Welcome to the Trail House in beautiful Santa Cruz, California. James LaLonde from SRAM fills us in on the day's agenda.
Post-coffee shop adventure, let's talk bike parts. Tyler Morland introduced us to three brand new parts and a few updates to existing lines. In part one of this feature, we'll be taking a look at the new SRAM Type 2 derailleurs. If only school had been this cool…
Take a closer look. It's only a short matter of time before all X0 and X9 derailleurs use the new roller bearing clutch. When asked, SRAM said that there is very minimal wear over time, which is crucial considering you can't adjust the clutch system.
Remember Kyle Strait's informercial? Here's the real deal. Cage Lock is SRAM's clever way to make wheel removal and chain installation easier. It's simple and it works.
A quick visual comparison of old versus new. The Type 2 is much harder to rotate and has a "sticky" feeling in the forward direction. That's just the clutch doing its thing. By resisting motion, the chain consistently sees more tension.
Having learned about the new derailleur, it's time to prep bikes and take it out for a test.
Departing for Demo Forest in 3, 2, 1…
Going up, the first thing we noticed (or didn't notice?) was the force required to shift the Type 2 derailleur. There is very little difference between it and the standard system. If anything it's nice to have a more solid lever feel when changing gears.
Kyle Strait led the charge for most of the day. He's no slouch on the bike, which meant high speeds and lots of alternate lines.
Here's the Type 2 in action over some mildly bumpy terrain. Watch and listen for chain slap. Was there any?
If you were standing near this trail, you'd be impressed by how quiet Strait and Morland's bikes are as they bomb into rough stuff. After we returned home we hit the trail on a standard (non-clutch) derailleur for the sake of comparison. There's a very noticeable difference.
Curtis Keene on the move. He's excited to bring the Type 2 to World Cups. For any racer, chain retention and reliable shifts are crucial. Expect to see the Type 2 on a wide variety of bikes given the multiple cage length options. (PS - Keene is fitter than ever, so keep that in mind for OTB and Fantasy Team predictions.)
SRAM outfitted us with 2X10 equipped Yeti SB-66's. Even without a guide, chain drops were less frequent than anticipated and only occurred in the roughest of sections. I think I lost my chain a total of three times over three days, but others didn't seem to have the same issue. Thumbs up in the chain retention department.
Moto noises are mandatory...
They say a quiet bike is a happy bike, and that happiness carries over to the rider. With so little chain noise, it's easy to feel like you're riding smoother and faster than ever. I left the day impressed and eager for more. If you're eager, know that the Type 2 will be available in August.
"I just drank fire!" TSage making quick work of volcano number two post ride. It's non-stop laughs and good times with this crew.
Late night at the local yacht club. It isn't all business all the time with SRAM, which we dig. When the day is done they like to kick back, have a good time, then set it on repeat for the next day.
There's more to the Trail House story. Stop by next Thursday for part two… (hint hint)