In Defense of HammerSchmidt AndrewM
EDITORIAL

In Defense Of HammerSchmidt

Words Andrew Major
Photos As Noted
Date Dec 4, 2018

"High-tech? Yes. But HammerSchmidt feels more like magic. The kind that puts you perfectly in tune with your bike and the mountain. No need to think, plan, anticipate. Just ride." - SRAM

It's 2008

Your mountain bike doesn't have a clutch derailleur but it most likely has a front derailleur. You used to say "Marzocchi" with a sultry reverence but now their product sucks and I mean SUCKS. You may have a Fox 36 or a RockShox Totem or Lyrik but there's a good chance you're riding hard on a stretched out 32mm XC chassis*. Many riders consider travel-adjust to be the key feature on suspension forks. You just bought a really short stem, it's 70mm long. 

If there's a dropper post on your bike then it doesn't drop nearly far enough and the side-to-side saddle play is greater than the vertical travel. You get regularly laughed at by your riding friends when it fails on the trail and if you ever meet Paul Turner in person you're planning to beat him twice with your Joplin or Speedball for every dollar you wasted on that POS. 

*In all fairness the RockShox Boxxer still had 32mm stanchions.

In Defense of HammerSchmidt AndrewM

The most f***ing glorious marketing campaign in the history of bicycles. The Magic Mechanics flash site is still alive if you have room in your life for a tonne of awesome. 

Locally, if your bike had an interrupted seat tube you had a telescoping double seat post from Axiom or Titec so you could get full extension for climbing and get the saddle out of the way on the way down. Oh, was that a little nostalgic hit of dopamine you felt there? Sorry, those actually sucked too. 

Oh, and the disc brakes you remember being awesome? Yep, they suck compared to what comes on a $1000 bike today. Sorry. 

In Defense of HammerSchmidt AndrewM

"The biggest revelation on the bike was HammerSchmidt... you can shift at any time; pedaling, coasting, under full power or even when you are stopped or track standing. In fact, you could even shift while pedaling backwards in the air." - Cam McRae, 2009. Photo: Derek Vanderkooy

And yet, the only component from that whole list that still regularly getting ripped on is HammerSchmidt. A f***ing bold leap of front-derailleur killing faith that worked universally with any bike* with ISCG or ISCG '05 tabs. That's right, no new standards. 

Every time I hear someone bemoaning the innovative planetary gear system I have a question I like to ask: "Yeah, but do you remember the INSTANT shifts under full load or no load, pedaling or standing still?" You know what the answer almost always is? Yep, anecdotally, most of the folks ripping on 'HammerSh*t' never even tried it. 

*My friend Mandy and I did have to customize a couple back plates

In Defense of HammerSchmidt AndrewM

"The DI team collaborated with SRAM from the initial engineering design phase through prototyping, engineering testing, tooling development, and production launch.  The Truvativ HammerSchmidt Crankset went to market and received strong reviews from magazines and riders..." Photo: Design Integrity

Look at the evolution of suspension systems, frame geometry, dropper posts, clutch derailleurs, disc brakes, and tires since 2008.

Instead of 3-foot-long derailleur cages, pizza-cogs, and gear-box dreamers, We could have potentially had instant shifting, reduced unsprung weight, and gear-box believers. And did you see that ground clearance‽

HammerSchmidt?

HammerSchmidt, Hammer-Shift, HammerSh*t, it's a catchy name for a shiftable 2-ratio planetary gear drive that bolted straight onto ISCG or ISCG '05 chainguide tabs. It replaced the front derailleur, but more than that it changed how I shifted. Where front shifts were once slow compared to rear the HammerSchmidt was essentially instant. 

It is the single most bold attempt by any company in our sport's young history to revolutionize mainstream drivetrains - with decent OE penetration - and as serious as that sounds, it was overshadowed by a really fun, cheesy, and chill marketing campaign. 

The system is way less complicated to both install and service than folks made it out to be. Park Tool still even has their handy instructions online and to this day it's easy enough to service and track down parts. To put it plainly, if you can service a hub with pawls and springs you can service a HammerSchmidt.

In Defense of HammerSchmidt AndrewM

"It delivers everything as promised.  Instant shifts, no chain issues, and increased clearance." - Andrew Gower, 2009. Photo: Andrew Gower

I ran the system with a Shimano XTR front shifter and it was beautiful*. I've seen everything from old Suntour Thumbies to Road Brifters do the job and always gave SRAM kudos for not coming up with some unique stupid cable pull ratio so they could sell more shifters. 

When the system was in the direct drive 1-to-1 gear it was akin to pedaling about in a regular granny ring. In the 1.6-to-1 aduction gear the ratio felt somewhere in between a middle and big ring. Depending on the choice of granny ring this produced a similar ratio to a 22t/36t or 24t/38t 2x system. 

I'll say right now that if the gearing felt similar to 22t/32t and 24/36t I think more people would have adopted it locally as the biggest concern I heard in the day was that the jump felt too large. It's a big world of varying terrain. 

*The triggers are reversed, with the big thumb paddle grabbing an easier ratio, but it only took a ride to get used to it. 

Yes. But...

I know, it was a terrible amount of weight added to bikes that were already rolling cast-iron bath tubs. 

The shifting was like lightning but jumping up from the direct drive (1 to 1 gear ratio) to overdrive (1.6 to 1 gear ratio) felt a bit like pedaling in peanut butter. And for high-engagement hub lovers, the float in the direct drive ratio was a bit ridiculous, especially when stacked with the float of a hub with crappy engagement. 

The bottom brackets were awful. AWFUL. I kept two spares on hand. 

In Defense of HammerSchmidt AndrewM

We interrupt this brief trip back to the realities of Gen.1 HammerSchmidt with more awesome marketing material. 

Another issue is suspension kinematics, which I'll talk about in greater detail below. Suffice it to say that a Santa Cruz VP Free with a HammerSchmidt is one of the worst combinations in the history of mountain bikes. Second only to HammerSchmidt on an Intense Uzzi.

HammerSchmidt wasn't coming on bikes designed for HammerSchmidt taking into account the chain position with a 22t ring and the massive improvement in ground clearance. 

In Defense of HammerSchmidt AndrewM

Andrew Gower testing the 46.3lbs 2009 Flatline Unlimited. Photo: Andrew Gower

Lastly, frame prep. I never had an issue shimming a HammerSchmidt onto chainguide tabs and getting it to work perfectly but there were stories about some frames requiring the ISCG tabs to be faced down, along with the expense of a special tool. 

The final criticism is that HammerSchmidt was expensive, so if the frame manufacturer's so crappy they couldn't even be bothered to weld the ISCG tabs on square - what's the point?

Kinematics

In general my HammerSchmidt experiences were the most positive on hardtails but there were prime exceptions like the Knolly V-Tach and Delerium-T which were very neutral to chainring size. In cases like the VPP Uzzi* and VP Free I mentioned pedaling can only be described as wonky but in many cases pedaling became, to quote Walt Wehner, "Squat-tacular". 

As any geometry wonk will tell you, the mass adoption of 1x drivetrains has greatly simplified suspension geometry and while it's common to see production bikes being designed to perform best around 32t or 34t rings, other chainring sizes are plausible. 

*Not to be confused with the current (lower case) vpp Uzzi

In Defense of HammerSchmidt AndrewM

"I run a 22t on my full suspension and I tuned it just the way I wanted... chainring size does a lot for the pedaling efficiency of a frame, too big or too small from the sweet spot and your anti-squat will be way off" - Peter Daam. Photo: DaamBuilt

Sure there were long single speeds and DH bikes, but I think it's fair to say that HammerSchmidt was the first real attempt at a 1x configuration and it was underserved by the lack of frames built around it. 

Two of my favourite no-bs custom builders, Walt at Waltworks and Peter at DaamBuilt, actually ride bikes built around smaller chainring sizes to accomodate big days with big meats and loaded touring respectively so I reached out to them to get no-bs answers on designing bikes around HammerSchmidt. 

Aside from "I personally couldn't stand those things because of the insane drag in the overdrive" and "It was like riding in sand" the straight answer is that optimizing a bike around HammerSchmidt is going to require a different pivot location to achieve the 100-110% anti-squat that Walt finds most riders prefer. 

In Defense of HammerSchmidt AndrewM

"Here's a prototype I built... it's a great example because he's running a 24t ring here, and as you can see, the main pivot is right at the top of the ring. For a different size chainring, it would get squat-tacular in a hurry." - Walt Wehner. Photo: Waltworks

For my preferred out-of-the-saddle climbing style I may tolerate a bit of additional pedal kick-back to get a higher anti-squat value (Walt suggests around 120%) but large changes in ring size have a massive effect on suspension. For example, running a HammerSchmidt on a bike designed around a 32t ring will result in "weird pedal kickback from the chain overcoming the rider weight and the suspension rising." 

Full Potential

Other than test bikes from Kona, Norco, and Knolly, I spent all my HammerSchmidt time on a Kona Honzo that rotated between a straight single speed and my 2x1 setup with the 'Schmidt up front. It made perfect sense for me riding Mount Seymour trails as I had an easier gear for getting up the Old Buck climb and I used the Overdrive gear for descending with instant shifts between them as needed. 

On my full suspension bike I went back and forth between 1x9 and 2x9, and then 1x10 and 2x10 but, adduction drag aside, once you've had instant shifting, you don't want to lose it. And yet, I'd never buy a Gearbox bike because I can't stand proprietary crap.

Evolved Drivetrain AndrewM

My Kona Honzo in 2011. As a singlespeed I was running it 32:21 and with the same cog the HammerSchmidt gave me 22/36:21 with instant changes and perfect chainline. 

So I would imagine a 5-speed HammerSchmidt. Perfect chainline, shift on instant demand under any circumstance or load, and a wide enough spread of ratios to cover anything I'm hitting on the North Shore. 

Couple that with the low center of gravity, ground clearance, and shear smashability of the solid unit (I wonder if SRAM ever sold a replacement HammerSchmidt bashguard) and as long as they fixed the crappy bottom brackets the only issue would be the lost revenue in derailleur, cassette, and chain revenues. 

In Defense of HammerSchmidt AndrewM

It's really unbearable that more people never had a chance to try the system. 

Now I'm daydreaming of instant engagement from a roller-clutch driver and wondering how much friction SRAM could have removed from their planetary gear system over the last decade. 

Couple that with removing the unsprung weight of a massive 12-speed cassette and the fragility of a stork-like rear derailleur. All in a system that can be bolted onto any bike with ISCG or ISCG '05 tabs (which would thankfully go back to being every bike).  

If dropper posts, suspension performance, geometry, etc could evolve to where they are now, it really does beg the question: "where would the most fun marketing campaign and accompanying drivetrain moon shot be now if there had ever been a Gen 2?"

Comments

xy9ine
+3 ExtraSpecialandBitter Andy Eunson Andrew Major
Perry Schebel  - Dec. 4, 2018, 11:38 a.m.

your SS setup was brilliant. but yeah, a refined HS w/ a light / compact cassette and shortcage RD would be rad. kinda.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 4, 2018, 12:26 p.m.

Short cage Ultegra clutch der, 11-28t cassette... I can see that.

I’m dreaming of 500% over 5x gears, roller clutch for silent and instant gear grabs and not drivetrain lag, and of course much reduced drag through magic all bolting onto the frame of my choice (I miss bikes all coming with ISCG tabs?). Oh, and a good BB. 

Not too stressed about weight given where it sits but a bolt-on chain tensioner so I can easily use it with a dual FS frame (with sliders and optimized anti-squat) would be amazing!!!

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Dec. 10, 2018, 11:56 p.m.

That's my Christmas wishlist right there - A 5 speed 500% bolt-on gearbox.  I'd pay a lot of money for that.

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VB
+3 AlanB Pete Roggeman Andrew Major
VB  - Dec. 4, 2018, 11:52 a.m.

An interrobang in an NSMB article‽

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 4, 2018, 12:19 p.m.

Not the first time - but certainly the first time anyone’s noticed.

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VB
0
VB  - Dec. 4, 2018, 1:10 p.m.

99% Invisible did a podcast about the history of the interrobang. 

https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/interrobang/

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 4, 2018, 3:53 p.m.

So not a podcast guy usually (I prefer to read) but I will give it a listen. Thanks!

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kekoa
0
kekoa  - Dec. 5, 2018, 8:47 a.m.

Nice. Had to look that one up.

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coexist
+3 Cr4w Skyler Andrew Major
COEXIST  - Dec. 4, 2018, 1:03 p.m.

I am still not sure why the "park bike" in everyone's range doesn't rock this.  Picture the jack drive Commencal with a single speed on the back and a hi/lo with the Schmidt.  What more could you need for whistler?

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cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - Dec. 4, 2018, 1:43 p.m.

Where's a mechanical engineer when you need one?

"So I would imagine a 5-speed HammerSchmidt."

Wouldn't this need to be rather wide to accommodate some more planetary sets? 

something something Q factor [insert riding a horse joke here]

I'll also agree with you - this was (is?) innovative, and I bring it up whenever someone is crying for gearbox bikes. "oh, you want a gearbox? why aren't you running H-S, then?"

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 4, 2018, 3:52 p.m.

There’s lots of reasons not to run Gen.1 HammerSchmidt. But its universality certainly gives the structure mass-adoption potential that ‘regular’ gearbox bikes lack if it could house more ratios without a massive size increase.

Re. Width of the system, I always think back to when Shimano launched 9-Speed. There’s this photo I vividly remember seeing from a single speed race where the guy had the brand new XTR with a ‘Mine-Is-9’ sticker and 9x identical sized cogs. 

Put another way, naysayers and engineers can go about arguing about cog spacing and chain width and stacking planetary gears, and magnetized fluid gear boxes and etc. I’m just day dreaming with zero skin in the game.

You can’t shoot down my drivetrain dreams because I already live them, one gear ratio per ride.

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craw
0
Cr4w  - Dec. 5, 2018, 8:14 a.m.

#ibelieveinandrew

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morgan-heater
+1 AlanB
Morgan Heater  - Dec. 4, 2018, 2:14 p.m.

The drag was unbearable. The Pinion gb has zero drag in comparison.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 4, 2018, 3:37 p.m.

Pinion Gearbox has how many more years of developement and still can’t touch the market penetration that HammerSchmidt had in the few years it was available?

I’m not asking SRAM to re-release HammerSchmidt, nor am I installing one on my bike aside from the lack of ISCG tabs, but I think it’s unfairly pilloried and as someone who did put down to pick up the Gen.1 I would love to see where it could have gone.

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morgan-heater
+2 ZigaK Ben Li
Morgan Heater  - Dec. 4, 2018, 4:03 p.m.

I'm going to argue that market penetration was mostly due to the brand behind the tech, rather than the quality of the tech. They've also gotten reverb's on a lot of mountain cycles, and we all know those are utter crap.

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AndrewMajor
0 Ben Li SixZeroSixOne
Andrew Major  - Dec. 4, 2018, 4:10 p.m.

Hahahaha you know I have nothing to offer in the face of a good Reverb rant!

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morgan-heater
+1 Andrew Major
Morgan Heater  - Dec. 4, 2018, 4:05 p.m.

But, I really wish they made one that somehow had only 10% drag in the descending gear and next to zero in the climbing gear, like the pinion. I would love to have a two-speed all-mountain commuter. I think it was a great idea, just badly executed.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 4, 2018, 4:13 p.m.

SRAM actually has a modern take on the 2-Speed kickback hub that doesn’t suck.

I’m totally with you. I think where HammerSchmidt wins is the universality of compatibility (basically bolt it on any frame) but I’m certainly not clamouring to put one back on my bike. 

BUT, it’s really a what-if. Maybe some kind of variable roller clutch could have added gears and reduced drag? I’d love one as you say.

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jt
0
JT  - Dec. 6, 2018, 11:53 a.m.

I hope you're not referring to that Crom awful automatic 2 speed hub. That thing is one of the, "Good idea, HORRIBLY executed," variety.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 6, 2018, 12:15 p.m.

It's called Automatix. Under $100, I know a few guys who've owned them for regular commuting with zero issues with reliability. Plus no shifters/cables/etc to maintain. Coaster brake option if you want to really simplify your setup or a standard version for brakes.

To be fair it's not actually a kickback hub but it's sort of the same idea. Easier gear off the line at a stop light and then punch it into the heavier gear once you're moving. One of my buddies had to open his up to change the shift point (apparently easy to do - just adjusting flyweights) because it didn't shift into the harder gear fast enough.

Pretty easy to get used to. Hard to argue with a basically zero maintenance dual-ratio city commuter options.

What didn't you like about it?

Personally thought about it for a while, then built up a 3-speed Nexus wheel, and then never used the Nexus wheel because I was happy running my commuter as a single speed. Good reminder that I should probably dig out that Nexus wheel and sell it!

peterk
+2 Andy Eunson Andrew Major
peterk  - Dec. 4, 2018, 2:22 p.m.

Products like this (and Shimano dual action shifting) are unfairly targeteted in "ReMEmbER tHEse 10 wOrST bIKe pArTS?" articles when there are real shit bike parts that still plague stock bikes to this day: stock tires that use hockey puck rubber, organic brake pads, non-tubeless rims, shit cable routing, disposable rear hubs, remote lockouts etc...

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MattyB
0
MattyB  - Dec. 5, 2018, 9:52 a.m.

I will argue that for lots of markets organic pads are acceptable. What I don't find acceptable are shimano's resin only rotors, I managed to destroy a pair in less than a season

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 6, 2018, 8:03 a.m.

Yeah, Shimano and SRAM have largely give organic pads a bad name as that’s what their cheap pads are and it really is an upgrade on any of their brakes to install sintered.

Those Resin only rotors are ridiculous. Not having to replace the rotors before riding the bike is the number one reason to look for Tektro brakes at lower price points. They use Shimano pads and fluid so really - no negatives.

For an example of quality organic/resin pads look at Magura. Even their crazy-grabby Race pads are organic. No sintered option available.

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taprider
0
taprider  - Dec. 4, 2018, 3:37 p.m.

Shimano's front pull side swing front derailleur also shifts instantly and is pretty bomb proof

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AndrewMajor
+1 Luix
Andrew Major  - Dec. 4, 2018, 4 p.m.

Shimano’s side swing front derailleurs shift marginally better then the first Gen XTR 9-Speed fronts and reasonably better than the previous non-side-swing front derailleurs if they are set up properly but calling the shifting “instant” compared to HammerSchmidt is like telling Usain Bolt that Simon Whitfield is a fast runner.

Never mind that ‘Schmidt could be shifted under load and when not pedaling. 

All the other issues (weight, aduction drag) aside nothing shifts like HammerSchmidt to this day - front or rear derailleur or gearbox, including Di2.

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hbelly13
0
Raymond Epstein  - Dec. 4, 2018, 4:58 p.m.

The Honzo was a game-changer bike and my friend ran his Honzo the same way. However, the Honzo did not show up in Kona's catalog until '12.

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AndrewMajor
+1 fartymarty
Andrew Major  - Dec. 4, 2018, 5:12 p.m.

That’s a legit 2012 Honzo frame (w/16.3” stays) but the photo is from 2011. Just the nature of new bike releases.

For interest sake there are some 2011.5 Honzo frames kicking around out there. They’re painted the same blue but the stays are longer (16.9”).

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hbelly13
+1 Andy Eunson
Raymond Epstein  - Dec. 4, 2018, 5:28 p.m.

Right on. When I threw a long over that Honzo I declared to anyone that would listen that every bike was going have that geometry. They all do now to some degree. I despised 29er's up until riding that bike and now both my bikes are 29er's ('15 Honzo SS and a '17 Evil Wreckoning). Oh and BTW, I was riding a Gravity Dropper post in '05 with little to no issues back when no one knew what they were and everyone gave me crap about them. I said that everyone would have dropper posts back then too. I should have become a cult leader.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 4, 2018, 5:43 p.m.

Cult leader for sure!

If Gravity Dropper had a decent remote with a bearing and higher leverage I have no doubt their sales would have been aggressively better. Couldn’t stand them until I mated it to the first gen DOSS remote and we still have one in the house. 

It’s sort of hilarious how many of my friends bought a Honzo after riding mine and how many still have them or later generations.  Kona never figured out complete Honzo ST builds that worked so they are all customs which makes it extra unique and many are SS. We used to joke in the shop that like any good drug dealer we should just give the Honzo frames away to get folks hooked as they were usually the cheapest part of the builds. 

Definitely the first Great 29’er when it came to riding technical trails (Niner tried with their WFO but short of travel limiting a Dorado there wasn’t much for fork options).

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hbelly13
0
Raymond Epstein  - Dec. 8, 2018, 6:50 a.m.

Andrew do you have any thoughts on what shifters are compatible with a Hammerschmidt that could be run on the right side of the bars? I have long preferred to run my dropper lever on the left side and may very well set my Honzo as a dingle speed soon. Having the shifter on the right would be far more ergonomic and less of a mess. I was thinking maybe a gripshift front could be run on the right, but if a trigger could rigged to do so that would be more pleasant.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 8, 2018, 1:41 p.m.

That's a tricky one. You could run a LH grip shifter on the RH side* but the problem is the multiple clicks for throw adjustment won't feel as clean as a regular 2/3spd trigger. If I was going to go that route I'd maybe try to track down an original GripShift X-Ray shifter that just had 3-clicks. 

In that situation, I'd personally tempted to run a friction-thumbie for the HammerSchmidt but that does take away from the lightning shifts. 

---

*total aside, I was a huge GripShift with Shimano fan. After SRAM stopped making Shimano compatible twisters I'd buy multi-detent front GripShifters and the detents actually interfaced perfectly with Shimano 9-Spd.

earleb
0
earle.b  - Dec. 4, 2018, 5:17 p.m.

https://www.mgtechbikes.fr/

Roadie version. 

Also see Schlumpf. 

http://www.haberstock-mobility.com/

Neither as mtb specific as the Hammer.

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rugbyred
+1 Andrew Major
Eric Van Sickle  - Dec. 4, 2018, 5:31 p.m.

I still have one in a parts bin. I often wonder how it would work on my Transition Patrol. 

Besides the weight, the thing was amazing. I’m not usually in a rush to get to the top, so a “little” drag didn’t bother me much. I had it on my Commencal Supreme (mini DH, 160mm). Would swap wheels and fork for park days (Totem and Mavic 823 or 36 Talas, never used the dial, and Flow Ex’s for pedal days). 

Had a short cage derailleur, Flow wheels had an 11-28 cassette and the Mavic’s had an 11-21. Never any issues, always shifted when you wanted and rounding a corner with a steep uphill was never an issue as I would shift the HS and not worry about the back. 

One day when finances allow, I’ll build up a 2X1 hard tail for pump tracks and riding with the kids. 

Eric

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dbozman
+1 Andrew Major
dbozman  - Dec. 4, 2018, 6:01 p.m.

Blast from the past. I ran one on my Titus El Guapo trail bike (along with a first-gen Gravity Dropper). Yeah, it was heavy and the jump up to the draggy OD was big, but man I loved that HammerSchmidt.

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smcmain
+1 Andrew Major
Samuel McMain  - Dec. 4, 2018, 9:59 p.m.

I just converted back so SS on my Vanquish today with the PS Zinger, and was thinking about tracking down my old Hammerschmidt to go back to the Dingle days of 2x1. And last week I cleaned out the garage of all the old broken Shimano Alfine tensioners from running Dingle-speed on my 2006 Bottle Rocket—gold Spank bars, Avid Elixir CRs (warranty of course) and a Hammerschmidt. Probably still rolling around the PNW somewhere.

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alexdi
0
Alex D  - Dec. 4, 2018, 10:42 p.m.

If you're into the Hammerschmidt, this is right up your alley:

http://vyro.com/en/products-shop/mtb-xc-en/

Same consistent chainline and full-load shifting, but no drag in the big ring and ~680g. STW gave it a strong endorsement.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 6, 2018, 8:14 a.m.

Yeah, it’s interesting but I’d definitely like to see it dragged through a North Shore winter - very sceptical it would hold up (where ‘Schmidt would run multiple seasons with attention).

Also, it’s still going to require a long enough rear derailleur cage to cover whatever cogs there are out back as well as the front shift.

Still, no front derailleur mount required and shifts look fast - perfect for the reluctant 1x convertee.

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alexdi
+1 Andrew Major
Alex D  - Dec. 6, 2018, 11:09 a.m.

STW is the only outlet that's given it a serious run. It held up admirably in UK muck; I wonder how much worse your winters could be. They'd probably send a demo unit if you asked.

You could pair it with an M8000 SGS derailleur (47T capacity) and a 10-42 or 11-46 cassette, or even a 9-44 for a truly absurd 733% range. I'd buy one to try myself if I wasn't already content with my 1X.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Alex D
Andrew Major  - Dec. 6, 2018, 12:05 p.m.

Apologies for the lack of clarity, in my mind I was thinking about smashing it on stuff, which happens a lot more in the winter here, as opposed to our watery granular muck (but that too), either way, it's certainly a review I'd be keen to read. 

Personally, it's not a product I'd be interested in riding. On a hardtail, it would necessitate adding a rear derailleur to tension the chain (once my Dinglespeed is that complex I'll just run 1x9/10/11/12). Most dual suspension bikes, even custom ones, have their kinematics refined around a single chainring of size X up front and I wouldn't give up suspension performance for more gear ratios. 

If it included a provision to tension the chain built in so it could be run 2x1 on hardtails or dual-FS bikes without a tension at the dropout then I'd be very curious to throw it on a more chainring-size neutral bike (like a Knolly) and give it a shot. 

I'm not their target market though. There are lots of folks still running front derailleurs or lamenting their fall from favour and this looks like it could be really interesting.

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alexdi
0
Alex D  - Dec. 8, 2018, 9:30 p.m.

Interesting point about kinematics. A larger chainring reduces anti-squat and pedal kickback. That's what you would want if you were going fast enough to use the larger ring, no? I recall this floated as an advantage of 2-by systems some years back.

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Vikb
0
Vik Banerjee  - Dec. 5, 2018, 6:29 a.m.

I early adopted the HS and ran it for a year. It was amazing in every way, but one...the awful drag in the high range. Sadly that drag was so high I never used the high range and that led me to realize I was running a 1x so I pulled the HS and got by with a single ring and a a wide range [for the time] cassette. 

I've been riding MTBs a while so although derailleurs are not perfect they are so much better than they were that I am not spending much time dreaming of a gearbox bike. 

Anyways I certainly appreciate SRAM putting $$ into developing a product like the HS. It didn't work out, but it wasn't a crazy idea and you have to try stuff to see what works and what doesn't.

I sold my HS without losing too much money so I don't regret trying it out.

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Vikb
0
Vik Banerjee  - Dec. 5, 2018, 6:40 a.m.

I was also an IGH guy for a lot of years on various bikes. The improvement in 1x setups has lured me back to derailleurs, but I do keep an eye on the gearbox options out there. My days of early adopting are probably over. I can see the benefits to running a gearbox, but derailleurs have gotten better over the years to the point where it's going to be a lot harder to beat them.

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xy9ine
0
Perry Schebel  - Dec. 5, 2018, 8:57 a.m.

same boat. my gearbox evangelicalism has subsided considerably over the last few years with the evolution of the 1x drivetrain.

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Mykp8
+1 Andrew Major
Mike Pate  - Dec. 5, 2018, 8:43 a.m.

Like you I built a "Dingle" speed Honzo 1st Gen. I bought the Hammerschmidt years ago just for that reason. That's what got me about it was the gear switching ease. You can really hold a steady pace on most terrain once you get used to it. Years past and it sat or was removed for whatever reason. Then I bought a new Honzo ST frame, welded on an ISCG bracket and slapped that sucker on there. Just a fun bike to rip around on. I'm not generally a hardtail guy but I dig this one.

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riley
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Riley  - Dec. 5, 2018, 8:55 a.m.

Hey Andrew with your Honzo set up SS with Hammerschmidt would the chain be constantly moving even while coasting? I've always wanted to try a Hammerschmidt but with a fixed rear hub like a PAUL disc word hub.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 6, 2018, 8:18 a.m.

Hi Riley, HammerSchmidt doesn’t freewheel in the overdrive gear so you still need a regular hub out back. Single speed hub or a thread-on freewheel work great if you have space constraints.

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WeTYC...
+1 Andrew Major
WeTYC...  - Dec. 5, 2018, 10:18 p.m.

I for one still love my Hammershizzle.  Looking forward to a little snowfall to use the semi-fat Six-Pack to its full entertainment potential.  This bike was my primary for 5 years or so and I disassembled and re-greased the Hammer after around 3 years of all-season use.  Innards/grease still looked pristine.  Oh, and I probably shouldn't jinx myself, but I'm on my original BB.

With the combination of the HS up front and 6 cogs on a single speed hub in the rear my driveline lifespan is at least triple what I get out of XTR 1x11 with its cross-chaining BS* on another bike.  ...and the XTR has never seen conditions as nasty as what the Hammer routinely saw.

(*And that's with my BB offset non-drive and my 1x front chainring spaced way inboards to give the chain a straighter shot at the low cogs)

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zigak
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ZigaK  - Dec. 6, 2018, 1:36 a.m.

3 speeds in the crank and 3 speeds in the rear hub:

- enough range

- clearance

- straight chainline

- stronger rear wheel

- universally compatible

- light?

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taprider
0
taprider  - Dec. 6, 2018, 7:33 a.m.

as in 3x3=9 or

Tringle 3+3=3?

for straight chainline

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zigak
0
ZigaK  - Dec. 6, 2018, 10:45 a.m.

I meant a 3 speed IGH in the rear (3sp sturmey archer from way back has impressively high efficiency) and 3sp crank (efneo has 3 speeds, but it isn't rated for mtb)

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kos
+1 Andrew Major
Kos  - Dec. 6, 2018, 7:28 a.m.

I loved the concept of these things.  Being an endurance racer, I always figured that five years down the line SRAM would come out with a nearly drag-free xc version.

Instead, Eagle. Water under the bridge, I suspect, but I still wonder about that road not taken..........

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Dec. 6, 2018, 8:20 a.m.

Exactly this - I never figured it could be adopted for XC Racing just due to weight but I thought the drag would cone way down fir everyone else.

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mrbrett
+1 Andrew Major
mrbrett  - Dec. 6, 2018, 7:30 a.m.

I not only bought a Hammerschmidt but purchased a new bike specifically for it (Kona Coilair, maybe I even had a floating brake kit on it?). For me the Hammerschmidt worked great. The draggy aduction gear was just for descending as that heavy bike needed a low gear to get up. Not for everyone, sure, but there’s definitely a time and place for a part like this.

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