We are getting close to Interbike and that means that all the manufacturers are starting to release more information on their upcoming products. I got a great preview of the Fox/Shimano 15QR system and actually have my 2009 Fox Vanilla 32 RLC mounted up and nearly ready for its first ride. I’ve also seen tons of other great new bikes and products come my way over the past month or so.
But, this one is bound to be one of the most amazing new products of the season… the Truvativ HammerSchmidt bike transmission. Aimed at providing dual-ring function in a single-ring design, the HammerSchmidt will change the game when it comes to shifting.
About Truvativ HammerSchmidt
After several years of product testing by the Truvativ design team and well-known athletes and bike gurus (Greg Herbold has been testing it for two years), the HammerSchmidt transmission platform is finally production-ready. With many all-mountain and freeride mountain bikers riding double chainrings, Truvativ saw an opportunity to serve the market with superior shifting technology by eliminating the front derailleur and chainrings alltogether. To do this, they have built a lightweight transmission that shifts from 1:1 to 1:1.6 ratios on-the-fly–effectively providing a 24/38T or 22/36T chainring setup.
The result is instant shifting anytime, anyplace. No more getting caught in the wrong gear and dropping your chain. No more chain suck. No more grindy grindy as you shift… that’s all a thing of the past with HammerSchmidt.
The entire system consists of a crankarm (All-mountain of Freeride), integrated transmission and a HammerSchmidt-specific SRAM X.9 or X.0 shifter. If you already have a compatible bottom-bracket, you don’t need that, but some may. It mounts directly to standard chain guide tabs found on many all-mountain and freeride/DH framesets (ISCG 03 or 05 tabs), thus providing a solid connection to the bike.
What’s So Cool About HammerSchmidt?
With HammerSchmidt, you eliminate the hassle of setting up the front derailleur, more importantly, you gain the solid feel and performance of a single chainring and chain guide, but with the performance of a dual-ring setup. Here are more reasons why HammerSchmidt is so cool:
- Superior ground clearance: Easy to navigate downed trees, rocky climbs and descents
- Seamless shifting under any load: Shift smoothly and instantly in any conditions–even when you get caught in the middle of a surprise technical climb
- Instant shifting while coasting: Shift whenever you want–even when you’re not pedaling
- Ultimate chain management: No rattling off, no dropped chains and no more chain suck
- Streamlined: Simplified design looks great and allows you to slap a “dual-ring” setup on bikes that couldn’t accept one previously
- Simple maintenance: Just as easy to lubricate and swap chains as traditional chainrings
I’ve long been a proponent of dual-ring setups for many reasons–the primary reason is because you don’t need a large chainring on the trail–this takes things one step further by eliminating the front derailleur altogether.
HammerSchmidt looks to be a true innovation in bicycle shifting that will work for hard-core mountain bikers everywhere. Previous designs have been maintenance nightmares or have just plain broken down during regular use. I’m looking forward to flogging the HammerSchmidt at Interbike and beyond.
The only real downsides I see are cost and compatibility. It looks like a full setup (cranks, transmission, shifter and bottom bracket) will set you back about $700 for AM and $760 for FR versions. And, though many bikes do have ISCG mounts, there are many Schmidt-worthy bikes that don’t (I imagine this will change in the near future). I don’t have a single bike with an ISCG mount, so that gives me something to look to as I select bikes for 2009–there’s always some reason to upgrade!
The weight-conscious XTR crowd may gripe at the extra grams, but the benefits will far outweigh any small weight penalty.
Truvativ HammerSchmidt will be tops on my list of “must-see” products at Interbike 2008, so stay tuned for first impressions as I swing a leg over bikes equipped with it.
More Info: Visit MagicMechanics.com