Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mountain Bike Biz

First thing's first; I got the new dropout for my Nomad so I will be back in the woods by the weekend.

Second; Sram has come out with a new bad-ass two-speed crankset called the Hammerschmidt.

Hammerschmidt is a crank and bottom bracket combination with an integrated planetary drive mechanism. It’s essentially a two-speed crankset. It gives the reliability of a single-ring system with chainguide and the gear range of a two-ring system, plus improved shifting. At first glance it looks shockingly small, with just a single 22 or 24-tooth ring.

Such a small front ring yields incredible ground clearance and, when combined with the 1.6x multiplication factor of the planetary mechanism inside, you get an approximate 36 or 38 tooth high gear. These 22x36 or 24x38 gear combinations are already standard on many all-mountain and freeride bikes so these numbers should be familiar to riders.

Truvativ developed two Hammerschmidt models. One is an all-mountain build comparable to Stylo cranks while the other freeride build uses cranks along the lines of the venerable Holzfeller. An included shifter looks remarkably similar to a SRAM X.0 model, but has only two positions.

There are several advantages to a single-ring, planetary-drive crankset. Riders can shift gears under incredible torque loads, while the cranks are stationary, or while pedaling backward. During the official unveiling, SRAM spokesman Greg Herbold was quick to point out that he could even shift while airborne. And shifting is more instantaneous than conventional derailleur systems—the gear mechanism uses a set of pawls to quickly engage a ramped gear, and they do it faster and more reliably than a conventional chain with a row of lifting ramps.


CycloneCross said...

Very sweet. I just saw a 3 speed fixed gear hub the other day, but this looks like it might be a better option.

beardsarefun said...

I posted the 3-speed fixed hub a day or so ago and its pretty cool for certain situations. I try to post some mtn stuff as well because, well, i ride mtn, and because its cool to see how the industry is progressing whether it directly applies to you or not. In theory, you could run the two speed cranks with the three speed hub and have a super expensive six speed. glad to know others appreciate some of this stuff too, thanks for commenting.