e13 TRS+ Cassette 11speed Review
November 28th, 2016
Product Full Name | ethirteen TRS+ cassette
Retail Price | £229
Available From | Silverfish
e13 TRS+ Cassette (11speed) – Long Term Test
There are a number of ways to get an 11 speed drivetrain without having go down the Shimano or SRAM route these days, but the e13 TRS+ cassette particularly stands out due to the tiny 9tooth sprocket it magically fits in.
This gives a bigger gear range, a higher top gear and the opportunity of sizing down on chainring size, whilst retaining your usual top gear.
It’s a well made bit of kit, and installs in a totally unique way…
The e13 TRS+ cassette is designed to fit on the SRAM XD driver body.
SRAM developed this system to allow them to have a 10tooth sprocket – and offer a huge gear range. The designers at e13 took things another step and came up with an ingenious design that allows for a tiny 9tooth sprocket, with a spread up to 44t.
Whilst the SRAM cassette tightens using a standard cassette tool, the 9tooth sprocket on the e13 TRS+ cassette is too small to allow this.
To get around this, the top three aluminium sprockets mount to the driver body, and have their own lock ring – secured by the supplied tool.
The lower steel part of the cassette is essentially a giant lock-ring, and tightens directly to the upper part of the cassette – using a chain whip. (More detail shots Right Here)
It’s a simple and effective system – but they must line up perfectly as even a hair out of line will leave you cursing and swearing.
Our initial installation was fine, but we’ve had a couple of times where locating it was tricky. Cleaning the cassette and having a drop of grease or installation paste really helps.
Out On The Trail
First use of the e13 TRS+ cassette was with a SRAM set up, and required minimal adjustment to achieve clean shifting.
Shifting was clean and smooth, though not quite as quiet at first – though I’m talking a minimal amount here. In time it settled in and wasn’t noticeable. I had more reservations about that tiny 9tooth sprocket, and how it would fare – but no issues raised their heads the entire time I ran the cassette with SRAM stuff.
Lining up the gearing with Shimano took a little more time – especially dropping down on to the 9tooth. Again, once dialled in shifting was clean – but not quite as fast as with the Shimano cassette. This could be down to the annoying cable routing on the GT Force X I used all summer when filming for Mountain Bike Adventures. I’ll be writing my long term thoughts on the bike soon, so you’ll hear all about that!
The e13 TRS+ was used in dry, through to horrendously wet and gritty – from February this year up until now. I’ve worn out a chain in that time, and have a hooked chainring too – but the cassette is still chugging on well and that tiny little 9tooth sprocket is fine.
Despite the fact it’s not used much, I’ve grown to love the 9tooth.
I spin out my gears on my commute, but don’t really want to run a bigger chainring as my local hills are pretty nasty. I’ve always just put up with it, but the 9 made just enough difference.
It’s a great addition and something I missed every time I went back to regular 11 speed cassettes.
On a durability basis, the steel lower part makes a significant difference – the gears I spend most the time in are simply tougher than the larger alloy sprockets.
The e13 TRS+ is a really nice bit of kit that has been well thought out.
Once dialled in, shifting is clean and smooth – and you have a tiny 9tooth sprocket on tap to give a higher gear than any other set up with your existing chain ring.
I love that the lower of the cassette is steel, as it means it’s a durable. It’s also quite good value despite the initial outlay, as you can replace the upper alloy and lower steel parts separately for a reasonable price. Nice touch.
The e13 TRS+ cassette is a great bit of stand alone kit. It’s more than just an alternative to SRAM and Shimano.