First Impressions: e*thirteen TRSr 9-46t wide range Cassette

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More range, less weight, and fewer dollars – that’s unattainable when it comes to wide range cassettes, right? With their new TRSr cassette, e*thirteen is hoping to turn that notion on its head.  Aiming straight for the new mega cog king in the form of SRAM Eagle, e*thirteen looks to have a solid contender on their hands with their newest cassette.

An evolution of their TRSr cassette construction, the steel and aluminum cassette offers an impressive range with 9-46t gearing, and an equally impressive weight and price…

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Representing the most significant change to cassette design since the introduction of SRAM’s XD one piece cassettes, the e*thirteen unit uses a two piece design (three if you consider the lockring), with the largest three cogs made out of a single cluster of aluminum, and the remaining 7 made from a single block of steel. The two halves lock together with three interlocking tabs and the steel cluster twists clockwise to lock into place. To keep the shifting ramps in sequence, one of the three locking tabs is smaller and keys in at the laser etched locked/unlocked symbols. Each cassette ships with a little tube of grease to ensure the locking tabs are properly lubricated. Our cassette was already greased but you should make sure that the tabs have adequate grease each time the cassette is installed.

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The smaller steel cluster is the key to the TRSr’s super range in that it allows for a 9t cog to be added. Since there is no need for a cassette lockring, the 9t cog fits on a standard XD free hub body and is machined from one piece of steel with the other cogs. Combined with the aluminum upper section, the cassette offers a 9-10-12-14-17-20-24-28-33-39-46 gearing progression that is compatible with certain SRAM and Shimano 11 speed derailleurs.

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Out of curiosity, I weighed the SRAM XG-1175 10-42t cassette that swapped places with the TRSr. Considering that the SRAM cassette is fairly entry level by comparison (it’s SRAM’s cheapest 10-42 cassette with an aluminum 42t cog), it shouldn’t be a big surprise that the TRSr is lighter, but even with bigger and smaller cogs, it’s still 20g less. The most impressive part is that the cassette is 54g less than the SRAM XX1 Eagle 10-50t cassette even though the TRSr has a wider effective range (511% vs 500%). It’s also less expensive than the SRAM X01 Eagle cassette by $11 at $349.

However, the cassette is 19g heavier than the claimed 287g when weighed with lock ring.

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Installation is fairly straight forward and starts by placing the aluminum cluster onto the splines on any XD free hub body. A lock ring is then placed over the aluminum cogset and is tightened with the included cassette tool which requires a Hollowtech-II style BB/Centerlock rotor wrench to tighten to 25 N*m. The lock ring comes with blue Loc Tite already applied which makes the threads pretty tight to turn, so just make sure the ring is properly engaged on the threads before you start wrenching down.

Once the aluminum section is installed, the steel cluster is placed on top with the locking tabs properly engaged so the indicator on the steel cog lines up with the ‘unlocked’ symbol on the aluminum cog. Next, just use a chain whip to grasp the steel cluster and turn it until the indicator lines up with the ‘locked’ symbol. From here the pressure from the chain on the cassette will help keep the cassette locked until you’re ready to remove it and you reverse the process with a second chain whip.

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Due to the timing of the cassette showing up and needing to get some time on it quickly, I threw it on my Otso Voytek to ride for Global Fat Bike day. The cassette mounted up to the Industry Nine hubs with zero issues, and required the tiniest adjustment of the derailleur. There is still quite a bit of b-tension adjustment left on the derailleur, and it easily clears the 46t cog. It also drops into the 9t cog easily and everything clears the frame. Installation of the cassette is basically plug and play, offering wider gear range with less hassle than cassette adapters (though admittedly that comes at a cost).

The very first time I took the bike out for a spin around the neighborhood I was a little concerned as there was noticeable feedback through the pedals under a lot of power. Fortunately, once I got the bike out onto the trails, the feeling went away in the first mile. I assume that it was the combination of a brand new cassette and a dirty used (but not worn out) chain. After that initial break in, the cassette has been shifting flawlessly. The feeling of the shifts might be a bit more ‘mechanical’ than with a SRAM cassette, but the speed and accuracy with which it shifts is right on par.

So far, I’m pretty impressed with the TRSr. It offers wider range than Eagle without having to upgrade your entire drivetrain and works with most SRAM 11 speed derailleurs and the newest Shimano 11 speed systems. And while it provides more range, it does so without resorting to a 50t cog meaning theoretically it can get away with a shorter derailleur cage, a shorter chain, and less weight. As long as the durability is there, e*thirteen definitely has a winner on their hands – though even if it does wear quickly, you can replace the cassette pieces one at a time which should extend its life.

The TRSr is shipping now from e*thirteen and sells for $349.

bythehive.com

Comments

23 thoughts on “First Impressions: e*thirteen TRSr 9-46t wide range Cassette

  1. What’s use of large range when steps between are so big? Also that 9t cog is going to wear out quickly.

    On Bike24 that cassette costs 260€ and more than one cog is made out of aluminium.
    You can get new XG1199 or XG1195 cassettes for under 200€ from ads and those last long because they’re made from higher grade steel than most other cassettes and weigh less than E13.

    The shifting on SRAM is also smoother because the transitions are finer.

    I’d like to see 10-46 or 48 cassette from 3rd party manufacturer such as E13 that costs under 100€, it would sell much better than this frankencassette.

    1. My 9t is fine after a full summer. It’s the second and third to aluminum last cogs getting the wear. I’ve got the 9-44 and can’t say enough good things about it. I have spare smaller cogs but I bet I go through close to three of the big clusters before I wear out the small one.

  2. Ive been running the e13 cassette for a few months and been happy. I was spinning out my 10t on my XT 1x set up, and the 9 has made a huge difference, especially since I couldnt find a larger chainring for my cranks than what I already had. I don’t find the steps to be noticeably more than the 42t max cassette it replaced.

    One word of warning, they made these to SRAMs XD’s spec, and some hub manufacturers don’t follow that spec to a T. I have White Ind hubs and had to experiment with a few spacers behind the cassette to make it work. The outer cog sits super close to the drop out and I had to then put a washer behind the derailleur to kick it out board to get it to consistently drop down to the 9.

    Also thumbs up to e13 for great customer support.

    1. I’ve also seen this happen with the xD driver. I installed a 9-44 TRS+ cassette and the chain didn’t clear the dropout in the 9t. After measuring everything, the Sram hub was out of Sram’s own xD spec. A thin spacer solved it, as did using a DT Swiss hub that was in spec.

  3. For a different purpose, but I’d like to see something in a 10-27 to 10-29 ish 11 speed cassette for small wheeled upright and recumbent bikes to compete with the, now old, 9 speed Capreo cassette. Preferably all steel and compatible with XD freehubs.

  4. why would you weigh it with the lock ring? That part won’t be on the bike when I’m riding it. Maybe you roll differently…

  5. The 9/44 appeals to me more because the steps aren’t as large. I’m looking forward to more long term reviews of 9t wear as well as the alloy cog wear. Does sram have a patent on a one piece machined cassette? Seems like a better design considering it saves weight and lasts longer.

    Replacing half a cassette seems like a good way to end up with a skipping chain at some point. I do three chains per cassette. Throw in half worn half new cassette into that mix and things are going to get funky.

    1. Except the SRAM version isn’t lighter and does not allow you to replace the higher wearing smaller cogs. It doesn’t last that long really either so having parts you can replace is a plus. The guys who designed the e*thirteen cranks put a lot of thought into this, and I feel they nailed it.

      1. An xo1 cassette which would be comparable to the trs weighs 269g . sure it’s not a ton lighter but it is lighter while being all steel other than the 42t. I know we are talking about different range 11 speed cassettes but my point is a lighter longer lasting cassette can be made by machining out full steel vs e13’s two piece design. I’m not sold on buying half a cassette at a time. I would much rather have a longer lasting cassette that I replace when the time comes.

        1. The range makes these nearly incomparable products. I barely use my 44 but use my 42 regularly on my SRAM cassette. I’ll burn through those faster and not get the range or ability to replace cogs other than the weird aftermarket ones that are extra spendy for singles

  6. Apart from the big gaps in between gears, 9t is far too small to be reasonably efficient. Even 10t is always going to be power robbing, with high friction from tightly wrapped chain links.
    That’s fine if you are just cruising downhill and feel the need to always pedal, but you wont be putting out so many quality watts to the back wheel as you might think. When you mash with one of these in the 9t, there will be a lot of energy wasted. And, the trouble is, with a 1x set up, those top gears are in use all the time.

  7. Ive been running the Sunrace 11-46 with a 36T chainring. Pretty much all of the range I need, and it fits onto a SRAM/ Shimano cassette body….also cost less than $80 for the cassette.

  8. I’ve been running a 9-42 TRS+ since early summer and it’s been great. Every time the subject of a 9 tooth cog comes up a crowd of people claiming to be mechanical engineers comes out of the woodwork to denounce it as heresy. Some of you guys really could use a second or third hobby, or a girlfriend, or something.

  9. I agree. That said, I’m happy using my inefficient 10T for those rare moments on the road where I feel the need to pedal even if it’s not doing a whole lot.

  10. So yeah, 9 and 10T cogs let you have a higher gear with a smaller chainring, handy with small wheels. Alex Moulton used to use cassettes starting with 9-10-11T cogs, and I had one BITD. You can definitely feel that the smaller cogs are polygonal rather than round. The 9T is noticeably worse than 10T, which is a bit worse than 11T. From 12T up the effect is not obvious, but it’s still there.

    Using smaller cogs is a simple way to get more range, or higher gears, but isn’t going to be as efficient or durable as using bigger cogs and rings. If you’re happy with the trade-off then everything’s good.

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