First Look: Tektro's New Entry-Level Gemini Drivetrain - Taipei Cycle Show 2024

Mar 9, 2024 at 7:34
by Dario DiGiulio  
Taipei Cycle Show 2024

Part of me expected to see a glut of budget drivetrains at this year's Taipei Cycle Show, but pickings were a little slim. That's not to say that there were none to be found though, as a couple of brands came to market with some interesting offerings. One such example is the new Gemini group (two if you squint) from Tektro.

The brand's high end division TRP released its new EVO drivetrain last year, and it's clear that some some influences have trickled down to their more value-minded offerings.

With either 10 or 11 speeds, two gear ranges, and a solid features list, it's well positioned to be a popular drivetrain option for folks looking to increase their bike's gear range, or simply keep the gears turning for less cash than is required by the premium offerings.

Taipei Cycle Show 2024
The Gemini 11s shifter.

The Gemini shifter comes in two flavors: 10-speed (SL-M5000-10R) and 11-speed (SL-M5100-11R). They feature a simple, hinge-free bar clamp design, easy cable replacement, and solid ergonomics. They're meant to keep maintenance low, and stay put - likely on a bike where they were installed stock, if I had to guess. Both shifters weigh about 105 grams.

Taipei Cycle Show 2024
Cassette.

There are three cassettes in the lineup: 10-speed, 10-speed short cage (both CS-M5000-10), and 11-speed (CS-M5100-11). The all-steel units have reportedly improved their downshift performance from Tektro's previous offerings, and the first two cogs are replaceable. The granular details on weight and gears in the range are as follows.

11-Speed
• Weight: 735g
• Gear range: 11/13/15/18/21/24/28/32/36/42/50
• 11-speed chain only
10-Speed
• Weight: 687g
• Gear range: 11/13/16/20/24/28/32/36/42/50
• 10-speed chain only
10-Speed SC
• Weight: 640g
• Gear range: 11/13/15/18/21/24/28/32/36/42
• 10-speed chain only

Taipei Cycle Show 2024
Short cage.

The short cage derailleur maxes out at 42t, works with a 47.5-52mm chainline, and is 10-speed only. While the short cage derailleur's purpose is geared (ha) towards cargo bikes, kids bikes, essentially anywhere that requires good ground clearance for the lower cage. I could also see this hitting commuter bikes and other fun builds, or even amongst those who don't feel the need to up their tooth counts to the absolute maximum. It'll shave some weight, and a 30:42 ratio is plenty of mechanical advantage to get you up most hills. This lil shorty weighs 330 grams.

Taipei Cycle Show 2024
Long cage.

The long cage option is 10 and 11-speed compatible, uses a "durable ratchet-style clutch," and maxes at 50 teeth—meaning you'll have full mosey gear opportunity with Gemini, should you want it. It also works with a 47.5-52mm chainline, and clocks in at 385 grams on the scale.

Brian did some very scientific clicking of the shifter on display, revealing nothing. He says it "feels pretty nice."

We don't yet have a clear picture of pricing on the Gemini kit, but I expect it to be competitive with options in the Shimano CUES lineup, SRAM's NX, or Microshift's Advent X drivetrain. More information will eventually be available at tektro.com.

Author Info:
dariodigiulio avatar

Member since Dec 25, 2016
191 articles

86 Comments
  • 149 0
 How about a 11s shootout at deore price level: shimano, sram, microshift, box, tektro, ltwoo
  • 53 0
 I like it.
  • 38 1
 After my 12 speed stuff wears out I'm replacing it with 11 Spd. Save weight and money, lose a gear I never use.
  • 3 0
 That would be awesome
  • 4 0
 Give this man a raise!
  • 6 0
 @jubs17: same here. I've invested in a light cassette (garbaruk) and good shifter (XT) and went for a cheap derailleur (Deore). Works fine and is lighter than full XT 12s and a little bit cheaper
  • 12 3
 Why 11sp if you can have 10sp? Let's do a 10sp shootout as well!
  • 6 0
 @vinay: Screw it how about 9s or, heck, even a singlespeed shootout !
  • 1 0
 I'm here for this!
  • 5 1
 I honestly have no interest in going to cheaper options. But I'd love a "shootout" so I have a better idea on suggestions for other people who always ask me questions. I never have good answers.
  • 5 0
 @vinay: garbaruk used to make a wide range 10 speed. It was super light weight. I used a microshift shifter and derailleur with it. I loved it, but the cassette finally wore out and Garbaruk discontinued the cassette. I wish someone else would produce a high quality 10 speed cassette. I miss it.
  • 3 0
 10 speed. Same range, less weight, less is more
  • 10 0
 @PtDiddy: microshift make a fairly lightweight 10 speed 11 - 48 cassette
  • 1 0
 My problem is (I do still use 11spd) what I want to know most about is long term durability, serviceability, and how well do they stay in tune. So it would be a 5 year time frame article, lol. Performance on them all would be good enough for me.
  • 3 0
 @jwuthrich: I couldn't find a singlespeed shifter that I liked so I had to design my own. I'm selling the plans for $20 on Etsy.
  • 1 1
 @vhdh666: I found the 11 speed deore derailleur sorta fell apart and got really sloppy fast for me. but it probably works well enough for the vast majority of riding and people
  • 2 0
 @jwuthrich: Singlespeed? Where is the balance-bike shootout?
  • 1 0
 @jubs17: I have one bike with 11sp XT and one with 12sp XT. Frankly, the new microspline 12sp shifts better under load, but standard unloaded shifting is so so compared to old 11sp XT. Since I have nearly 40yrs of shifting experience, from friction to early index shifting, to where we are now, it’s hard to mentally shift gears (pun intended) to shift hard under load. I find the 11sp cassette shifts better using the technique I’ve learned over the decades. I guess I’ll eventually adapt, but I may just keep with 11sp.
  • 2 0
 @milanboez: I see that. I didn't know they had a cassette with two alloy cogs. Thanks for the heads up!
  • 1 0
 @PtDiddy: For me actually the possibility to replace individual cogs rather than ditch the complete cassette when only one or two gears skip is quite worth something. These Tektro cassettes already allow you to replace the smallest two sprockets, which is nice. I like how Shimano Deore XT allows you to replace the smallest four sprockets individually and even though I have had to replace all of them (several times), I have never had to replace the rest of the cassette (even though you can buy those clusters separately as well). I don't think Microshift nor Gabaruk allow you to replace individual sprockets or small clusters.
  • 79 1
 SRAM going absolutely batshit on pricing is presenting so many opportunities for brands to sneak into the value sector. I like it.
  • 24 3
 Need to pay for all those warranty returns somehow.
  • 7 1
 SRAM needs to take the plastic out of their lower end stuff. SX. The S is short for Snap. Hopefully this competition will spur them into action.
  • 7 0
 @dldewar: I thought "SX" short for "sucks". And NX short for the german word "nix" or properliy spelled "nichts", meaning "nothing". But that's only other peoples experience, never had NX or SX. But that's how I remember what peoples opinions are on those lol
  • 2 0
 There’s little danger of that when the alternative is 750g cassettes.
  • 2 0
 @drjohn: So true. I have had - notice the past tense - NX on my wife's bike - GX is way better -no plastic pieces..........
  • 54 1
 Hopefully this either kills SX and NX or forces SRAM to make their entry level stuff not suck.
  • 17 1
 Nah, they'll just announce they've finally made what the consumer is asking for: SX etap. A wireless plastic drivetrain that explodes after 500 shifts.
  • 1 1
 That would great!
  • 6 0
 @ratedgg13: and somehow market it as a feature
  • 1 0
 @iiman: This new system is designed to have very transparent service and replacement intervals for the customer. Never leaving them to guess when it's needed.
  • 22 1
 the derailleur actually looks sick
  • 7 38
flag hohmskullkrishten (Mar 9, 2024 at 10:04) (Below Threshold)
 Sick, as in dying technology maybe.
  • 7 1
 @hohmskullkrishten: for entry level bikes? Not really. There won't be gear boxes or IGH hubs on every sub $2000 in the foreseeable future, only the heavily contested external drivetrain was we have needed for the last 20 years of absolutely terrible shifting systems below the high performance groups.
  • 4 23
flag Fukit-Just-Hukit (Mar 9, 2024 at 13:26) (Below Threshold)
 Like sick as in it’s full blown AIDS?
  • 5 16
flag hohmskullkrishten (Mar 9, 2024 at 13:52) (Below Threshold)
 @kiddlivid: Only part of a bike that looks worse on an mtb than a rear derailleur is a 50 tooth cassette. No rear derailleur looks great.
  • 9 5
 @hohmskullkrishten: You're wrong, big cassettes are sexy.
  • 12 1
 @Fukit-Just-Hukit: wow what a weird comment.
  • 6 2
 @boozed: I like big cassettes and I can not lie
  • 1 0
 Short Cage unit looks good, but i wander how it will match up to a Zee AM.
  • 14 0
 Advent x cassette weight looks so much better, those are boat anchors
  • 4 0
 I've got advent X on my 'gravel' bike and it's been really solid. A little heavier, doesn't shift quite as well under load, but for the price, I've been really happy with it.
  • 3 5
 Advent X ties you into Advent X for mech shifter and cassette. Not ideal.
  • 2 1
 The trp cassettes are the boat anchors, I’m not sure I worded above clearly .
  • 4 0
 @ILv2MTB: the only issue with Advent X I’ve had is the clutch not being fully engaged all the time since it uses a pawl system instead of constant friction like Shimanos do. Perfect for a gravel bike where chain slap isn’t as much of an issue.
  • 1 2
 @davechopoptions: Advent X cassette + 11 spd Shimano mech + 9 speed Sram Shifter = solid 8 speed drivetrain. The only letdown of this combo is the Microshift cassette. It isn't nearly as nice as a premium cassette, and it's a little flexy....but it is all steel so it's fairly durable.
  • 2 0
 @Inclag: a 10 speed cassette for an 8 speed drivetrain?
  • 12 1
 Godammit, every time someone comes out with a new drivetrain someone mentions MicroShift Advent, then I have come on here and give a glowing review of my 9sp Advent and how damn good it’s been and how I’ve got like 3000mi on it without any complaints and with just a new chain every once and a while. Oh also, 9sp chains are dirt cheap.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: how often do you need to replace your cassette? I just changed my chain after 3 years of heavy use and it improved shifting almost to new condition. Thanks!
  • 2 0
 @davechopoptions: Not quite true. The AdventX cassettes use standard 10 speed spacing and work great with a Shimano SL-4100 and RD-5120.
  • 1 1
 @nnowak: You sure? I’d hope that to be the case, but it’s not what a couple of dealers have found through trying to replace Advent cassettes with a Shimano 10 speed cassettes.
  • 2 1
 @Bfe6iVay: I've had this cassette on since I built this commuter in 2021, I do a chain every 6mos or so, probably 500 or so miles between chains. The cassette looks great, shifting improves a little with the new chain and then tails off over time. The shifting is never as good as a Shimano cassette but I paid less for the entire drivetrain than I pay for one 11sp XT cassette.
  • 1 1
 @davechopoptions: Bahh.. I got my Acolyte and Advent mixed up. Sorry
  • 2 0
 @davechopoptions: I haven't tried it, but supposedly advent x has the same pull ratio as dynasys mtb 10 speed. This is based on the info here: www.gevenalle.com/compatability. I wish I'd found it earlier, as I had couple perfectly good Shimano 10spd shifters sitting around when I put Advent X on a bike.
  • 1 0
 double post
  • 1 0
 @Quinnrm: Are we sure about this? Other than the Gevenalle site the internet seems to agree it doesn't really work. Especially Microshift was very clear about that.
Would be great though.
  • 1 0
 @Naero: not sure at all, as I said I haven't tried it. If my advent x shifter ever dies I'll see if it works with the 10 speed xt shifter that it replaced.
  • 20 9
 So SRAM has filed a lawsuit already yeah?
  • 20 1
 for what? being cheaper?
  • 1 35
flag TheBearDen FL (Mar 9, 2024 at 11:56) (Below Threshold)
 @vemegen: you looked at any of their mechanical derailleur in a while.? If not have a look and tell me what stands out to you about these and those. I can't possibly need to train the horse to drink the water after taking him there do I?
  • 10 0
 Derailleur looks very nice, cassete looks like os made of lead.
  • 10 0
 735g cassette!
  • 8 0
 And there I was thinking the Deore version was portly at 610g.
  • 3 0
 Recently reversed the fatty from a 1x10 to a 2x10 drivetrain for lower gearing on a bikepacking trip, only to be reminded how much the front mech sucks.
Would definitely like to try some 1x11 big range setup, once my 1x10 (36 max) systems wear out.
Which apparently, is never. Both are going strong for almost 10 years now.
  • 1 0
 My fatty runs the expanded 10s that is currently down again because of the massive B screw needed. I am definitely interested in this 10s setup on that bike.
  • 5 0
 Tektro… the tecate of components
  • 2 0
 So, Tekate?
  • 3 0
 Haro's new Full-Suspension bike coming out will have at least one model with a Tektro drivetrain according to sale sheets I have seen.
  • 1 0
 Probably a good candidate for a cobbled together wireless system, using the Archer system.
I used Archer system with TRP TR12 + X01 eagle (50t) cassette, and it all worked great, and was nice that I could swap back to mechanical without too much cost/stress.
  • 4 0
 Twice the weight of a Sunrace 11-46T 10 speed cassette. Hope it's durable at least.
  • 2 0
 Once my current 12 speed setup wears out, I’ll definitely replace it with something with less gears. I would also gladly sacrifice some low-speed gear range for additional ground clearance. Never using the 50t cog anyways.
  • 2 0
 Competition is good! Lets see some 12speed gear to try get those sram prices down to a reasonable area!

Do you remember the days of for £50 you'd be getting a high level cassette and now £150 gets you entry ?!?!
  • 1 0
 I rented an entry level Spesh Stumpy that surprised me with how well it handled. Everything EXCEPT for the Tektro brakes. Hopefully this is better.
  • 2 0
 Sounds like PinkBike needs to do a budget drivetrain text... Microshift, Cues, etc.
  • 2 0
 Good to see a budget option.
  • 1 2
 So it's "well positioned" to be an upgrade, but your best guess is that most will live on the bikes that came with it stock. Which is it?
  • 1 0
 I f##ck with Tektro! Let's go
  • 2 0
 HG I take it?
  • 1 0
 I'm guessing the cassettes work on Hyperglide freehub bodies?
  • 1 0
 Does Ltwoo has a new Line of dérailleurs with a clutch?
  • 1 0
 Is this just a budget version of the TRP Evo drivetrain?
  • 1 3
 Awesome, we need more budget options to keep costs down across companies. CUES had some great features, but it's price points are not one of them.
  • 1 3
 Drivetrains are useless to upgrade. Wears out in a year anyway.
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