Drivetrain options are usually a choice between the Shimano or SRAM duopoly. But what if you want an alternative e-MTB drivetrain that's simple and durable?
Taiwanese component brand, Tektro, thinks it has a 1x9 solution. Although Tektro is best known for its brakes, the company has revealed a drivetrain called the ED9.
Engineered specifically for the demands of e-MTB riding, the ED9 is robustly overdesigned to deal with the high torque outputs of a mid-drive motor. With many e-MTBs capable of adding 400 per cent to a rider’s pedal input, cassette and component wear is high. Especially if the maximum assistance modes are regularly used.
To improve the durability, the ED9 product team chose to create a drivetrain with only nine gears, arguing that the best electric mountain bikes don’t need a surplus of cassette ratios due to the potency of their mid-drive motors.
The ED9 cassette has an 11-46t gearing spread with the 11/13/16 cogs separate from the cassette body. These can be removed and replaced without requiring the purchase of an entire ED9 cassette. This should help keep costs a little lower as these three gears generally wear before the rest of the cogs on an e-MTB.
Two rear-mech choices
Riders keen on the ED9 group have a choice of two rear derailleurs, both with steel cage construction and 12t pulley wheels.
The M350 derailleur weighs 361g and has a clutch tensioner. If you want to go lighter, the T350 derailleur sacrifices the clutch chain tensioning feature and drops 17g of weight.
Handlebar shifting for the ED9 drivetrain is controlled with a thumb shifter, limited to three gears of downshifting per thumb input.
Tektro has not released retail pricing for the ED9. The robust and straightforward 9-speed drivetrain is currently being supplied as OEM equipment to e-MTB brands, like Conway. But its potential as a bargain replacement drivetrain has great promise for consumers if Tektro chooses to market it as such in the future.