Improving the Riding Experience is Exactly Why Drivetrain Technology continues to Move Forward. Creating a Quieter, Smoother Drivetrain that Will Remain Consistent even over the Most Demanding Terrain is the Goal.
SRAMs new Type 2 clutch equipped rear derailleur provides one way tension that keeps chain slap to a minimum while improving on-the-fly shift quality.
SRAM Type 2 Rear Derailleur
MSRP: XO- $260, X9 - $116
SRAM is the newest manufacturer to step in to the clutch equipped derailleur game with their new Type 2 derailleurs, following closely behind Shimano’s XTR Shadow Plus release last season. Though it may seem as though SRAM was off-the-back on this technology, they claim to have been working with and perfecting this system for a few years. Type 2 shows that SRAM is looking closely at trends and is focused on creating a simple, low maintenance, yet functional drivetrain system. Which, on paper, seems to be exactly what they did.
With the versatility of current full suspension bikes, riders continue to push the limits of the sport by riding rougher terrain on lighter, less gravity-oriented rigs. In turn this requires companies like SRAM and Shimano to develop components around a much broader use range.
SRAM’s Type2 derailleurs are light enough for XC use, but feature a new roller bearing clutch to dampen the derailleurs forward spring force. This limits the derailleur cage’s range of motion, and greatly reduces chain-slap and dropped chains when slamming through technical sections of trail.
The internal roller bearing clutch is setup up from the factory and requires no adjustment or maintenance through the life of the derailleur (which SRAM deems as five years of consistent use).
With the added cage tension of the clutch system, wheel removal would be extremely difficult. But rather than opting for an “on/off” switch for the clutch mechanism, SRAM opted to improve the rear wheel removal procedure overall. SRAMs “Cage Lock” system allows the derailleur cage swing forward and locked in place, releasing chain and derailleur tension, and allowing the rear wheel to simply slide out of the drop out without holding the derailleur back with your third hand. A rather comical infomercial shows the system in action.
Having only ridden the Type 2 system on a few rides, I was impressed with how quiet the drivetrain of the bike was even through choppy, rutted descents. It shifted smooth with with very little noticeable added friction over a traditional X0 derailleur. It’s clearly a beneficial innovation in how derailleur’s function.
SRAM will be releasing the derailleurs to the market in August with Type 2 options available at both the X0 and X9 level in cage lengths ranging from short to long. SRAM hopes to see the Type 2 derailleurs spec’d on a variety of bikes, but they had no details at the moment. Trickle down technology will eventual push the Type 2 system on to lower end components if demand is great enough though. Stay tuned for a full review!