You don't have to be an oracle to see that a direct mount rear derailleur is on the way from SRAM. But where did the direct mount derailleur idea start? Here's a brief history.
But before hopping into the wayback machine, it's worth explaining how a direct mount derailleur differs from a 'regular' derailleur. As the name suggests, a direct mount derailleur is mounted to a bike's frame without a replaceable / sacrificial hanger. The idea is that the extra stiffness should allow for more precise shifting; even a small amount of movement in a derailleur hanger can lead to inconsistent shifting performance. As you'll see below, many of the so-called direct mount derailleurs still relied on a link between the frame and the derailleur, it's just that this link was longer, stiffer, and attached to a different point on the derailleur compared to other options. 2003
Shimano release their first generation of Saint drivetrain with a direct axle mounted rear derailleur. 2005
Shimano released their HONE drivetrain
with a direct mount derailleur and a seductive promotional video.2012Shimano continued to push the idea to manufacturers
with the official release of their direct mount standard. 2013 By the 2013 model year all Shimano mountain derailleurs were capable of direct mount.
Frame manufacturer's were responsible for providing a "direct mount" hanger.
Shimano direct mount made sense. But riders were apparently unbothered by the added "B-Link". Imagine if Shimano had chosen to not provide the B-link with the derailleurs. Would that have incentivized the manufacturers, shops, and customers into using a direct mount derailleur hanger?2018
The standard didn't catch on and eventually Shimano removed the direct mount option from their derailleurs when they introduced XTR 12 speed in 2018.
Although interestingly Shimano's top spec gravel derailleur still has direct mount capabilities
This is where story switches to SRAM2019In 2019 SRAM introduced the Universal Derailleur design, which offered an open license to any company interested in implementing the design on their frames.
Most frame manufacturers began adopting this standard in the next design cycle. Notably Specialized, Giant and Trek.2021SRAM was granted a patent for a direct mount derailleur.
This showed their cards and made it obvious that the widespread adoption of UDH was more than just about standardizing the derailleur hanger. 2022
Then last August we saw our first glimpses of a direct mount SRAM prototype
, and one even popped up on Craigslist.
It seems pretty clear that SRAM is on the verge of releasing a new drivetrain with a direct mount derailleur. The most notable difference is that the Shimano direct mount standard still allowed for backwards compatibility with a standard hanger, while the SRAM prototype appears to be direct mount only, which means that it might not be compatible with all frames.
Will direct mount derailleur become the norm? We'll have to wait and see what SRAM has come up with, and if Shimano decides to respond with a new direct mount system of their own.
And the other photos you're looking at are from this article: www.pinkbike.com/news/ratio-tease-direct-mount-derailleur-conversion.html.
And the 2022 Tallboy went direct mount, which was the end of the flip chip in the rear axle mount.
Say what you will, but without that short wheelbase chip on my 2021 Tallboy, I can’t wheelie on a steep downhill.
This is a death sentence for the last leg of Whole Enchilada in Moab.
Seriously, my old Tallboy, with its 445mm chainstays and it 70.2° head angle, nearly killed me near the bottom of that ride. Both times.
Downhill drops into uphill faces, and I could not get that front wheel any higher! Had to jump off and walk while watching my friends ride down it. That was a first.
What I don't know is if the AXS did its job and saved itself, or if I got lucky. I was about to swap back to a mechanical derailleur as I was getting tired of dealing with the battery, but it made me second guess myself. Time will tell.
Well Santa Cruz dropped the ball on that one..
Or, after so much crap talked about flip chips and the sort, SC saw a way out. At least for the rear axle.
do i like this? no. but seriously i'd rather skipp the hanger than having it one withouth the advantages of the hanger.
I bent so much of them on my 90's steel mtb as well as on trekking bikes such as Genesis Longitude, Fortitude and so on... none of them broke and I always succeeded to rectify them.
3D printing would make it even easier IMO.
I’m gonna take a swipe and say steel is too flexy compared to aluminum, titanium is nice and light, but still flexy.
Magnesium would be cool if it wasn’t so brittle..
Looks like the only improvement over aluminum is yet again carbon fiber!
Would be a great compliment to my carbon stem cap..
I have the flip chip version, I run it long and with a Cascade link which puts the rear center at 445mm. I have no issues with wheelies or getting the front wheel off the ground in any situation that requires it.
I also have a RSD Sergent with 455mm rear center, no issues getting that front wheel of the ground either.
I run mine long and have no problem with wheelies until I’m on a steep drop with a wall 90° in front of me.
Other than that, I like the 445mm length.
I just don’t like the idea of losing a tuning option of any kind.
I run an Ohlins shock and I love it, but when the oil begins to break down, I have no high speed rebound clicker to turn in.
That means an immediate service, or a possible over the bars even when I actually hit something fast enough to need the HSR circuit. I like options!
And adding direct mount doesn't necessarily mean losing rear center adjustment. It's a question of does the frame designer want it, and how they would go about it.
No Cascade link here.
Right you are 430-440. I was off by 5mm both ways.
My only point about losing rear center adjustment is that is exactly what happened with the Tallboy.
And you make a perfect point saying it’s not necessarily lost. But SC chose to lose it with the change to direct mount. I don’t like that.
I’ve been looking for some honest feedback from a Cascade link user.
How do you like it?
What the link alone would've done, I can't really say.
@Untgrad: steel and titanium are too flexy? But that's actually the good point about them!!! I have repaired and saved so many old vintage steel bikes thanks to their integrated hangers, as well as fixing steel trekking bikes in the middle of nowhere.
Carbon? I prefer not to answer this one just to stay polite.
Carbon, I was joking, BTW.. Im hoping the day of a carbon hanger will never happen!
I love the idea of steel or titanium, but I thought there was too much precision lost due to the inherent flex.
It would be great to have a hanger that can bend but not break!
Wow. That’s a massive change for front and rear suspension!
Sounds like no trade-offs.
Maybe I’ll go big after this season..
I need a shifter, I swapped to the AXS since I got it on sale when the mechanical shifter broke.
Then, you go on your first ride and obviously smack the new drivetrain into a tree. But it turns out that the UDH setup is so strong it rips out of the frame leaving the transition fully intact.
So here's how SRAM really wins: You the consumer looks like a complete assclown for being a part of the extremely small group of rich a*sholes who spend their money on dumb products that require batteries for essential function at your local trailhead. Just don't forget you're better than everyone else because you have e-cockpit on your not electric bike!!
IDK whether to thumbs up or down this one..?!
I’m still laughing too hard to decide!!
Hope all egos are still intact after that..
Afraid some might be “enhanced”..
Does anybody know why aluminum is the material of choice for hangers?
Ready to trashed by self proclaimed geniuses for asking..
Disclaimer: Sample of one, not a metallurgist, making a leap as to what the "ideal" behaviour is etc,
Sounds about right from here.. See that’s what I’m really wondering- the behavior of the metal vs say, weight.
Do they want it to break after two bends? Or be repairable for the life of the bike.
My 2021 Tallboy has the burliest derailleur mount I’ve ever seen. And, yes, aluminum. Wonder if it’s forged or cast?
I’ve straightened it once. I’ll find out on the second one!
I’ve broken one completely on my Maverick ML-7 back in the day, and I think that’s it for complete breaks.
This really is the point more than the material- what is the intended failure order, vs what actually fails last!
My shiny new 2021 Tallboy started shifting horribly, about the third ride in. I know I never hit the derailleur riding or hauling my bike, so I looked at everything else. And, the derailleur was scratch free..
Finally put my alignment tool on the hanger and it was out by a mile!!
Such a thick chunk of aluminum, no evidence of damage anywhere..
An Alpinestar Ti bicycle? Same company as the MX boots?
Yes, they had a full mountain bike line in the late 80s/early 90s.
It’s almost like Mtn biking paralleled music through the 80’s and beyond!
Trying to define themselves in a world of options..
I was on an aluminum Fisher hardtail racer in the late 90’s, riding behind a friend of mine on a rebranded hardtail Moots (can’t remember the name).
There was a fat rock in the trail I almost crashed avoiding, he ran right over it. I don’t know why Ti isn’t the mainstream metal frame material. Couldn’t the price per frame come down if it were mass produced?
It could somewhat but nowhere near as cheap as aluminum or carbon. Even in aviation, titanium tends to be reserved for areas that require both strength and high heat tolerance and the majority of airframes otherwise are usually aluminum alloys or carbon composites.
I guess machining and welding Ti doesn’t make it very attractive either.
Would be cool if it were an option between aluminum and carbon. I was convinced it was the bike frame material of the future at about Y2K.
I love my carbon frame, but still seems like a gimmick.
What did Butthead say to Bevis after a full pot of espresso, and a brilliant rant by Cornhollio himself?
“Preach on brother Bevis!”
I understand that, but I don’t understand what problem they were trying to solve or even how they solved it. All they did was reshape the problem
And my shifting is first class with SRAM 1x12.
Santa Cruz might be doing it differently here, but I’m not willing to give up my rear axle flip chip for a newer model just to go direct mount.
But... my opinion, they're tired of watching riders replace derailleur hangers instead of derailleurs. $$$$$.
Look forward to the bike companies trying to charge me full price for a current year X0 bike with last year’s XO1 and last years GX cassette and chain.
Narrow wide - Check
Clutch - Check
Chain lasts more than 5 minutes - Check
Comes in 11..36T (dont need more than that around here) - Check
11..36T works with short cage shadow mech for nice ground clearance - Check
Trail bike the same as my Dh bike so only 1 set of spares needed - Check Check Check
There is an issue with 10speed though.... Formus tell me its rubbish and I need a smaller gear!!!!
Makes total sense to me!
Yes (Finger gun & wink)
-SRAM PR dept.
Are we finally getting NX AXS??
Sram copying Shimano - business as usual.
Might as well go full “cool” and mount it on the chainstay.
SunTour S1 - now that was not playing copy cat.
other photos www.pinkbike.com/news/ratio-tease-direct-mount-derailleur-conversion.html.
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