Just last week, SRAM released the new Eagle XX1 and XO1 drivetrain that left many riders scratching their heads. Questions immediately swirled about the viability and utility of a 1×12 system, and who it would most benefit.
- “Won’t a 12 cog cassette make it easier for the chain to break?”
- “Will this cassette work with conventional hubs?”
- “Is this cassette more for XC riders, or will it benefit the Enduro crowd?”
Turns out, startup component D-RIP, based in Palo Alto, CA, has some answers for this.
D-RIP Turbo 152
In order to maximize the efficiency of the 1×12 drivetrain, D-RIP engineers have developed an even wider “Turbo 152” hub that will let the driver, cassette, and hub function with an improved, better-optimized chainline. This also allowed them to use wider sprocket spacing, and a wider chain, to increase strength and durability. D-RIP says the new hub is 117.2% stronger than Boost, and that they are working with key bike manufacturers to be able to retrofit these hubs to the Boost-ready ones. Most, if not all, of the 27.5+ sized rear triangles will already work. Some bike manufactures may also start selling Turbo-enabled triangles to replace existing ones, namely from boutique brands that embraced boost.
D-RIP Rocket Wheels
Turns out that both the concept of a 1×12 and Turbo 152 are optimized as a system. “In order to achieve optimal strength and torque dynamics,” D-RIP lead engineer Jimmy Butkus told us, “we rapidly discovered that [this drivetrain] and Turbo needed to operate on a specific radius: 28.2.” What that means in English: D-RIP had to design a new wheel from the ground up, now dubbed the Rocket, which is a 28.2in-diameter wheel size. It may seem ludicrous that only two years ago the 27.5in tire came to market (an eternity in bike marketing years), but remember the 27.5+ dominated the showrooms last season. “These numbers were virtually arbitrary,” Buktus said, “and the truth is that the math clearly supports that the 28.2 incher diameter wheel has the best strength-to-weight ratio.” The beauty of this is that the new hub and wheels will once and for all end the wheel size debate. “We are breaking the mold. We’re done with wheels sizes,” reported Butkus.
D-RIP has also considered making complete drivetrains to one-up it’s competitors. Later this year D-RIP expects to release a cheaper version of a 1×12 drivetrain called “Parakeet,” but they also expect to debut the much-anticipated 1×15 “Raptor” drivetrain that syncs with with Turbo and Rocket platforms. Raptor will reportedly be the renaissance drivetrain, allowing riders to climb the steepest pitches, while having DH-like gears for Enduro racing. At over 20 inches in diameter, the Falcon won’t be designed from a single block of aluminum like some of its competitors. Word on the actual construction is sketchy, but D-RIP engineers joke that it will actually be a previously-unused lightweight alloy made from melting down now-defunct 9 and 10 speed cassettes and repurposing them. “Environment and recycling are paramount to D-RIP,” Butkus jested.
Stay tuned for further developments as other industry giants struggle to keep up!