e*thirteen 9-46 Cassette Stuff

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    • #254251

      I am thinking about upgrading from a SRAM 10-42 GX cassette to an e*thirteen TRS 9-46. I love the idea of the extra 1x range on my 29er but I’m not entirely sure if I will need a bigger chain for the 46t cog in the back. If so, is it worth the extra $50 to just go with their 12 speed upgrade that includes a new chain? Does anyone have any experience with this cassette and drivetrain?

    • #254255

      The 9-46 cassette is designed primarily for Shimano, I don’t know of anyone using it with a SRAM 11 speed derailleur, but YMMV. Also, if by extra $50 you mean buying an NX Eagle groupset vs the $250 for that cassette, you get what you pay for. There have been some great reviews out there demonstrating the differences between the Eagle groupsets showing the value proposition of each, bikepacking.com has a great article on it.

      With all of that being said, my wife’s trail bike came specced with that cassette and an XT derailleur. Judging by her experience, when I get a new wheelset for my trail bike this year I plan to build it around an XD driver so that I can also use that cassette instead of the 11-46 I have now. She is able to run a slightly smaller chainring up front for a little better climbing gear and still able to keep up on the flats with that tiny 9 tooth ring.

      • #254257

        Actually the 9-46 only works with the SRAM XD driver equipped hub. The 12 speed upgrade is actually sold as a kit from e*thirteen and includes a 12 speed cassette, chain and items to mod a shifter. The NX Eagle will work with a Shimano freehub but not the SRAM XD one. 11 tooth is as small as it can go for most Shimano drivetrains.

      • #254300

        I can’t speak to the TRS cassette, but I’ve had nothing but trouble with the 9-46 TRS Race cassette my bike came speced with. Long story short, I’m on my 3rd cassette in 14 months and the warranty process has been slow and painful. Each time has been for early wear on the bigger rings resulting in the chain slipping under power. I imagine the wear would be better on the TRS cassette since the materials are geared more toward durability than weight. But even durability concerns aside, the shifts just aren’t as smooth as the GX and XT cassettes I’ve ridden. I would echo other recs to opt for a swap to GX and go to a 34 ring.

      • #254301

        Really great advice here once again. You don’t really know how things stack up in the real world until you’ve experienced a demo or owned a piece of gear over the long haul. As you can imagine, these two options are very intriguing but that sounds like a flat-out bad experience with the TRS Race. Not being able to ride because components are down is a real drag, especially in the Northeast where you only have 8 months of good weather to do it. (As I experienced this season when my dropper bit the dust) Seems like everyone loves the GX Eagle!

    • #254269

      If I was doing that change, I would just buy a Sram Eagle NX shifter and deraillier and combine it with a Eagle GX 10-50 cassette. (For a few dollars more you could go all Eagle GX.) Keep your crank and chainring the same if it gets you the right gear range or add a new ring if needed. (You might need a new chainring for the the TRS also.) It’s going to cost about the same as doing the TRS cassette conversion. TRS cassettes are very expensive so the next time you need a new cassette your going to have to drop big bucks. Eagle GX cassettes are much cheaper. Also, you’ll be able to get Sram parts everywhere while TRS parts might be harder to come by. In addition, I’ve always thought that if all the 1X drivetrain parts (shifter, deraillier, chain, cassette) are from the same company, your more likely to get better shift quality. In either case, you will need a a new chain because your old chain is the wrong type (11 or 12 speed), to short, and maybe worn out. Never put an old chain on a new cassette! Also you will probably need a new chainring so that the gearing is right for the new cassette. Be aware that cassettes with a smallest gear of 9 or 10 are compatible with Sram XD hubs. Cassettes with a smallest gear of 11 are compatible with Shimano hubs. Your bike has XD hubs. So compare the price difference for the *TRS 9-46 cassette with conversion parts, chain and chainring* to the *Sram GX 10-50 cassette, shifter, deraillier, chain, and chainring*. I think the price for both will be about the same. Personnally, I would choose the Sram conversion even if it cost a few dollars more.

      • #254285

        Those are all great points. I’ve already got a 32t chainring up front which I think would work well for gear ratios with the 9-46. I would want to go with a 34t if going with an Eagle setup. Here’s an interesting article comparing the 2 systems:


        Interesting stuff to geek out on and I’d like more top end than bottom end out of my drivetrain. My buddy just picked up a great new/used deal on the TRS 9-46 cassette – he’s got a 32t upfront as well as a new chain – for his bike and I’ll be using it as a guinea pig to see how it works. I drivetrains use the exact same SRAM X1 drivetrains so it should be a good comparison.

    • #254303

      I used the TRS Race cassette and have a few thoughts on it. I chose it on a previous bike to get more a bit lower range than the 42T Sram cassette. Staying 11 speed appealed to me because I could use the same shifter/mech while saving some weight over eagle. I get that eagle works but I find 11 speed to be more robust.

      My first reactions were that shifting into lower gears required more precise timing than a sram cassette. Get it wrong and the chain grinds into a misshift. I rode with another rider that had the same cassette and same experience regarding shifting. I didn’t mind it enough to not use it. Indeed I kinda liked it and intended to use it on my current build.

      However, the 9T cog isn’t compatible with my new frame. In the 9T, the chain would bind against the seatstay. So I have to use a sram cassette. Currently I’m using a GX 11 cassette but ideally I’d run an XX1 11 cassette with a 46T wolftooth cog. That would combine the better shifting of a sram cassette with the low end of the TRS race.

      Another compelling product that I haven’t yet tried is a wolftooth 49T cog that can be added to an NX 11 cassette.



      • #254330

        Again, the reason you went with the TRS was to increase the range without having to replace your entire drivetrain. I picked up a screaming deal in the fall on a lightly-used 2017  Trek Fuel and it’s outfitted with a 1×11 SRAM X1 setup. Coming from an entry-level 3×9 setup, the shifting is much superior  and the simplicity is far more intuitive out on the trail. I do miss the range of the 3×9 in certain situations though. It just seems a shame to ditch a great shifter and mech given that it functions superbly has has so much life left in it.

        That’s why I’m considering just a mod at the cassette: save a few bucks and make use of the existing components. I’ll definitely check out setups similar to yours and see what may work given your experiences. Thanks!

    • #254336

      Sorry, let me clarify. I understand the cassette is made for an XD driver, I was saying that it was also designed to be used with a long cage Shimano deraileur. I don’t know if you would have enough clearance for that 46 tooth ring with a Sram derailleur without modifying it.

    • #254340

      Hey guys,

      I installed the 9-46 last year.  I felt my Enduro 29er needed some additional low end grunt (or I did, whichever).  I have it on a GX 11 speed setup and toasted 2 derailleurs in 10 days.  I put an Eagle XX1 chain on sized it to fit and had great shifting for about a month.  I ended up finding a derailleur cage from a Ukrainian machinist company called Garburuk.  The cage is a bit longer to help with the 46 tooth but with a revised angle setup to allow for the 9 tooth.  Eight months and a ton of miles later, I’m still a happy camper!

      • #254349

        Were the 2 GX derailleurs toasted because of the 9-46?

    • #254398

      Many of these 1×11 cassette conversions require more than just putting on a new cassette. Frequently, you need either a longer derailleur cage or a derailleur hanger adapter. In addition, some frames might not work with a 9 tooth cog. Also, the new cassette might require a new chainring to get the gearing right. You are also going to need a new chain as the one you have is to short. By the time you jump through all those hoops and all the expense, you might just as well convert to Sram Eagle 1×12 with NX and GX parts.

      • #254461

        Yes that may be true. My buddy got a brand new TRS 9-46 for a used price so it was worth taking the plunge. He spent the $40 or so on a new chain and also measured it and the derailleur – which seems like it has a long enough cage – with the suspension fully extended to get the correct sizing. The 32T chainring he has is about right for the gearing and the 9 tooth works on his frame. All in all, it’s about a 35% savings (assuming the TRS cassette and chain were bought new) vs. going with a GX Eagle.

        It’ll be interesting to see how it performs over the long-term and should determine whether the savings would be worth it.


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