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May 19, 2016, 1:16 a.m. -  Tim Lane

#!markdown MSRP doesn't mean that much, for many brands I think it's just posturing, but that's a whole other conversation, I didn't go there because convention dictates that comments be shorter than the above the fold article. Current, comparable cassettes from Sram and Shimano are around $280 and $65 respectively. Durability may or may not be improved, it's conjecture either way but I'm guessing that the durability of steel cassettes from either manufacturer could be somewhat proportional to the total number of teeth on the block, this will be offset by improved chainline.. I understand your motivation for starting the conversation and thank you for bringing this to our attention. Nothing new or great would happen without thinking outside the box and I'm sure this will be helpful. My contribution to the conversation, based on having recently switched a bike to 1x with an 11-42 cassette, struggling to adapt to the more limited gear range and perceiving the larger steps between gears, is that if you're intrigued by the E-Block cassette, perhaps some other solutions are worth looking at. Those situations might not require hybrid 8/11 speed drivetrain components. My position is not that it's too expensive, or heavy, or that blue is better than red, or that all progress is a conspiracy, or that HB cut the course (the UCI said it was cool). It's that with similar expense there are other options which avoid the wide gaps between gears that many find uncomfortable. Sram, Sunrace and others have competing cassettes, perhaps I shouldn't have used the competitor as an example. Sram's information indicates that the motivation for the E-block cassette is to reduce shifting by offering less sprockets, because the e-assist removes some of the discomfort of being in the 'wrong' gear and chains break less when there's less shifting and less chainline offset. There's something in there about meat and motors having different torque curves and I suspect that the chain encroaching on the motor and arcane international safety standards might be a factor too. You're welcome, and I look forward to hearing your long term review!

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