e*thirteen is touting their new TRS Plus cassette that has a range of 511%, which bests SRAM’s Eagle cassettes at 500%. And they manage to do it with 11 gears as opposed to the 12 on SRAM’s latest groups. The TRS+ cassette starts with a tiny 9-tooth cog and goes up to a 46-tooth. These are the individual cog sizes on the TRS+: 9-10-12-14-17-20-24-28-33-39-46.
Apart from the increased range, e*thirteen claims their cassette offers some clear benefits over 12-speed drivetrains. These include:
- Lighter weight: at 339g, the TRS+ cassette is 17g lighter than SRAM’s X01 Eagle cassette; compared to a 12-speed drivetrain, you’ll be running a shorter chain, which will save a few additional grams.
- Better clearance: 11-speed rear derailleurs are shorter than their 12-speed counterparts; with a 9T cog on the high end you can run a smaller chainring and get better ground clearance.
- Serviceability: riders can purchase individual clusters for the TRS+ cassette as necessary to replace worn out cogs.
- Less expensive: at $249, the TRS+ is $110 cheaper than a SRAM X01 Eagle cassette (a GX Eagle cassette is $195)
You will still need a SRAM XD driver for e*thirteen’s cassette, but it is said to be compatible with Shimano and SRAM drivetrains. Look for the TRS+ cassette at your local dealer now.
First, let’s compare e*thirteen’s TRS+ cassettes to Shimano’s latest. Shimano is now offering cassettes with a 46T cog, but they are limited to an 11T on the high end. So you’re losing a bit of range there — 418% vs 511%. A Shimano cassette is substantially cheaper — you can find an 11-speed XT cassette for around $60 online. However, they’re substantially heavier. That same XT cassette weighs around 100g more than the TRS+. For the price conscious rider, that’s a tradeoff they’ll likely accept. Apart from the overall increased range, the TRS+ has less of a jump going from the second largest to largest cog — it’s a 7T difference compared to a 9T jump with Shimano. If you’re picky about your cadence, that’s something to consider.
Comparing it to SRAM’s 11-speed cassettes, we again see better range at the top and bottom end — 420% vs 511%. Price wise, the TRS+ falls roughly in line with discounted SRAM X01 11-speed cassettes. SRAM’s X01 cassette beats the e*thirteen on weight, though, coming in around 70g lighter. Don’t expect SRAM to start offering increased range on their 11-speed drivetrains. With the release of their Eagle groups, SRAM has no incentive to improve their “older” drivetrains.
So who’s it for? I think the TRS+ cassette is a good option for the rider who wants more range without needing to purchase an entirely new drivetrain. It’s also a solution for the Shimano drivetrain die-hards that want more range and lighter weight, without switching brands.