Want to spice up your bike's looks and shed a few grams? Garbaruk is a family owned machining and manufacturing factory that makes beautiful components from high-strength aluminum and steel alloys. To celebrate their recent move from the Ukraine to Krakow, Poland, they sent us a matched set of drivetrain items, headlined by a new 12-speed 10 x 50 cassette. PB previously reviewed their 11-speed wide-range cassette
with good results. Their latest offerings are equally stunning and we expect the same or better performance, as Garbaruk noted improvements to their tooth profiles and shifting ramps.
The first 11 cogs of the 12-speed cassette are machined from one piece of heat-treated alloy steel with silver-tone plating, while the largest cog is machined from 7075-alloy aluminum and then color-anodized. It fits SRAM XD drivers and can be purchased in eight colors, including basic black or silver.
Tucked in with the cassette was a color-matched pair of CNC-machined aluminum derailleur pulleys (14 and 12 tooth), and a 30t-tooth oval chainring (they offer round as well). Components can be purchased directly from their web store,
with cassettes priced at $314, pulley sets at $69 and SRAM-compatible chainrings ranging from $37 to $71 USD. (they make chainrings to fit all popular cranksets).
Garbaruk 12-Speed Cassette
Designed to fit SRAM XD drivers, Garbaruk offers their 12-speed cassette in either a 10 by 50-tooth range (10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42-50), which is the same gearing as SRAM's 10 x 50 Eagle cassettes.
Garbaruk also offers a 10 by 48-tooth range (10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42-48 ), for strong riders who want that last shift to be a smaller jump. Similar to SRAM, the largest, aluminum cassette cog is splined and engages the XD driver, while the contiguous block of 11 steel cogs are attached to the 50 tooth. Garbaruk's cassette also uses the same splined tool as SRAM, which is a good thing.
Construction: One piece alloy steel alloy cogs - 10t to 42t, 7075 aluminum - 50t cog
Compatibility: SRAM XD drivers
Gearing: 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 28, 32, 36, 42, 50, or 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 28, 32, 36, 42, 48
Colors: silver-tone plated steel cogs, Anodized 50t or 48t in black, silver, blue, gold, green, orange, red, or purple.
Weight: 10/50t: 342g, 10/48t: 339g
MSRP: $314 (black/silver) $331 USD (colors)
Comparing weight and price, SRAM claims 357 grams for their top-range XX1 Eagle cassette, while Garbaruk claims (and does) weigh within a percent of 342 grams. SRAM's golden or oil-slick XX1 Eagle will run you $449, while Garbaruk's costs $314 - over a hundred USD less. SRAM's comparably priced XO1 Eagle cassette costs $385 and weighs a claimed 357 grams. Most people considering the Garbaruk option, however, will probably be upgrading from one of SRAM's heavy, lower-priced cassettes like the $215 GX-level XG-1275 "full pin" model that weighs 450 grams.Riding It
Installation is the same as SRAM's cassettes and, as mentioned, uses the same spline tool. Garbaruk's tolerances and spacing were such that I had no need to turn a derailleur adjustment screw - shifting was spot on. I installed it in a hurry on the first review bike, however, and did not use a torque wrench ...aaaand it managed to come loose a few rides later. The hub was an Industry Nine, so no questions about quality. Torqued correctly, I had no repeat performance or any further issues with the cassette.
Shifting was not as crisp and mechanically smooth as the SRAM XX1 it replaced on the first test bike, but on par with the SRAM XG-1275 cassette that I was using on the second bike I mounted it to. What I did notice was that the Garbaruk cassette was a little more fussy. I could sense the difference in shifting, one click in either direction of the adjustment barrel, while SRAM's cassettes needed a couple of clicks to achieve a similar bias in the direction I was shifting across the cogs.
Garbaruk's cassette could be pedaled backwards without making a mess of things, which is the present standard, and while shifts were noticeably louder than either SRAM cassette, surprisingly,
it ran more quietly than both of its rivals. If I were asked to rate the shifting performance against SRAM XX1, I'd say 95 percent. Did I ever miss a shift? No. Was there ever a moment when a shift lagged under power? No. SRAM and Shimano, however, have a busload of patents and experience on their sides that make that last five percent tough to achieve. Garbaruk joins e*thirteen as one of the top contenders who has a shot at closing that gap.
Lightweight alternative to XO1 Eagle at a lower price+
Good looking. Color match your drivetrain components to your bike
Doesn't shift as smoothly as SRAM's top line Eagle XO1 and XX1 rivals.
Garbaruk's take on the narrow-wide tooth profile is influenced by both Shimano and SRAM. Their tooth profile is very tall, like Shimano's, which helps retain the chain while it is thrashing left and right and, like SRAM, the tips of the wider teeth act as a sort of pivot, around which, the chain links can rotate slightly as they engage from various angles. Garbaruk also claims that their design helps cleanse the teeth from mud and crud and redirect it away from the moving bits. Garbaruk makes them both round and oval. I'm a fan of their 12-percent oval design reviewed here.
Construction: CNC-machined 7075 alloy aluminum, narrow-wide tooth profile
Options: Oval - 12% or round, 26t to 38t (sizes vary by brand)
Compatible: SRAM, Shimano, FSA, e*thirteen, Race Face, Rotor, THM, & Tune
Colors: Eight anodized colors, including black and silver
MSRP: $37 to $97 USD ($63 - 30t oval SRAM GXP tested)
Garbaruk's tooth profile runs silently, a rarity for oval chainrings.
Disclosure: I didn't put a huge amount of time on the Garbaruk chainrings because the cassette was the star of this show and I needed a direct comparison using similar SRAM drivetrain components. That said, the blue anodized color coat is holding up exceptionally well so far, and I expect this chainring to be as long-wearing as the teeth on Garbaruk drivetrain components I've previously reviewed. They machine their chainrings and large cogs from hardened, 7075 aluminum alloy - which evidently is a big plus.
Tops on my like list is how quietly the chainring runs. Oval rings tend to sound very mechanical under power, but not this one. Garbaruk must have tooth profile correct, because the same goes for the cassette cogs, which run smoothly all the way out to the extreme angles. I also like the mild 12-percent ovality and clocking of their "not-round" option for the lack of pulsation and smooth technical climbing. In addition, the chain stayed on, the sprocket fit the crankset precisely and its Boost chain line was spot on. Good stuff.
Silent running and super secure tooth profile +
Attractive anodized colors to match any bike or kit
Black chainrings mask dirt and grease much better-
Lots of cheap chainrings to choose from if color isn't your thing
Aluminum Derailleur Pulleys
SRAM XX1 through GX level rear derailleur pulleys already roll on sealed ball bearings. Those plastic discs may not look all that sexy, but they get the job done and weigh about the same as Garbaruk's stunning CNC-machined aluminum replacements. There are a few physical reasons to purchase 69-dollar derailleur pulleys, but I'll get to those later. The way I look at the equation is that once you buy the diamond necklace cassette and the matching diamond chainring, you may as well buy your sweetheart a pair of half karat earrings to complete the look.
Derailleur Pulley Details
Construction: CNC-machined 7075 alloy aluminum, sealed ball bearings
Teeth: 12t upper, 14t lower
Features: Narrow-wide tooth profile, self-cleaning design
Weight: Nearly nothing
Colors: Eight anodized colors including black and silver
MSRP: $69 USD (pair)
Garbaruk pulleys use the stock SRAM hardware and line up with an identical chainline as the ones they replace. You will need to add some thread locker to ensure the minimally threaded screws
don't rattle out and deposit your expensive accessories somewhere on the trail. If you don't own a torque wrench, Google how little force 3 Newton meters is before you tighten the pulley screws - it doesn't take much. Riding Them
Like their Garbaruk siblings elsewhere on the bike these pulleys never even whispered during the review period. But, the best and most unexpected tangible benefit of this pair of impulse purchases is how much cleaner they stay.
I can't explain how it happens, but SRAM's and Shimano's plastic pulleys act like tiny cement mixers that combine chain lube, plant matter and trail crud into a putrid paste that non-toxic cleaners cannot dissolve.
Narrow-wide nodes (left) on the sprocket teeth.
Every home mechanic has a favorite flat-bladed screwdriver that fits into the hollows of their crusty plastic pulleys to dislodge that hellish gum. Those thinly spoked pulleys with their tiny ballerina narrow-wide teeth laugh off that crud. Garbaruk, it seems, has machined away every molecule of aluminum a dab of mini cement mixer grunge could lodge onto. That alone may be worth 69 bucks.
Functional jewelry for your rear derailleur +
They stay clean and look way better
As long as your pulleys have sealed ball bearings, you really don't need them