e13 TRS+ Dropper Post First Look
The Hive's unique dropper for the sophisticated luddite

e*thirteen TRS+ Dropper Post: First Look

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Mar 20, 2017

And now for something...

...completely different. I'm staring at the individual components of e*thirteen's coil sprung TRS+ dropper post laid out on the bench. The TRS+ is a unique product in the dropper post market place. 

I hadn't even ridden the post yet and off the top of my head I can think of a handful of friends for whom this is the best dropper on the market. What do they have in common? They aren't afraid to tackle their own maintenance jobs even if it takes a bit of time but, on the flip side they want products that are 100% user rebuildable. 

E13 Dropper Post Spring Cover

The e*thirteen TRS+ dropper post is a unique product. It uses a coil spring and a collet-style interface consisting of springs and bearings to cycle through its four dropper positions. 

The closest comparison would be the love child of the best features of a Gravity Dropper and a Command Post. The post uses eight spring loaded ball bearings and a coil spring to cycle through its four travel positions. Pushing the lever retracts the ball bearings and allows the post to slide easily. 

Action is impressively light thanks to the best remote in the industry (more on that below) and a design that is very easy to clean and lube. The TRS+ is an impressive first effort. 

Service

e*thirteen gets two 'Best In The Industry' awards for the TRS+ post. The first of them is for their excellent teardown and rebuild instructions. Tearing down the TRS+ post is nowhere near as simple as the Crankbrothers Highline I've been riding but it also does not rely on the non-serviceable cartridge that the majority of dropper posts are using.

This is a 100% user serviceable product with all the wear items easily replaced as part of the rebuild process. I'm not showing all the details of the rebuild in this piece - e*thirteen's instructions are very detailed - but I wanted to see how difficult it was to rebuild and also get a full look at the quality and construction. 

E13 Dropper Post Teardown on the Bench

The rebuild process is involved but the e*thirteen TRS+ is entirely user serviceable. The Hive provides excellent teardown and assembly instructions on their website. 

There are definitely tools required - a vice, a strap wrench, a 10mm hex key, a T-25 - and the rebuild process is time consuming but the job itself isn't particularly difficult. This is definitely a case where it would be a good idea to arrange the parts in the order you remove them - and use a magnet to grab those little ball bearings. 

e*thirteen Dropper Remote

The other feature of the TRS+ that is best-in-class is the shifter-style remote. It is fantastic. It would work with any cable actuated post on the market, has excellent shifter ergonomics, has its own return spring, excellent leverage and the lever itself is positionable as with a higher end SRAM shifter. It's also Matchmaker compatible. 


e13 TRS+ Dropper Post Remote

The e*thirteen TRS+ remote is the best on the market. It would be my first choice to use with any cable actuated post. It truly mirrors the ergonomics, adjustability, and action of the best SRAM trigger shifters. 

The remote lever rides on two large sealed cartridge bearings and the cable clamp is easily accessible through a port in the remote's face using a T25. The return spring helps the long lever quickly return to position. There is even a small piece of textured grip tape on the remote paddle - attention to detail. 

E13 Dropper Post Remote Teardown

The lever paddle pivots on two sealed cartridge bearings; the return spring helps it quickly get back to its resting position. The port in the face allows access to a T25 to tighten down the cable clamp. A 3mm hex key allows the paddle position to be customized. 

I would personally love to see the remote be flip-floppable to run in place of either shifter like the Highline or X-Fusion Manic, but I recognize that it covers the vast majority of mountain bikers by replacing the front shifter. 

The remote is not currently listed as a service part on their website but I'll predict that once it is they will be making appearances with various other cable actuated posts on discerning riders' bikes. 

Tool Issues

I had two tool interface issues while tearing apart the e*thirteen TRS+. Unfortunately, they occurred with the first two tools I needed and in both cases, they are issues that will be very easy for The Hive to solve with future iterations. 

The first issue is very minor. The wrench flat area on the stealth cable post was too narrow to accept the Knipex locking pliers I usually use for these jobs at Bikeroom, or any of the regular box wrenches I had on hand. I ended up having to use a cone wrench - actually I used a pair of cone wrenches stacked to reinstall the the post - which is not ideal. 

E13 Dropper Post Teardown

The flat wrench interface on the stealth cable post was too narrow to accept the Knipex locking pliers I usually use at the Bikeroom for teardowns as well as any box wrenches in the shop. I ended up having to use cone wrenches. Certainly not a deal breaker but an easy thing for the Hive to fix in the future. 

The second issue was a lot more concerning. The Hive lists a "cassette lockring tool" and specifically links to the Park TR-5 in their instructions. Park states this tool is compatible with "Shimano, SRAM, SunRace, SunTour, Chris King and other cassette lockrings." In other words, it's a standard cassette lockring tool.

Unfortunately the interface was too tight to fit any of the Shimano or Park cassette lockring tools I had on hand including a TR-5. It is quite possible that a little elbow grease and mallet would have solved the issue but instead I used a strap wrench. 

Everything came apart and went back together fine, but it was disappointing given the obvious quality of the rest of the post. 

E13 Dropper Post Cassette Tool

e*thirteen | the hive lists a "cassette lockring tool" as being necessary to remove the base but unfortunately none of the standard Shimano or Park cassette tools I had on hand fit the interface. I ended up using a strap wrench. 

Tell Me I'm Wrong

Ages ago when I worked in a warehouse we used to listen to sports talk radio all day every day. The only segment I regularly enjoyed was called 'Tell Me I'm Wrong' where the pundits would make bold claims and then be held to account for past claims they'd made. 

This is my 'Tell Me I'm Wrong' moment as I point out a potential concern that I'll be monitoring through my test period. I'll go on record as guessing this becomes an issue and that e-thirteen resolves it with future generations of the post. If I don't have any issues over the test period I'll eat those words.

E13 TRS+ Post Head Keyway

Rather than bond the post head to the shaft, e*thirteen uses a relative loose pressfit, a keyway, and tension from the spring cap to hold everything in place. 

The TRS+'s coil spring top loads with the alloy bolt that holds it in place sitting under the saddle clamps. The 10mm hex key bolt that locks that spring in place also holds the non-bonded post head in position. 

Side-to-side play is resisted by a brass block that slides into position between the alloy head and thin alloy shaft. The twisting loads on a saddle are actually quite high - especially when descending - and my prediction is that the thin alloy shaft and brass block will wear, resulting in play. 

Since the spring could easily be removed without the head unit coming off I don't comprehend why the head unit isn't more permanently mounted in place. 

E13 TRS+ Dropper Post Teardown Bikeroom

I wish the seatpost head was more firmly attached to the shaft. It's very easy to lube the seal head without removing the e*thirteen post from a bike. Stripping down the post to bare bones is a simple, though time consuming, task. 

Small Parts & Action

With my criticisms on the table, there's a lot to be impressed with:

  • Easy to replace brass keyways and plastic bushings. 
  • A faultless coil spring system. 
  • The spring loaded ball bearing system holds the post in any of its four positions - 150mm / 110mm / 80mm / 0mm
  • And the action is super fast and precise. 

I've recently gotten quite used to infinite dropper positions, however, the positions on the TRS+ are easy to find and usable. If I was designing the post, I'd set it up with something like full length, 25mm drop, 125mm drop, and 150mm drop. 

e13 Dropper Post ball bearing system and bushings

The expanding ball bearing retention system works faultlessly and the bearings are easy to replace. 

Based on my experiences with other mechanical dropper post interfaces - Gravity Dropper, Fox DOSS, and Command Post - I will certainly be taking the e*thirteen TRS+ apart again as part of the test to check for wear. It is impressive how easy all of these wear parts, including the bushings, will be to replace when the time comes. 

I'm very favourable towards the coil spring system, even if it is a bit loud, and I love being able to fully service parts on my bike. 

Up & Down

When I first opened the TRS+ I had to go check the microwave at Bean Around the World to see if someone from the Hive had been spying on my ride group. The awesome remote, coil spring, smooth action, and full user serviceability are things they could have easily overheard my friends talking about. 

I've pointed out some negatives on e*thirteen's first attempt at a dropper post but by and large I'm really excited to be testing this post as it's the closest thing to my ideal that I've seen on the market. 

Comments

+1
March 21, 2017, 6:16 a.m. -  benj

You need this adjustable spanner in your collection for that nut, 4.5mm thick jaw!

http://www.bahco.com/en/p/adjustable-wrench-big-opening-extra-thin-jaws/0c-ac-d6-ae-a7-35-51-6a-01-f3-99-bb-4c-8d-c8-e8/

Reply

0
March 21, 2017, 8:40 a.m. -  Andrew Major

Yeah that would work; all of ours were too thick.

Reply

0
March 21, 2017, 7:38 a.m. -  Raymond Epstein

Now if someone wants to make something really awesome, come up with a "shim" more like a sleeve (probably converting from a 30.9 size post for stability)  for 34.9 seat tube bikes. It would need to be long enough not to futz up (at least not void the warranty) carbon seat tubes for bikes like Evil's Wreckoning and the Specialized Enduro. The word is that Specialized is currently using some kind of shim until they make a bigger command post, but no one seems to know much about it. Seems to me that just making a new lower post housing that steps down to a smaller size would be a more simple, lighter weight and more cost effective approach versus an entirely new post.

Reply

+1
March 21, 2017, 8:38 a.m. -  Andrew Major

Cane Creek makes a great 31.6-to-34.9 shim. Good insertion depth and not expensive.

Scott (previously) and Kona (currently) both have bikes that used 34.9 ID seattubes with shims.

Problem Solvers makes nice 4" long shims. They don't appear to offer a 34.9 to 31.6 yet but I'd guess it's just a matter of time.

Reply

+1
March 21, 2017, 12:47 p.m. -  WNCmotard

I'll second the Cane Creek shims. I'm a fairly big guy (195lbs) and mine never slipped when I was using it.

0
March 21, 2017, 3:43 p.m. -  Raymond Epstein

I don't blame Evil for not wanting to be bothered considering their past in having to deal with warranty crap. Still, spectrum wide it would be nice to see a simple sleeve that could be added to 30.9 or 31.6 posts without anyone getting their chamois in a bunch. I will be acquiring a Wrecker soon and it ships with the latest Reverb so we'll see.

+1
March 21, 2017, 4:04 p.m. -  Andrew Major

Just following up re. shimming 35mm (34.9). I think 35mm is a great idea as it allows companies to minimize overall length well maximizing post travel with the additional internal space for dropper guts. 

Legacy products and a lack of 35mm post options - particularly at the affordable end - mean there is some lag as companies adopt 35mm ID seat tubes.

Kona for example is moving to 35mm and if you check out the seat post spec on 2017 alloy frames released this year you'll see they ship bikes with 31.6 posts and shims: http://konaworld.com/big_honzo_dl.cfm

KCNC and Cane Creek make 31.6->34.9 shims. USE makes 30.9->34.9 shims. It is not hard to get shims to make other posts work in 35mm.

0
March 23, 2017, 6:12 a.m. -  Raymond Epstein

I am well aware that there are shims are a-plenty. Hell, I've made them out of beer cans in a pinch. The concern I have is that Evil states that using one with their bikes voids the warranty. Personally, I am not too hung up on warranties, but it does limit my options if I want to keep it kosher. We'll see how long before I say eff it and run one on the DL.

0
March 23, 2017, 9:57 a.m. -  Andrew Major

Ah, apologies I didn't understand; know that about Evil.

Do they say why a long shim is a concern.

The good news is there are lots of 35mm posts coming.

+1
March 23, 2017, 6:19 p.m. -  Raymond Epstein

I hope we'll see these 35mm posts sooner than later. :\

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March 21, 2017, 7:47 a.m. -  WNCmotard

That 80mm drop on the first position will be a deal breaker for many. As you stated 25mm is perfect for a first position on a fixed position dropper.

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+1
March 21, 2017, 8:26 a.m. -  Andrew Major

I apologize that I wasn't more clear. The travel numbers are from full extension.

The 110mm setting is actually a 40mm drop (150mm exposed shaft | 110mm exposed shaft).

I agree 25mm is perfect for the first drop ("an inch for fun") but 40mm is fine.

Reply

+1
March 21, 2017, 8:28 a.m. -  Andrew Major

So:

150mm (full extension)

110mm (fe - 40mm)

80mm (fe - 70mm)

0mm (fe- 150mm)

0
March 21, 2017, 12:46 p.m. -  WNCmotard

OK, I follow you know. I can't math today, I haz the dumb. I own a Gravity Dropper, a Reverb Stealth, and just picked up a Bontrager Drop Line. So far, I'm really liking the Drop Line.

0
March 23, 2017, 12:36 a.m. -  van le

thông tin  về sức khỏe gia đình những tin tức tổng hợp về mọi lĩnh vực  đời sống cập nhật mỗi ngày

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