Truvativ HammerSchmidt - For those about to ride!

Aug 27, 2008
by Tyler Maine  
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Truvativ HammerSchmidt launch in the beautiful town of Pemberton B.C. Pemberton was the perfect setup for this launch as the riding in and around town is tough to rival anywhere. Great ascents that rewarded you with even better descending are in abundance there and the terrain is what HammerSchmidt was built to excel on.

Here is my personal take on my experience with the Truvativ HammerSchmidt:

First off I have to say that this product is made for the mountain bikers that actually get out there and ride their bikes. I'm not talking about the person that rides the chair lift or shuttles exclusively, but the person that likes to pedal their bike all over the place. I ride my Intense SS pretty much all the time and I know that it would benefit from a product like this and here is why I say that.

There are so many genres of riders today that it's tough to classify a lot of us, but a growing class is the re-growth of the trail rider segment and the crowd that rips up everything on the 6x6 bikes. You know the guys and girls that you see climbing up the roads and trails you are shuttling and then bombing the descents with you-they are the people that will most benefit from this in my opinion.


Coming from Alberta and growing up in the Rockies, all I could think about was all the trails I'd ridden in my more XC orientated days and how they'd be more enjoyable with a drive system like the HammerSchmidt. I took my big ring off my bike back in '97 or '98 after being in Williams Lake and seeing all the riders running dual ring set ups with Black Spire Ring Gods in its place. All of a sudden I had more clearance and could actually bash into things and not wreck my rings-it seemed revolutionary to me back then. I never really missed the 42T front ring but eventually found myself happy with 36t and 38T set ups on my single ring DH bikes and 22/34 in my All Mountain build bikes. Going to a 36T or 38T ring with a front derailleur was pretty much like asking for trouble and you never knew if the down shift was going to actually happen or just make a bunch of noise and rattle until you just accepted the fact that you're not actually gonna get that easier gear you were searching for under load.

The story of HammerSchmidt:
Views: 10,554    Faves: 4    Comments: 7


Fast forward to today and we now see an even larger revolution in front drive systems-the Truvativ HammerSchmidt. The key points to this drive system for me are as follows:

1-I can now run a 22x36 or 24x38 set up with no front derailleur.

*bike companies have more freedom to choose pivot placements, although it may not benefit some designs, it will however open doors that where previously closed do to the front derailleur mount

2-Shifting ANY time-under load, back pedaling, coasting etc.

*really this at first seems odd, but one minute in and you are like hell ya! No more miss front shifts under load because your front derailleur isn't set up right or the spring simply isn't tough enough to pull it back into the granny while you mash on the gears in a climb. After riding it, you'll be blown away at this benefit.

3-Your chain can't pop off. The "sandwich" system keeps you clean too.

*seriously with this set up the chain is on the one ring and never moves. You can now run 22x11 and not be cross chained as it's centered. With the small guide plate at the top where the chain goes onto the front drive ring you simply will not see chains popping off this system. The chain ring is recessed enough that when carrying the bike you are highly unlikely to get chain lube on your clothes or body.
*one ring means that you can run a short cage rear derailleur with a taught chain and not have to worry about the extra links needed to make it into bigger front rings. (no need for a boomerang style tensioner)

4-Even more ground clearance for getting over obstacles.

*I realize that the pictures in our first article showed two different bikes going over the same object and some of you criticized that. But really you are taking the middle ring and bash ring off (that is what most 2x9 riders are running at least)
and replacing them with this new drive system that is smaller than a 30T ring would be. And for the riders still running 3 rings up front and finding they rarely/never use the big ring, well that will feel like you've gone to a trials bike for clearance.

Like I said these are the benefits that for me stick out the most, for others that will differ. But at the end of the day we've got a new product that is going to make biking more of a pleasure for a lot of riders. There will be two versions that come to market-one All mountain set up and one Freeride version. The big difference is in the heft of each system, obviously the Freeride will be for the burlier riders, while the All Mountain would be a dream for riding in places like Kananaskis Park just outside Calgary on a 6x6 trail bike. I can just picture rides in Jasper National Park and how this system would simple make the ride better.

What makes up the HammerSchmidt:
Views: 8,408    Faves: 8    Comments: 19




Ok I realize that I'm throwing a lot of praise at this system and for good reason, but I will now take a moment to try to answer a few questions I've read on the net and to share a few of my own "short comings" with you in regards to the new HammerSchmidt.

-If you are a dedicated 3 ring rider-will this product be for you? Really it depends on where you ride and how often you use that 42T ring. Maybe you'd far better benefit from a 38T because the terrain you ride is more rolling and the 32T was always a little shy and the 42T hurts a bit. But if you spend tons of time in the big ring (say commuting in a relatively flat city), then maybe it's not for you. But if you have a buddy that picks one up, convince him or her to let you try it so that you know if you are missing out or not.

-I read DH riders saying that the current guide and single ring set up was all they need-chances are you are right and this product was never geared to you in the first place. Yes there are places where this would be nice on a DH bike, but let's be realistic here, when was the last time you found pedaling your 42+ pound DH bike fun? Freeriders on the other hand that have caught the grind up and bomb down bug, you'll be all over this set up. It has all the components you were missing in a good ride.

-That system was really loud in the videos. Actually it only clicks when you back pedal. Like a standard set up, you can hear the rear hub whir while coasting, but the HammerSchmidt only clicks while back pedaling.

-Weight weenies-despite the benefits, you'll never be satisfied by the weight increase. Go with the all mountain set up and lighten something else like your tires or hydration pack. It is heavier, but that's something we'll all have to deal with. Heck I could simple go lose some weight off my spare tire and consider it on par.

-Luc touched on this and I had a few instances too where the reverse front shifting threw me off. Yes the shifting on the HammerSchmidt is the opposite to what you are traditionally used too. At first it threw me off and I know that a few mistakes were made because of it, but at the end of the day we're creatures that adapt to things and I know that I can get used to it and then your hands will both be doing the same things in terms of feel at the pedals. Push the big paddle on either side or the smaller paddle and you will get the same harder or easier pedaling response.


-Will it fit my current bike that doesn't have tabs? Pretty much no. There will be mounting guidelines for manufacturers to follow (including facing or the BB and tabs to be even) and the ISCG tabs must clock to a certain position for optimal mounting. The ISCG take on a lot of load when in the OD setting, so flimsy tabs need not apply. It's unfortunate that a lot of older rides may not fit the bill for Hammer Schmidt but moving forward a lot more companies will have HammerSchmidt compatible ready tabs.

Backing plate install to ISCG tabs:
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-Can you use this on a single speed set up? Heck ya why not reap the benefits of this set up. Some die hards may frown, but you'll most likely enjoy that rip in the woods a little more thanks to this drive system. Just be sure that it'll mount to your new/current frame.

-It was brought up at the press camp and I read some concerns about sealing and contamination from the outside elements. To me, nothing is impervious to contaminants, but companies do what they can to reduce this threat by adding seals and lubricants. I to am leery to see how it holds up to a wet, muddy winter on the west coast as everything seems to get the beats out here. But at the end of the day if I can get in there and service it on my own, then I believe it'll last the test of time. This one only time and riding will tell.

-Price concerns. What can I say it is a Premium Product and they simply cost more for a lot of reasons. The research that went into HammerSchmidt isn't exactly simple, the system itself is unique, so until more are on the market you can expect the price to stay elevated. But sit back and think about what it is and what you'd be replacing in order to mount one up and you'll understand that this is actually priced accordingly for what it is.



If you want all the technical specs for weights, costs, the works, please check out the article that Luc posted prior to this on:

Check out Luc's in depth preview here.

More details and videos can be found at www.magicmechanics.com.

-Tyler "Brule" Maine


60 Comments

  • + 13
 Prices from Pricepoint. YMMV...

Cranks/bb/rings = $350 (Raceface Atlas or Diabolus)
Shifter = $115 (Sram XO set @ $230 / 2)
Derailleur = $130 (XTR, No Sram X0 listed)
Chain guide = $110 (MRP LRP 2 ring guide)

So $700ish for "conventional" high end gear.

SRAM says to expect a price between $700 and $800 for the Hammerschmidt

Weights:
Atlas cranks = 955g
Shifter = 115g
Derailleur = 149g
LRP = 235g

Total = 1424g

Sram says 1623 for the AM version. Less than 1/2 a pound heavier.
  • + 3
 thats a good point
  • + 5
 good research, thanks.
  • + 14
 SICK... the ground clearence is awesome... and who cares if its heavier?
  • + 3
 use for downhill would be sweet because of the clearance, and when you come out of corners haulin on the pedals, just click it to the lower gear and rip out of the corner and change it back up when you reach speed again. bottom line is, its a very inovative product and might be worth the price, but we will see after everyone has done their "winter" riding.
  • + 3
 I like it, but I won't buy it just yet. Since Nicolai and Bionicon are partnered in making another version they call the B-Boxx, and with Mr. Nicolai's genius in gearboxes (He makes his own, designed the Suntour V-Boxx and designed the Universal Transmissions G-Boxx2 which is his other company.) I trust his version will be better. They have a target weight of 1.2kg for the B-Boxx (aimed towards AM/Enduro) A link is given below to this.

http://www.bioniconus.com/blog/index.php/2008/08/01/the-b-boxx-transmission-announced/
  • + 2
 how heavy is it? im sure in time the technology will make it lighter and lighter + even if it is heavier than a conventional set up at least the weight is exactly where you would want it!

how much is all we ask next!?
  • - 1
 It would be lighter if they allowed it to use an isis bottom bracket. The Howitzer BB basically cancels out any weight savings from the OCT cranks.
  • + 1
 Good article Tyler. I as able to ride the Attack Trail(UK) pictured above and felt the same way about the system that you do. It took a few shifts to get used to it, but I had a great ride! Looking forward to running the set-up myself.
  • + 1
 Everyone says this compoinent could be popular for slopestyle bikes, but do slopestyle bikes really need front gears? Cuz I always thought most slopestyle bikes have a single chainring up front with somekind of a chainguide system. I think that all mountain and aggressive xc riders would like this product more than jumping slopestyle guys.
  • + 1
 You will not be able to buy this in Canada for at least 8 months (aftermarket). Sram is also working on a similar system for the rear. They want to get rid of derailleurs all together.
  • + 2
 If anyone can Sram can.
  • + 0
 It would be very nice to get rid of derailers, but that Rolhoff is like $1600, so you'd be looking at $2450 for just a drivetrain. Ouch. But if it works well they'll only get cheaper.
  • + 0
 Oh yeah, The one major downside to this system that few seemed to mention much was the problems was pedal feedback and brake jack in some suspension designs. I ride a SC Nomad, and my bike rides pretty poorly in the granny grear. I don't use my granny much except the occasional super-steep climb. I definitely wouldn't like the VPP setup if I was always in the granny ring. With Hammerschmidt, the small ring would be a detriment. I would imagine that this problem would be inherent with any VPP suspension setup, plus similar frame designs like the DW Link or Giant Maestro. My bike doesn't have ISCG mounts anyhow. But I was thinking of upgrading to the new Nomad frame. I might hold off on that now and get a Norco or another suspension design without this problem.
  • + 0
 This is a great innovation. The drivetrain is the one area where mountain bike technology has been slow, with no major breakthroughs in a few generations. This could change all that. I hope that this system works well, as this could be a major development. In five years or so, we might be looking back on this as a seminal step in mountain bike technology. The comments about how this 'opens doors' couldn't be more true. It looks like it will be a cool product next year. But we might not see the full implications of this for a few years, as frame designers take full advantage of the system. Plus, as with any truly groundbreaking design, it may take a take a few revisions to the system itself to see the full benefits. I wouldn't be suprised to see it get lighter, more durable, and just better overall after a few years of development. This could be more than a cool component. We could look back on this as one of those seminal products, like the Horst Link, the original Hayes Mag brake, and the Foes Curnutt shock, that totally changes the way bikes are made.
  • + 1
 what about wear, and it clicks the whole time u are pedalling in overdrive, that will get boring really fast, and it is gonna be expensive i'm guessing!
  • + 1
 prob gonna toss one on my Norco Team DH and loose the massive 38tooth and still be able to go for a cruise in the city on the bike
  • + 0
 One of the demo bikes I've seen and rode around on was the 2009 NOrco Shore 1 and it works exceptionally well on that bike.
  • + 1
 This is actually super cool. And frames can get even lower with lower bb heights and centres of gravity without fear of banging the rings. me like.
  • + 0
 All you need now is a Rolhoff rear and you could run a 28 speed set up with no derailers at all, it would set you back the same as a rebuilt american made automobile transmission but atleast this ones made in asiaWink
  • + 0
 i can see this being popular for slopestyle/dj bikes, run a really small back cog and have a regular jumping gear and high speed jump gear while keeping a single speed style layout.
  • + 1
 this is the evolution of mtb can only get better ,they have too start somewhere ,next year maybe ill get 1, taking all montain to the next level
  • + 0
 When is this going to be available to the public/// will someone w/o a dgree in Astrophysics be able to install this? This looks like an awesome product... they are under a thousand bucks right?
  • + 1
 I'd say you can expect to see them popping up at the tail end of winter and yes even you or I could install them onto a frame that is ready. Yes pricing for the whole set up is under a thousand. You'll have enough left over to pick up new tires and more.
  • + 0
 Hell Yeah...I can not wait to try this out on my next build.. thanks for the info Brule... happy trails to you my friend. -Cory
  • + 2
 well use full i can see this going alot of downhill and freeride bikes think of that clearence
  • + 3
 nice. whow much they weight?
  • + 1
 they wiegh more then an average chainguide thats all i know
  • + 2
 this would be great for a slopestyle/dirtjumper bike
  • + 0
 how wide does that put the cranks apart? would the right pedal be further from the frame than the left? that would be terrible!
  • + 0
 seems like a great product. but brule, considering the expense. are all the components on this device made for longevity? like a traditional set-up.
  • + 0
 Obviously time will tell. There are no little plastic bits inside this drive system that could prematurely wear out. All solid metal gearing. I personally am looking forward to getting one to mount on my all mountain / light duty hard tail for trail riding.
  • + 1
 well this is a fantastic part! i will buy it for sure but only when the price comes down. hip hip hurra to SRAM!
  • + 2
 Great write up. I can see how your 6.6 SS would benifit from this system.
  • + 0
 interesting concept, but not worth the trouble of crappy ass howitzer... might be considerable when they come out with a better bearing system...
  • + 0
 How about a system like this to replace the rear cassette and derailleur (aka rock bait) combo.
  • + 0
 Didn't address the biggest negative of the design, pedal feedback in the 22 tooth ring on a LOT of bikes out there.
  • + 3
 Luc touched upon that in his article and I was trying not to talk about the same things in each or you'd just have a reprint and that would defeat the purpose of trying to be informative. You are correct this isn't for every style of suspension out there, but it will work and benefit the majority of them. I believe that those seriously looking to buy this set up will be educating themselves enough in advance as to whether or not it will work in a beneficial manner with their frame of chose.
  • + 0
 ummmm is it a regular front shifter or is it like a special one from sram and also how much will it retail for???????
  • + 0
 Taken from www.pinkbike.com/news/Truvativ-HammerSchmidt-Preview-2008.html

Shifter HammerSchmidt X.0 2-speed front with clamp $114
Shifter HammerSchmidt X.9 2-speed front with clamp $57

Crankset HammerSchmidt All Mountain 170 24T ISCG 05 (22T & ICSG 03 included) $595
Crankset HammerSchmidt All Mountain 175 24T ISCG 05 (22T & ICSG 03 included) $595
Crankset HammerSchmidt Freeride 165 24T ISCG 05 (22T & ICSG 03 included) $650
Crankset HammerSchmidt Freeride 170 24T ISCG 05 (22T & ICSG 03 included) $650
Crankset HammerSchmidt Freeride 175 24T ISCG 05 (22T & ICSG 03 included) $650

Bottom Bracket HammerSchmidt All Mountain 68/73 $55
Bottom Bracket HammerSchmidt All Mountain 83 $55
Bottom Bracket HammerSchmidt Freeride 68/73 $55
Bottom Bracket HammerSchmidt Freeride 83 $55
  • + 1
 This system sounds too good to be true!!
  • + 0
 the new gear box is arriving look at my album french engeeniring!!! lllllollll soon on your bikes dudes!!!
  • + 0
 HOW I GET ONE NOWW!!!!!!!!!!! that is the future and solution for am crank. i dreem it
  • + 0
 was just in at the lbs looking at $849.99 for it. gonna get it still lol
  • + 0
 i dont have money! ble,ble ble...Frown
  • + 1
 i'll pass, thank you.
  • - 1
 they could of esily made it hydrolic, probably easyer than making it cable,hydrolic gears...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm nice:P
  • + 0
 it looks sexy to
  • - 2
 that thing is mean!!! I want those white Holzfeller pedals.
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