Rider Reviews | 29th May 2018

Tech Tuesday

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A wolf in sheeps clothing that can exit arrrr (XTR) an Eagle!

G’Day Bossman here again, Talking Drivetrains,

So while every bike tech nerd was refreshing their screen last week waiting for the final drop about what Shimano has been cooking up, (it was their 12 speed drivetrain with a 10-51 cassette – thats a range of 510%) I was busy looking at all the other cassette ratio that were already on offer in the market!

I could talk all day about  Shimano XTR 12 speed (510% range) and of course the benchmark Sram Eagle (500% range) but my take on it, is that the real Enduro/Trail drivetrain is actually not Sram or Shimano 12 speed, it is a wolf in sheeps clothing, the e*thirteen trs+ 11 speed.

Yes it is an 11 speed cassette but it has a whopping 511% range. How..

Well E*thirteen have actually solved many problems and applied some serious tech and science to issues that come with modern 1x Drivetrains and in doing so have a cassette that goes from a 9 tooth trail plummeter to a 46 tooth climb twiddler! Other advantages are;


  • No more 50 tooth cog dinner plate attached to your rear wheel.
  • They have used the XD freehub body and have not invented another standard.
  • Can use Sram, Shimano and BOX 11 speed MID length Derailleurs/chains
  • Less unsprung weight 287g RACE and 339g trs+ VS (450g GX EAGLE)(355g XX1 EAGLE – XTR 359 g (10–51T), 349 g (10–45T)
  • Significant cost savings to upgrade.
  • Opens up Di2 options for same price as mechanical 12 speed.
  • Don’t need to upgrade cranks.
  • 9-10-12-14-17-20-24-28-33-39-46 Cog counts
  • More ground clearance with using MID cage Derailleurs
  • Can buy aftermarket cassette parts, so can rebuild worn out cogs.

Some of us don’t have Sam Hill’s or even local leggy legend Kaine Cannan’s hammers, so the 9-46t e*thirteen cassette might sound only suited to high speed gravity riders, but the guys who need to climb aren’t going to miss the 50t cog of 12speed. As the idea with this e*thirteen cassette is you can drop down your front ring count to 32t or 30t and still have the same climbing ratio as 12 speed, a really great option for 29ers.

For really gravity focussed riders who can climb on standard 11 speed drivetrain like Shimano XT 11-46 (418%) or Sram 10-42t (420%) you have a super rad option of running the E*thirteen TRS+ 10 Speed cassette with 9-42t (466%) and many of us have had success running Shimano Zee and Shimano Saint rear Derailleurs with this cassette. So you can have a full, super short – mega ground clearance drivetrain with awesome unsprung weight and strong 10 speed chains on your enduro or trail bike.

I will do a build log of changing my Evil, going from 12speed Eagle to E*thirteen 10 speed over the next month, if anyone wants to know more let the rad dudes at McVilly Velo know and I shall get it to thier interwebs!

More info on E*thirteen check out Dirtworks & By the hive

Also if you want to understand your ratio’s a bit better check out this site

  • Shimano cassette in full
  • SRAM Eagle XX1 cassette
  • e13* Cassette 511%
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