2023 is a very interesting time for mountain bike design with a wide range of new and very different drivetrains all available at the same time. These aren’t just futuristic beep-boop electronic systems, either. With Sea Otter booths showing off everything from new 8-speed groups to “Transmissions,” there’s something well made out there for any and every rider right now.
Sea Otter was the first time many riders had an opportunity to see the fleet of new drivetrains that launched in the last few months. Here is a closer look at five of the more interesting groups out there.
Shimano Cues and Linkglide
Shimano’s Cues 11-speed drivetrain made a real-world appearance at Sea Otter. As did it’s Linkglide XT auto-shift eMTB drivetrain, as raced by Mick Hannah. There were also a couple of new saddles, one for a neutral position and one for a more upright pedalling position, on display just for good measure.
Many brands were eager to show off that their frames work with SRAM’s new “Transmission”
T-Type direct mount derailleur
The direct mount sandwiches the frame
SRAM made a very big deal out of launching its new direct-mount wireless AXS Eagle Transmission group. These groups were already on several bikes at Sea Otter, when the brand had a direct-mount compatible frame. It looks as sharp in real life as it did in all the launch media.
Microshift Advent X V.2
On the opposite end of the price spectrum, Microshift was showcasing its updated Advent X V.2 group. It’s available in 8-, 9-, and 10-speed configurations. A new derailleur cage is said to improve shifting. A clean shifter moves the chain across an 11-48 cassette, giving the 10-speed group a very solid range. And a whole group is priced lower than a cassette from some other brands.
The black-and-gold design on TRP’s new EVO12 group is eye-catching, for sure. It’s also available in a more subdued silver/black combo, for those that like a more subtle look. It has a very positive feel to the shifting and lever, for those that prefer that tactile feedback to the crop of lighter-action drivetrains out there.
FSA K-Force WE
And a sleek rear derailleur, which wires into the battery.
The front derailleur is larger, but stays out of the way and out of the wind
FSA K-Force WE wireless drivetrain
FSA’s K-Force WE wireless 12-speed drivetrain is for drop bars. But the brand also makes a wide range of mountain bike parts. Maybe we’ll eventually see the WE tech cross…
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