e13 TRS+ 12-Spd Upgrade Reviewed
These Go To 12
In case you missed it, back in June, e13 released an upgrade kit for SRAM shifters that allows riders to convert their 11-spd shifter to 12 spd. The kit comes with everything you need, including a jig to help perform shifter surgery, a 9-46 12-spd cassette and the shifter conversion parts for 299 USD. You can find all the details on the kit as well as details on installation here.
I'm sort of in love with the e13 TRS+ 12-speed upgrade kit and at the same time, I really couldn't give an damn how many clicks I get from my shifter. I'd be more than happy with a 4-speed cassette that hit 14t, 24t, 34t, and 44t. I don't know if that makes me the best or worst candidate to be writing about the California think-tank's product but what the heck, I've got a few things to say.
The teardown was a fun experience with my mini-me, and the kit is an impressive value since it includes the tools, ratchet, a 12-spd chain, and a TRS Plus 12-Spd cassette for only 20 USD more than the cassette itself. It only counts when running a GX drivetrain but, since the e13 shift-spool uses a bearing, like the higher end SRAM shifters, the e13 kit also improved shifting feel - especially once my cable and housing started to get a bit used.
I really like the new e13 cassette interface, which uses a lockring instead of a proprietary tool. That's now spec on the 11-spd models as well. A bike that offers this stock is Marin's new AT-7 which uses a unique combo to provide excellent value. It mixes a Shimano SLX 11-spd drivetrain, a SRAM XD hub interface, and an e13 9-46t TRS Plus cassette to deliver the 511% 1x drivetrain that most of us need - even if it's not the Gucci component mix most of us want. The benefits over 11-spd are tighter shift jumps, greater range than Eagle while using an existing 11-Spd SRAM drivetrain and the absence of an extra long derailleur cage.
From another perspective, anyone who has a compatible 11-Spd SRAM shifter and derailleur in good shape, but needs a cassette and chain, essentially gets a free upgrade in range, and clicks, by buying this kit.
The kit produces shifting performance equal to a high-end SRAM cassette. I notice the tighter shifting of the 12-spd cassette, compared to the same 9-46t spread on the TRS+ 11-Spd cassette, when I'm pedaling on the road but, whether it's me or the terrain I ride, I don't notice this on the trail. I was happy with the range, performance, and longevity of the 11-Spd TRS+ cassette and I would choose that setup over GX Eagle simply for the shorter derailleur cage. The upgraded shifter spool is worth making the jump to 12-Spd on a GX system, but if I was running a higher end SRAM 11-Spd group I'd just stick with the 11-SPD e13 cassette option.
Then again, I'm one single speed-loving bike industry hack and there is a sea of riders out there spending to upgrade to Eagle drivetrains. If twelve clicks are the answer why not get more range and a shorter derailleur cage for less money?
If you have an 11-Spd SRAM drivetrain you're thinking of taking to twelve, the 300 USD TRS Plus 12-Spd kit is definitely worth a look. Do you have an 11-Spd drivetrain and an XD driver without being 12-Spd curious? I'll make another plug for the value of the 250 USD 9-46t 11-Spd cassette.