The Hive / e*thirteen for 2014
The focus of the 2013 product launch for The Hive here in Ashland is their TRS Race products, which was done in conjunction with the Ashland round of the Oregon Enduro Series. The TRS products are aimed at all mountain and Enduro riders. Within TRS products there are three product levels. The most cost effective “Base”, the mid-level “Plus” with gold highlights and Gucci “Race” components with red highlights. The architecture of the products are generally similar, but with increasingly exotic materials and processes being used in Plus and Race.
TRS Race Wheels
My first impression of the TRS Race (TRSr) wheels when I picked them up was how light they are. The new EXAr rim profile is a 28 mm wide, less than 400 grams a piece, compatible with tires up to 2.5 inch width, improved dent resistance, and claimed to be 30% stiffer than the old rims. The rims are designed to work with regular and tubeless tires. My tires were setup with tubes, the bead evenly snapping to the rim wall at between 30 and 40 psi. Most of the other guys were running tubeless setups and seemed to have no issues.
Since the hub flanges are taller than normal the 28 regular J-bend spokes in each wheel are shorter and lighter. The hub flanges are pushed as far apart as possible to maximize the spoke bracing angle, and minimize spoke stress. The result is a 1560 gram wheelset that The Hive claims is stiff enough and tough enough for enduro use.
The hub uses angular contact bearings, which have to be preloaded to remain tight. The benefit of the angular contact bearings is a stiffer hub than one using conventional deep groove ball bearings, and increased longevity of the wheel since the preload can be adjusted as the bearings wear. The seal design of the TRSr wheels has been improved with what the Hive call an active seal design. Unfortunately I won’t be testing the wheels here in Vancouver to thoroughly test their claim.
The TRS Race wheels seem well thought out and will likely make for great lightweight trail / enduro wheels. I liked the details in the design to improve wheel stiffness, reduce weight, and extend durability. Availability is scheduled for fall 2013 and the MSRP is to be determined, but the expectation is they will be similarly priced to other high end enduro wheel sets.
TRS Race Crankset
The TRS Race Crankset is an evolution of the TRS Plus crankset. The major differences are reduced weight and increased stiffness through the use of higher quality materials. Although the axle, preload mechanism and spider attachment method aren’t new I thought they’d be worthwhile mentioning.
The new M Guidering is e13’s dual width single specific chainring in 28 – 38 tooth versions. The M Guidering was optimized for 11 speed single chainring drivetrains, but will be an improvement over current single rings for 9 and 10 speed drivetrains as well. The dual width teeth are designed to be timed with the chain for better lateral retention. E13 claims that the M Guidering is the longest wearing of any dual width chain ring due to their profile and coating process. Of the guys running the M Guidering at the launch there were no dropped chains I saw.
The dual chain rings are spiderless for TRSr to reduce weight and increase stiffness and available in 20/34, 22/36 and 24/38. The 20/34 is interesting in that it is 1 piece, with the 20 tooth granny gear and 34 tooth middle ring conjoined, because a 20 tooth ring can’t bolt to standard granny ring posts. My bike however was setup a little unusually since I had a dual ring setup with a triple front derailleur, which required a bashguard and thus a conventional spider that was lifted from the TRS+ crankset. I understand why e13 went with the ratios they did, but I think for the riding in Vancouver I’d like to see a 22/32 combination or similar.
On the trail I’d be a liar if I said I could notice increasing power transfer or increased stiffness. The rings did however shift effortlessly and the APS bottom bracket preload mechanism worked as intended. The TRS Race cranks come in 4 grams lighter than a comparable XTR crankset and a whole lighter on the wallet with the MSRP at $399 for a dual ring crankset (plus $60 for a standard bottom bracket).
e13 Race chain guides
The Hive had two new guides on display. The TRS Race guide and the LG1 Race guide. Both use carbon compression moulded back plates that are stiffer and lighter. Both use the same interchangeable plastics as the lower level guides. The weight reduction is significant with the TRS Race guide weighting in at just 74 grams.
One of the details I liked regarding the e13 guides is the honeycomb strengthening ribs in the bash guards are designed to deflect the plastic away from the chain ring. The intent is to maximize the chance of the saving the chain ring and that KOM you were smashing.
A TRS Race guide replaced my Heim 2 guide. While the added lightness was tough to notice I most certainly noticed how much quieter the new guide was. I’ve got in over 200 km of single track since installing the TRSr guide with nothing but smooth shifts. The guide hasn’t dropped a chain yet even on some fairly bumped out high speed sections. I’ve always had issues with rollers seizing up given the weather here in Vancouver, so it will be interesting to see how well the roller and bearings hold up in the coming months. The TRSr guide will retail for $199 and should be available soon.
The Hive guys had a couple LG1 Race guides on display as well. Apparently the SRS+ is being phased out and replaced by the LG1 TRC (Turbo Charger), which is essentially an LG1 style taco guide with an additional bash ring. LG1 Race guides will be available soon at an MSRP of $219. LG1 TRC guides will be approximately $30 more than the equivalent LG1 guide. Note that the plastics on the LG1 guides are all interchangeable, allowing you to switch from LG1 to LG1 TRC on the same back plate.
LG1 Race Pedal
The Hive also released a Race level version of the LG1 pedal. The pedal architecture remains the same as the existing LG1 pedal models, but focuses on weight reduction. For the highest end model, LG1r, the axle material is titanium and the pin material is hardened aluminum. The wear plates on the exterior remain filled polycarbonate, sandwiching a cast aluminum body. Bearings are IGUS bushings and run dry with no lubricant. The Spin Control mechanism is unchanged that allows for varying degrees of bushing preload to fine tune pedal play vs. pedal drag. The LG1 Race pedal hits the market at a spendy $319 and will be substantially lighter than the 468 gram LG1 Plus Pedal.
The TRSr product line looks like a well thought out evolution of The Hive’s current product offering. All the products addressed legitimate problems, felt well made, and performed well on the trail. I’m looking forward to putting some abuse on the new cranks and guide, and will report back if I have any issues.
Tim’s got a Chub for the Hive’s new offerings… anything pique your interest?