SRAM’s new TYPE 2 rear derailleurs bring roller clutch tech and quick release features to the X0 and X9 families.
No doubt an answer to Shimano’s Shadow derailleurs with the clutch mechanism, TYPE 2 derailleurs use a fully enclosed, non-serviceable roller clutch to add a significant amount of rearward pull to the chain. In our test rides on some fast, rough descents and drops, they virtually eliminated chain slap and noise. In fact, I don’t recall hearing any chain noise whatsoever. It’s impressive.
There’s also a new Truvativ carbon handlebar with a pretty new red color option. Click through to see it all, with video!
The videos leading up to this product may have been a bit cheeseball, but the product itself is promising. Shorter and less cheesy, here’s our quick vid showing the chain slack with Cage Lock engaged, followed by the quick, strong return with the derailleur in normal operation. Notice how the chain snaps into place with minimal bounce.
Pushing on the pulley cage is noticeably more difficult to move. Yes, this translates somewhat into increased pressure at the shift lever, but it wasn’t too bad. SRAM’s not going to like this comparison, but it feels like the difference between couple-month-old cables and fresh, properly installed Gore Ride-On cables. Which is to say it’s really not that bad, certainly not a deal killer, but it does move them a bit further from what most people would call “light action”. When our test setup comes in, we’ll be mounting it up with Gore’s cables and see how they feel.
I rode them with both triggers and the new Grip Shift, which had the unfortunate effect of not letting me feel how smooth the Grip Shift could be with a non-TYPE 2 rear derailleur, but we’ll have a test set in around early May if things stay on track. Look for some first impressions on GS in a few days.
Cage Lock is engaged via a simple push button (with a Lock icon) located just below the Roller Clutch. To use it, you push the cage forward and press the button, which slides behind the cage to prevent it from returning. It’s very simple and, after one or two practice attempts, could be done with your eyes shut. Riders with plenty of experience may dismiss the idea of needing some trick to make wheel removal easier, but the increased tension on the chain due to the Roller Clutch pretty much makes it necessary.
Visually, the only difference between the TYPE 2 derailleur (left) and the original is a larger lower knuckle to house the clutch, and the Cage Lock button.
The quick tech specs are: Designed for X0 and X9, it’s a one-way, needle bearing roller clutch that controls chain tension for consistent shifting. It has 360º clutch force that’s non-adjustable and always on. It’s also self lubricating. These two design features were made so that it’s simply install-and-ride, no set up or maintenance required. It’s designed to balance shifting force and performance. SRAM MTB brand manager Tyler Morland said when you introduce an on/off switch (like Shimano’s), there’s opportunity for wear that can reduce performance over time.
SRAM claims about a 30g weight penalty versus their regular derailleurs, and our Park Tools scale verified that. Differences between X0 and X9 – X0 is weight and color options, per usual, but both will only offer TYPE 2 versions in 10 speed versions. X0 will offer silver, black and red. X9 will offer gray and white and be about a 15g heavier.
How much does SRAM believe in this technology? Moving forward, all aftermarket X0 and X9 rear derailleurs will be Type 2 only. Bike manufacturers will still be able to spec the non-clutch version as OEM. If you want a non-clutch rear derailleur, you’ll have to buy a bike that’s spec’d with the non-clutch version or upgrade to XX. Production begins in July, availability in August with three different cage lengths – short (DH), medium (2×10) & long (3×10), the latter two being 36t cassette compatible. X0 will retail for $260, and X9 for $116.
Morland didn’t go into detail about whether this will move into the XX family, but my guess is no. Or at least not as the only aftermarket option. XX remains the weight weenie, XC racer’s choice, and adding 30 grams to it would make it non-competitive in today’s gram conscious market. With X0 and X9 going after the trail/all-mountain categories aggressively, the move makes sense and the performance should please those riders. It also fits quite well with some other “trail” items coming from SRAM in the next couple weeks, reinforcing where those product families are going.
Almost lost in the mix of new products we saw at their Beach House press launch was the new Truvativ NOIR T40 carbon riser bar in a 720 width and color options: red, blue and silver. Cut marks on the end to trim to up to 20mm. Weight is 209g on our scale, available this month for about $172. Originally only available in silver and a narrower 700mm width, new Red and Blue color options will be available. The narrower bar will remain in the line for now, and it and their seatposts will get the new color options, too. Rumor is they’ll likely either eliminate the 700mm bar or change it to a 680mm option. They come with a two-year warranty for the original owner.
- 720mm width
- 15mm rise
- 5º upsweep
- 9º backsweep
- 209g (actual, 215g claimed)
- Blue, Red & Silver