E*thirteen TRS+ cassette has huge gearing

E*thirteen has designed a new cassette which offers massive gearing
E*thirteen has outranged rivals with its latest cassette development (Image credit: e13)

E*thirteen has forged a reputation for design nous and innovation among mountain bike component suppliers.  

The Californian company is continuously evaluating trends and standards to discover opportunities for innovation. One of e*thirteen’s most popular product ranges are its cassettes.

As mountain bike frame geometry has embraced the superior rear-suspension packaging afforded by 1x drivetrains, riders have been seeking the broadest possible spread of gearing.  

Single chainring drivetrains started at 11-speeds and have now evolved to 12 gears, but riders can never get enough of a good thing. Despite the spread of ratios with a 12-speed drivetrain, there is adequate demand for even wider range 12-speed cassettes and e*thirteen has responded with its latest TRS+.

Creating an enormous range of gearing is not simply the result of stacking more cogs onto a cassette. Drivetrain tension and shift quality are vital considerations when designing a cassette that has broader gearing. With the TRS+, engineers from e*thirteen have created a 12-speed cassette with an amazing 556% gear spread.

Anchored by a 9t smallest gear and 50t climbing ratio, the TRS+ offers considerably more crank rotation to wheel speed latitude than any OEM cassette fitted with Sram or Shimano’s latest 12-speed drivetrains. A factory Sram Eagle 12-speed drivetrain has 500% ratio and Shimano’s XTR M9100 has 510%.

Beyond the generous gearing, e*thirteen’s product team have also blended the new wide-ratio cassette’s material composition. It features two-piece construction, with ten of the cogs being steel and that two largest gears, 42 and 50, machined from aluminium.

The logic with e*thirteen’s material choice for the TRS+ cassette is to find a solution between efficiency and durability.

On the largest gears of a cassette, riders are cranking at such a high cadence that torque load onto the individual cog teeth becomes significant. This material wear coefficient is also compounded due to the effect of chainline orientation, especially on tightly spaced 12-speed drivetrain.

Making cogs 42 and 50 from aluminium have a rotational weight advantage, because these are the largest gears a rider must turn. With its split construction, e*thirteen can offer a replacement cog set for the aluminium portion of its TRS+ cassette, which will wear at a different tempo due to the abuse riders apply to those larger gears when climbing.

Weight for this huge ratio TRS+ cassette comes to 398g and e*thirteen has a retail price point of $299.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for MBR.com, Off-Road.cc and Cycling News.