd missed his comment. Fair enough. Happy riding, and take it easy on your damn drivetrain!
  • + 3
 @trialsracer: Riders like you are in the minority though. You only make up a fraction of the total drivetrain sales in a given year. Most of us recreational riders, even serious ones like me, can go several seasons on a drivetrain.

As for breaking things, I think it's a combination of all things - rider skill, how the rider chooses to ride (precision vs. brute force style), and the trails the rider rides. I have been very fortunate and have not broken all that much in my pretty extensive riding history.

My suggestion to you is to not invest in overpriced tech if you go through parts like that. Stick with XT and be done with it.
  • + 3
 @bishopsmike: No problem! And to respond to the rest of your comment: I definitely agree that you CAN spend a lot less - don't break a derailer, run a stainless surly front ring, ride Zee instead of XX1, buy KMC 10-speed chains instead of the creme de la creme 11sp (or 12...), etc.

My figures are based on the higher end 11 speed drivetrains (wear out 2-4 chains, 2 cassettes and 2 chainrings, and wear out or break a single derailer, in 2 seasons). To clarify, my point is really directed at the guy who is psyched on Eagle or 12 speed in general (and will presumably want to buy it), but skeptical of the GB. Also, I said $1200 in 2 seasons, which is definitely more than average, I'm aware. Regardless, the gearbox isn't even broken in until 1000km, and that's based on touring bikes, so much more continuous pedaling. With a lifespan of 60,000+ km and exponentially more durability, I just think that it doesn't end up being near as pricey as something like Eagle will be, and the average XT/SLX rider could even justify it.
  • + 17
 Bob Girvin - now that's a name from the past. Honestly folks if you keep wanting a bigger pie plate back there, maybe it's time to just drop a couple of teeth up front.
  • + 8
 But if you have bigger in the back you can have bigger in the front, which means lower low speed and higher high speed!! Why not have both?
  • + 0
 @colemanb: Because you don't need bigger in the front, quit drinking the SRAM flavored kool aid. What kind of mtb trails are you riding that you need to be pushing a big front ring combined with your 11 cog in the rear? They have made you think you need this biiig front ring when in fact its BS.
  • + 1
 @warmerdamj: uhh I love to brappppppppp woot woot. High speeeeed.
Also i'm behind the times so I'm just now moving from my 30T, 11-36 setup to a 32T, 11-42 Setup. I'm really excited for some more top end speed, as I really find my 30T lacking there. I just wanna go fast!
  • + 2
 @colemanb: So if you want to go so fast (again I don't know where you ride but no mtb trail exists on the west coast of BC where you you need a 32x11 gear) then why did you only go to a 32 if you moved up to a 42t in the rear? You had a gear range of 0.83-2.72 and now you will have 0.76-2.9. You could have gone up to a 34t front and kept the same easy gear while giving yourself a higher top gear. If you are riding in conditions where you need such a high top gear it must be flat, smooth and open so there is no point in giving yourself an easier low gear. Had you gone to a 34t front ring you would have a gear ratio range of 0.80-3.09 so in fact you would still get an easier gear and really been able to rip it in the top gear. It's all about the math my friend.
  • + 1
 @warmerdamj: I'm in Utah, so we got a lot of everything - steep climbs and long, flowly, fast descents. Also I'm a little fat at the moment, hence the 32T I'll be converting to. Maybe later on in the summer once I've shed some of this hibernation weight I'll put my 34T on... My legs are struggling with my 30T - 36 as it is haha
  • + 16
 So everyone hated long cage derailleurs when we were riding 3x6/7/8/9, and now the industry throws us the longest cage derailleur and reviewers are mostly positive? Strange.
  • + 6
 Might have something to do with the the Type 2/Shodow + clutch derailleurs reducing chain slap so much. Still leaves them pretty exposed to rocks, though - but only when you're in climbing gears.
  • + 2
 @bask3t: that's not a slap.. that's a f.n. beat down.
  • + 1
 @bask3t: holy crap, that picture is something else.
  • + 11
 Really not convinced. I love running a short cage derailleur, snappy shifting, way out the way of the trail and nice short chain. I feel eagle removes some of the perks of going 1x.

I still think a 24/38 11-36 double is the holy grail for mtb range all you need on both ends, bit who doesn't want to run a dropper remote in place of a gear shifter? Eagle seems like a bodged way to get this range with one shifter.

Then the chainring suspension issue. Further you move from a 32 the more suspension performance is likely to suffer at least on older bikes. But running a 32 on eagle makes no Sense at all at least a 36 in my book.
  • + 10
 I was pretty interested in trying this out, but having to use an X-long cage..forget it, I'll just work on my leg and lung strength. I have had way to many long cages snag terrain, there is no way I'm going to give em a bigger target.
  • + 13
 Rotating Mass... Unsprung Weight... If I close my eyes and loudly whistle Nickleback, you will no longer exist.
  • + 2
 hardtails, you're halfway there.
  • + 9
 Good news, I've just completed a comprehensive and highly scientific review of a gearbox Vs 1\12 setup. I rode a mates G2 Zerode 26" down the nastiest bit of Dh I could find in the worst gear possible then did the same on another mates 1\12 Evil Insurgent after half a doz IPAs. I felt no difference in pedaling performance or friction between either set-up. Case closed!
  • + 9
 "extending the lower gearing range to accommodate fitness levels that fall below professional athletes, without sacrificing top-end speed."

This makes no sense to me...

If you don't have the fitness level to climb on a 42 cog, you definitly don't have it either to push the 10T unless you're on a paved road going downhill.
  • + 6
 yup...but who wants to admit that?
  • + 9
 RC - I assume that there are double as many XC racing bikes on semi slicks than all 140mm-250mm bikes combined. Then it is highly probable that road cycling is still extremely influential in MTB as a whole and there may be more people excited with the announcement of 15speed 11-32 cassette than with 1lbs gearbox with 98% efficiency.

That leads me to thinking that as I write this, somewhere in Japan some 30 year old Shimano employee rushes into board room with sales prognosis for 2020. He nervously points out that SRAM can take up to 80% of Trail and Enduro market! People are dalling for the argument of simplicity, minimal weight drop and supreme chain retention! An old man in dark corner speaks slowly and calmly: So many of our clients never dropped a chain since it is hard to drop a chain on fireroad. Sram may take 80% of 20% of our market but we can take 80% of 80% of the market. "It's still a gamble Underwood San, XC racers may pick up 1x!" . Everything is a gamble mr Singlesaki - racers ride what sponsors give them to ride... it is their job for what we pay them. Our racers can win already on 36 to 42, But we give them 2x with one electronic shifter and the problem is gone... as long as there are as many racers in top20 on Di2 as there are or Eagle, the mob will be parted... confuse them and we have their souls. Tell them that road cyclists have 2 chainrings and ride 150 miles for few weeks in Tour De France, that there is a reason why there are no 1x road drivetrains. For Gods sake, let's cut that rationality bullcrap: Many Top road racers say that disc brakes are more dangerous than rim brakes!
  • + 11
 Did SRAM make you write this?
  • + 8
 Wonder how much a full article like this typically costs manufacturers...
  • + 7
 The triumphant march of the 1by system might seem like a good thing, but in reality, it is trying to stretch the idea way out of its applicability. Sure, it is easy to just "click to change gear and man up if you are out of range" mentality, but it is not always optimal or even sensible.

I'd even hazard a notion, that the higher elevation change, the less usability a 1by system has, because to stretch it to appropiate range more and more tradeoffs need to be made.

First of all - longer RD cage means it is more likely to snap it off on trail features. I thought we learned this lesson years ago, but apparently we did not. Enjoy your $300 a pop "accidents". Intrestingly, with some trigger discipline one can have 2x system with more range then Eagle and SS cage mech.

Second thing - poor chainline on climbing gears, resulting in the annoying "backpedalling" issue on 1by systems. Which would not be a problem if the indistry finally got its head out of its sphincter and standarized on 150/157 mm rear hub.

Third thing - to keep weight down big cogs on our hyper-range cassettes are made of soft aluminium - this compromises durability for those who climb alot.

Fourth thing - poor chain retention on high gears. By design 1by system forces us to ride on very small cogs at the back, where there is least chain tension and cage position on the RD makes the clitch nigh ineffective. yet most people choose to ride with no chain retention device - begging for an accident to happen as wear goes up.

Fifth thing - weight. Eagle XX1 cassette is approx 1/3 heavier then XX1. Sure, X-dome cassettes are light, but pleb tier GX, NX or shimano cassettes with such spread would weight a lot. If we extrapolate the XT level 11 speed 11-42 to eagle level, then it would come at 550g. I shudder to think how much deore level cassette would weigh.

Sixth thing - roller coaster riding. Most of my friends who switched to 1by now also ride 26/28T front rings. essentially riding on their granny gears all the time and being bereft of one of factor of control over a bike.

Most importantly tho - I am all for choice, ride whatever you want. However, my new bike, which has an unique geometry feature I want, was designed around 1x system with maximum ring of 32T. Thus forcing me to use 1x. Getting an FD on that bike is going to be a major hurdle, because the designer was lazy and followed the fashion, taking a crucial option away. At this point my only option for front shifing would be to procur Hammershmidt crank.
  • + 3
 Instead of Hammerschmidt investigate Schlumpf Speed drive - I've test both and I prefer Schlumpf. Change with your ankle pressing a button on the crank bolt. Sounds weird, works great.
  • + 1
 @iamamodel: Aand super expensive Smile
  • + 7
 Oh Richard You're missing the most important point. 1x And the amazing amount of weird wear characteristics it offers us is only worth one thing. Getting your seatpost actuator right where it is safest and most intuitive to use. Right where the shifter used to be. You'd know this if you were rolling along at a pace faster than an old guy who professionally tries to come up with as many words to say about bicycles as he possibly can. You'd probably also see this point if you were a rank beginner just trying to save their life getting down the mountain. But strangely the point doesn't come up. We've just got a bunch of bike dorks whining about shimano vs. Sram and silly shit like where's your pivot. Where your pivot is is clearly not all that important given that there's a decent amount of variance in the suspension platforms we're all being told are the best. What we need to hear about is this. Make it last longer. Let's sacrifice some weight and make the front rings out of quality steel. And let's make the seatpost actuators that go along with it ergonomically awesome. Letting go of our safe grip on the bar during dangerous situations to actuate our seatpost is unacceptable. Some brands have this nailed. Some don't. Continue the evolution. Make it better for real people. Not just for marketing departments.
  • + 1
 You can make your own seatpost lever from a front shifter. It works really well and is super intuitive to use.
  • + 1
 I've been using my 9point8 for three rides and don't find lever ergonomics an issue at all. Cable friction, though...
  • + 6
 while I'm pleased with how well the 1x11 systems work adding 1 more gear is not impressive. a gearbox centralized around the BB is the next step for truly creating an improvement across the board by reducing unsprung weight and get more the heft of the bike in the middle and bottom of the chassis
  • + 7
 But can you pedal backwards with this new eagle? How are the chainlines for the smallest and largest tooth cogs? How fast does the chain wear or snap? Sort this shit out and I may be interested.
  • + 7
 I'm sure Sram will be extremely sorry to hear about all derailleur cage failures that will plague this groupset, and be very apologetic for having to sell you a new 290 USD rear derailleur to keep running.
  • + 10
 I'm gonna need a bigger wheel!
  • + 6
 Pinion... for the new 1x weights and meter long derailleurs... I wish the guys at Pinion would lighten it up a bit. They were former transmission engineers at Porsche before creating Pinion. The thing is way overbuilt, you could significantly lighten the entire thing and just use a Di2 type of internal shifter to do away with the clunky grip shift type shifter for it. They could work with the major bike manufacturers to come with fit specification so they could just cartridge into their respective chassis' and adjust suspension design accordingly. /daydreaming
  • + 6
 I have a Pinion, and while I agree, I don't mind the weight too much for what it is (a 160/150 bike with a 64* HA); I even felt like my old carbon enduro was too light (and, ironically, quite rear heavy). If Pinion or Effigear had the R&D resources, I'm sure something super light could be developed for xc or weight discerning riders.

From my experience, although not vast, I think I would take an extra pound in the bb and keep the unsprung mass down, center of gravity low, etc.
  • + 1
 @trialsracer: Especially the way modern bikes handle: I just got a new Devinci Spartan. loads of rear travel, desecends like a demon, climbs great, & thats at 32 lbs, which is partly due to the fact the stock tires are 2ply 3C maxxgrip wirebead HRIIs at 2.4" 1305g a tire. & as bad as that should feel on the ups, it's really not that bad(though it's going to be way better with more reasonable tires, obviously.) In fact, I would say it climbs better than the bike it replaced with lighter tires & 15mm less travel, & that bike was only 4 years old.
  • + 4
 @trialsracer: I guess the downvotes mean I should have finished my thought better: my point is, with how good modern bikes are, I'm more than willing to sacrifice a little weight & efficiency to avoid derailleurs, & move mass closer to the middle of the bike.
  • + 4
 @groghunter: I totally agree (you got my upvote!). The efficiency is not even that big of a hit, once the box breaks in and you remember that you will never have a perfectly tuned chainline and derailer, free of debris. I believe there's a bike check on here with Jared Graves where he talks about not paying attention to weight on his enduro bike, because if you just build a solid (trail) bike these days, it's never too heavy, and often times it may feel too light through the rowdy stuff.

There was a time when I would check my uphill splits, but I would wager that by and large, MOST mountain bikers do not give a flying shit if they are 20 seconds faster on a 15 minute climb or not, but would appreciate all of the benefits of what you have mentioned.

Oh, and you forgot unsprung mass and a wider flanged hub, which are both huge benefits, IMO.

My bike probably weighs 32-34lbs, havent weighed it yet. It doesn't have a single piece of carbon on it. If I really want it to be lighter, there's so much I could change before really complaining about the weight of the gearbox.

I urge everyone to ride one. I have been yelling about their superiority from an engineering perspective since I saw a Zerode. I never had a chance to ride one, but then had the opportunity to put my money where my mouth is, and I'm happy I did. Plus, if you aren't racing and strava isn't your lifeblood, you really have nothing to lose by running a GB.
  • + 3
 @trialsracer:

So much fretting about a pound, you'd think no one would ever ride with a kilogram of water strapped on their downtube. Which, from my experience has virtually no effect on handling in more typical everyday real-world situations. Pound or two in the rims & tires, no thanks, but a pound in the low-point on a frame, who cares?
  • + 11
 stupid.
  • + 2
 This really does sum it up!
  • + 2
 @BDKR:
Honestly, how does adding 4 more huge cogs in the rear with no room left in between for a chain make more sense than a 8x2 or 9x2 gearing system? It is heavier, in the wrong place as well, an extra long cage is needed, as well as an extra thin chain. It makes absolutely zero sense to me.
  • + 1
 @FrEeZa: I'm not sure you understood what I'm saying. Being from Bulgaria, this may be a communication issue.

By saying "This really does sum it up", I'm trying to get across that TimRidesBikes said what you just said in one word.

In other words, I agree with you that it makes absolutely zero sense!
  • + 1
 @BDKR: I understood what you meant, I have every single English certificate in English, was valedictorian in a private American school and am currently studying Enlgish. I know my way with words, I know the best words Big Grin
Once more, I understood the point made by TimRidesBikes, I just thought I could rub a bit of salt in the wound.
  • + 5
 2 days ago, did 950m in 24k, so fairly close the same ratio as your Vancouver friend. 5 riders, 1 person with a 2x system, 2 with an 11sp 10-42 (1 with a 32, the other a 34t), 1 with a 10sp 32x11/36, and 1 single speed with a 1.9/1 ratio. The latter 3, the riders with the highest gearing, led the charge the whole way. So no, you don't NEED all those gears. However, it makes it more comfortable to ride out those brutal climbs, and more likely your legs will last longer for bigger miles, but the strong riders will still push a tall gear. Remember, "it never gets easier, you just get faster" - Eddie Mercx
  • + 1
 @slowmotionblur: I knew that didn't seem right after I posted that. Damn PinkBike doesn't let you edit.
  • + 6
 Maybe it's just me but my 2x10 just works! Only ever really use the 22t chain ring as a bail out gear to get my fat ass up the hill, and it shifts with ease every time. And replacement chains, rings and cassettes are cheap.
  • + 1
 Im with you except Im still on 2x9 its even cheaper! I run xo 11/34 rear and ovalized 21/34 chainrings. Perfect combo for the north shore, no chain retention devices needed and xo shifts are dreamy.
Most of the time i'm pushing 34 up front, the 21 for the GoodSirmartin type climbs.

All this 1x is just $ fixing a problem that did not exist. I ride a gt distortion with idrive which has zero chain growth dues to eccentric design of bb. My suspension is always active= sweet
  • + 6
 I like my 32 up front, with my 11-36 in the rear. I keep a 22 tooth granny up front as well, and when I have a long climb I just switch it down manually.
  • + 0
 So you just push the links of the chain over whilst riding?I'm confused
  • + 1
 @weebleswobbles: take foot off and push the chain onto the other chainring, works decently well
  • + 3
 @ romdog - what are you calling this new manual switching device / innovation? Where can I buy it? Will it cost less than $1000 to upgrade my ride?
  • + 8
 I'm actually pretty eagle to try this stuff out.
  • + 4
 Giving the bird to the front derailleur.
  • + 3
 Yeah I wouldn't mind getting my talons on it either.
  • + 4
 You're all winging it
  • + 2
 I gave it a try and now I fly past the competition
  • + 2
 ... And profits will soar!
  • + 3
 @macross87: I just hope I won't spread my eagle on a rock somewhere.
  • + 4
 Well, to address one of the issues Richard points out - the long derailleurs - why continue going bigger in the rear cassette cogs vs smaller? Why not use a 9 vs a 50? Wouldn't that help (allow use of a med cage) as the teeth range would be smaller? Also, weight should be reduced (I assume), and if you're worried about wear - go steel - size is so small relative to a 50, it should still be light.
Also, hearing rumours that there are problems back pedalling when in the biggest cog on the rear? Yes/No? Not sure why vs 11 speed - isn't the chain narrower and cassette same width?
  • + 1
 Steel 9t cog seems better than Al 50t. There is a 9-44 cassette out there... I'd like to know why Sram didn't go that way. Faster chain wear on the 9t perhaps
  • + 4
 No, the 12 speed cassette isn't the same width as an 11. What SRAM did was to basically just add another cog on the inside of the cluster, which all other things left the same results in an even worse chainline in the granny cog than on an 11 speed. As for a 9 tooth cog, it's already out in the market from multiple manufacturers. Leonardi Racing and e*thirteen both make 9 tooth cassettes. Naysayers will say that 9 tooth is too small to work properly for a variety of reasons, but reports that I've read from actual users have all been positive. FWIW, I'm about to buy the e*thirteen model for a new wheelset. 9-42 looks like a better option for me than 10-50.
  • + 6
 Yes this! The e-thirteen 9-44t TRS cassette makes so much more sense. If the Eagle groupset was a 12 speed with 9-44t and the same width as existing 11 speed cassettes (to keep that nasty chainline under control) it would be perfect.
  • + 5
 the backpedal issue is complicated, as it affects some bikes more than others, but the real root of the issue is that we keep cramming more cogs in the same rear end spacing. that means the big cogs get farther & farther "inboard" from the rear dropout, meaning father & farther from "inline" with the front cog.

In the bike companies defense, though, they stopped making rear ends wider at 135/142 for so long because any wider starts affecting things like q factor, especially when trying to accommodate triples.

Wolftooth does a good job of explaining why boost chainline is specific to what bike it on, & that if you have enough clearance, you should actually run normal rings even on a boost bike, because it gives you a better chainline: www.wolftoothcomponents.com/pages/boost-chainline-and-chainrings
  • + 1
 @groghunter: Is that really true? Aren't we running 11spd cassettes on the same freehub as for 10spd? Shouldn't the biggest cog in either configuration be in roughly the same spot?
I didn't experience any of this backpedal derailing stuff with 10spd/142 but I am on an 11spd/Boost.
  • + 1
 @alexsin: No, the cassette is dished inward towards the spokes. the cog spacing is actually fairly close to the same as 10 speed. The cog is phsically closer to the centerline of the bike, introducing a sharper angle on the chain.
  • + 5
 How about chains with smaller links and smaller sized cogs... I am waiting for the marketing spin on this one. It's going to be incredible.
  • + 3
 @fartymarty: I'm of two minds on that. It'll make chains significantly heavier unless they come up with a completely new production method, & I just don't know that they can go small enough to gain enough benefit.

at same time, I'm interested, because it would allow smaller cassettes with the same gear ratios, & should improve chain retention.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: I was thinking the same thing. Tooth wear would be less as well.
  • + 1
 @RunsWithScissors: I'm glad somebody brought this up. E*13 is doing it right as far as I'm concerned and my next step up from 1x10 with a OneUp big ring will be an E*13 10spd TRS 9-42.

That said, a couple of questions.

1) Do people really need 12 speeds?

What's wrong with spreading that range across ten speeds?

2) Do people really need a 50 tooth gear?

Might a cheaper alternative be a 94 BCD setup with a 28 tooth and a 9-42 (1x10) or 9-44 (1x11)?
  • + 1
 @BDKR: I only wish the damn thing was half the price or less of what it is as I still need to budget for XD driver and I'm in. I certainly don't need more than 10 speeds, but a bit more top end would not hurt. (30 11/36 right now)
  • + 1
 @BDKR: I ran an 11-42t ten speed, and the jumps in the middle were awkward. To go more than 11-42 in only ten steps would leave too many holes in your gearing, at least from my experience. I'm on a shimano XT 11-42 11 speed, and it is noticeably better. I've spent some time on srams 10-42, and that wasn't a problem either. However, 9-44 is too spread out to be optimal with only 11 steps.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: @BDKR Incidentally, this is why I'll probably go Di2. It's nice to have in between gears, but I need to be able to make big changes quickly due to the way terrain is in AZ. Having tested Di2, being able to hold down a button for multiple shifts is a game changer when talking about quick, large ratio changes. With XT level, it'll be in my reach financially (I hope.)
  • + 2
 @kryten: Yeah, I had some sticker shock when I saw it too, but it's still cheaper than going 1x11 or 1x12.
  • + 2
 @BDKR: MSRP or retail? because XT der, shifter, & cassette at retail is cheaper than $309, which is what I'm seeing the ethirteen for. XT drivetrain is about $190.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: It's certainly not a close ratio setup, but the steps are consistent.

E*13 TRS 1x10 -> 9-10-12-14-17-20-24-28-35-42

I'd imagine that those last two 7 tooth steeps may seem a bit much.

Of course, the gaps aren't as big on the 1x11.

E*13 TRS 1x11 -> 9-10-12-14-17-20-24-28-32-38-44

That said, I don't feel they are problematic, but that's a matter of opinion of course. For me, I like the idea of a 9 tooth cog on the bottom. Since my frame seems to work best with a 32 tooth up front, I'd like to regain some top speed I lost when I went from a different frame with a 36 up front.
  • + 1
 @groghunter: Wow! Didn't know the Shimano stuff could be had for that cheap.

I see deals on SRAM group sets, but since I'm happy with 1x10 AND I want the 9 tooth cog, the E*13 feels like the better idea for me personally.

Besides, without the markdowns I'm still seeing at least $450 for a 1x11 SRAM setup.
  • + 1
 @BDKR: Those prices are from Chain reaction, but aren't too far off other places. you could go with a SRAM cassette for only about $30 more, as an XG=1150 is about $110 vs the $70-ish for a 11-42 Shimano. that makes the total $220(before the XD driver you would need either way.) That means you can get everything but the 9t for $220, but you get a brand new drivetrain, not just a cassette.

Let me ask you this: have you actually tried a 32x10? Do you really know that it's not enough? I'd go the new drivetrain route, & if, in a few months, you feel like it isn't enough, sell the SRAM cassette & but the 11 speed ethirteen. I'll add this: so far, GX shifts better than either of my 10 speed drivetrains.
  • + 2
 @BDKR: I got my XT M8000 derailleur, shifter, chain, and cassette for $195 tax and shipping included from JensonUSA. THe 11-42 is enough of a range for 80% of what i ride, so its worth the loss for me since its so cheap.

@groghunter I feel the need to say that I hope I don't come off too snobish; really any modern drivechain choice is light years better than what was around ten years ago, and the gaps in shifting really is just a nuance. That being said, however, since there are so many good choices out now why settle for one that doesn't fit what you want exactly?
  • + 2
 @groghunter: I went from a 2x9 to a 1x10 with a OneUp 42 tooth cog on a PG1070 (11-36). I loved that setup!

Then changed frames and started running a 32 tooth up front. There was a gain, but there was a loss.

Why would I want more top end now? Because in a number of races I've run (Super D's in particular) I've found myself feeling like I've spun out. The TRS would give me 2 teeth back in top gear!

Hard to pedal? Hit the gym!
  • + 2
 @groghunter: I was being a little sarcastic but could see it as a solution if the rear derailler was to be kept.
  • + 2
 @BDKR: Think about this in percentages, rather than teeth. the 10t is already a 10% gain from the 11t. That's sizeable. My point is, until you've done the math, or actually found you spin that 10t out in the real world, do you really know you need another 10-ish percent after that? Because you're trading an entire new drivetrain for that extra tooth. At least take a look here: www.bikecalc.com/speed_at_cadence & see how it matches up to what you see in the real world.
  • + 2
 @groghunter: Thanx for the link. I'll give it a look-see.
  • + 4
 Am I missing something here? With my "old school" 3 chain ring x 9 cog setup, I can put my rear gear into the third cog (26 tooth) position and shift between the three chain rings and ride pretty much any climb, flat, or decent with three to five shifts versus as many as twelve with the 1 x 12. Personally I don't want to have to spend my entire ride shifting. When I get my next bike, it's bad enough I have to move to the 27.5 wheel, I'm going to get stuck getting a bike that is going to give me popeye the sailor man thumbs from all the shifting I have to do. Thanks Sram.
  • + 3
 This is only the beginning. 1x12 are a kludge on the glorious way to a real gear train. The next few years will break down whatever barriers remain and render chains and derailleurs as we know them obsolete. And that's a good thing because I hate chain grease!
  • + 6
 all you need is two in the rear not 12:
50 tooth granny for going up
10 tooth to wheelie out of berms
  • + 1
 The rest are really just for gear steps tbh
  • + 1
 maybe we could re-purpose all those front derailleurs after all! ; )
  • + 6
 Waiting for someone to post a picture of their gold spray painted eagle-wanna-be drivetrain.
  • + 3
 32 front 11 back will get you over 20mph (on my 650b wheels) without spinning like crazy. Where are the descents where people are spinning out?
Any trail I've ridden when you even approach that speed you are either pumping or braking
  • + 9
 Come to California or the Rockies, we're 30-40mph every ride at some point.
  • + 2
 My thoughts too, but somebody will come here and tell you that they are riding 36 chainring and constantly spinning out on the flats. I just don't see it.
  • + 4
 I spin out my 34t up front and 11t out back on descents here in CO. Smile I wanna go fast! - Ricky Bobby
  • + 2
 My bike came with a 32x10-42 . It climbed too well and I put a 36 on the front. Now it's all good. I can't imagine needing to inch up near vert faces but prefer not to spin out on the occasional fire road race (Mammoth).
  • + 2
 @zutroy: 30-40mph and pedaling? Sounds like a road race.
  • + 1
 @Endurahbrah: The Kamikaze pretty much requires it, and being too lazy to go back to 32, I left the 36 on - it's fine - all this extreme climbing capability is overrated in my opinion.

-oops I realize i repeated myself, but....
  • + 1
 @Endurahbrah: A lot of the trails we use out here are fire roads in the mountains, bit we also have some fairly wide open double track type trails. Not a lot of trees a very little tall brush so it's much easier to go full throttle going down.
  • + 1
 @WhatToBuy: So is an mtb descent in CO just going down a paved hill? I ride west coast BC and there is not mtb descent within 1000 miles that you could spin out that gear ratio.
  • + 1
 @warmerdamj: Nope, come out and try, we have some awesome trails.
  • + 2
 I'm sure what SRAM did with 1x's progression is ultimately going to benefit riders. But I can no longer justify spending over a thousand $ on a flipping drivetrain. Now if only OneUp would come up with a conversion kit for my old tech SRAM 1x11 , would be awesome!!
  • + 1
 maybe not 50t, but they've had something out for a year at least: www.oneupcomponents.com/collections/all-products/products/x-cog-44t-sprocket
  • + 0
 It already has. Not because most riders are going to be buying 1x12 any time soon. But because all of a sudden, very mature and reliable 1x11 (with medium cage derailleurs and chain rings in the 30-34T range, which makes most suspensions happy) is affordable. Those 'mid-range' groups are very much within reach of most riders who are riding 'mid range' bakes (FS trail bikes in the $3-4k range brand new - most of which now come spec'd with those 1x11 drivetrains, too). And you can even get lower end stuff in 1x11 from SRAM now. The thing is, these groups shift every bit as smoothly as 10sp XTR mechs did just a few years ago, there's no huge weight penalty, and if you have to replace a derailleur, you can do so without having to live on rice and beans or pawn your kidneys.
  • + 0
 @g-42: I can attest to this somewhat: just switched from 10sp Zee with saint shifter, to GX, & still have X-9 on my other bike, & GX shifts better than either.
  • + 6
 yeah, i'm just gonna go ride.
  • + 2
 I'm not a fitness freak or anything but 30/42 is plenty of granny gear for me. Don't get the 50 tooth cog. Seems like at that point I can walk up the hill faster. Maybe I'm just not a XC climber but 30/42 seems like enough to me. Even with a 10/32 I never use it. It's not faster than walking.
  • + 2
 Sorry but I'm too lazy to read through all the comments to see if this has already been brought up, but it doesn't take a crystal ball to guess that the next big innovation on the horizon will be a massive increase in rear axle diameter. Imagine the benefits of a huge hollow tubular (20mm? 30mm?) rear axle setup to everything we use our bikes for, and every challenge faced by suspension engineers. Then we'll be limited to a smallest cog size of 16 or 18 teeth, which will necessitate much bigger chainrings to maintain top end, necessitating 60 or 70 tooth big rear cogs to maintain that low gear spread. Or possibly some kind of bizarre new 2 speed front transmission system. No idea how that might work, but I'm sure time will tell.
  • + 3
 i think my next upgrade will be xt di2.. with synchro shift you don't care how many cogs/gears front back etc you have, you just click and you have the next ratio.
plain simple.
  • + 2
 I'll wait for Deore di2 myself.
  • + 0
 Considering the same myself
  • + 1
 Yeah I would love a syncro 2x setup. If it gets to SLX level I'll be all over it.
  • + 2
 Nobody should be arguing that low ratio isn't needed. If you are you need to get out more.

Example where low ratio is needed:

www.strava.com/segments/690729

Combine that with 3 liters of water, picnic lunch, etc. And that is a gravel climb, ride up the trail instead and it is physically tougher (but less soul destroying.)

I'd really like to see weight/price analysis of Eagle. I'm personally still stressed about the cassette cost, usually my shimano xt last 1-2 years which is ok for $50. XDome 12 has msrp of $420. How long will it last? How much does it weigh? At some point the weight of front shifter, derailleur, cable, inner ring and bolts will be less than the weight of those huge rear cassette cogs.

Then again, I'm a happy sram x0 2x10 user. Never had a problem with the inferior front mech, its terrific compared to the old days.
  • + 1
 cheers to your points, especially the first. that said, getting rid of the front mech on my bike made it a lot quieter.
  • + 2
 As someone who is interested, but not overly affected by the latest bicycle gadgetry, I feel like adding one extra gear, and acting like it's revolutionary must be hard for even the most optimistic marketing team. I'm not saying it's a step backwards by any means, but I'm somewhat pessimistic because it seems like a 95% sales job, and a small customer benefit. (It also seems like they could have done the same thing 10-15 years ago if they wanted)
  • + 4
 Hearing a lot of complaints about backpedaling and dropping the chain with 1x11 and 1x12 setups. Never had this experience with other 1x systems.
  • + 1
 Switched my honey's system from 2x10 to 1x10. Ring is in the same outboard position as the big chainring on her 2x setup was (same crank, same 104BCD mounting - and I compared chain lines with her old ring and it was the same). Only difference, then, is that the 10sp cassette goes up to 42T. And hey, wouldn't you know it, backpedaling will derail the chain - but that didn't happen if you had the extreme big ring/biggest cog combo with the old 10sp cassette. Still can't quite parse that...

That said, it's not really a problem - a quarter or half turn backwards on the cranks (enough to position them to get over tricky features while climbing) will be fine, because when you pedal forward again, things on the bottom of the cog haven't changed over yet. Might lead to more wear - but hasn't led to problems. And really, how much backpedaling do you do when in your bailout climbing gear?
  • + 1
 @g-42: can you shim it further inboard? I've never had that problem (mounted on a triple crank), but you could probably use chainring bolt washers or cut the tabs off your old chainring to shift the 1x ring in a couple mm.

I suspect that normal chainrings allow the chain to start angling/curving over to the cassette cog while it's still on the chainring, because they're so thin. Narrow wide chainrings are so much fatter and fit the chain EXACTLY, so it has less space to angle over to the cog. Would be especially bad with short chainstays and/or 26.
  • + 0
 @bkm303: thanks, makes sense, I'll play with that.
  • + 1
 OK, this may sound crazy but here goes, what if the Ebike had no battery but did have a small capacitor enough to store like 10 seconds worth of motor drive. The energy to keep the capacitor charged was a fixed torque generator which was supplied by pedaling. So essentially you pedal to keep the bike going but the torque required was independent of bike speed. The weight issue of the e bike is the battery, in this setup there is none. The advantage is no shifting, fixed force pedaling. The one great thing would be if the industry would agree on a standard torque output, charge level in order to level the playing field. Also, to get around the whole ebike access thing, you have to keep pedaling in order to keep the bike moving, otherwise it runs out of energy and stops. This is patentable if anyone wants to start writing.
  • + 1
 Interesting. Though if the loss is similar to generator-to-motor then, according to a post above, expect efficiency loss of 40%. I always thought a similar method could power shifting.
  • + 5
 I just hope I get to ride my bike this weekend. It's not a given.
  • + 3
 The more gears they add the longer the dangling bits will become... Soon that thing wont have the ground clearance to be practical... (Wish I had that problem!)
  • + 4
 Can't wait to see the kooks with their gold drivetrains shred the super gnarly fireroads on their 6-inch bikes
  • + 0
 Who needs a 50 tooth cog?! Yes I know it could allow you to run a larger front chainring but still... I run 32x11-42 and that is plenty of low range grunt for our steep CO trails. Rarely do I spin out 32x11, I just let gravity do its work. Admittedly I don't ride fire roads or flat lands where the chance of spinning out is real. I'll leave that stuff to roadie mtb wannabes and Floridians.
  • + 2
 1x is scam. Sell us less parts that work less well for more money than 2x! Charge the same for a bike with one less shifter and derailleur = moar profitz
  • + 0
 Dont know if this has anything to do with anything, but i have ridden with the hammersmith for a while, and correct me if i am wrong, but i belive it is a gearbox. You can really feel that the power vs effect you put in to the pedals are not the same as with a chain.
  • + 1
 My concerns goes that second article that I read about gear for the don't so fit.. Or similar market. The other was in the ebikes.

Is there a trend to adapt things to the don't so prepared in mountain bike?
  • + 0
 Regarding two statements made in the article.

Compare a proper short cage 9sp rear mech with any 11sp or 12sp mountainbike rear mech. These modern cages are more like long cages of back in the day really! Those claiming that those one-by drivetrains allow you to run a shorter cage than a two by drivetrain are too much stuck up in their math and too little in reality. Run a short cage rear mech with a two-by drivetrain and make sure that the chain is long enough. That is, make sure that the chain is long enough to accidentally be shifted large-large and, if you have rear suspension, you can go through the full suspension stroke like that. Yes if you accidentally shift small-small the chain may go slack, so what? You'll notice, you'll shift back to the regular ring and you'll be fine. So basically you'll just need a cage that has enough capacity for a single cassette. If you run a bigger cassette (for a one-by drivetrain) you'll need a bigger cage. That's pretty much my main reason to not run a one-by drivetrain, I don't want the hideous long rear mech that goes with it.

The whole suspension kinematics advantage is lost there as the advantage simply isn't there. Run a two-by drivetrain and frame designers should just design to make it work well for the regular ring. Just as RC points out with the extreme angle the chain runs at when in the lightest gear, shifting to the granny gear won't give you perfect suspension setup. And if that is no problem for a one-by system, it is no problem for a two-by system either. And even for the front ring, some riders prefer a 38t in the front (so they can go faster), others prefer 32t for that same rear cog (so they can climb steeper). Suspension frame designers still have that uncertainty to work with. The white frame pictured there, does it actually have the wheel axle on the bottom link so that the axle actually rotates around the pivot shown there? If it doesn't (if it is some FSR type design, for instance) the picture shows nothing at all in this context. If it does, the picture shows us that the whole statement doesn't make sense at all. The chain is clearly way above the pivot, Bob Girvin would be so sad!

So what do we have, we're saving ourselves some sprung mass (granny ring, front shifter, cable and the difference between a front mech and a top guide) and in return we're gaining some unsprung mass (bigger rear mech, bigger cassette and a longer chain).

The only advantage I currently see in favour of the one-by setup is the amount of rear tyre clearance. But really, a 22t front ring doesn't take much room. With the introduction of the SLX group (I think it was then), the cage of the front mech got smaller as it doesn't necessarily have to work with a big 44t ring anymore.

If SRAM and Shimano modify their Spectro respectively Nexus rear hubs so that they can be used inside the frame of a mountainbike, I'm pretty sure you should eventually be able to get a 7sp or 8sp mountainbike with an internal gearbox for maybe 200 or 300 euro more than a sensibly equipped SLX (one-by if you will) comparable bike. I can see some advantages there for mid-level mountainbikes.
  • + 0
 @yerbikesux: I see what happened there. If you scroll down my (original) post to downvote, you're downvoting your own comment. If possible at all, I never tried. But you can always click the buttons of course. Buttons for down (or, occasionally, up) voting a comment are at the upper right hand corner of the respective comment so that you don't actually have to bother viewing the actual comment to engage in the joyful activity of downvoting. But don't despair, I understand it can be hard for you. So here you have another post, have another try.
  • + 3
 @vinay: Buttons for up/down voting a comment are at the bottom of the comment if you are using the mobile version of PB.
  • - 1
 @stumpymidget: Thanks, I wasn't aware of that. Then if @yerbikesux was indeed visiting the mobile version of the website, he did an amazing job downvoting. Please disregard my previous post then. I still have a hard time picturing the process though. So @yerbikesux read my original post which typically ends at the bottom of the comment, apparently where the voting buttons are. Then she/he went back up only to scroll back down again and downvote. I feel your pain. Only recommendation I can give you for your future contributions then is to choose a shorter comment to downvote.
  • + 2
 @yerbikesux: Sure:

Enjoy!
  • + 2
 Zerode uses Shimano's Alfine hub mounted below the top tube as a gear box. I expect we will see adapters made to use the Alfine hub on frames with mid drive interfaces as there will be many many more of those around in the near future. The Alfine isn't perfect but its a much better idea than this idiotic 12 speed cassette. With XT steps just announced Alfine XT or some other internal offroad worthy planetary gear system doesn't seem unreasonable in the near future.
  • + 1
 @yerbikesux: Thanks Smile .

@davemud Yeah I think GT had a prototype as well. Actually before I heard of Pinion, Nicolai used to build a Rohloff hub into their frames to turn it into an internal gearbox. I still believe Alfine or even Nexus could make a fine poor man's solution. They'll have to make minor modifications to make it work as a gearbox anyway. But once it is in the frame (and they sealed it properly) conditions are actually better than they would be if the hub was actually being used as an actual rearhub in a commuter bike. As I read elsewhere here (in a post longer than mine) the lower end versions of the 1x12 derailleur system is going to add obscene amounts of unsprung mass, most notably in the cassette. So lower end gear hubs like Nexus could actually provide a viable alternative.
  • + 1
 @vinay: Alfine hub just needs to be made slightly narrower(it's just changing nuts, nothing major) and it'd be able to be used as a gearbox like Zerode do, but in an AM frame with narrower BB. Would be easy for manufacturers to use, and cheap to replace(about the same price as an XTR mech but much much more reliable and chain and sprockets would also last several times longer, so would work out cheaper than living with the cheapest deraileur drivetrain.
  • + 1
 @NoSkidMarks: Not sure what you meant. Of course the Alfine hub could be used as a rear hub but that would be a tough place for a hub not designed for actual mountainbiking. But yeah if it is done inside the frame like Zerode does (and Nicolai has done with the Rohloff), the hub can be supported and sealed externally so that it will keep up just fine. And yeah if it can be done with Alfine, it can be done with the cheaper Nexus hubs as well. I actually believe that some could be just happy with a three speed geared hub which are pretty simple and cheap. Actually seven speed geared hubs aren't too hard to service either, just make sure you align the planetary gears properly (which isn't an issue with three speed hubs). You must have messed up pretty much to completely destroy a geared rear hub (if used inside the frame). Really I don't think it is Shimano and SRAM we should be waiting for. The hubs are there, it is up to the frame designers to implement them into their frames. Sad thing is too many people are judging it by the total weight of the system instead of where the mass is actually positioned. And honestly rear hubs for commuter bikes aren't designed to be as light as they could be.
  • + 2
 @vinay: There already are bolt on e mid drive kits that let you install a mid drive motor on a regular bike. I think people now fed up with 1x11/12/+ and huge cogs to try and make 1x work as promised are calling for gear boxes. After market guys will do as they did with range extending cogs and start making adapters to use existing products like Nexus and Alfine because they are available.

You are right about 3 speeds and 7 speeds being simpler and some braniac with a machine shop is finally going to figure out putting the 7 speed in front and the simpler, lighter 2 or 3 speed in the rear hub. to get that full range back with a fixed chain line and the heavier piece in the middle at the bottom of the frame where a bit of weight might actually be useful.

Most important is for consumers to realize we never needed to get all of our gears from one end of the drive train. Convincing north americans this was better allowed Sram to first make simpler cranks and charge more for them to make more profit. Now with the release of Eagle they have said they are downsizing their operations by eliminating their front derailleur division. Doing so will save Sram money but they won't be passing those savings on to the consumer so again more profit for them.

Don't fall for it people.
  • + 4
 More fucking crap from SRAM.
  • + 0
 I don't know much about suspension. but seems an interesting point. but wouldn't the suspension kinematics be less effected by a large spread in cassette size versus a large spread in chainring sizes? just thinking that most of the power is being transmitted through the cranks and into the links nearest the cranks, not so much at the back end. similar to how you can shift a rear derailleur under load, while nearly impossible with a front derailleur?

but like I said, I don't know much about suspension.
  • + 1
 You're correct, front chainring size affects suspension kinematics far more than cassette size
  • + 2
 This post is just weird, it doesn't seem to be talking to anyone directly and more so reads like a weather report. Seems pretty biased though (as in more of a paid advert)
  • + 4
 this is like the transgender bathrooms of the bike world.
  • + 0
 The chain will end up being the size of a 7 year old girl's necklace.
  • + 0
 Richard, in another article, you wrote, "[Fox] Live Valve has the potential to uncouple suspension kinematics from pedaling dynamics. In short: by adding Live Valve, mountain bike designers can then optimize the suspension without compromising its kinematics in order to boost pedaling firmness. Considering that every popular suspension at present is a compromise between pedaling and acceleration, FOX's Live Valve may inadvertently become a revolutionary tool for next-gen frame designers"

Would electronic suspension obviate your second concern here about suspension kinematics?
  • + 0
 It depends on the trails you ride, but the local trail/AM type trails here in the Southeast US don't warrant a need for such a large range. Even though the ability to run a larger chainring up front prevents spinning out on descents, I have never experienced the need for anything more than a 10/11-42 cassette with a 32 ring. Descents or climbs, that will be all I need here. 12 speed may be perfect for riders with gnarlier descents and climbs, but it isn't justifiable for riders like me. Let's hope SRAM and Shimano continue perfecting 11 speed and not just focus on 12 speed.
  • + 0
 I get the impression that's exactly SRAM's perspective on 12: after all, they haven't stopped making XO1 & XX1.
  • + 0
 An interesting angle for the big S's to consider is 'visual technology' . Changes to the common chain drive setup are visible to the user and others around. And although a gearbox is a big jump and would certainly garner attention, improvements or changes to the system would be largely hidden from view, this could be tough to swallow from a marketing perspective (IMHO)
  • + 2
 I don't know how you can say Internal Gear System mountain bikes would not be visible. Mountain bikes like the Zerode, running the Pinnion or an internal hub will turn heads where ever they are. IGS has the clean look of a single speed, no crap dangling off any where. They can also run a gates belt drive. How can you say a bike like that would go unnoticed?
  • + 3
 No thanks! Waiting for the 1x13
  • + 0
 Shimano will simply stick it to Sram by going 100% electric everything. Di2 for all they'll say- DEORE and SLX will make the eagle fall when even they go electric #IndustryStandard
  • + 2
 Some people like myself will never go electric though. I have no desire to ever have to charge my bike.
  • + 1
 @e46s54: or your phone?!?
  • + 2
 Eagle will lead to more and more blown up free hub bodies. Lets see the improved designs for that Sram.
  • + 2
 I was told that SRAM's new eagle has the closest shave if anything on the market to date..
  • + 1
 I was told there would be downhill.
  • + 0
 "we will get used to seeing larger cassette cogs, just as we have learned to ignore wheel diameters and boost-width forks."

Who said we ignore wheel sizes and have accepted boost?
  • + 3
 None of this matters, Ebikes are your future, resistance is futile
  • + 0
 As long as these new options make the one to two year old options 50%-80% cheaper I'm stoked.i don't need the newest shit every season,happy getting last years stuff at a huge discount with the same warranty
  • - 2
 "It can be argued that, in the past three or four years since the relationship between the drivetrain and the rear suspension has been stabilized, almost every long-travel bike made has been a good performer. "

"Almost" seems to be a hasty generalization considering the number of mediocre bikes in the 150-170mm travel category (*cough*Jamis*cough*).
  • - 2
 I'm no DH rider, in fact I'm an Enduro/AM (whatdayacallit this week) 140-160mm travel riding wuss, but nearly everywhere I ride is far too steep to ride up whatever the gearing so having these teeny tiny ratios with dinner plate sized cogs and that huge dangly RD is not worth the money.

Also I just don't need 12 gears, 8-10 gears on a 40-11 on 34 narrow/wide is fine for me. Seems the are just making cool innovations but really they just aren't necessary.
  • + 1
 I would get carpal-tunnel THUMB with this setup. With the Shimano at least you can down shift 2 at a time.
  • + 2
 But how does all this help me get laid?
  • + 1
 Sram Shimano or Pinion, now which one ticks all the boxes. Let me think about this......
  • - 2
 Derailleurs are more efficient in dry conditions - end of. In wet, muddy conditions a gear box will either match, nearly match or better a derailleur depending on the exact conditions as well as giving much crisper gear shifts, reducing the chance of ripping a mech off and not massively reducing the life expectancy of an expensive cassette. The solution is not one or the other its both - a bike for dry conditions and a bike for muddy horrible conditions....and who doesn't want another bike! I already have this setup using an Alfine on my mud bike hard tail - Its ace but a dedicated gearbox might be better. It certainly would be on a full suss...I ran the Alfine on a full suspension rig for a while - it was also ace but had some serious flaws.
  • + 0
 I think the chainless winning run from Aaron Gwin kind of shows transmission efficiency is not as important as believed by most. At least for DH.
  • - 1
 2x10 works well. Have yet to drop a chain. My money stays in my pocket for new tires and some rims in the future. Make sure when you buy this, to get a matching grill for yo' mouth!
  • + 1
 I run 1x10 and is super light, cheap and makes you stronger. My other bike of course is a single speed.
  • + 3
 industry trash
  • - 2
 As someone who has been working on a "transmission" for the last 15 years, this discussion is very interesting. A lot of valid comments and a lot of BS. I have worked with one of the big boys, and it's going to take a design that can meet all the criteria discussed to be successful. It's pretty obvious that no one has yet been able to do it. It is encouraging to see that there is a sizeable demand for this product. Rock on
  • - 2
 Hey - I hate to tell you but in actual fact it is 500 percent.

The size of the front ring does not matter as long as it stays constant.

the number of inches travelled per pedal stroke (gear inches) = wheel dia x (teeth front cog/ teeth rear cog)

As an example for a 30 tooth front and a 100 inch dia wheel you would travel:

10 tooth - 300 inches
50 tooth - 60 inches

Hence you travel five times as far in you big gear - or a 500% spread (300/60 = 5 or 500%)
  • - 2
 I have a genuine suggestion and I'm prepared for flames, but please give it a read... it DOES NOT incorporate electronics completely, only partially.

What if we could have an e-motor that mimics the leg-input intensity you experience when switching gears, but still gives the power output at the rear wheel? Not a throttle, but essentially an electronic shifter that still increases the leg work you need to input like a real bike, but transmits that increased leg input into electronic power. A genuine compromise, in theory anyway, to remove rear mechs once and for all.... Anyone know if it could work and make pro and anti-ebikes both happy??
  • + 0
 If you're thinking of generator - motor combination. Current technology would result in 40% loses.
  • - 2
 1 x 11 shimano was too much...going back to sram 1 x 7 on my trail bike....all that shifting is like eating a cold turkey sandwich...takes a while which I dont have time for...now going to 1 x 12 is like eating two cold turkey sandwiches while shifting...foget aabout it...
  • + 0
 I thought of something yesterday, does the 12 speed sram chain not work with any regular chain tool? Every chain tool I've ever used has been up to 11 speed chains.
  • + 0
 Normal 7 speed chain tool will work fine to break a 12 speed sram chain. It takes some finger strength because the pins are really strong. You can't join the chain with the old broken pin, need to use a link. Also the fancy chrome sram 12 speed chain seems to work fantastically with 2x10 system. No complaints, beautiful chain.
  • + 2
 Hopefully Shimano responds with a big middle finger.
  • + 2
 Shimano responds with the Bird
  • + 1
 Always appreciate your articles, Richard. Which racers are utilizing SRAM Eagle?
  • + 2
 What is this Richard's other profile? There's not a single person on here that appreciates the 1x12. there are literally 100's of comments and we all see this as BS.
  • + 2
 Bla..bla.bla.blablablablabla....
  • - 1
 More stupidity from the industry that likes to enter the pockets of its customers much too often. 50t...not necessary unless you're climbing Kilimanjaro. 10t and 50t have no place on the same rig.
  • + 4
 @dimitree but if you have a 50T cog, you can easily move to a 34-36T front ring, from a 30-32, without making your granny gear any more work but greatly increasing top speed. They didn't mention that here, but that's the real benefit in my eyes.
  • + 3
 Living in Colorado, all the granny you can get helps. Lung busting climbs out here
  • - 1
 More years, more gears. Stop skateboarding on the damn sidewalk! Crazy kids with your cell phones and your 10 speed drivetrains! why don't you spin a 50t cog like the rest of us elderly folk!?
  • - 2
 i like it! no more spinning out on fast trails! 36/38 up front.

i believe this is the sweet spot between high and low ratios! ! after this i think everyone can take a chill pill and stop R&D on gears.... i wouldnt mind seeing a third or fourth player in the drivetrain field... (derailleurs and shifters)
  • + 3
 Just make a 1X20 already
  • + 1
 Why not put the 12 sprockets to the front to make the suspended rear wheel lighter? Oh, reads like a gearbox.
  • + 2
 I'll stick with my big bad 3x10 thank u very much.
  • + 0
 Yes your right the peak district,Lake District are incredibly flat,25-40 milers no problem,
  • - 3
 I wish the industry would stop referring to these 1x systems as "transmissions". A transmission or gearbox comes in a sealed case with fluid in it (P.S. that's what we really want). These should be referred do as drivetrains. If SRAM and Shimano would throw their money and engineering skill into developing actual sealed transmissions we would not have to deal with stupid things like varying suspension kinematics and long wide low hanging derailleurs.
  • + 1
 I admit I want it mostly because that gold looks sweet!
  • + 2
 1 x 10 is not dead....
  • - 3
 Personally, I live in the mountains and a 1 x system is absolutely crazy for us. I would NOT be interested in purchasing a bike with this system, and since I own a small shop... will NOT be stocking any either, I have no issues with offering this system, but wiping out other 2x or 3x systems means that for some... the industry will be losing customers. While some may be interested, some WILL NOT and forcing it down our throats isn't going to grow your bottom line.
  • + 1
 Am I missing something here,32-11/36 what more do you need.
  • + 17
 You are probably missing mountains. I have a friend who lives in Vancouver who posts rides on strava with over 600m of climbing in 14k total. That's who these systems are designed for.
  • + 4
 I can do pretty much anything with 1×10 like you , but a lot of the once a week riders need that extra gear.
I have seen some really good riders out there that use single speed rear hubs and cram 5 gears in the small freehub body.
On 29ers ! Impressive!
  • + 2
 @Patrick9-32: ,I ride 25-40 miles in the peak and Lake District,on a34lb bike,some riders would benifit from getting fitting,than taking the easy option of lower and lower gearing.
Multi day expeditions in Nepal I can see the point,but for weekend warriors doing 15mile,I don't.
  • + 1
 @enrico650: I agree,some guys I know run 34-11/36, but manually slip the chain on to a granny ring for long sustained climbs
  • - 2
 Where i live, we have trails with more than 2.000m.

Like 70km and 2.300m impossible to use 32/36
  • + 3
 Good average for me in my area as well. If you are spinning on a 32:50 you can probably walk faster
  • + 4
 @Patrick9-32: that's not a lot of vertical over 14k...
  • + 2
 @jase111171: actually I use exactly that (34 oval with 11-36) and left the 26t just in case. I am a firm believer that the super granny gears are useful only on extended non technical climbs, but I haven't needed the 26t yet. In NZ I wish I had it, back pain appeared on 20+min climbs (33 front 11-32 rear 26").

But I strongly disagree with you : people are different and I know people who ride twice a week (they're fit) and prefer 22-32x11-32
  • + 1
 @vitoror @Patrick9-32 I guess it depends on the trail you are on, but 32x10-36 seems just fine for many guys I see riding in mountains with massive climbs. You can ride quite a bit on a 29er with a 32x21 gearing, you just adapt your technique (and occasionally push, on the steepest stuff). Point is, maybe some people don't have the legs for it, or they don't like hurting a little on the climbs, but it's not like it's difficult to impossible. The worst part about 32x10-36 is that you spin out on the descents sometimes.
  • - 1
 @Patrick9-32:
In live on the north shore vancouver , two weeks ago I did 550m in 10K . 2x systems are still the bomb. I still see more 2x then 1x here.
  • + 3
 @jase111171:

Simply put if you spin too big a gear, you're going to blow out your knees. Same reason people do not drive everywhere is 5th gear: because your tranny (and other engine parts) would implode.
  • + 2
 @Reelchef67: Riding over there when I visited my buddy I was very glad of the 2x system on my hire bike both on Fromme and in Squamish, my legs are not used to climbs that take a full hour. Where I am I rarely feel like I need more than my 11-36/30 tooth set up on my trail bike and my road bike is a single speed.

@jase111171 Taking the easy option of lower gearing is necessary for a lot of riders. A lot of my friends simply can't ride at the weekends due to family commitments, meaning they are relegated to an hour or two after work once or, if they are lucky, twice a week. Just "getting fitting" isn't really an option. Are you so elitist that you feel like they shouldn't be catered for as they aren't serious enough?
  • + 0
 @jase111171: It doesn't matter what gear you use... you still have to get up the same climb. Whether you eat a McDonalds Super Combo in five minutes or half an hour, you're still a fat bastard.
  • + 0
 My typical ride would be 30km with 1300m of climbing. I use a 2x10 XT but barely touch the granny ring.
  • + 1
 @Patrick9-32: no I'm not elitist,far from it,i appreciate,if people can't get out much,that they fitness won't be great,and lower gearing would be better,in order for them to get out and ride.You do get fitter if we take yourselves out of our comfort zones,and riding will be a far more enjoyable experience,but I think the whole gearing issue is getting ridiculous,like somebody said,what's wrong with a 2x set up.If the rear mechs get any longer they'll be getting ripped off every ride.
  • + 0
 @KotsosK: never ever touched the granny ring...but there's plenty out there who haveWink
  • - 1
 @Patrick9-32: Priorities, man. If your pals were committed to being in shape, they'd be in shape. My pops is near 60, works as a consultant and flies all over, puts in 70+ hour weeks routinely, and manages to put me to shame in terms of fitness. He squeezes in workouts whenever possible, and, while his fitness fluctuates with his work schedule, he can still come out with me on a road ride and keep pace. Hell, I went home a few years back and he was in great shape, I was not, and he nearly dropped me (probably woulda if we had ridden longer)!

I realize that everyone has choices in life and bikes aren't at the top of people's lists. However, I am sick and tired of the trend of "oh look at my lazy, first-world ass that needs to be catered to because life is so hard" attitude coming over to mtb. Everyone needs to quit their bitchin. You can find time to do squats, jump rope, ride a trainer or whatever for an hour a day or less. Thing is, most people refuse to put work into get in shape. I know I am certainly not the best (pretty bad about consistency, actually), but I am under no illusion of thinking it's because I just don't have time.

I'm not saying their should only be options for the super-fit; in fact, the mtb industry already caters towards the middle of the road rider (look at how shocks, gears, etc come pre-set -- for pansies). I am merely pointing out that there's way too much of this, "Well I can't be in shape because I have real life to take care of" attitude, and it's simply not the case. People just get lazier and lazier; no one said it is easy to not be a fatass, especially when we live in a world of increasing laziness, gluttony and sedentariness.

TL;DR: if you're out of shape, quit yer bitchin and train. Why train? To get fast (and be healthy, ya lards!). Why get fast? To have more fun, for longer.
  • + 0
 @trialsracer

I've got no time read a ignorant post from 22yr old that lives in flatland with no mortgage,dependents or responsibilities. Come ride the shore when your almost 50 having had lots of sports related injuries over the years and see how you do.
  • + 1
 Everyone else seems to have made a comment, so I thought I would too...
  • + 1
 Excellent article, answered many of the questions I had after the launch.
  • + 0
 Anyone know if I can just swap my X01 Cassette for the Gold portion of the Eagle cassette?
  • + 0
 It's a different width. the whole eagle cassette is the same width as an xo1 11spd
  • + 1
 What happened to sram's Hammershmidt??
  • + 1
 But this one goes to 12.... And its gold !
  • + 0
 Excited for Force 1 Eagle! Hopefully they wise up and make a 12 speed 10 - 36!
  • + 3
 What's to be excited about? The article says while 1x in theory solves the effects on suspension from the chain being moved from that ideal position near the top of a 24T chain ring it worsens the effect of the chain on the suspension by offsetting it more and creating even bigger angles.

So in addition to the longest chain and rear derailleur cage ever seen on an OEM mountain bike drive train it is also working backwards and sideways from one of the original benefits of 1x .It puts a cog on the back wheel that is larger than the largest ring of any mountain bike triple crank and offsetting it one more step.

What new hub, BB and frame standards will they add next year to try and make it work in the real world of mass production and normal wear and tear?
  • + 2
 @davemud: Offset chain stay on drive side. They'l milk this before having to do gearboxes.
  • + 1
 everyone knows because it's gold.
  • + 1
 Gearbox is the future. Have fun with your eagle.
  • + 0
 What about us old gits with tired legs who need a 2x11 or 3 x10 to keep it going on the hills?
  • + 0
 9-45 tooth 500% range, slightly smaller cassette, theoretically a little less unsprung weight, and a shorter derailleur cage
  • + 0
 How much real world testing have they put on this? To me right now is a golden eagle poop! #imjustsaying
  • - 2
 EASY with all this forward-thinking technology! I only just yesterday got a new bike with my first bone fide SRAM 1 x 11! Can a man have a minute to savor it before it’s totally obsolete?

I jest - long live innovation!
  • + 2
 No, Just us your money, Love....SRAM
  • + 0
 Who needs all these gears?
  • - 1
 Umm, it has 12. Aaaand somehow a 3x10 system with 30 is completely reasonable number? Not following your 'logic'.
  • + 1
 @CaptainSnappy: What do you even need 12 cogs for?
  • + 5
 @thisspock: different sized cogs are used for different speeds when pedaling
  • + 2
 @CaptainSnappy: Tons of overlap, there, bud. He's talking about spread
  • + 0
 Anybody here that really needs a 500% range? Seriously.
  • + 1
 Anyone still riding a 3x9 or 3x10 system pretty much does, so in a word, yes.
  • + 1
 Definetely comes in handy a lot of times. And I wouldn't even consider myself super-unfit.
  • - 1
 2 words: SINGLE SPEED. Efficient, cheap, light, and virtually no maintenance.
  • + 0
 Just. Get. Stronger. Fin.
  • + 0
 Self tuning 2x with a single electric shifter?
  • - 2
 Nothing self-tunes as that would necessitate it to compensate for cable stretch or mechanical damage. Well at least cable stretch would be cool... but it's an easy to fix so what's the point? XTR di2 can self-shift on a 2x with one shifter; it's all in how you program it.
  • + 1
 AUTOBIKE.
  • + 1
 Gearbox.
  • - 1
 pffft gears???? colin furze just created the future bike.
  • - 1
 All that matters is, it's GOLD!!!!!!!
  • + 0
 Edit: never mind
  • - 1
 ..
  • - 1
 the $300 version will be along shortly.
  • + 0
 I can't wait to try di2!
  • - 3
 Stoked for when the price comes down, but gold....really... "you know Goldmember, I don't speak freaky-deaky Dutch. Okay, perv boy?"
  • - 3
 If companies put as much effort into gearboxes as they do trying to win the wheel and tire size competition, gearboxes would be the norm by now.
  • - 1
 I foresee a significant increase in snapped chains!
  • - 1
 There's a huge difference between accepting and tolerating. Just saying...
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