I am keen to wager my final donut that your mountain bike has a derailleur from considered one of two manufacturers, each beginning with the letter S and each sharing the marketplace for high-end mountain bike drivetrains with just about nobody else within the image . However should you take one other step down the alphabet you may discover TRP, the Taiwanese model that has been placing its toes within the water since 2020 with its first technology DH7 and TR12 techniques. Whereas each labored nicely sufficient, they did not make a lot of an affect aside from the bizarre one who stated, “Huh, what sort of derailleur is that?”
TRP hopes to alter that with the brand new EVO12 and EVO7 full drivetrains which, along with utilizing a KMC chain, are manufactured totally in-house. That features two new derailleurs, two shifters, their first carbon and aluminum cranks, and two cassettes, all set to compete with the very best mechanical choices from Shimano and SRAM.
Their three-letter acronym is brief for Tektro Racing Merchandise, the Taiwanese marque’s high-end division based in 1986 and has since grown into the world’s second-largest brake maker. What number of brakes, you ask? There are 6.5 million bicycles produced annually that use Tektro caps, which provides as much as a whopping 13 million brakes and an estimated three billion brake pads, that are additionally manufactured in-house. Whereas most of those aren’t used on efficiency mountain bikes, their DHR brakes impressed many riders when it was launched, together with us, and their EVO vary has confirmed to be simply pretty much as good.
They now purpose to do the identical factor with their new 12- and 7-speed drivetrains, and we obtained a sneak peek at each throughout a go to to their Taichung manufacturing unit, plus a fast spin for some preliminary impressions. Keep tuned for an upcoming photograph tour of their manufacturing unit and be taught extra about their broadcasts beneath.
The EVO12 and EVO7 derailleurs
The derailleur might be essentially the most eye-catching piece of the brand new EVO sequence elements, particularly within the gold-colored choice that everybody ought to go for. There are two variations, each with carbon outer cages; one is a 12-speed unit and one other is for TRP’s 7-speed downhill drivetrain and makes use of a stubby cage. Each might be had in gold or silver.
Have you ever skilled floppy derailleur syndrome? FDS is attributable to a drained clutch or one which wasn’t sturdy sufficient to start with, and the result’s often an excessive amount of noise and possibly some dropped chains. TRP stated they’ve been very targeted on ending this, and their resolution is the Corridor Lock, which is mainly a lever-operated cam that applies strain to the B-knuckle pin. This isn’t a brand new characteristic they used it in 2019 however it’s efficient. The identify comes from John Corridor, Aaron Gwin’s mechanic, who got here up along with his personal means of locking the B-knuckle in place on Gwin’s race bikes, and we have additionally heard rumors that different mechanics have been doing related issues to Gwin’s derailleurs. completely different manufacturers too.
The cam is a put on and tear merchandise, so TRP additionally used a small set screw that means that you can modify the strain of the Corridor Lock, though additionally they say it ought to by no means have to be changed. You will want to unlock it to make it simpler to take away the wheel and positively bear in mind to do the identical in case you are putting in or eradicating it.
There’s additionally a clutch, after all, with TRP saying it weighs lower than the earlier model whereas nonetheless being serviceable. With one lever and one button to push, it is slightly extra fiddly to launch than SRAM’s single-button design, however I pulled it down with one hand after a number of tries.
The opposite factor TRP did in its quest for a quiet drivetrain was rotate the parallelogram a number of levels in order that it strikes extra aspect to aspect than an angle to comply with the cassette, which makes plenty of sense when you concentrate on what is occurring. down there making horrible jokes by the rock gardens.
The EVO 12-speed derailleur weighs 301 grams and prices $239.99 USD in gold and $229.99 in silver, whereas the DH model prices $229.99 and $219.99 USD.
EVO12 and EVO7 shifters
The matching 12- and 7-speed shifters characteristic comparatively gentle motion, an simply adjustable paddle, and “MatchMaker-compatible mounting,” however it’s the almost hidden swap on the underside that is most interesting to me. This little man helps you to select between making 5 gear modifications with one full rotation of the thumb paddle, or you’ll be able to restrict the motion to only one shift with every push. It is mainly simply an inside latch that you simply’re transferring, and slightly magnet holds it in place.
This makes plenty of sense for e-bikes the place, should you’re not cautious, you’ll be able to harm your drivetrain by shifting by a set of gears whereas the motor can also be lowering energy, however TRP says it was really a requested characteristic by their e-bike racers. non-motorized downhill and enduro.
Image your self ten minutes right into a rowdy enduro stage and, should you’re something like me, respiration by your eyeballs simply attempting to maintain your shit collectively while you come to a brief, punchy climb in the direction of the top of the stage. That is precisely the form of state of affairs the place I might seize too many gears, lose all my velocity, and possibly crash proper in entrance of spectators. With the shift mode swap, you can also make your gear choice far more deliberate in these conditions by locking it right down to a single click on. There have been one-click shift instructions earlier than, however none that may swap between that and a multi-shift mode.
Different issues to notice embody improved routing that sees the cable extra consistent with the handlebar quite than trailing out, gold or silver coloration choices to match the derailleur, and a cable pull ratio distinctive to TRP. Precise weights are 139 grams with the clamp or 125 grams with out.
Each the 12- and 7-speed gearboxes retail for $99.99 USD in silver, or $109.99 should you favor gold highlights.
Carbon and aluminum cranks, Wave chainrings
It is not a drivetrain and not using a set of crank arms, after all, which meant TRP needed to design and manufacture their very own. First up are the brand new carbon arms that TRP stated, “They are not the lightest however they’re positively the strongest,” a daring declare at a time when an increasing number of riders appear to be asking the place they use carbon on their bikes. Whereas the ISO load check requires 50,000 cycles, TRP examined as much as 100,000 cycles with no issues and went so far as 500,000 cycles earlier than failing. Their precise phrases have been: It is stronger than every other crankset in the marketplace.
They arrive in at 504 grams with out the chainring or about 82 grams greater than the XX1 arms and 52 grams greater than the XTR, however TRP is clearly fairly assured within the carbon format and pleased with the decrease weight trade-off. They’re accessible in 165mm or 170mm lengths and use a 30mm diameter aluminum spindle that’s appropriate with many backside brackets. By the way in which, there are additionally threaded choices, PF92 and PF30 from TRP. The cast aluminum crank additionally makes use of a 30mm spindle and might be provided in 165, 170 and 175mm lengths.
For chain retention, TRP has licensed MRP’s Wave Expertise which makes use of an alternating left-to-right sample when seen from above. The Wave design has definitely gotten some blended opinions through the years, however TRP says they’ve optimized the design to work nicely with KMC chains for the tightest tolerances and most retention, with barely thicker enamel than different manufacturers use. . Which means should you purchase a whole EVO12 or EVO7 drivetrain, it is going to include a KMC chain for “The Finest Potential Efficiency”. That stated, additionally they identified that there is nothing proprietary happening and different model chains will do as nicely, however you will not get the identical storage capabilities. It is also value mentioning that the DH chainring makes use of a thicker spider for added power.
The carbon arms are $349.99 USD whereas the chainrings are $74.99 or $79.99 USD relying on the specified end. Should you favor aluminum, they will set you again $149.99 USD, and the underside bracket is $41.99 USD.
EVO12 cassettes and seven speeds
Identical to every little thing else besides the chain, TRP’s new cassette is manufactured totally inside their Taichung manufacturing unit, and so they have been blissful to confess that was essentially the most difficult facet of designing the brand new drivetrains. Cassettes are extremely difficult, with the form of the gates, ramps and enamel having an enormous impact on shifting efficiency, and TRP says it took plenty of effort and time to get their efficiency to the extent they have been on the lookout for.
It is a two-piece design, with the primary ten cogs machined from a single piece of solid metal and the 2 largest cogs receiving the identical remedy however in aluminum. Metal torx bolts maintain the 2 items collectively, and the result’s a remarkably gentle 10-52-tooth cassette that clocks in at 372 grams. It is proper in the identical ballpark as high-end cassettes from SRAM and Shimano. The unfold goes from 10-11-13-15-18-21-24-28-32-36-44-52 enamel. The 7-speed downhill model is all metal except for the aluminum spoke guard and will get an 11-13-15-17-19-21-24 unfold.
Each cassettes match Microspline freehubs solely they don’t seem to be appropriate with XD drivers resulting from patents.
First driving impressions
I spent a grand whole of about an hour using the brand new EVO12 drivetrain, which is no less than a number of months lower than I might must name this a evaluation, however sufficient time to glean some first impressions of how the group performs. It was all bolted on to a brand new Commencal Tempo (aspect word: holy shit, what a formidable bike) and the trip consisted of a brief climb with some steep partitions earlier than a easy descent that had a number of tough spots for good measure.
I discovered the shifter motion gentle and the chain shifts from cog to cog with a really constructive “ka-chung” really feel in each instructions. I made positive to shift like a meathead beneath whereas toiling up these steep pitches and had no points. I additionally fiddled with the Shift mode swap and should admit I am shocked that I discovered myself preferring the single-click mode a lot greater than having the ability to run a number of gears directly.
So what does all this add as much as? I am nonetheless undecided if I am going to want for much longer earlier than I make that decision, however preliminary impressions are constructive. My most important takeaway was how quiet the transmission was; there was little to no chain rattling and nil derailleur rattling or banging as I pinballed by the rocks and timber. Whereas a brand new digital drivetrain has simply been launched and extra are on the horizon, TRP has gone with a extra conservative method for his or her first batch that makes plenty of sense. This was solely meant to be a fast take a look at the EVO12 and EVO7 techniques, with correct launch and much more saddle time coming in a couple of month. Keep tuned for extra using impressions and all of the tech information, plus a tour of their manufacturing unit.
If the EVO12 system proves to be as constant as their brakes, would you charge it above a mechanical drivetrain from both main participant? Or are you extra prone to persist with what you understand?