Review: e*thirteen's New TRS Plus 12-Speed Upgrade Kit

Jun 25, 2018
by Mike Levy  
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All of the stuff pictured above may look like a random assortment of drivetrain parts, tools, and pointy things, but it's actually everything required to turn your 11-speed SRAM drivetrain into a 12-speed setup. It’s e*thirteen's new TRS Plus 12 Speed Kit, which allows you to upgrade to their 9-46 tooth, 12-speed cassette, and it includes a 12-speed chain, necessary tools and hardware to modify your 11-speed rear derailleur, and the parts to give your 11-speed shifter an extra click.

All that adds up to $299 USD, and you get a whopping, 511-percent gearing range from a cassette that weighs 334-grams, which is competitive with SRAM's lightest offering. In fact, the entire e*thirteen conversion kit also costs less than an Eagle 12-speed cassette.

TRS Plus 12 Speed Upgrade Kit

• Converts 11-speed SRAM drivetrain to 12-speed
• TRS Plus 12-speed cassette w/ 9-46 spread (compatible w/ XD driver)
• Injection molded shifter spool w/ 12-speed ratchet wheels (GX, X1, X01 or XX1)
• Two pulley wheel spacers and longer bolts
• 12-speed chain w/ quick link
• Shift cable and housing
• Includes all required tools, grease
• MSRP: $299 USD
www.bythehive.com
www.bikecomponents.de


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On the left is the stock SRAM 11-speed spool (red) and ratchet wheel. On the right is e*thirteen's spool (black) and ratchet wheel; if you count the gears, you'll see that e*thirteen's has an extra one that provides the additional click inside the shifter.


Who's This For?

Okay, the first question that needs answering is: With SRAM's entire NX 12-speed group going for $375 USD, including cranks and all the bits, does e*thirteen's $299 USD TRS Plus 12 Speed Upgrade Kit make sense given that it doesn't come with cranks, a derailleur, or even a shifter?

''Our 12-speed kit next to a complete NX group isn't really a direct comparison. NX is a nice product, but it’s SRAM’s price-point entry level group,'' Connor Bondlow, e*thirteen's marketing manager, explained when I threw that argument at him. ''Consequently, it is heavy, requires a Shimano driver, and provides less range (455%) than even other Eagle products. Our kit is aimed at a customer who has already invested in a high-quality 11-speed SRAM group and wants the benefits of 12-speeds combined with the greater range our cassettes have been providing for years,'' he went on to say.

He's probably right, too, as the majority of those currently using a high-end 11-speed kit likely aren't shopping for a relatively inexpensive NX drivetrain, even if NX performs essentially the same SRAM's much pricier stuff.

The weight is quite different, of course, as a 12-speed NX cassette weighs 615-grams, fits on a normal Shimano freehub, and costs a damn reasonable $100 USD; an X01 Eagle block weighs 360-grams and SRAM charges $1 USD for each of those grams. The e*thirteen cassette that's included in their 12-Speed Upgrade Kit weighs 334-grams on my scale, and its 9-46 spread provides a 511-percent range.
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The spool carries the cable end, and e*thirteen's comes with new bearings as well.


Modifying Your Shifter at Home

The other notable thing with e*thirteen's conversion kit is that they're selling aftermarket internal bits for SRAM shifters and telling consumers that it's okay for them to install said bits at home. I think that's really frickin' awesome, especially because much of the mountain bike industry seems to want consumers to believe that taking something apart will result in a few years toiling away in a salt mine as punishment.

But you know who doesn't think it's frickin' awesome? SRAM, of course, and installing e*thirteen's conversion kit voids any and all warranties. That's no surprise, and to be fair to SRAM, they have to think about stuff like liabilities and combining aftermarket parts with their stuff; this is a bit different than using an e*thirteen chainring or a set of Race Face cranks with your X1 drivetrain, isn't it?


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The stock spool and ratchet wheel sitting on an opened 11-speed SRAM shifter.


If you've never taken a shifter apart, it's not exactly full of tiny pieces of science that are just waiting to explode in your face if you happen to sneeze, but it is a somewhat complicated little piece of engineering. I'd argue that it's kind of a big deal that e*thirteen is taking this approach, and Bondlow agrees: ''We were always planning on letting the customer do the job. There is something to be said for empowering your customers, and not just spoonfeeding them things they really don't need. So our goal from the get-go was to provide a variety of ways to guide the customer through the install, from detailed videos to live tech support when necessary.''


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The updated TRS Plus cassette no longer requires proprietary tools to install, with the bottom portion meshing with the XD freehub's splines and being gently clamped in place. The top section locks onto it via overlapping fins and a small hex screw.



Installation

Taking things apart is probably my second favorite thing to do after mountain biking, and sometimes I even get whatever I'm tinkering with back together and in working order. But taking a shifter apart? Won't a few hundred tiny pieces fall out and roll away into the ether? It turns out that the job, while certainly requiring a bit of knowledge and patience, isn't exactly brain surgery. Actually, it's barely shifter surgery. It took me about thirty minutes, including shooting these sub-par photos, and it's far less complicated than you might think.

You'll definitely want to watch e*thirteen's how-to video if you're going to do it yourself, but here's a brief take on how it went down when I had a go.


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The Claw is your best friend for this job as it holds the partially disassembled shifter together while you mount the new spool and ratchet wheel.


After you remove the shifter's cover and thumb paddle, you back out the three screws holding the internal cover on - this gives you access to the shifter spool and ratchet wheel that you're going to replace. e*thirteen supplies all of the required tools, but the most important thing in the box is a black plastic triangle that they refer to as the 'Claw'.

So, if you were to back out those three screws and let go of the shifter, it'd probably spring apart (aaaaah, tiny pieces of science!) and then you'd be up shit creek without a paddle. But the Claw's three posts line up with each of those screw holes and, after you attach it to the underside of the shifter with the stock screws, it holds everything together for you to free up one of your hands. Pretty clever.


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With the Claw mounted to the underside of the naked shifter; you're free to back out the hex bolt that holds the stock spool in place.


Once the Claw is attached, you can pull the spring off and back out the bolt that runs through the center of the spool. After you do this, you drop the e*thirteen spool, washer (if required), and correct ratchet wheel (the kit comes with one for GX, X1, and X01, and another for XX1), run the new pivot bolt through and gently snug it up.

The spool has to be aligned correctly, of course, and a small window on it that lines up with a tab inside the shifter tells you when you've got that right. Throw the spring back on, carefully remove the Claw and reinstall the internal cover, put the rest of the stock parts back onto the shifter, and head straight to the salt mine.


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With the e*thirteen spool and ratchet wheel installed, all that's left to do is carefully put the spring back on and attached the internal cover.


You'll also need to install e*thirteen's thicker-than-stock pulley wheel spacers, along with the longer bolts, put the cassette onto your XD freehub, and put your new chain on. From there, installing a new cable and setting up the bike's shifting is the same as ever, except that you now have an extra click inside the shifter and a corresponding extra cog on your cassette.

That's a vastly simplified overview on how to do the job, and while it's not difficult, please watch e*thirteen's video instead of using my definitely non-instructions run-through as instructions. e*thirteen has put a lot of effort into both their written how-to and the video, as they should with a job like this, so take advantage of the info so you don't end up paddle-less.


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After you've converted your shifter to 12-speed, installing the pulley spacers will be a cinch.



Performance

With everything back together and installed on your bike, the first thing you might notice is that there's not a lot to notice, and I mean that in a good way. The tactile 'ka-ching' of the SRAM shifter remains unchanged, and both the thumb and release paddles feel completely stock and as though nothing's different. But something is different: There's an extra click in there now, and you've ditched that ghetto 11-speed setup that was obviously holding you back immensely for a 12-speed drivetrain that will let you scale mountains like Nino and set new landspeed records on the way back down.


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The Foxy XR's hybrid drivetrain is sure to ruffle some feathers at SRAM, but there's no denying that it performs well.


Okay, not really, but the TRS Plus 12-Speed Upgrade Kit, with its twelve cogs that run from 9 teeth to 46 teeth, does provide a massive 511-percent range that trumps a stock SRAM setup. Pairing the TRS Plus kit with a chainring that's appropriate for your fitness and terrain should provide nearly anyone with a gearing range that's wide enough to get up the side of a building, but the small 9-tooth cog also means that you might be able to run a smaller chainring to gain some ground clearance.

Shift quality is largely unchanged, and I had zero skipping issues with the tiny 9-tooth cog, but the disclaimer for that one is that it's been drier than a popcorn fart in Squamish lately - some serious mud might not jive with that little cog. The shift up to the large 46-tooth cog is marginally slower and more mechanical feeling, but I suspect that I wouldn't even have noticed if it was a blind test and I didn't know what had been changed on the bike. That's not from the modified shifter, of course, but e*thirteen's cassette that's using differently machined ramps compared to SRAM's work.


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It doesn't scream 12-speed like those massive pie plate cogs do.


Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesIf you already have a fancy 11-speed setup but want to make the jump to 12-speed, the TRS Plus 12-Speed Upgrade Kit makes a lot of sense. And that's especially true if it's time for you to replace your rather pricey 11-speed X-Dome cassette that, depending on what you're looking at, can cost more than e*thirteen's entire conversion kit. That said, I wouldn't try to tell you that having an extra cog is going to be a life-changing, angels singing kind of thing. So, while the TRS Plus kit functions quite well, it'd be hard for me to justify the $299 USD unless it was time for me to replace part (or all) of my 11-speed drivetrain regardless. Mike Levy







170 Comments

  • + 83
 honestly is that extra gear really worth that much work when TRS already has a 9-46t cassette for 11 speed sram xd?
  • + 7
 Exactly my thoughts ... their 11 speed cassette is already that range lol and it shifts amazingly smooth, so don’t see the point.
  • + 23
 Depends on the type of riding you do. Steep Enduro type of riding where you don't need small steps between gears - probably not, more XC style riding where smaller gear jumps are nice to have- yes. The current 11spd e.13 cassette has big jumps, this eliminates some of those bigger jumps between gears. When it comes time to replace my 11spd XO cassette, this is what I'm gonna be replacing it with. Take my money!!
  • - 6
flag sam264 (Jun 24, 2018 at 23:13) (Below Threshold)
 I agree, I feel like the main benefit of eagle is the 50t bailout gear. Unless you're the kind of rider that loves smashing it down fire road descents, this isn't going to give much benefit unless you change your chainring too, and then that 9t gear is going to wear VERY quickly anyway. Nice try e-thirteen, but I think it falls a bit shy of the mark...
  • + 8
 @sam264: This E13 with a 30T is nearly identical to Eagle with a 32T. The better of the two depends a lot on what you want from the gear progression. Eagle has big jumps at the extremes and relatively close transitions in the middle. This cassette is the opposite: smaller jumps at the extremes (9/10, 40/46) and larger ones in the middle. I haven't seen any reports of unusual wear specific to the 9T sprocket.

Personally, on 11S SRAM, I'm rarely in the 10T because I find the 12/10 jump too large when I'm already near my max power output. I'd welcome 10/9 with a smaller chainring. Likewise, I don't much care about close jumps in the middle, I'm usually shifting multiple gears at once anyway.
  • + 4
 @alexdi:
I just feel that it's somewhat misleading for them to say "it costs $X to upgrade to 12s", but to actually get the benefits of the 12sp drivetrain, you have to spend an additional $100 on a chainring.

a 9t sprocket will wear faster than a 10t sprocket, will wear faster than an 11t sprocket, fact. Though I'm finding it to be more of a problem on e-bikes than anything else. Whether or not this is an upgrade any e-bikers will be wanting to make is a different matter I suppose. Either way, I'd rather have an 11-50t (or whatever) cassette and a slightly larger chainring for reasons of drivetrain longevity.

Though if we're really going to flog this horse, I also feel like the rear derailleur has pretty much been pushed as far as it can, and SRAM etc. are mostly sprinkling glitter on a turd at this point.
  • + 15
 stop asking reasonable questions, this is the MTB industry.
  • + 5
 Buy quick before SRAM sue's them a new one.
  • - 8
flag ka-brap (Jun 25, 2018 at 1:23) (Below Threshold)
 @sam264: Totally. It may have a larger range percentage than SRAM, but the 50t bailout is more important to me than simply having a greater range that doesn't help me get up steeper/longer climbs.
  • + 1
 @sam264: is it cheaper than upgrading to Eagle? Thats probably the prime motivator with this kit.
  • + 1
 That's the point. Youre right
  • + 2
 @fecalmaster: Yep, exactly this. SRAM will have this closed down faster than a hooker in skechers.
  • + 5
 If you have and love 11 speed stick with it, but this is also a super reasonably priced and lighter Eagle replacement cassette (if you have XO1 or XX1 Eagle) with more reasonable gear steps. It’s a cool replacement option for racer types and gram counters for sure.
  • + 21
 Everytime I climb a fireroad for more than 1h the demon comes and starts whispering to my ear that I would like some intermediate gears... because using my thumb once every 3 minutes to switch between slightly too hard gear and slightly too light gear, seems like a very hard work. Then I go ride some singletrack with steep climbs, terrain pitch changing very often and I wish I had 11-42 with 6 speeds... because it happens way too often to me where another demon comes and shouts: no time for shifting! This will do, pedal you whiny btch!!! Have some lactic acid! Wanna call yo mama and tell here about optimal cadence - fk you you pussy! FFEEL THE QUAD BURN!!!
  • + 2
 @sam264: A new ring isn't mandatory. Some folks are top-end limited, they won't want to change anything. If they do, the cost is closer to $50; not a lot if you're dropping $300 on a cassette (and chain and the rest).
  • + 8
 People probably wont replace a perfectly fine TRS+ or TRS Race 11 speed just to get the additional gear, but if your current cassette is worn out, and this one COMES WITH A CHAIN and gives you tighter jumps between the gears the $299 price seems like a pretty reasonable decision. Thats actually less than a TRS Race cassette and just a $50 more than the TRS+ which does not come with a chain.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: If you like to do your local XC weekly races like some of my coworkers, then having tight road-style jumps really helps (or so they say, and they've claimed they've measured it with power meters and all), so why not? It costs the same as the 11 speed cassette and weighs pretty much the same.

The real question is WHEN IS ETHIRTEEN GOING TO RELEASE THEIR OWN COMPLETE DRIVETRAIN SYSTEM?!?!?!?!
  • + 6
 @sam264 : Wearing out the 9t cog is never an issue. People still seem to be hung up on this for some reason, but I've been using e13 cassettes since the first version came out and I can tell you that the first ring to wear out on will always be on the alloy piece. The first ring to wear out on the steel piece will not be the 9t. It will most likely be the ring you spend the most time spinning on the steel piece.

Perhaps this is just because you are rarely in the 9t for any extended period of time, but whatever the reason, people who continue to be hung up on the 9t are missing the bigger picture. The 9t is a big part of what makes their cassettes so great.
  • + 1
 @sam264: The wear thing made more sense once you mentioned Ebikes. I run the ole 10-42 sram gx cassette and the amount of torque that I've applied to the 10T cog is basically negligible.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: depends if you want the spare parts or to sell them off.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: thats probably been what Aaron gwin might have been on. They had stated in the unno dh team interview that they had something in the works but that might have been this
  • + 2
 I couldn't agree more...... I don't need an extra gear smushed in between the 9 and 46 any more than I need 3 arms.
  • + 1
 @vtracer: it would be the same issue as with Box components. What new can they exactly bring to the table? And how can they beat Shimano and Sram which have giant budgets and years and years of doing things right and doing things wrong so they don’t do that much wrong anymore and they do some things very well.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: " Everytime I climb a fireroad for more than 1h the demon comes and starts whispering to my ear that I would like some intermediate gears... because using my thumb once every 3 minutes to switch between slightly too hard gear and slightly too light gear, seems like a very hard work. Then I go ride some singletrack with steep climbs, terrain pitch changing very often and I wish I had 11-42 with 6 speeds... because it happens way too often to me where another demon comes and shouts: no time for shifting!"

Sounds like you need a front derailleur.
  • + 2
 @dingus: the last time I had a front mech a 65 year old runner passed me on a climb.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I really miss the constant clanking and fiddley adjustments required from front mech derailleurs.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: If E13 did their own complete drivetrain, then they could optimize a derailleur to work with their 9-44 & 9-46 tooth cassettes, which are the best cogs/ratios to use. If they can get it to be as good, or close to Shimano/sram, and get a few OEM deals, then it will simply create competition and force the big two to innovate even more. It would be great pressure for the GX/XT market, while sunrace with their new 12 speed group could put a ton of pressure on the NX and Deore market, if they can go OEM.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: quad burn is a beautiful thing... Just not 3 consistent hours of it ..Or more on some of our climbs!
  • + 1
 Why shoul I dient €300,- toch upgrade met old stuff when I can get everything new for €273,-: www.bike-components.de/en/SRAM/GX-Eagle-1x12-speed-Trigger-Upgrade-Kit-2018-Model-p58999
  • + 2
 Why should I spend €300,- to upgrade my old stuff when I can get everything new for €273,-: www.bike-components.de/en/SRAM/GX-Eagle-1x12-speed-Trigger-Upgrade-Kit-2018-Model-p58999
  • + 1
 @fecalmaster: Nothing like the old metallic chainguide.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: this is the exact reason why I loved the TRS 10 speed 9-42.. slap that on with a 28T front for better clearance and less shifting. SCREW THE SHIFTING.... USE THEM QUADSSSS USEEE ITTT
  • + 1
 @alexdi: For most people there will also be another advantage in having a smaller chainring, besides the small decrease in the exposure to rock strikes: it makes the bike pedal better. Most bike manufacturers still insist on putting the rear pivot or virtual rear pivot below the chainline to decrease chain growth, but this creates pedalling-induced squat of the rear suspension. Putting a smaller chainring will bring the chainline closer to the center of rotation of the rear suspension. There aren't that many exceptions to this "pro-squat" trend. One will feel a more direct and stiff relationship between pedalling and the response of the bike by moving the chainline closer to the rear suspension rotation point. Or, if you want to move to an oval chainring, you will have to size down to keep the same chainline at the highest point.
  • + 1
 I was an early adapter of the 10/11 TRS+ 9-42t (it’s been flawless) and am now moving to the 12 spd upgrade because it smooths the transitions better from 14t-24t where I seem to spend a lot of time pedaling and often feel like I’m hung out too low/high between two adjacent gears:

Original 10s
9-10-12-14-17-20-24-28-35-42
Current 11s
9-10-12-14-17-20-24-28-33-39-46
Upgrade 12s
9-10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-33-39-46

You can gain a lot of speed crazy fast on the 9t pedaling like a mofo on the down grades
  • + 40
 I like this in principle, especially if the renewing of your cassette was on the horizon anyway.... now if only these wonderful people at E13 could design a similar up-grade for XT M-8000 they could take my money now...
  • + 7
 I'm running an e*13 trs+ 11 speed cassette with my xt8000 and it feels far nicer than the stock x1 that came on the bike.
  • + 11
 Have you ever been inside a Shimano shifter? Its not fun, probably won't happen.
  • + 1
 @Will-McCurrach: on my GX and X1 drivetrains, I get large clunking shifts down from the big cogs on the 11sp and can't make the shift from aluminum to steel cogs when shifting up (going smaller), I have the cassette on two different bikes and it performs the same on each.i also demoed two YT bikes (with Shimano not SRAM) that have it, noticing the same problems. It would be nice if a comparison to this new one was made.
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: I'm currently using a kmc chain. One thing to check is the b-tension screw is set correctly as that can have a massive effect on shifting.
If in doubt I'm sure your lbs can help you out
  • + 1
 @Will-McCurrach: I have the der cog 15 mm from largest e13 cog. Any less, and I would get a lost chain if quickly going up to the largest on a sudden climb. Reviews of the race version noted the same problems, including PB's (which I have a problem going opposite direction) - "Unfortunately, I did run into some problems higher up the range and found that the original cassette didn’t like to shift from the steel, 28t cog up to the first alloy cog (33t). The derailleur hanger was checked, gear cables checked, housing, B-tension—everything. In the end, nothing seemed to work."
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: fair enough. Mines started rattling so may get it warrantied..
  • + 36
 What? No water bottle mount?
  • + 5
 Still looks like a Session.
  • + 3
 Some people just want to watch the world burn.
  • + 19
 Taken a shifter apart once. Had to buy a new one when it would go back together. No thanks.
  • + 5
 They got instructions and the handy claw in the kit to make it foolproof.
  • + 4
 @ColquhounerHooner: Nothing in this world is fool proof.
  • + 4
 @ColquhounerHooner: "Idiot-resistant"
FTFY
  • + 1
 @woofer2609: OK, to help make it fool proof.
  • + 14
 The cassette looks like an excellent product. Class-leading weight for the range and mostly-steel construction, a smart ratio progression, and competitive pricing. Here's what I see for comparable XD alternatives:

Leonardi: 12S 9-48, 347g, $400. Doesn't work with SRAM 11S.
Eagle X01: 12S 10-50, 354g, $370. Doesn't work with SRAM 11S.
Garbaruk: 11S 10-50, 323g, $225. Needs a cage extender for SRAM 11S.
Leonardi: 11S 9-45, 325g, $370.
E13 Plus: 11S 9-46, 339g, $250.

It appears they've considerably narrowed the market for the TRS Plus 11S version. If you've got a SRAM shifter, I don't see any reason to choose the older model except to save $50.

Full comparison sheet here, it's row 8: goo.gl/CEVL6f
  • - 9
flag drivereight (Jun 25, 2018 at 1:07) (Below Threshold)
 Competitive pricing! The bike industry is whack! All the tools have been paid 100times over and the prices hasn't come down! They did not cost them more than a dollar to make, yet they tack on 500%
  • + 13
 @drivereight: Which part do you suppose 'didnt cost more than a dollar to make'?

I think you would be suprised to find out how much the big chunk of 7075 aluminium used to make that cassette costs - and there isnt a 'tool' that is paid for 100 times over that is used to make it, its CNC machined, they dont pop them out like gummie bears, do some homework.

Granted the shifter adapter is a high-profit item from a manufacturing standpoint but then you take away all of the work that went into actually designing the thing and the tool to allow people to fit it - or is labour supposed to be free - Its also a niche product, they wont sell them to every person on the street like an iphone.

The bike industry realistically isnt a huge money maker for many companies, especially those at the smaller end of the scale - going from factory to warehouse to distributor to shop to yourself means a lot of people making a small amount in reality - Of course SRAM, Giant, Trek etc will have wealthy owners but what the hell do you expect if you are heading up a billion dollar company of any type.

And to end the rant - its a completely luxury item, and at the high end of that - If you want 'cheap' the Shimano XT groupset is great value at £65 for a cassette, it will probably shift better and last longer but you will have an extra 100g (if you are bothered about that) and ratio options, that is a pressed cassette and the 'too is paid for 100 times over' which is why its £65.
  • + 2
 @justanotherusername: Plus they need to build a lawyer fund for when they get sued by SRAM.
  • + 2
 @drivereight: These are all CNC-machined cassettes. It's no coincidence they're all expensive. You can get similar range from a stamped-steel Shimano-compatible cassette for $70, but it'll weigh twice as much.
  • + 4
 @drivereight: Yea all the bike industry people are GETTING RICH. Even the CS agents and shop rats are driving around in G wagons....and those are their second cars!!!
  • - 4
flag bman33 (Jun 25, 2018 at 9:52) (Below Threshold)
 @ckcost: I don't know a single 'shop rat' driving a Mercedes unless mom and dad bought.
  • + 4
 @bman33: He's being sarcastic... unless he posted that from some alternate reality.
  • + 1
 @justanotherusername: I think his point was more about how the bike industry’s pricing doesn’t go down once tech in manufacturing improves. It stays pretty constant except inflation which don’t get me started on inflation. In other industries the price goes down over the years DVD players were stupid expensive when I was a kid they are dirt cheap now but bikes have stayed the same. I don’t think the point was made very well but I think that’s what he meant.
  • + 6
 I think their amazing 11speed cassette is good enough. Main advantages over eagle are definitely price, weight and ground clearance. Only problem is most new 29er frame designs are optimised around a 32t chain ring (eagle). With the e13 stuff you normally go smaller, which can cause to much AS. On the other hand it can help designs with low pivot points, so you might consider kinematics while making your decision...
  • + 1
 In theory the 12 speed will shift better, since it uses smaller jumps from gear to gear. For only a few dollars more and almost the same weight, it makes sense to me.
  • + 8
 30T Chainring + TRS+ cassette + XTR shifting is absolutely perfect for anything. My Jeffsy 29 came stocked like this and I have 0 need for a 12th year. It’s stupid good!
  • + 1
 *gear
  • + 2
 Exactly what I've run on my last couple builds. XTR with E13 and oval 30T chainring. Good up, down, and flat. Shifts great.
  • + 6
 Here's the real question: Is the 12 speed spacing on this cassette the same as shimano? I.e., would this cassette work with new XTR keep us all from having to get a new shimano (microspline or whatever) freehub body?
  • + 1
 This is what I also want to know for SRAM 12 so too
  • + 1
 @aushred: Yes this cassette works with any current Eagle 12 speed drivetrain.
  • + 6
 As someone who has an xx1 11 speed groupset upgrading to this when my cassette and chain wears out seems like a no brainer. NX may be cheaper... buts it's not xx1 quality!
  • + 2
 Why not just buy the 11spd E13 cassette with the same range?
  • + 3
 I like slightly disruptive products like this. Each year SRAM put more pressure on product managers to spec full SRAM. Stuff like this allows us to dodge the full groupset requirement (all nx all gx) and hack together whats best for us. Mint.

The other thing no one seems to have mentioned is that this is the first time you can get 12 gears without the absolutely massive eagle mech. Smaller mechs are better for sure.

Cant be that long till they also get this this to work on shimano shifters as well.

Win win win.
  • + 3
 The e.Thirteen TRS Race 11 speed cassette is legit. I've been running one for a while and the 9-46t range doesn't leave much for wanting I have SRAM X0 eagle on my other bike and while I like the closer ratios of the cogs, it's not like I dread my 11 speed equipped bike.
  • + 5
 If going though all that trouble, why not add a little more range like going to a 9-48 and really step it up on the big guys?
  • + 1
 I assume then you'd need at least a different cage to cope with the massive change in chain wrap. The Eagle cage is huge.
  • + 1
 @iamamodel: I thought I remember the 11 speed SRAM derailure capacity being able to go up to 49t.... But, I could be wrong on that...
  • + 1
 @lumpy873: I could be wrong.
  • + 1
 @iamamodel: but, that still doesn't mean an 11spd derailleur will shift to that big cog as well as the eagle...
  • + 1
 @lumpy873: I have no answer to your original question.
  • + 5
 just wait gor gearboxs to come out. you can only add soooo many gears to the rear wheel before it starts to get too heavy, hubs too wide(superboost ?).
  • + 10
 Rode a gearbox bike for the first time yesterday (Deviate). They’ve got a long way to come yet...
  • + 4
 @jamesdunford: But they also have a long way to go! Gearboxes are in their infancy, Derailleur/Cassettes are at the end of their development cycle. It will be the future we move towards.
  • + 10
 @Zaff: Until SRAM / Shimano pay attention to the gearbox it will stay as an ultra-niche item where it is now, small frame brands may take them on but all of the big guys will continue to ignore them.

Can you see SRAM / Shimano putting serious development into them? - Not until they are absolutely forced (and how / why would that happen anyway?) why make a product that could last years with minimal maintainence in all conditions and a tiny risk of crash damage when you can continue year on year to provide small updates to an existing system which is guarranteed to wear out / break on a fairly regular basis.

We also have the issue of who decides how to mount a gearbox - the bike industry has a terrible history of standards and I have no doubt there would be no consensus there either.
  • + 5
 @justanotherusername: Agreed its a joke! We've been waiting for years for gearboxes to become a thing and the big companies just refuse to make them for the reasons you stated.

the excuses I've always heard are "its too difficult to mount a gearbox the frame design and the weight would be too much for frame makers"

...Yet in a matter of a few years Electric bikes have come about (which clearly have a large £/$ market) and suddenly frames have been adapted for large BB centred motors, funnily enough about the same size as a gearbox.
yet we're still trying to use derailleurs to their max capacity.

Honda have already proved its possible and reliable and with todays technology its probably even possible to make an electrically operated gearbox that could even be wirelessly shifted.
  • + 3
 Pinion was good but not great after a day of climbing and descending on it, with the drag most noticable with gears meshing for power vice rollers of a chain on a gear. With 1x freeing up the front, why not install an internal derailleur system somehow vice the gearbox. I'm sure there big brands could figure this out. The feel & benefits to the rear suspension by unweighting the rear wheel without the cassette and derailer is amazing and the best benefit of the gearbox.
  • + 5
 @livlief: you're basically asking Honda to release the patents they held when closing their DH bike project.
  • + 6
 @viatch gearboxes have BEEN out. Instead of making silly comments on Pinkbike, why don't you put your money where your mouth is and go buy a Zerode, Ghost, or Nicolai that comes with a gearbox?
  • + 4
 @southoftheborder: in reality though the patent is worthless - the big guys still wouldn't use the system for the same reasons as more traditional gearbox designs and the small guys don't have the ability to persuade the bike companies to switch over even if they did make it - until the big two make moves we can all forget it unless we want to buy from one of the ultra small brands.

It's the same reason cars etc up until recently are all IC engines - the industry makes it that way, we need the bike industries version of Tesla to come and shake things up a bit.
  • + 1
 @southoftheborder: Not sure Honda was able to patent there system, it was a derailleur in a box, had excessive wear on sprockets because of short chain length within the system. One of the major downfalls of it. Also I believe around the same time Paul Components made there own version "Petespeed" right before the Honda system's internals were exposed and pretty much ruined there gearbox surprise.
  • + 1
 @workscomponents: you wouldn't sell anymore chain rings if they did go gearbox though ;-)
  • + 1
 @southoftheborder: Correction "Petespeed seems to have been developed by Hayes/Be One" Had to do a little jazz fingers on the ole Google to make sure I had correct info. Gearboxes are awesome, give it some more time.
  • + 1
 @justanotherusername: Internally geared hubs are gearboxes as well, Shimano has been developing for decades, not sure but would have to assume SRAM has them as well. Give it time, both will throw there hat in the game soon enough.
  • + 1
 @MikeGruhler: Yup, was about to point it out. PeteSpeed was developed in EU and raced under the BeOne brand, then Hayes bought the patents and buried the project, supposedly because it infringed the Honda patents. Back in the day it was rumored Honda did it as a favor for their Shimano homies, but I guess we'll never know what really happened.
  • + 1
 @workscomponents: I completely agree with you. But as you said, the big guys won't move the shifting mechanisms to the BB area until they have squeezed every possible penny off the rear wheel.
  • + 2
 @justanotherusername: thats very reductive. Pinion have done a great job with their P-line and C-line gearboxes and have been picked up by several brands. Longevity is at a point where if you're throwing down decent miles on a bike (especially in poor conditions) you get a return on investment within the life time of a cassette or two (few more with options like this appearing).

They are gaining traction, they're clearly not going anywhere. Just remember that hydraulic disk brakes started as a niche market before they became an industry standard; the advantages of gearboxes are very hard to ignore, and had we adopted them larger scaled sooner, we wouldn't be seeing the ridiculousness that has been the past few years of new standards being made to get the incremental wheel building advantages that dedicated single speed wheels eclipse.

I'm a Pinion drive train user now. Not given many reasons to go back now that I'm here, and that's market share they're gaining that SRAM/Shimano lose out on. Gotta invest in what you believe in.
  • + 2
 @Zaff: I think you are looking at this from your own personal perspective and focusing on the performance of what you use, mtb has moved on a lot since the examples of disc brakes etc you are using and the industry and companies have grown into huge concerns which govern how how things move forward - companies back then were tiny by comparison and small companies could make an impact and drive the direction of development.

Nowhere have I said that current gearbox systems such as the pinion are bad in any way but to suggest they are being adopted anywhere other than by ultra small brands is false, you would be lucky to see a single gearbox bike at the average trail on a weekend and none of the larger manufacturers are going near them.

So back to my point, this has nothing to do with the performance of a gearbox but supply and economics, pinion have no influence over what the larger brands do and are not big enough to supply them even if they did take the product on - until SRAM or Shimano make the move none of the big bike brands will, you will never see a Trek pinion bike, plus can you imagine there ever being a concensus on how to mount the gearbox? What about changes to suspension kinematics?

So we are stuck with the 'brave' such as yourself taking the plunge and the masses using what they have available, it's going to be a long while until anything changes there, to be honest I am still a way off, I don't like twist shift for a start and it can make multi - link suspension difficult to package.

A long way to go yet.
  • + 1
 @justanotherusername: Yeah, I can't disagree with that. I still stand by the comment that gearboxes have a long way to go in their development, and will have big leaps and bounds ahead in performance from what we're familiar with today. It does get frustrating sitting by and watch SRAM and Shimano constantly pump out products which have, at best, a 4000km service life to them and milking the cash cow.

It would be fantastic if Trek did something like what Ghost did with their ROAMR, and just released a gearbox version of the Full Stache, or something along those lines in their MTB-Tourer style bike, give it all a mainstream traction to stir up the market a little.

I completely support what E*Thirteen are doing, it makes the re-use and recycler in me a happy dude.

I wish things were different. Still, there's hope yet, more and more bikes with gearboxes are popping up and actually being seen and reviewed by the big sites, and that kind of exposure is always a good thing. I'll go on being hopeful that things change.
  • + 2
 So is the gap between teeth same as SRAM 12sp.

AKA, could we run this new E13 cassette on our current 12 speed setups, and 12 speed shifters? I ask as it would allow going to 12 speed without needing to go to a larger Front chainring (which i cant due to clearance) to keep the 46 same range but have better range with the 9T. This would be RAD.

Also would drop a shite load of weight from a GX setup. Same gears, Better range, less weight....
  • + 1
 I have a 10 speed e*thirteen cassette and an 11 speed. Been running both for a couple years now. 9 tooth cog makes it all worthwhile to me. All the range I want without a larger or second chainring or a ginormous granny gear. Wear isn't a problem unless you're a big dumb ass who likes to stand up and pedal the tiny cogs.
  • + 1
 Be warned there 2 pieces cassette 11spd. 46t and free hub is junk. Its lose on the free after a few rides and after taking it to every bike shop in Whistler they all say the same thing. "can't be tightened and awful product design that should be recalled.

Not sure if they have fixed that issue with this new product, if the cassette is two pieces don't waste your money.
  • + 1
 A single bolt 'pinching' the cassette around the smooth part of the xd freehub body is the only thing holding it on (same as new 9-46 11 spd trs+), that cassette slipped and damaged my brand new carbon capra. E thirteen told me to f-off as soon as I told them that. I also have the older version (2-piece, 9-44) with a lockring. It's creaks horribly but at least is physically held on to the freehub body and has never moved, unlike this BS terrible design solution for saving 20 grams.
  • + 1
 @twentyfos: i have also seen overtightening of that pinch bolt on a brand new capra from the factory, it resulted in the alignment being out, and the teeth with a pronounced "wobble" and not straight, resulting in terible shifting, so there must be a Juuuuuuust right, too tight and wobble, too loose and slipsville.
  • + 3
 Every time I hear about the new standards in gears, I can't help but thinking about Spinal Taps "But this one goes up to 11".
  • + 1
 A single bolt 'pinching' the cassette around the smooth part of the xd freehub body is the only thing holding it on. At least the old version that creaked horribly is locked onto the freehub body with a lock ring, un-like the "new and improved" version.
  • + 5
 This should be a free upgrade for any new YT bike.
  • + 3
 Fantastic news!
12 speed systems make my local trails 33% better than when I used to ride them with my 9 spd kit, and a whopping 50% better than that garbage 8 spd stuff!
  • + 1
 I haven't seen anyone mention that they have this yet, so I might be the first in the wild install here on Pink Bike.
First off, I want to say that I think I'm probably 100% the target audience for this produce. My hardtail XC bike has a full XX1 11 speed group. The bike is mostly my B bike as I race and do 80% of my training on my full suspension XC bike which has X.0 Eagle 12 speed. I've been dreaming of upping the hardtail to 12 speed but it just doesn't warrant the expense of the SRAM group and the thought of downgrading to the GX/NX options from my current XX1 feels like too much of a weight penalty and downgrade. Do I really need that extra gear as many have mentioned? Or why not just get the same range 11 speed cassette? Well, that doesn't give me one big thing that this does, the ability to swap wheelsets between the two bikes. This was enough for me to get pretty excited about a niche product that feels like it was designed specifically for me.

So, when I saw this I was really excited. I ordered it literally the day it was released.

So how is the install? Amazingly easy. The shifter upgrade took less than15 minutes including removal from the bike, install of the new parts, and reassembly. The derailleur similarly took about 15 minutes. It would be even quicker except that I realized I had so much gunk built up in there that I spent a few extra minutes thoroughly cleaning the cage and bearings. The one thing that caused me a bit of grief was the cassette. As it turns out, the freehub body on my Industry 9 torch straight pull hubs has a similar problem as E*thirteen mentions about hope hubs. The smooth section of the body has a slightly smaller diameter than the sram standard. Weirdly, the freehub on my other I-9's with J-bend spokes is to the sram spec so a quick swap of the freehub body was in order. If this weren't an issue I guess it would have been a ten minute job to install the cassette.

All in all it took under an hour to do the whole job including the added problem of swapping out some hub parts in my situation.

I don't have any ride time on it yet, but adjustment and shifting feels no different than stock sram xx1 and as of right now I'm very happy with this purchase. I may even get a second one for the enduro bike after I get some more ride time on this setup.
  • + 1
 Any word on if they'll sell just the cassette on its own for those of us who want option of the 9sp small cog but are currently working with Eagle components...? Gx Eagle cassette here and would like to see how this thing compares to it...
  • + 1
 Just buy this kit and disregard the shifter upgrade parts. You get a light Eagle compatible 12 speed cassette and chain for $299. Seems like a pretty good deal.
  • + 1
 @covekid: I get what you mean, but I'm kinda averse to buying a jockey wheels and shifter parts I don't really need. May still consider it anyway, though Smile
  • + 1
 Some one needs to make the shifter gear and a eagle like arm for 11 speed so it fits an eagle cassette. If you have xo1 or xx1 11 needing a new cassette, just mod your shifter and derailleur. New cassette, chain and chain ring... you had to replace anyways and you have 12 speed for less than a full group.
  • + 1
 Whoever does that gets sued. SRAM have their legal pants on at the moment. Making a derailleur that doesnt infringe on one of the big two´s patents is virtually impossible without paying a licensing fee. Thats how the big two are controlling the groupset market and until something legal changes this situation stays the same. This also applies to gearboxes and anything else youd like to see developed. Neither company are run by cyclists for cyclists, but they basically control this industry.
  • + 1
 Pry off my big front ring because I dinged it on one too many logs (2x) replace my worn out 7-speed freewheel with a 6-speed free wheel and adjust the limiters. Boom 12-drive train for $7.99.

www.jensonusa.com/Sunrace-Multi-Speed-Freewheel

267% range. I don't see what the big deal is.
  • + 1
 Is the modified shifter compatible with Eagle derailleurs? In other words, does the it have the same cable pull ratio as Sram 12-speed drivetrains? That would be a boon for replaceability; I tend to break derailleurs.
  • + 3
 Man they really missed the mark on this one. I mean, where's the Gripshift version?
  • + 4
 I`ll just stick with my 10speed thanks....
  • + 2
 Exactly, my 10 speed setup is still working out just fine.
  • + 3
 Would this conversion work with a 7-speed X01 DH shifter?
  • + 1
 Also looks like a few design improvements over their last range of cassettes, like a splined tooling interface on the 9T, so you should only need one chain whip to remove!
  • + 1
 That latgest cogs might suit the speed up guys bigger ring on the front but for downs not really a 32 front with a 42 or 46 is more then enough
  • - 1
 Blablabla marketing bullshit...
If you ride a 11spd x0 drivetrain :
Buy a cheap Gx or Nx eagle cassette and shifter (Gx 130euros for me)
Put the 12spd system in the xo 11spd shifter
Remove the bolt that blocked xo 11spd derailleur cage extension
Tadaaaan you have a 12spd xo drivetrain!
Used for 2 months already, everything is fine.

F*** YOU BIKE INDUSTRY AND YOUR FAKE MECHANICAL REVOLUTIONS!!
  • + 1
 You'll definitely notice the difference in shift quality going to an NX cassette from an XO cassette...
  • + 2
 @mnorris122: I haven't.
  • + 1
 GX and NX Eagle cassettes are heeaavvy though. Not everyone wants to add a quarter to half pound to the back of their bike.
  • + 1
 Honest question: Why should I buy this instead of the 11-speed TRS+ 9-46 cassette?
  • + 1
 I had the 9-46 cassette on my XTR shifter and derailleur set up... I found that it was pretty clunky while shifting between the larger gaps. I didn't like it and removed it pretty quickly. I have only one ride on the new 12-spd version. So far, the 12-spd version shifts much better and the gaps between gears are smaller.
  • + 1
 What happened to the video link? Did SRAM Lawyers drop by with a Cease and Desist?
  • + 2
 $299 just for adding ONE gear? I dont know dude...
  • + 21
 It’s a good change to do when you’re due for a new cassette anyway. The price is on par with a solid 11 speed Sram cassette
  • + 1
 Now can I get these guys to make some aftermarket master cylinder pistons that'll make my Sram brakes to work?
  • + 1
 Funny that Levy didn't bother mention e13 already makes an 11-speed 9-46 cassette.
  • + 1
 When will someone make an aftermarket Eagle cassette replacement? Price of GX eagle cassette and price/performance of X01?
  • + 1
 This will definitely be my next upgrade after my XX1 cassette wears out tup
  • + 1
 I bought the e13 12-spd kit and had my LBS install it. It shifts pretty good. I like the upgrade.
  • + 1
 Why ? GX 12speed upgrade kit is less expensive and you get cassette, derailler and shifter...
  • + 2
 Because marketing speak...
This is the range of Eagle. The range to reach. To realize. A range beyond limitation or complexity. Beyond what’s been done before. A range where fearless dedication meets relentless engineering. Where silent precision meets trouble-free reliability. Where simplicity matches strength. A whole new system for whole new horizons. The range to realize. This is GX Eagle.
  • + 1
 Weight is the main reason as described by Levy. Some people don’t want to add 150g to their bike. Also the price of this kit is not far off the price of a GX cassette and chain. Buy an Eagle GX shifter and derailleur and this kit and you can have a pretty nice, light setup.
  • + 1
 @ColquhounerHooner: "Smell the rich Corinthian leather"
  • + 1
 To clarify, no adjustments needed to the limit screws on the RD?
  • + 1
 You're changing the cassette and a bunch of stuff, so you definitely need to start from scratch with set-up.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Thanks.
  • + 1
 are you really using "ghetto" like that in 2018?
  • + 1
 Good job E13 for thinking outside the box. They are def not sitting idle.
  • + 1
 I truly believe in love, the mountain bike world really rocks %
  • + 1
 Is it April fools? This can't Be-real
  • + 0
 WTF mate. I already run the TRS Race 9-46t 11-speed cassette. What is the point here other than "because I could"?
  • + 2
 If you want smaller gaps between gears, now you can go to 12. Otherwise 11 is fine.
  • + 1
 @arphia: yup and a thinner chain
  • + 1
 Close ratio gearing is really nice
  • + 0
 Calling $299 is inexpensive?!! The bike industry is out of touch with reality!!
  • + 0
 Manager says: NX is a "nice" product. THEY (SRAM) invented it. Ok I see their point but hey, choose your words wisely.
  • + 2
 it goes up to 12!
  • + 1
 Enduro madness!!
  • + 1
 Next up, derailleur.
  • + 1
 Cake n arse
  • + 0
 The e-13 video link is dead.
  • + 1
 Chess not checkers
  • + 0
 Maybe an expanding cassette like a scooter gearbox?
  • + 0
 Warranty null and void!
  • - 1
 12 speed? nope... Im waiting 1x15 next year...
f*****g bike industry
  • - 1
 When is the Foxy 29 review coming?
  • - 2
 A pop corn fart?
Big Grin
  • - 1
 Looks like a session
  • - 2
 Elk stew farts are savory
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