2008/03/14

The end of the front derailleur?



Every now and then, a company claims to have found technology that will revolutionize it's market, that will change things forever... but in most cases, it doesn't happen, not even close. SRAM is teasing us with new technology that will supposedly end the era of the front derailleurs. It's the Truvativ HammerSchmidt, coming next fall. Not much details for now but it's apparently the crankset version of the internal geared rear hubs.



If we follow the promises of the rear derailleur killer hubs, I don't see the front derailleur coming off our bikes anytime soon. The internal geared hubs are much heavier, have a lot more friction and cost a lot more than the tried and true derailleurs most of us use, so they haven't been adopted by many. Will this front version be any better? Time will tell but since this season I will have a crankset and front derailleur setup weighing less than 700 grams total (that's crankarms, chainrings, bottom bracket, derailleur and all hardware), I don't see this being a high end replacement, at least, not for XC and road bikes... With that said, innovation is always welcomed and maybe something good will come out of this and prove me wrong, we'll see. And by the look of the guy in the teaser, performance XC and road bikes are probably not the market they are going for.

Edit: some information: The gearbox will be a two geared system, available in either a 12 or 14 tooth differential. There will be two versions: one using the Stylo crank platform, the other using the Hussefelt. It will require that the frame have ISCG tabs for mounting. It will utilize an ISIS bottom bracket.

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