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TRW Active Enters the Mountain Bike Drivetrain Market 63

Hailing from Los Alamos, New Mexico, this young start-up aims to provide affordable and robust shifting solutions for trail and enduro bikes.

TRW Active Enters the Mountain Bike Drivetrain Market

There is a new player looking to make a splash in the mountain bike drivetrain market, and they've come out swinging with a complete 11-speed groupset to kick things off. With a stated goal of "bringing high quality bicycle components to the market at an affordable price", TRW Active is launching a set of products that work together as a set or that can complement many existing components from SRAM and Shimano. The company is just about to launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to get the word out, but it stresses that it already has produced 150 complete drivetrains that will be used to fulfill the first orders.


The 11-speed SRX drivetrain is based around a the classic Shimano freehub standard, and as such it is limited to 11 teeth for the smallest cog on the cassette. To provide enough range the company offers two cassettes, an 11-50 and an 11-52 that requires "an extender" for the derailleur (which we assumes refers to a longer cage). The cassettes are built around an alloy carrier, which supports a combination of cold forged steel and alloy cogs (we have not been able to dig up any information on weights).


The derailleur is based on a parallelogram design and features an adjustable clutch and a "cage lock" mechanism to make wheel removal easier. The shifter features an upshift lever that can be both pushed and pulled, while the other lever is said to be able to deal with 5 downshifts in a single push. Two cranksets are available to complete your drivetrain, a DH/Enduro version and a lighter Trail version. They both use a 24mm axle and work with direct mount chainrings which appear to feature a narrow-wide tooth pattern.



Without knowing more about component weights and performance in general, it's hard to offer a definitive opinion on value for money here, but the list prices are in line with competition and the early bird offers in particular seem to be very competitive.

  • TRW-2 Groupset (shifter, derailleur, crankset, chain, cassette, and bottom bracket): $414.95 USD (early bird $292.99 USD)
  • TRW-2 HD Crankset: $134.99 USD
  • TRW-2 11-50t 11 Speed Cassette: $99.99 USD
  • TRW-2 11-52t 11-Speed Cassette: $119.99 USD
  • TRW-2 Rear Derailleur: $94.99 USD
  • TRW-2 11 Speed Shifter: $49.99 USD

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  • FakeMTBparts

    2/24/2019 11:39 AM

    Last week on Aliexpress, ZTTO (also others sellers) show many new lightweight steel cassettes (10,11,12,HG,HD) ...and now one week later on their Facebook page TRW Active show their "NEW" only 12 speeds cassette ...what a coincidence!!! ..and their crank is the Ganopper on Aliexpress
  • Davemud

    11/16/2018 2:53 PM

    Rochard88 I cant find your most recent comment from my email so Im responding here.

    Sensah would not be comingbto these TRWA for engineering advice. I think we agree on that. That company according to their website has former Sram engineers who dont need outside help from amatures.

    These guys began by saying they reengineered all groupset pieces. Now they are focusing on cages and pullies. Both bolt on pieces. I could have believed they made a cage. Oneup did. Thats simple stamping or cnc work feasable for a small jobber shop.

    We agree they should have said they are an importer, distributor or retailer with a tuned version offered in their shop and on line at ebay and amazon. No one would have noticed or looked into them.

    Im glad these guys made me aware of Sansah. Ill spend 100.00 on a direct buy through Ali because I love the idea of a new player hitting Shimano in their bread and butter OEM sales. I doubt we'll see Sansah on name brand adult bikes any time soon but they could get specd on kids bikes. Tgey will surely get specd on mass market bikes along with Microshift and Sunrace.

    TRWA should stop this mess, take the hit and move on to retailing what they have through ebay/amazon if they are smart.

    The other option is get posted on pink, rumor, radar and mtbr. I imagine they were denied because I think PB and the others would have investigated first being bike guys like us.

    I doubt icemannis closely connected to vital. More likely a weekend warrior contributor who didnt know enough to investigate before posting it first.

  • iceman2058

    11/17/2018 12:23 AM

    "I doubt icemannis closely connected to vital. More likely a weekend warrior contributor who didnt know enough to investigate before posting it first." - never underestimate the value of investigating something before posting... wink #irony

  • Davemud

    11/17/2018 8:37 AM

    This is a no win for you iceman you are either nieve or lazy affecting the credibility of yourself and vitalmtb.

    Your actual connection doesnt matter. If its a close one it really speaks to the lack of credibility of vitalmtb.

    Maybe you are conbectef to these brands or maybe you just wanted to see how the community responds to this. Maybe its all complete bullshit just to drive some traffic on a slow week.

    Its of no interest to me to figure that out. I am interested in having the information about TRWactive here available to anyone looking into their history.

  • TRWaRon

    11/14/2018 9:47 PM

    To clear up some of what has been said and asked of TRW Active.

    First and foremost, we want to state that we did not pay VitalMTB (or anyone else) a dime to write this article or do anything else on our behalf. We do appreciate the coverage and respect this publication and their integrity.

    This venture started all the way back in 2013 when Taber was exploring different manufacturing options for the original hub in the GravityWorx wheelsets. What he realized early on was that there is a huge amount of manufacturing capability in different locations around the world that could be tapped to bring products into some of the niche's of the cycling community. While we absolutely appreciate and have the upmost respect for someone that wants to hand weld a stem in their garage, or invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a 5 axis CNC mill, it is not the route we took to come to market. You can agree or disagree with the approach it. That is up to you.

    Now to address the specific claim that what we are selling was purchased by us on aliexpress. There is no truth in that statement whatsoever, Aliexpress is like eBay in China, not a manufacturing source site. We do have a manufacturing agreement with the firm that has been contacted by one of the members here. The design that they originally brought to us for testing represented two things. That they had the tooling and quality control capabilities to produce a product that could stand up to the rigors of the MTB enthusiast that are our target market, and that the work they had started could jump start our vision. The problem was that while those capabilities were obviously there, the experience was not. What had to be changed? To start, the lower linkage, pulleys, cage, springs, cable guide pulley, as well as much of the geometry that goes along with them. Doing the testing and revisions necessary to determine exactly how those changes needed to be made only took 4 things. Significant experience in bicycle component design, time on the bike, time in SolidWorks, and a whole lot of money. We went through a similar process with the cassettes, returning to the drawing board several times on those, then on to the cranks and chainrings. There is global market with various price points that our manufacturing partners serve and we are not yet at a production capacity to ask them to discontinue those lines of business. Quite frankly we don't really care if they do or don't as those components are not what we are offering today, and will not work with our components.

    Did we market this perfectly? Were we prepared for a rash of negativity and personal attacks? I think we would say no to both. While we welcome open debate and comments both positive and negative, there is a very specific piece of disinformation that has been posted here by a user here that is being handled.

    On a whole, have we had overwhelming positive feedback on what we are doing? Yes we have. It is everyone's right to have their say on what will make it in a free market economy. We are offering a dirvetrain that has been tested and developed over multiple years on multiple bike platforms and standing behind it with a 2 year warranty.

    For those that asked, here is a picture of the original 2 year old design (with obvious wear and tear from testing) next to what we are offering today, along with some of the very first drawings that represent some of the back and forth that we had on the changes, and of course a little snapshot of some changes we are working on right now.

    For those of you that took this with an open mind, and asked hard questions, we want to thank you again. Anyone wanting any more information can feel free to reach out to us via our website. We have said our peace here on Vital.

  • TRWTaber

    11/14/2018 10:47 PM

    That's not an American print, it is a pdf sent for validation of an early cage plate design. The next cages I design will be in carbon composite, and possibly PEEK as the polymer. This will be for the lighter and probably more expensive version we will release in the future. Stay tuned.
  • Davemud

    11/16/2018 8:22 AM

    Oneup designed new cages for Shimano RDRs, Ceramicspeed cages and bearings, Wolftooth extender links.

    None clamis to have designed the RDR. They are all legitimate and they demonstrate that in their presence and marketing.

    TWR/Gravity didnt just vastly under estimate the knowledge of the market you were also too ignorant and/or lazy to create a convincing vision, marketing plan or presence in the industry media.

  • Sacki

    11/15/2018 3:21 AM

    I guess what people wanted to see are drawing sketches, early prototypes/functioning mock-ups.
    Those parts, that one can see here are for sure no prototypes, but production parts or very late pre-production samples, as they are clearly forged/stamped and definitely something you can not produce without a mould. They are even properly surface finshed, anodized and labeled already. This does not prove that you´ve designed anything. Neither do the pictures. To be fair: It does also not prove that you didn´t.
    It´s just that the way about how you got from the beginnigs to now, is where you leave us guessing and just create a vaguemysterial story of developing and testing.
    Many people here know, how the bicycle industry can work.
    Basically anyone can get and browse the infamous TBS catalogue, find a manufacturer of something, then have the manufacturer modify it slighty (customize it) put a sticker on it, and sell it und an own brand.
    Here is an intersting article about it:

    You also claim to "advise the largest corporations on earth on manufacturing and IoT implementations."
    Wow, you must be a busy man, and I wonder, how you as a two man team find the time to develop such high-end mountainbike products and at the same time have the time to advise the apparently most important economic entities aboout connecting physical/electronic devices to each other through the Internet. What are your references so that such big companies are hearing you?
    You also have attended university for various engineering degrees.
    You must have been a very busy and striving man.
    You may have been involved in helping the original manufacturer and designer of this drivetrain improving the design - be it for optical or functional reasons - we don´t know. But with all the experience that I have - and I know, how those manufacturers and their R&D and their customer relations work - I may still be wrong, but I can´t get rid of the feeling, that you want to make readers believe, that there is a lot more behind what you are doing, than there actually is.
    There is no bad thing about cooperating with Asian manufacturers, modifying existing prodcuts, then make them produce cutomized and labelled stuff. But it would be disrespectful to be standing there and claiming to be the one who developed this drivetrain from scratch withign two year.
    I´m not evne mentioning, that some of the information your a giving are completely false.
    I allow myself to quote:
    "..For now though, we are releasing a 1x groupset that has a wider range than any on the market..."
    I am not sure, if you happen to know (maybe you are too busy with your other jobs) that SRAM released a 10-50, 500%, bandwidth groupset? Two years ago?
    Oh, and shimano just came out with a 10-51 drivetrain?
    Honestly, I am also not sure what those drawings are supposed to show or prove.
    The "clutch cap" on Solidworks shows an imported file, not an .sldprt file including build-history, which is editable. What is that picture supposed to show?
    The picture of the 2 year old testing sample is also questionable. You say, that, in this picture we can see a comparison between what you are offering today and what was the sample 2 years ago. The RD on the right is clearly not, what you are offering today, which can be clearly seen by just looking at the pulleys alone. The pulleys in the pictures from the press release are made of plastic and very similar to the ones from the 2 year old sample, but definitely very different, from the ones of the rear derailleur on the rigth side.
    You don´t have to show proof of anything, but I think it is clear, that many people do have a lot of questions about what is gling on with TWR products and where they come from.
    Well, maybe people are not even so much interested in where the products come from, because that it obvious anyway, but maybe they are bothered by how you are making it look like wanting to take full credit for the development and design.

  • Sacki

    11/15/2018 6:35 AM

    Oh, and the "similarity" of paddle-shape between your Triggers paddles and those from a Shimano SLX, XT and XTR, was not intended, right?
    Sensah Paddles:
    Shimano Paddles:
    I´d never in my life have the balls to market something just looking remotely that similiar to a Shimano Trigger. Just by loooking at the shape and the dent pattern on the paddles of the Tigger, I'd be afraid to have a letter from Japan on the way to me, soon. But what do i know about the business...

  • Davemud

    11/16/2018 8:10 AM

    On the Shimano similarities... Yesterday I asked if their oatent on two way release shifters had expired. Sunrace, Microshift and Sansah all openly market 2 way rekease and that used to be exclusively Shimano for years. The Shimano head tech said he didnt know and management wouldnt comment on that if he asked. So the similarities likely wont be contested and if they were it would be to Sensah.
  • Davemud

    11/15/2018 8:50 AM

    The point many have made here is you sourced and bought these parts from someone else if indeed you bought anything at all.

    These parts obviously come from Sansahtech. A look through their story and news tabs makes no mention of any partners. As mentioned it says tgey are ex Sram employees. That is quite reasonable.

    Using Chinese vendors to make products is reasonable and acceptable. Claiming the design process the way you have is not. Its very clear how you talk about it that you dont understand these processes enough to be managing them.

    I happened to be at Interbike many years ago with a company that designed and made its own parts in Canada. That year Shimano was introducing a new groupset. It may have been XTR I dont recall. I do remember for they showed all of the CNC machined prototypes from the development process. Everyone drooled over those raw CNC parts.

    Your TWRActive and Gravity Worx websites are catalogues. When we look at websites from the actual makers of bike parts rhey dont just show a bunch of parts they tell their story. They demonstrate their process and vision.

    You guys, TRWActive and Gravity Worx are no where else on the web. No press releases or discussion on any other forum I can find. There isnt anything on Sensah either. No spy shots, nothing.

    You have no other presence than this and that combibed with how ignorant you sound about manufacturing and branding is why you are not trust worthy.

    You dont even know this industry and the cycling community well enough to realise you were goin to insult the market with this approach.

  • rockhard88

    11/15/2018 10:12 AM

    So it looks like you took a Sensah SRX straight off chinese ebay, added some larger jockey wheels and a longer cage, and called it the TRWActive SRX? Is that what you're showing us here?

    If i'm understanding your other posts here, you are not only claiming that you built this entire drivetrain in 2 years, but you did it while working another job and also "designing" wheels and frames and other components? With two people?

    Just how stupid do you think we are?

  • Davemud

    11/15/2018 2:28 PM

    Yes thats their biggest mistake. Underestimaing the knowledge of the market and insulting mountain bike enthusiasts.

    The diagram of the cage is supposed to be convincing proof of their design work. That can be pulled off any RDR parts diagram from countless souces. These guys and their brands are no where and going no where.

  • nealpederson

    11/15/2018 7:47 PM

    For more crappy video editing (my daughter took this), here's me testing wheels for Taber at Pajarito:

    I've been testing wheels for Gravityworx for several years now. I've seen firsthand how hard and how innovative this company has been developing components over a long period of time. I've also seen multiple SolidWorks files in detail on Taber's computers. I'm only an electrical engineer but my son, who is a Mechanical Engineer for Los Alamos National Laboratory, has seen them too and is impressed with the design work. So far, they've focused much more on the design than the marketing. I've been using their wheels, hubs, handlebars, and stems on my Enduro bike and downhill race bike. I’ve paced them through the entire Rocky Mountain Race Series in the Vet-Pro DH division with great results. I have not yet had the need for their drive train just because my bikes already have top of the line drivetrains but I know a lot of the people who have been riding them without any issues at all. I’m not part of the company, just a friend and very avid Enduro rider/DH racer who loves what they are doing!

  • Sacki

    11/16/2018 2:01 AM

    Really? What does "seeing first hand how hard and how innovative this company has been delevoping components over a long period of time" include?
    I don´t feel like repeating myself over and over, but I some people, including you, do not seem to just remotely understand, what developing really is and what it takes to develop those things.
    You also don´t seem to be grasping, how easy it can be to source existing components from more than thousands of manufacturers/suppliers alone in Taiwan. Then you go send them a logo, and they´ll put it on the goods they produce and boom - you have your own product. That´s as easy as it is.
    There is no bad things about it. I know dozen of companies, that do this successfully and I do well respect them. But they do not try to fool people into making them believe, that they design and produce everything in house. They don´t try to take credit for something they just don´t do.
    The whole world is a big network with basically the whole knowledge of mankind accessible at all times. The chance that someone finds out more than you want him to, is pretty big.

    Look, what Gravity Worx is stating on their website:
    "GravityWorx manufactures and sells high quality carbon fiber rims and wheels for a variety of uses, and in a range of sizes. We have rims for bike shops and custom builders in 27.5" and 29", in 28mm and 33mm
    Asymmetric, 30mm and 40mm widths in ultralight and trail grade, and 50mm lightweight for plus bikes. We also make the strongest carbon fiber downhill and freeride rims you can buy. We have fatbike rims in 26", with 68mm and 80mm widths that are tubeless and double wall, and cyclocross/gravel bike rims in 700c."

    They do not just MANUFACTURE rims! they MANUFACTURE dozens of different rim prodile in house. And apparently, they are even the strongest rims, on this planet, that you can buy. all this is being said on their wesbite. Show me one picture, of their own in-house laminating facilities and I´ll be quiet.
    I think you do not remotely understand the required size of a plant you need to produce that many different carbon rims.

    I can´t even find a drawing for the rim profile. If you put a lot of work into designing, testing and MANUFACTURING rims in the USA, then you really make sure, that you provide all the information possible about your product. You can not even find the exact width of the rim, which is extrmely crucial for stupid nerds like us, that spend $500 on a single rim.
    I don´t think they or you do understand, what bike-enthusiasts are. We are nerd enough to tell by smell which sealant you use in your tires. We are nerd enough to know the A2C and rake of any existing fork on this planet - because our frame was designed for 44.5mm offset and not 46mm. We are nerd enough to align the valve-stem of your wheelset between the two XXes of MAXXIS.
    Believe me: If there was a rim profile on their website, I bet you a hundred bucks, that there are 5 people here, that could tell you right away, where exactly those rims are coming from and send the link to the website of the manufacturer. This is how much nerd we are.
    And now it is not only becoming an insult to people, who actually develop stuff, but also an insult to the people of the community here. Some simply know more about every single component on earth, than you may ever hink is possible. That´s why it simply doe not make sense to try convince them of the work they´re claiming it be their own.
    Because we are professional mountainbike nerds and know more than normal people think is possible about that shit.

    I didn´t mean to start that big of a thing, when I posted a few days ago. That was not my intention at all.
    I just thought, they´d become a little subdue and maybe just ackknowledge that the work of designing and manufacturing high quality mtb-components may invloce just a tiny bit more, than sourcing manufacturers that already produce something and modify it slightly (if at all).
    But no, they are trying to back up their claims with very poor and (to me) insulting attempts.
    That is, what now makes me and others really want to put them back in their place.

  • nealpederson

    11/16/2018 6:29 AM

    Sacki, what you claim is not fair. You really don't know me or this company so how can you make all these assumptions? You said, “some people, including you, do not seem to just remotely understand, what developing really is and what it takes to develop those things.” Please Google my full name, "neal r. pederson” at I have multiple patents to my name and have co-owned an award winning automotive diagnostic manufacturer ( for over 17 years. I painfully know how hard it is to develop products from the initial idea, through the full engineering cycle, and through the marketing of the product (for us tech geeks by far the hardest part!). Like I mentioned, I am not part of TRW and will let Ron’s statement speak their company. But I will say that I have seen much of their product development effort and fully believe in there innovative and extensive R&D efforts and I believe I have the experience to know “what it takes” to do this.
  • Sacki

    11/16/2018 7:39 AM

    That, what I claim, is fair enough!
    Show me pictures of their own production line of Carbon rims and I´ll stay quiet about it.
    I am not sure, if you´ve read about what I and other people have explained about how the bike industry works.
    And no offense, bicycle industry is a little different from automotive industry. I live in Munich and i have studie and graduated from a German university in Mechanical Engineering. I am not sayig this to brag about. But you can safely assume, that I know a little about automotive industry. Bascially every other of my firends here in Munich works at BMW.
    A very close friend, who works for BMW, does not really understand, how the bicycle industry is working. In the automotive industry you can not simply source a 7-speed DSG transmission gearbox from a catalogue, ask the manufacturer to do some small modifications, put your sticker on an then you´re ready to go. That does simply not work.
    In the bicycle industry, however, this IS VERY WELL POSSIBLE. And this can be very lucrative for people who
    have a smart business idea and clevery create their own brand with little to no need of invest in engineering.
    So I am not blaming you or other people, that have products on their bikes, which they think are designed and made from the brand they buy it from. However, in many many cases those are just freely available branded parts, that dozens of other brands are also offering in the same way, just with a different sticker or print. That happens a lot with handlebars, stems, hubs, rims in particular. This is totally normal, yet totally legit.
    Of course there are also other companies, that have the manufacturers make smaller (or bigger) modifications so their products distinguish slightly from what other brands offer.
    And then there are companies, that do actual RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT and design and test and produce products (or have them produced) from the first sketch to the final thing.
    This is what was suggested here and I have my very reasonable doubts about it.
    Again: Offering branded products is totally OK.
    Trying to make people believe that you are designing a drivetrain from scratch in 2 years, and stating that you are actually manufacturing dozens of different carbon rims in America is not OK. There is so much about it, that I just can not belive, and no one invlved in the company can bring any real proof of what they are claiming, besides phrases.
    Or this statement:
    "Ultimately, we will operate our own advanced factories here, and around the world, using advanced robotics and AI driven feedback loops."
    I am wondering, if the people, who actually write down this stuff are really believing themselves, in that what they write.
    Would a company with such goals need to go for a Indiegogo campaign for a - and now just think about it - ready and fully developed and tested 1x11 groupset for mtb? WOULD IT?
    Bike magazines, websites, forums would be all over it. I have never even heard about the company until a few days ago.
    Those products are already produced as it is said with their own words! What´s the point of an Indiegogo campaign here?
    Wake up!

  • rockhard88

    11/16/2018 9:07 AM

    If you read through what TRWaRon wrote earlier it sounds like they don't even claim to have designed the drivetrain. He says "they" (Sensah?) "brought a design to them for testing" (TRWActive bought it on alibaba) which they thought needed new pulleys, a new cage, and different springs. Oh, and a cable guide. Total ground-up redesign.

    I'm not sure why TRWActive thinks they can claim to have designed a drivetrain just because they put a different cage and some pulleys on a derailleur that was already in production 2 years ago, and i'm really struggling to understand why they think that warrants an indiegogo campaign.

    I checked out the wheels on their website and it looks like generic chinese wheelsets but they don't show any of the frames or bars that someone mentioned they were making.

    If TWRActive had just come out and said "we're taking these chinese-designed derailleurs and making them work on wide-range cassettes with a new derailleur cage and pulleys" then I'd be cool with that. The indiegogo campaign just makes it look like a scam.

  • Davemud

    11/16/2018 7:56 AM

    Thats you riding a bike neal. This is not proof of a scientific engineering design review verification and validation process. Your connection is receiving free parts.

    You guys throw some terminology around thinking youre making a convincing argument. You dont actually speak effectively or convincingly to the comments here. You keep posting random easily faked images and continue to demonstrate your lack of in deoth knowledge in these areas.

    The only way you guys can begin to redeem yourselves and your brands is to come clean.

  • Davemud

    11/13/2018 9:13 PM

    Here is the manufacturer of these parts website.

    The google translation to english is pretty bad as usual but its clear they designed and made this product.

    TRWactive lists an address that is the corner of a small industrial complex outside their town.

    Gravity Worx bike shop only has a Facebook page that is no more convincing than this post. Anyone who has done any kind of product testing can see your test rigs were created by people who have no idea what structural and lifecycle test equipment looks like or how it works.

    I sent an email to sansahtech advising them of this press release your claims and asked what your relationship is.

    VitalMTB should also investigate this press release and post their findings or remove it.

  • dtimms33

    11/14/2018 7:09 AM

    You don't need to be a dick about it. You can look at the products and search online and make a decision from there. Let the dudes run their business.
  • Primoz

    11/14/2018 7:40 AM

    Nobody is a dick. It's constantly said the community will buy anything when we talk about new standards. Well, it might seem like it, but we don't buy just anything. The whole thing is suspicious given how much talk about development and testing we have read in the press release and the comments, yet you can buy, by the looks of it, the exact same components from the exact same tooling with different prints (this is the cheap part) from Ali Express.

    They might not be bad, but they sure as hell don't look like they are a bespoke development.

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, surely it's not a moose?!

    EDIT: all the calling out and the subsequent radio silence over the last few days don't do any good to the company as well, do they? Like i said in another comment, show 3 pictures of prototypes being tested and all of us will shut up with no more questions asked. Yet there was no answer regarding this. Just more suspicious links from China.

  • dtimms33

    11/14/2018 8:18 AM

    I think it is a bit much to be emailing a company and Vital complaining about a company rebranding a product like this. I am sure the manufacturer is aware TRW is putting their logo on this groupo. And Vital is just doing a press release that they might have been paid to release. Anyway, it is what it is - and as you say, this is an obvious rebranding.
  • Primoz

    11/14/2018 8:52 AM

    And that's why some of us are bitching here, because an obvious rebranding is being sold as a hard worked development by two guys in a garage. Which, as someone said before, is a slap in the face of the guys that actually do make awesome stuff by themselves in a garage. Look at Pinion for example.
  • iceman2058

    11/14/2018 8:58 AM

    We covered this strictly out of editorial interest, it was the first we had ever heard of this company when we stumbled on their website/Indiegogo campaign. Maybe we should have done more research into the whole Aliexpress thing first to have more answers available, but at least it's all being talked about now and that's always a good thing.
  • Davemud

    11/14/2018 2:23 PM

    The "dudes" are misrepresenting themselves at best and commiting fraud worst case. Those pics could be photoshopped. The group in the video may be the only one they have. Its always buyer/investor beware on crowd funding sites and there is no shortage of scams on those sites. These guys wont answer/cant answer specifics for obvious reasons.

    I contacted Sansah to ask tge valid question about their relationship with these guys. We wont get that here.

  • FakeMTBparts

    2/24/2019 11:50 AM

    Last week on Aliexpress, ZTTO (also others sellers) show many new lightweight steel cassettes (10,11,12,HG,HD) ...and now one week later on their Facebook page TRW Active show their "NEW" only 12 speeds cassette ...what a coincidence!!! ..and their crank is the Ganopper on Aliexpress
  • Sacki

    11/14/2018 8:55 AM

    I meant to reply to my other post and wanted to say, that it was sad, that there is no more statement from TRW.
    But to be honest, that was to be expected.
    I have been designing MTB frames and suspension for a couple of years now. I´ve lived in Taiwan for almost two years.
    And I just find it unbelievably bold to make such a statement of having designed a complete groupset from scratch within a period of two years by basically a two man team?
    How little idea of the complexity of this product can you have, to believe, that people on Vital, who spend a great share of their free time with mtb-products, would just swallow those statements? How can you seriously believe to get through with this? They must think we are stupid.
    It kinda even makes me angry, because, as I said: There are people and in small companies who dedicate a lot of their lives to making really cool stuff - where you can see the passion. Those companies often live in the shades of others, but still they are carrying THE SPIRIT of mountainbiking. Fellas that only are after the quick $$$ are certainly not. It fills me with disgust. Sorry, if I am being a little straight forward here.
    Not blaming Vital here at all by the way.

  • Primoz

    11/14/2018 9:02 AM

    Sorry to be offtopic a bit, but can you share any designs that are (partly) yours? Besides the BikeYoke products, which i suspect is where you work now given your post history.

    (When can we expect a hydraulics actuated dropper post from you guys? :D - sarcasm of course)

  • Sacki

    11/14/2018 10:08 AM

    I´ve joined Bionicon Bikes in 2010 and was in charge of and executed all frame and suspension designs after 2012.
    Here are a few of the things, that we´ve designed in that period:
    I´ve re-designed the existing Bionicon geometry-adjust system, introducing a double-positive and double negative air spring:
    I graduated from university with the design of a bladder-based damping cartridge, which can be seen here at 3:15 (it´s in German though, sorry):
    A few years ago, I´ve designed an adjustable negative air can for X-Fusion Vector Air, because I believed this was a great shock with great damping, and just lacked the small bump sensitivity of newer shocks.
    The design allowed completely independed positive and negative spring pressre wiht adustable negative volume.
    It worked and still works perfectly in about 5 shocks. The parts were only produced for a few forum members and me.
    I´ve also assisted in shock and dropper design for othe rmajor companies besides Bionicon.
    I have the highst respect for all the guys who are developing drivetrain parts, because this is something you can not simply draw as a sketch. It is a highly dynamic system, that has sooo many undefined variables in off road terrain.
    That´s why I am reacting so overly sensitive, when I read, that someone claims to develop better products than SRAM or Shimano in a garage and just 2 years.
    I just call it the biggest BS, I´ve read in a long time.

  • Primoz

    11/14/2018 10:15 AM

    Cool. German is not that much of an issue, i actually understand quite a bit.

    It's cool to hear stuff regarding engineering from inside the industry, info about this is, in my opinion, too hard to come by in the biking industry. And it seems relatively hard to break into the industry unless gunning it on your own at the beginning and hoping to make something that can catch the public's eye well enough for you to be noticed :/

    Going against Shimano and Sram from a garage is what was peculiar to me as well. While i had the 'idea' of going metric with the chains (to 10 mm pitch instead of 1/2) to be able to go to physically smaller cassettes without having polygon effect issues (but with getting into a host of other issues along the way), the engineering part is the easiest bit here. Getting someone to make you a workable chain for an 11 or 12-speed drivetrain as a privateer with a limited budged would be... A mission impossible. You'd need to make a prototype tool for a stamping machine to stamp out the plates (two different ones at that!), someone to make the rollers and tools to press all of those components together. I have a bit of a feeling as to how much prototypes cost since i work at an automotive supplier and... It's not a garage job to make your own drivetrain. Maybe if you hit a lottery, yeah...

  • Sacki

    11/14/2018 12:00 PM

    Actually, I do think the engineering is very difficult.
    There is so much more to shifting, than just cogs and parallelograms and spacing and indexing.
    Every cog has soo many little shifting aids. Theeth are shaped differently, cog flanks are shaped with little dents, allt for a very specific reason, which, however, is unknown to me. Also the front chainwheels have shifting aids (small, very sharp pins in specific, but - also - not easily understandable positions. Also there, the teeth are shaped very differently. Look at a cog and at a chainwheel and you´ll know, what I mean. It´s far away from being a circular sprocket with 32 tetth of same shape and length.
    This is where differences are made: By experience in knowing how to shape and orient sprockets and cogwheels to make shifting smooth, fast and reliable, and not coming along with a lot of noise, too.
    Designing a great drivetrain is something, that I honestly have very little clue about.

  • Primoz

    11/14/2018 12:56 PM

    I mean of course engineering of it is not easy, it was meant more in the way that it would be something that is possible to overcome with a small team, if you either gave them the resources or if you could prototype a generation of a group for say 1000 €.

    But given how much the tooling costs and how many loops of tooling changes would be required just for the chain, if you look at Sram's Eagle chain (no sharp edges and the like), the mind boggles. The press tools must be so finely tuned it has to be insane. This is not something a small team can make, unless they order it at a specialist, which will cost accordingly.

    Chainrings have become somewhat simpler with 1x drivetrains, but yeah, cassettes are a mastery of complication. As for the shift ramps, i guess they look at it in such a way that one sprocket is oriented against the other where a straight tangential line from one goes directly to the next one when shifting up, you line up so the chain's roller fits around a tooth on t he new sprocket and that's how you define the rotational positions. Then you add shift ramps accordingly. And this part is i'd say easiest on the biggest sprockets. What you do witht he 10T, 12T and the like is beyond me. And then of course you have the shift ramps to go down the sprockets. A similar way (tangential line and lining up the teeth) is probably used for the front chainrings (in multi setups) with ramps positioned so that the outer plate gets grabbed in either case, regardless of the position of the narrow or wide part of the chain.

    I think it was once written somewhere that Sram makes a proto raw cassette and gives it to a guy, who then files away the teeth by feel and tests out the shifting until he's happy with it. And this then gets digitalised. While there's probably more to it these days, it could have been like this a few (10 to 20) years ago.

  • Sacki

    11/11/2018 1:50 AM

    Companies, rebranding existing cheap and non innovative stuff from other companies and then claiming it to be their own invention is an insult and a big slap in the face of all the guys in small companies, that really put a lot of sweat and blood and dedication into actually designing products to create something of their own.
    I am not saying, that this happened here, but it woud be great of you guys to back your claims and explain, where that undeniable similarity to those products off Aliexpress comes from.
    A complete groupset is not simply designed within two years, neither are the toolings for all the production, not to mention that it must have been a brave step, to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars that are needed to open toolings for said components` production line.
    So please help us all understand. That would be great.

  • TRWTaber

    11/9/2018 9:57 PM

    Hello, this is Taber from TRW Active. I wanted to thank VitalMTB for picking up our launch news and helping us get the word out. Secondly, even though the information is on our web page, I wanted to post up a little bit about us and what we are doing.
    Both Ron and I have managed bike shops in the past, and I currently own one called Gravity Worx in Los Alamos, NM, along with our carbon and wheel building facility. Stop on in and say hi to Ryan, the shop manager and expert wheel builder, when you are coming to Los Alamos to ride our hundreds of miles of trails. We also have our own ski area, soon to be a bike park, that I was a lift operator at in high school way back in the 80’s. When I wasn’t working the lifts in the winter, I was a bike mechanic in the summer. I used to race expert/pro in an organization called NORBA, that few remember anymore, between serving in the Navy during the Gulf War, and attending college for various engineering degrees. Today I advise the largest corporations on earth on manufacturing and IoT implementations.
    I also design and build a line of carbon fiber components and wheels for my company, Gravity Worx. Most of these are on their 3rd generation of design. Though I cut my first set of carbon frame molds way back in 1988. This article is about TRW Active though, and that is what we are promoting for launch now. We have been working with our manufacturing partners in Asia for more than 2 years on the design, development, and testing. There is not a single factory overseas that can build all of the components for a complete groupset, so we have to work with multiple factories to get it done. The basic components of shifters, derailleurs, cassettes, cranks, chains, etc.. do not change much over time. You have to have vast experience riding and wrenching on many different components, over many decades, to understand why one works better than another, or if this has been done before. I have boxes of components sitting in my workshop that I have ridden on for more than 40 years, so I have a pretty good idea. I use this gained knowledge to shape new components, and modify existing ones, to fit the need.
    The rest of it comes down to understanding where there is a current gap in the market that needs to be filled. Then making a set of components that fills that gap and need. We find those gaps pretty quickly, but it takes a while to do the testing and refinement. Often the factories don’t understand why we are making a particular design decision, and this creates even more delays. Ultimately, we will operate our own advanced factories here, and around the world, using advanced robotics and AI driven feedback loops. Ron and I are experts in this field, and that is where we will take manufacturing moving forward. For now though, we are releasing a 1x groupset that has a wider range than any on the market, and we are doing it at a great price. The launch will happen November 19th on Indiegogo. We already have production components, and there are quite a few happy customer riding on them, so we will fulfill orders quickly. Launching the campaign is more about getting the word out on our components, and there will be more to come. We also offer a 2 year warranty on the components, as we know they will hold up, and a low cost crash replacement program.
    A note on Aliexpress and the other Chinese Ebay clones, real manufacturers don’t list their products on those sites. They are trading companies that get ahold of small groups of components and sell them with no warranty or guarantees. We have purchased and tested those components, and they will not work on a 52t cogset, much less a 50t, so buy those at your own risk.
    Here is a list of the weights of our components with all bolts, cables, and connectors included:
    TRW-2 Shifter w/ cable 136g (Alloy housing, clamp and levers)
    TRW-2 Rear Derailleur 312g (All metal, no plastic in the body or cage)
    TRW Chain LW 11s 126L 272g (Hollow pins and cutouts for weight, quick link)
    TRW HD Crank 175mm 30t 753g (Drop forged w/ adj tension and DM ring, rugged))
    TRW LW Crank 175mm 32t 627g (Drop forged w/ adj tension and DM ring, lightweight)
    TRW LW Cassette 11-50t 11s 382g (Top 4 cogs forged from single billet, alloy carrier)
    TRW Hybrid Cassette 11-50t 11s 545g (Alloy and steel cogs, 2 alloy carriers)
    TRW Steel Cassette 11-50t 11s 576g (Steel cogs, alloy carrier)
    TRW Steel Cassette 11-52t 11s 695g (Different cog ratios from 11-50t, is heavier)

    Shifter & Derailleur 448g
    Full Groupset with uncut chain LW 1,729g



  • Primoz

    11/9/2018 11:50 PM

    If i am to nitpick here, how is a 52-11 the widest range on the market? It's 472,7 %. Lat i checked Eagle is 500. And the new XTR is 510 %.

    But who cares about the detail. You know how a picture is worth a thousand words? This long post could be completely avoided and made MUCH more believable by simply posting one or more pictures of the prototypes for your group. Kinda like what Sram did when they released XX1 to the world, where the whole proto process was shown. Or how proto wireless eagle derailleurs have been seen in the wild.

    This post is kinda like trying to extinguish a forest fire with a garden hose. To make Vitalers believe you make the real stuff you need a few Canadairs.

  • Davemud

    11/14/2018 2:35 PM

    Utter nonsense Tabor. How odd your FB link to your FB profile on Gravity Worx is broken, Ryan's works.

    The more you post the more you reveal how little you know about this industry, community and engineering and manufacturing in general.

    You are so ignorant on these subjects you dont even know what you dont know. If you simply rebranded for your shop that would be fine. I work at a shop that does that. We do not lie about it.

    I am glad for this causing me to research you, your brands and this new to me brand SanSah. I hope they are successful and I hope they set the record straight since you are incapable of doing so.

  • TRWaRon

    11/7/2018 9:47 AM

    Hey All,

    This Ron from TRW. While Taber is the more well known of the two of us out on the trails of Moab I wanted to chime in and say thanks to Vital, iceman and all the members here for the comments. Both the positive and negative ones. They both drive us to to be better.

    We started this venture 2 years ago as a grass roots project to give the folks we know some options on components. We have been developing, testing and improving the whole time and have several riders that have thousands of miles on what has evolved to the product we are bringing to the market today. You can certainly find stuff out there that "looks" like ours but nothing that has the miles, the testing, and the continual improvement that we have done and did we mention the 2 year warranty.

    Thanks again to those that are rooting for us.

  • Primoz

    11/5/2018 9:10 AM

    Hm... Does anybody else find it funny that the marketing video includes a guy riding uphill with elbow pads and no knee pads, no shifting and by the looks of it a chinese (sold as Ztto on Amazon) cassette? It might be the official cassette, but not judging by the press shots.

    I'm all for competition, but man, when you're going against Shimano and Sram, you better have your product polished to the moon and back!

  • dtimms33

    11/5/2018 10:18 AM

    I noticed the same thing. Plus, music is a little much for slow uphill peddling. I would like to have seen some shifting and real descending with the chain flopping around a bit to show retention and keep my attention. I hope they are the engineers and doing something cool but it might just be a rebranding of existing products?
  • Davemud

    11/9/2018 2:20 PM

    Criticizing the video is completely missin the point. The parts are straight off aliexpress, available to anyone direct. This is a crowd funding scam to make margin on 150 drivetrains. Not very creatie or credible. Better than Shimano. Engineers. Its laughable. Read any press release from Box. Those guys talk about the diffiulty of breaking into this market and what it takes. These guys are sitting in their mom's basement trying to figure out video editing.
  • Primoz

    11/5/2018 11:57 AM

    Dude, i'm the most engineer of the engineers you can think of. Yet i can see that, for a lack of better term, this video is bad.

    I hate marketing, but i still kinda get how it works. A launch video should hype you up and show you some things. This sadly does neither.

    I hope their gear is better than the video (which is a completely un-engineer thing of me to say, since, to me, the only thing that SHOULD matter is the performance, not marketing).

  • Davemud

    11/9/2018 2:11 PM

    Clearly this is an attempted branding play. Thats fine but trying to pass it off as their own is laughable. If it were 1x10 Id probably order it of ali just to try it for the halibut.
  • jcook

    11/9/2018 7:12 PM

    Gonna play devils advocate here: maybe, just maybe, and it’s a big huge probably unlikely maybe, they’re using a Chinese catalog chassis and dropping in some custom engineered internals (better clutch, nicely machined bits inside the shifter, good bearings, etc). Not saying that’s the case, but it could be...
  • jakewilkes

    11/5/2018 3:00 PM

    Hi guys, Yes that video sucks! I never comment, but I was in Moab last week and ran into this guy on the trail. He is making frames, bars, stems, and wheels too. It all seems pretty legit and he is making improvements on it every product run. From what I can tell, The clutch is adjustable too. All of the weights are claimed to be similar to an Xo1 or close to XT. I'm pretty sure he isn't re branding it either. The dudes name is Taber West and his wheel company is Gravityworx. I wouldn't be surprised if they are successful.
  • shawnca7

    11/6/2018 5:55 AM

    I've met Taber. He does make everything - no re-branding. But that video is terrible! No offense Taber smile

  • Primoz

    11/6/2018 8:09 AM

    If this is a single guy project going against Sram and Shimano... DAAAAAAAAAAMN son, look at the nuts on this guy!!
  • Davemud

    11/9/2018 2:13 PM

    Bullshit. This stuff is straight off aliexpress. These guys are neither marketing engineering or manufacturing experts. They arent even convincing advocates for this stuff.
  • dtimms33

    11/6/2018 6:56 AM

    I don't see why you are getting downvoted. I really hope they do well. Always root for the little guy and their groupo is in my price range for an upgrade to my wifey's bike.
  • colsen

    11/8/2018 5:32 AM

    Hey - so I'm the guy with the questionable choice in body armor on the bike (I messed up my elbow due to an involuntary dismount awhile back so I just make sure I've always have elbow pads on). Anyway, not a TRW employee, just a good friend of Taber's and been riding his gear for awhile now.

    The comment below about us just being bike enthusiasts/engineers and not film directors is spot on. The clip was just an attempt to showcase the drive-train in a way that focused on the basics and not really intended to be an extreme Instagram segment. Points definitely taken on the clip not really showing how the drive-train performs under duress. That said, after a few hundred miles this summer on the TRW groupo, I can say it beats the heck out of the XT/SLX setup I was running before. I was pretty reluctant to go 1x (most of the rides around here involve a minimum 1K ft elevation gain) but I've become a convert.

    Chain flop on the setup is on-par or better than what I had with a clutched Shimano rear - and it's consistent even when I'm in the rear 11 tooth - the Shimano would generate quite a bite more chatter if I was descending in a ratio that had the tensioner at a slack position.

    I'll definitely throw on some knee pads (and some more speed) if we shoot another vid!

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