We’re total converts to 1x drivetrains and quite frankly don’t see much point in double chainrings any longer! But we’re still plagued with the same old argument about the allegedly limited gear range on 1×11 transmissions Fortunately, with the e*thirteen TRS+ cassette offering a 9-44 tooth spread, it looks like this first-world issue may now be unfounded. Will it live up to expectations?
- Price: € 319
- Weight: 320 g
- 3 largest cogs: Aluminium
- 8 smaller cogs: Steel
- Gears: 11
- Cogs: 9-44 T (9-10-12-14-17-20-24-28-32-38-44 T)
- Compatibility: SRAM XD driver body
While mounting the e*thirteen TRS+ is unlike a ‘regular’ cassette, it is still fairly simple. You begin by mounting the three largest aluminium cogs on the XD driver body, and fixing them in place with the lockring and e*thirteen tool that comes included. The carrier with the smaller eight cogs is then lined up on top of this before you lock it into place with a chain whip. Make sure there’s ample grease on the cog carriers and the driver body to eliminate noise.
With its 9–44 tooth spread, the cassette has a gear range of 489 %. When we fitted the cassette, we didn’t swap the chainring so that we got one noticeably lighter and one harder gear. The generous gear range is definitely satisfyingly perceptible on steep climbs.
Away from the theory and onto its shifting performance: the e*thirteen TRS+ cassette solidly deserves its place in the spotlight. It shifts the chain snappily, hopping from gear to gear with natural fluidity, ease and a welcome responsiveness. Unlike the SRAM 11-speed cassette, the jumps between the gears are noticeably bigger (not surprising given the bigger gear range), but this gearing range is exactly what draws us to the cassette.
Now we’ve reached the question of wear and tear: after riding so many test kilometres in all manner of supposed European summer conditions that we eventually lost count/our garmin died/our dog ate the garmin (delete as appropriate), we’ve got to give the cassette a big thumbs up for coming out unscathed. While we rarely used the 9-tooth cog (understandable when you look at the geography around our office), the big aluminium cogs have worked flawlessly so far and the chain hasn’t dropped once. Plus, even if sections of the cassette do get worn, e*thirteen have given the cog cluster a clever design that allows it to be separated so that individual parts can be replaced – great for penny saving.
If your reputation for moaning about gearing precedes you on the trails and you’re always after a lighter gear, then the E*thirteen TRS+ cassette is definitely worth considering. Its shifting performance, durability, weight and indisputably fair price are likely to see it become a serious contender on the market. Recommended!
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Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer