Unimaginable five years ago

In 2010 everyone I knew was on 9-speed Shimano 11-34 cassette’s for normal mountain biking and Shimano 11-23’s for downhill, and the only reason you’d ever buy a cassette from SRAM is if it was cheaper. I can’t even name another company that was making MTB cassettes in 2010, and even if you can think of one, there’s no way 2010 me or 2010 you would have run it.

Fast forward five years and the entire mountain bike industry is swarming to not buy a cassette from Shimano or SRAM.

Who the hell is Praxis?

11-40 10-speed cassette, aluminum 40 tooth cog. Gearing is 11-13-15-17-19-21-24-28-34-40. Seems reasonable and well thought out, and saves the bigger gear ratio jumps for your lower gears. You know, the ones that you shift into and out of with much, much lower frequency. $129.00 is about 12% more than XT. That, combined with nine of ten cogs made of steel, seems pretty reasonable.

And who the hell is Response? That’s a made up company, right?

11-40 and 11-42 10-speed cassettes, and 11-42 11 speed cassettes. Largest three cogs are aluminum with a carbon carrier. This one seems a little more extreme and weight/gear dorky, but who knows? No price, no gearing details yet. Obviously the ROBOTS are patrolling the Taipei airwaves.
What’s even crazier is that, barring some horrible reliability problem or anecdotal evidence of poor shifting, I would totally run those cassettes. Hey Praxis, I’ll be the guy way off the back on all the steep ass fireroad to hell Whistler EWS transfer climbs, suffering on my 11-36 10-speed cassette. Open invitation to test your new cassette.
I will not be smiling, before or after reading this sign.

In 2010 gear ranges were fairly standardized. We were running essentially the same gear ratios for a decade, and as a result your choice of cassette was based almost entirely on shifting performance and reliability. Nod to Shimano on both counts. SRAM could only play by coming in under Shimano’s price.
But now that I spend 90% of my time on one bike for all the riding I do, a slight decrease in shifting performance seems like a happy trade-off for the bigger gear range offered by an off-brand cassette or mega-sized add-on cog. I’ve never ridden one of the add-on cogs, and I’ve obviously never ridden one of these never-before-seen cassettes, but I’d put money down that they don’t shift as well as Shimano cassettes. As the ultimate longtime Shimano fanboy, near as as I can tell there is no way these cassettes shift as well as Shimano. What’s crazy is this: I don’t care anymore.

10 thoughts on “Unimaginable five years ago

  1. Actually, the Praxis one may come close, they've been in the chainring game for a while (more so on the road side of things) and cold forge there stuff like shimano. Supposed to shift on par with shimano (on the road at least), I'd imagine they probably have there shit down with a cassette too, but guess time will tell…

  2. I can't believe it took some obscure little offshore brands to realize what people have been asking for the last few years. I know Shimano is ultra conservative when it comes to adopting new things, but you'd think SRAM would have brought one to market. I don't exactly like to spin, but the 36t is gruesome on a lot of climbs. Bring on the little brands.

  3. Any number of other alt.cassettes in the isles this year. If last year was a scrabble for 1x thick/thin, this year will be a race to the bottom for cassettes that help you go up.

  4. This is a bunch of shit, all of it! look at the big gaps between gears. Front derailleur still rules, screw the trends.

  5. Front derailleurs are the new bar ends. They do not “rule” at anything besides dropping your fucking chain the minute you stop going slow.

Comments are closed.