Friday, March 24, 2023

Friday News And Views

SRAM's new T Type derailleur attachment .
SRAM Announces Eagle T Type:

SRAM announced a radical new MTB drive train set up, (they claim it is now a "transmission, not a drive train), in a new "hangar-less" rear derailleur attachment arrangement that is 8 years in the making. 

They have refined other bits of the T Type Eagle system, but the only real "innovation" here is the way the rear derailleur attaches to the frame now. Instead of a hangar that attaches to one side with the derailleur attaching to that, the derailleur "sandwiches" the drop out and is skewered by the through axle, creating a much more stable platform. 

Comments: While this changes a long standing standard, this is actually something that makes a lot of sense. But first, let's clear up something in terms of what is going on here and what SRAM is calling it. 

Derailleurs used to attach directly to frames. Back then, a drop out had a provision for a derailleur to screw into to mount it. The "sandwich" idea utilized by SRAM was impossible due to the fact that a quick release axle had to be able to exit the drop out in some way, making a drop out have to have an "opening" to allow the axle to pass through. This prevented a "sandwich" style derailleur attachment scheme, which admittedly would be a lot more stable. 

So, SRAM saying this is a "hangar-less" design is nothing more than a bit of a marketing twist. What they have is a derailleur which mounts directly on the inside piece and has a "passive" part on the outside that only comes into play when a side-force is exerted on the derailleur. (See the image) The frame's through axle mounting hole supports the whole she-bang. Replaceable derailleur hangars were a part of the frame- a separate part, that is. You could say the "hangar" now is actually integrated into the derailleur with the T Type, and is no longer a part of the frame. That would be more of an accurate marketing angle. 

But whatever.... 

It's a great idea nonetheless. However; it is extremely expensive and completely proprietary. Even the chain, cassettes, and obviously the derailleur itself will not work with other Eagle drive train bits, or on many other frames. Although SRAM claims it is compatible now with over 200 different MTB frames and more are coming. 

But for now, you either have to buy a whole new bike, or shell out at least $1500.00+ bucks to have the privilege of having marginally better shifting. How it will affect MTB, road bikes, or gravel bikes in the future? Yet to be seen, but take my word for it- This will be spread across all SRAM bicycle groups at some point.   

The Cardinal Bar by Wilde (Image courtesy of Wilde Bikes)

Wilde Introduces The Cardinal Bar:

Wilde Bikes partnered up with BMX bike legends S&M Bikes to produce this new moto-inspired bar called the Cardinal Bar. 

The bar is offered in Transparent Black, Transparent Gold, or Clear. All three finishes are a powdercoat type finish. The bars will be 830mm wide, have a 7° upsweep, a 22mm clamp diameter, a 73mm rise, and a 15° backsweep. Bars will be handmade in California at a cost of $130.00 each. The bars weigh in at 793 grams. 

Comments: Another cruiser inspired bar for the fashion-conscious bike packer.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but this bar is not really all that practical. It does look cool though. I imagine some will find its stout, all-steel construction to be a benefit in rough, rowdy MTB terrain, or for dirt jumping, but there are a lot of bars for that already, and I doubt that is who Wilde is marketing toward anyway. 

But, if this speaks to you, then who am I to say. At least there is an opportunity for prospective buyers of this bar to decorate it with a customized cross-bar protector. If you're going to be fashionable, you may as well go all-in. 

The Arclight PRO shown with no light modules.

Redshift Sports Announces Arclight PRO Pedals:

 This week Redshift Sports announced its new Arclight PRO pedals with their LED light modules that turn white or red depending upon their orientation on the bike. 

These pedals can also be clipless, or not, flats with or without traction pins,half clipless, half flat, or just clipless due to their modular design. 

I wrote up a post on all the features and technical details for Riding Gravel here

Comments:  I have these installed on my Gryphon Mk3 for now and will be doing the testing mostly with that bike. That said, these pedals seem to be a good "one-stop" solution for all your pedal needs. I'm not aware of any other pedal that does what this one will/can do. 

That said, maybe it is a "Jack of all trades, Master of none.." We'll see about that, but I like that it is night-time commuter friendly and that it can support clipless pedal usage as well as flat pedal usage. Now I don't have to choose a bike based on which pedals I have installed. With these, I could have flats with pins on one side and a clipless set up on the other. 

As always, The Standard Disclaimer applies. 

From the Brake Ace site.
Brake Ace Brings Data Acquisition To Your Bicycle's Brakes. 

Brake Ace, a new start-up which has just cleared their Kickstarter goal, is a company that wants to help you improve your bicycle's performance via data acquisition and analysis.

The system works with a little sensor that mounts on an adapter under your caliper and it measures how much you use your brakes and with the amount of force you apply. This data is then sent via a Bluetooth signal to an app on your smart phone. Data can be analyzed and the company offers coaching to help you improve your braking technique and therefore to go faster. 

Comments: It's expensive and really meant for racers on mountain bike courses for now, but this is the sort of thing that tends to show up on consumer products sooner or later. I thought that this is sort of the wave of the future, in a way. 

I mean, you can easily see how data concerning your biomechanics, breathing, heart rate, power output, and environmental data points could all be mashed up into some whiz-bang system that shifted your bike for you when it was most advantageous for you to do that. It could indicate when you should brake, on a known course, making adjustments for weather and road conditions.  

We hear about self-driving cars all the time. What makes you think bicycles won't fall under the cloud of techno-controls? 

UCI Adjusts Points Considerations For Start Positions At Gravel World Championships:

The UCI has been working on tweaks to points considerations for athletes which determine starting grid positions at their World Championship gravel event. Apparently, last year at the inaugural Gravel World Championships held by the UCI, points gathered in other disciplines of cycling counted fully. So, the leading athletes of the gravel series, who had dedicated their entire season to the gravel series, were in such a deficit in terms of points to riders from other disciplines that they were relegated to mid-pack starting grid positions. 

You can read the full details on what happened and how the UCI addressed this for the coming year in this story.

Comments: Yikes!! This brings those rainbow jerseys won last year for gravel into question. The situation certainly was not at all fair to the athletes who dedicated a full season to the UCI gravel series. But the plum prizes went to those who swooped in and poached those jerseys based upon preferred starting positions - and obvious talent. It's a hard situation to judge, but giving someone a head start in a series championship that they had not participated in up to that point seems distasteful, at the least, and cheating at the worst.  

And what does this say about the UCI, who obviously gave their blessing to the way it was done last year and only changed up the points considerations after a hue and cry went up from those who were wronged? This and the seemingly blind eye most of the endemic media have concerning this story makes me think a whole lot less of the UCI's legitimacy in terms of gravel events. Now we have riders in the USA who will be vying for spots to go to this year's UCI version of a gravel worlds and the points system, even adjusted as it has been claimed, will end up biting them as well. Unless.... Unless those racers come to the 'dark side' and race a full UCI points season too. Same song, second verse.


This is one of the reasons we were all against sanctioning bodies for gravel racing back in the day. What a mess! Not to mention that the entire "preferred start" thing makes me want to vomit. Gah! 

That's a wrap for this week. Have a great weekend and thanks for reading Guitar Ted Productions!


Doug M. said...

The most interesting claims from the Sram Transmission launch were the ability to shift under load. To which my first thought was 'we'll see'. My second thought was if I could even go against my instinct to NOT to shift under load if I wanted to, haha.

Fear rothar said...

I don’t want to be that guy, but aircraft are stored in hangars, while derailleurs, prior to this SRAM model T, attached to hangers.

Guitar Ted said...

@Doug M - Shifting under load for purely human powered bicycles has been a thing conquered for several years. What SRAM has managed is to make a system that shifts under tremendous hybrid-powered loads (Human + electric motors) anticipating the release of more powerful, high-torque electric motors on MTB bikes in the future. It has nothing to do with fully-human powered capabilities.

So, they kind of marketed that vaguely to anticipate any backlash from anti-eMTB folks.

Guitar Ted said...

@Fear rothar - Touche'!

Rydn9ers said...

The only Gravel Worlds worth it's weight in gravel is the one hosted by them Pirates IMO. The UCI can eat a bowl of... well rhymes with sticks.

I guess SRAM had some time on their hands NOT fixing their terrible entry/mid level brakes or coming up with a functional front derailleur system that wasn't also trash. I guess if you mostly do one thing well you just figure out ways to make what you've already made obsolete so you can sell it to the masses all over again.