The new SRAM 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.
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.
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.
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.
No dropped chains
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