sram type 2 rear mech quick first look and ride

SRAM’s new Type 2 rear mech completely eliminates chain slap resulting in virtually zero chance of a dropped chain. It’s also much quieter and places less reliance on a chain device to keep the chain in check.

SRAM’s new Type 2 rear mech. Why, oh why didn’t we think of this before?

Shimano’s Shadow Plus, a rear mech with a clutch stabiliser system inside the pulley cage which increases the spring tension, was one of the surprising revelations of last year and one of those ‘why didn’t we think of it’ moments.

SRAM have now caught up and are offering a rear mech that aims to do the same job, increased spring tension, as Shimano’s offering. The Type 2 technology uses a roller bearing clutch located inside the knuckle of the mech and prevents the cage swinging forward over rough terrain (and with it the chain flapping about).

Unlike Shimano’s small gold lever to disengage the mechanism (so you can swing the mech forward and release the rear wheel), Type 2 has a small locking button (with a padlock printed on the face) – pull the cage forward and press this button in. It works easily enough but isn’t quite as smart as the Shimano approach.

The lock button makes taking the wheel out very easy. There really isn’t much that we don’t like about clutch systems on rear mechs.

What’s important is how it rides. The first thing you notice with a clutch rear mech is how quiet everything is. On some bikes this is more noticeable. An Orange Five with its large hollow elevated swingarm is a noisy bike with a regular mech. With a Type 2 mech the noise is completely silenced.

More importantly, the chain never fell off once during our early test rides. Because the chain is under increased tension the chain is never allowed to go slack enough to derail. Shimano’s system is noticeable with a slightly heavier shift. We didn’t notice any difference at all with SRAM’s approach, and shifting at the lever paddle still felt light and positive.

It’s currently available on XO and X9 lines. There’s a small weight penalty; an X9 Type 2 mech weighs 30g more than a regular one at 250g. XO weighs 235g.

Verdict

No dropped chains and a quieter transmission, Type 2 isn’t a gimmick, it really works. One day all rear mechs will be like this.

Pros

No dropped chains
Quiet transmission

Cons

Extra weight

Price: from £89.99
More info: Fisher Outdoor / Sram

What SRAM says:

1. Exact Actuation for precise and dependable 10-speed performance
2. Focused chassis design for all conditions and usage
3. 250g (medium cage) clutch adds 30 grams to a standard RD
4. 36-tooth cassette capable
5. 3 cage lengths available: short for DH, medium for 2X10 and long for 3X10
6. 2 graphic colours available: Grey, white

  1. Steve

    Shame it isn’t retrofitable to 9 speed systems.

  2. chris-m

    Sadly, Shimano hasn’t yet changed its design of shifter internals to cater for the increase in tension on their Shadow+ mechs. Well, only for their new Saint. I’m sure they’ll rectify this soon though.
    .
    And I must say, SRAM have really picked up their game, but it’s their XX1 that’s their game changer, IMHO (and I don’t even like SRAM!).

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