[First Ride] E.Thirteen TRS Plus Cassette

[First Ride] E.Thirteen TRS Plus Cassette

05/04/2016
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05/04/2016

[ad3]Just over a month ago we got ahold of and had our first couple of rides on the new e.thirteen TRS Plus wide range cassette.  With all of the noise going around with the release of Eagle, SRAM’s dedicated 12 speed drivetrain, we decided to feature a quick “how to” our installation experience and go over our first impressions on this option that provides a huge amount of range without requiring the replacement of your whole drivetrain.

_DSC6988Available in a 9-42T 10 Speed and 9-44T 11 speed(tested), the TRS Plus Cassette offers a 489% Range.  Not far from the 500% on offer from SRAM’s new 12 speed range.

Specs

Material : EXA+ Alloy & Heat-Treated Cromoly Steel
Drivetrain : 1 or 2 X / 10 or 11 speed
Cog Sizes : 10 speed 9-10-12-14-17-20-24-28-35-42
Cog Sizes : 11 speed(tested) 9-10-12-14-17-20-24-28-32-38-44
Features : Ingenious assembly utilizes XD™ Driver mounting to enable a 9-44T 11speed cassette. Keeps your drivetrain simple and still gives the gear range of a 2X system(489%). Compatible with SRAM™ and Shimano™ shifting systems.
Color : Black
Weight : 10sp 300g, 11sp 320g
Price : $309.00

Details

• SRAM XD driver only

• Compatible with SRAM & Shimano shifting systems.

• The only 9 tooth lower cog on the MTB market.

•  3 Piece design.

•  The largest cogs are precision machined from aluminum and attach to a SRAM XD driver body with a lockring. The remaining eight steel cogs lock into place with a chain whip.

•  The steel cog pieces are shared between the 10 and 11 speed versions, and high wear parts are available individually, which means that replacing worn parts, or upgrading from 10 to 11sp is possible without buying a whole new cassette.

_DSC6967

The top 3 gears are a single, 1 piece part made from machined aluminum.

_DSC6963The lower 8 cogs are split up into two pieces, See the next pic.

_DSC6966The two pieces are bolted together with three torx screws.

Install

Installing the TRS Plus is much easier than one might think and its overall design is rather brilliantly executed.

Tools required.

Tools required.

This too uses a BB Tool to install a lockring that secures the top 3 cogs.

This key takes a BB Tool to install a lockring that secures the top 3 cogs. Notice it’s flat on 2 sides(Bravo e.13, that’s brilliant!) so you can use a crescent wrench in a pinch.

The lockring installed on the right, the key mated to the locking, ready to secure it to the threaded part of the XD driver.

The lockring installed on the left, the key mated to the locking on the right, ready to secure it to the threaded part of the XD driver.

BB Tool mated to the key. The key is flat on sides(Bravo e.13, that's brilliant!) so you can use a crescent wrench in a pinch.

BB Tool mated to the key. 

Slap a little bit of grease on these key points. This is where the upper 3 cogs mate to the lower 8 cogs.

Slap a little bit of grease on these key points.  You know, the points that have blue grease on them…This is where the upper 3 cogs mate to the lower 8 cogs.

Notice the lock/unlock icons on the 9th gear

Notice the lock/unlock icons on the 9th gear

Use a chainwhip to lock the top and bottom cog sets together rotating clockwise.

Use a chainwhip to lock the top and bottom cog sets together rotating clockwise.

Locked on. Notice the dot on the 8th cog is lined up with the lock icon on the 9th.

Locked on and ready. Notice the dot on the 8th cog is lined up with the lock icon on the 9th.

For removal, you simply needs a second chainwhip, or you can just use one chainwhip to hold the top 3 gears in place and put the chain on any of the other lower 8 gears and just apply moderate pressure to the pedals  until the lower block releases.  Not bad.

We’ve been riding this cassette for about a month now and haven’t sniffed out anything worth griping about.  It shifts cleanly, it’s quiet and installation/removal is a snap.  We’ve bumped up from a 30 tooth chainring on our 29″ bike to a 32 tooth and we’re appreciating the extra range.

Lately there have been a lot of negative comments on the internet from people feeling like MTB product is constantly being outdated and we get that.  The front derailleur is one thing that we believe needs to be phased out though.  The TRS Plus cassette is a great solution for those looking to have a great amount of range without dropping too much coin.  For comparison’s sake, this cassette is 50 grams heavier but just over $100 less than the first true wide range cassette from SRAM, the XX1…

Want big range on a budget?  Buy the incredible bang for the buck SRAM GX drivetrain and install the E.Thirteen TRS Plus while you wait for the price of 12 speed to come down.  With just a nominal 11% difference in range between this and SRAM 12 speed, you’ll be well covered, your wallet will thank you AND you can stop complaining on the internet!

It’s a bit early for a long term review, but we’ll keep you posted on how this rad little number performs in the grand scheme of things.

www.bythehive.com