Are e*thirteen 12 speed cassettes compatible with SRAM™️ Transmission™️ / T-Type™️ systems?


Short Answer: No, current e*thirteen TRS or Helix 12 speed cassettes are not compatible with SRAM™️ Transmission™️ shifters and derailleurs. 


Long Answer: Current e*thirteen TRS and Helix 12s Cassettes are not compatible with SRAM™️ Transmission™️ shifters and derailleurs. This is due to cog spacing differences and an overall thickness increase of the cassette by 2.5mm. These differences are enough to result in incompatibility. 

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Troubleshooting: XCX, TRS and Helix Cassette Install & Removal


Install Troubleshooting

Having trouble installing one of our cassettes? Here are a few key things to look out for during the install process which could be resulting in difficulties installing the cassette per the install directions. Most commonly, inability to get the steel portion on far enough to engage with the alloy portion. First off, ensure you are following the steps outlined in our install removal video shown below. If you are still having trouble after following the correct install procedure, there are some common troubleshooting tips found below the video. Don't hesitate to reach out to us at any point via the "ask a question" button at support.ethirteen.com. 



Symptom: Steel section cannot be installed far enough onto driver to adequately reach alloy section and permit locking interfaces to engage.

Possible Problem: Cassette being installed on XDr driver without the spacer:

Solution: Verify XD or XDr Driver:  The XDr Driver will require a 1.8mm spacer under the cassette. If an undersized spacer is used, it will cause fitment issues. 

__ __ __ 


Symptom: Steel section cannot be installed far enough onto driver to adequately reach alloy section and permit locking interfaces to engage.

Possible Problem: Bushing not fully seated on end of the XD driver: Excess grease or out-of-spec XD Drivers can prevent the bushing from fully seating on the XD driver. When this happens it will make it difficult or impossible to install the steel section far enough onto the driver for the interlocking tabs to engage.

Solution: Thoroughly remove grease from the bushing. After alloy portion of cassette is installed, install the bushing on the driver and verify it is fully seated. Once verified, install the steel portion of the cassette. It will be normal for the lower part of the bushing not to touch the alloy portion of the cassette when fully seated but there should be no gap visible on the inside of the bushing and end of the XD driver. 







-- -- --


Symptom: Steel section cannot be installed far enough onto driver to adequately reach alloy section and permit locking interfaces to engage.

Possible Problem: XD Driver Bearing Migration:

Solution: Many XD drivers have a partially exposed bearing on the end of them. This is normal, but in some cases there can be migration of the driver body inward relative to the bearing. This means the bearing is effectively protruding out of the end of the driver body more than it should be and needs to be pressed back in place. This can impact the fit of the bushing and prevent the steel section from being pressed on far enough to engage the interlocking tabs. The correct specification for the bearing to be exposed is 3.5mm. If it is exposed more than that, it should be pressed back into the driver.





-- -- -- 


Symptom: 3mm set screw holes won't line up or difficulties installing the screw. 

Possible Problem: Burrs preventing full engagement or early production Helix cassette with screw hole in different location.


  • XCX, TRS and Helix
    • Verify that there are no burrs on the alloy portion of the cassette preventing full locking engagement. Inspect this location on each of the fins from the backside of the alloy section:
      • IMG_5109.jpeg
    • Install cassette with out the 3mm set screw. Install wheel on bike and pedal bike around with the chain in the lower portion of the cassette. Make sure to give it a few good hard pedals. Verify hole alignment and install screw.
  • Helix: If above points have been attempted and you are still having issues, please reach out to us via the support page of our website. 




Removal Troubleshooting

Symptom: Steel section won't break free and seems stuck on the alloy section

Possible Problem: 3mm set screw still in place which holds steel and alloy portions together.

Solution: Remove set screw and repeat removal steps.


Symptom: Steel section won't break free and seems stuck on the alloy section

Possible Problem: Both chainwhips or chainwhip and cassette lockring tool are being placed on steel section of cassette. 

Solution: Ensure 1 chain whip is on the alloy portion of the cassette.


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Troubleshooting Cassette Creaking and Noise (TRS+, TRSr, XCX, Helix)

e*thirteen cassettes are designed for long term, quiet operation. However, like most high-precision bicycle components, periodic maintenance is required for best results.

Most cassette creaking noise can be resolved by disassembling the cassette, applying a liberal coat of grease to the contact points between the steel and aluminum pieces, and re-assembling. Also it should be verified that the cassette end bushing is installed between the end of the XD driver and the pocket in the steel section of the cassette.

Here are the locations you should grease:



Check out one of these articles to see how, depending on your cassette: 

How to install/remove Gen 2 TRS and XCX 11 speed cassettes

12s Upgrade: How to install your 12s TRS Plus cassette


Cassette End Bushing

All current e*thirteen cassettes use a teflon filled Delrin bushing to support the steel portion of the cassette. If this bushing is left out during assembly, your cassette will creak, and may be damaged!


 It's a good idea to check to make sure this bushing is installed if you're getting persistent loud creaking from your cassette.

If you have a 9-42 10-speed or 9-44 11-Speed cassette, please see this article: My TRS+ 9-44 cassette is creaking, how can I fix that?


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12 Speed Helix Plus vs. Race Cassettes: Differences & Parts Cross-Compatibility


Question: Are the 12s Helix Race and Helix Plus cassette sections cross-compatible?

Answer: Yes, 12s Helix Race and Plus cassette sections are cross-compatible. 11s parts are not cross compatible with any 12s parts.


Question: What is the difference between the Helix Race and Helix Plus Cassette?

Answer: Weight and finishing.

The Helix race cassette has a lot more excess material machined off when compared to the Helix Plus. The weight difference is approximately 22g.

Additionally, the Helix Race steel section uses a more durable nickel coating on the steel section whereas the Helix Plus uses a black oxide finish on the steel section. Alloy sections on both cassettes use a hard anodize finish. 

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Out-of-spec XD™️ drivers and other notable hub compatibility considerations


Fit issues due to out-of-spec drivers

The XD™️ Freehub body standard was developed by SRAM™️ for wide-range cassette applications. All manufacturing making XD™️ freehubs must license the standard from SRAM™️ and agree to follow their design specification. 


We design our cassettes specifically to the XD™️ standard, and an in-spec XD™️ driver is critical for proper installation and clamp force to retain the cassette on the driver. 


We have found some cases of undersized and out-of-spec XD™️ drivers on the market. Undersize drivers can reduce the critical clamping function of alloy cassette sections and result in looser than ideal fit. Other out-of-spec features can prevent the alloy section from fully seating on the driver. This can result in poor shifting performance and a slight side-to-side movement of the entire cassette assembly, which is seen at the largest cog when backpedaling. 


Some out-of-spec drivers are obvious (Hope Technologies™️), while others require digital calipers to identify the issue. TRS, XCX and Helix cassettes come with three different thickness shims in the box, which can be used for properly fitting e*thirteen cassettes to undersized drivers. If missing, please contact your local distributor or e*thirteen directly, and we will supply one free of charge.


Hope Drivers

Hope XD drivers are undersized at the clamp location and don't technically meet the XD standard spec.


Due to this irregularity, a shim is required to ensure the cassette clamp functions properly. Please see the cassette section of our support site for installation instructions.


Other out-of-spec drivers

Other out-of-spec drivers are not as obvious and require measurement to identify the issue. Critical dimensions are shown below, and measurement #1 is the most common culprit. In some cases, the thinnest shim can be used to address the undersized driver and cassette fit, however, in some cases, the only option is to replace it with an XD™️ driver which is within the specifications of theo standard.  XD___Critical_Dims.png


Other hub compatibility considerations


  • Chris King™️ needle bearing freehub bodies: Chris King does not recommend pinch clamp style cassettes to be used on their freehub bodies which use needle bearings in the freehub body/axle interface. 
  • Industry 9 1/1 Hubs: The Industry Nine 1/1 freehub bodies have splines that are at the very largest end of the range of the XD standard. Our cassettes rely on tightly fitting to this diamter and are designed to be right at the high end of the cassette spline range. The net result is that there may be fitment issues with the 1/1 hubs when used with e*thirteen cassettes, which could result in a VERY tight fit or possible incompatibility.



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Will SRAM™️ Flattop™️ chains work with e*thirteen Helix cassettes?


Answer: Yes. SRAM™️ Flattop™️ chains work well with our Helix cassettes! (But Eagle™️ chains are still our primary recommendation for best performance and longevity)


Note 1: Sram™️ "road" 12 upper derailleur pulleys are about 0.25mm thinner than their MTB counterparts. This means that either Eagle™️ and Flattop™️ chains should have no issues on SRAM™️ gravel/road derailleurs but Flattop™️ chains may bind on the wider pulley teeth of a new 12s Eagle™️ rear derailleur.


Note 2: Flattop™️ chains have rollers which are slightly larger OD than Eagle™️ chains. It is possible that these larger rollers may result in accelerated wear of drivetrain components which have not explicitly been designed for the larger OD rollers. While we have not quantified this in lab testing, we have seen varying reports of this in the field. Drivetrain wear rate is an extremely complicated topic due to the large number of variables and you can read a bit more about that here

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How long should my cassette last?

There are a large number of variables that go into how long a cassette will last. This makes it difficult to give a specific number of hours or miles that a cassette will last before needing replacement. Some of those variables include riding conditions, personal gearing preferences, rider weight, rider power, front chainring size, drivetrain maintenance. 

For example, a heavier rider who regularly rides in muddy conditions and with long sustained climbs that favor one or two of the alloy cogs will wear a cassette much quicker than one riding in mild conditions with undulating terrain that spreads out chain position and wear across more of the cassette. 

Two of the best things you can do to maximize the life of your cassette is to regularly check your chain for wear (and replace when necessary) and keep your drivetrain clean and lubed.

For riders in places with flat terrain riding frequently in the smaller cogs, increasing the size of your chainring will result in more frequently being in the middle section of the cassette which can improve longevity. 

For riders in places with big climbs frequently in larger alloy cogs, reducing the size of your chainring can result in more time being spent on the steel portion of the cassette which can improve longevity.

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Are e*thirteen cassettes compatible with SRAM™️ AXS drivetrains?


Answer: YES!*


e*thirteen Helix cassettes were developed and tested using SRAM™️ AXS (among other) shifters and derailleurs. 


*e*thirteen TRS+ and XCX+ Cassettes were developed before AXS existed. Generally they have tested well, but we have had some reports of occasional shift issues; particularly with short chainstay bikes. 

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Chain derailment on cassette while backpedaling - Is this normal, and what can I do about it?


Wide range 1x drivetrains found on modern mountain bikes are pushing the capabilities of what can be achieved using current chains and chainring designs, and thus different manufacturers have begun to incorporate a variety of proprietary features into their chains, chainrings and sprockets. e*thirteen Helix Cassettes are designed to bridge these differences and provide great shifting performance regardless of the chain, derailleur, and chainring in a given setup.


Regarding backpedal, our goal is to get at minimum a full backward-rotation of the cranks without the chain derailing. Still, since we are also prioritizing cross-compatible shifting, there are locations where features that are necessary to produce great shifts with one brand of chain may actually hurt backpedal with another brand of chain.. so we do our best to find a compromise that will work!


Since we can't test every setup and every combination of parts and frames, we have done our best to ensure great backpedal performance in the 3 largest sprockets of the cassette using the most common chains, namely SRAM, Shimano and KMC. In spite of this, any given setup may not have perfect performance in every sprocket.


As you might imagine, many variables therefore effect chain retention on cassettes while backpedaling - chainline, chainring size, chain flex and wear, frame alignment, and the individual component tolerances (variations from manufacturing) can all impact likelihood that your chain derails during backpedaling.


In real-world on-trail use, you would generally never need to backpedal more than 1/2 to 3/4 of a pedal stroke during a sudden backpedal for ground clearance reasons on a technical climb. Because of this, most riders discover this "issue" not while riding, but  when the bike is on the stand or when lubing their chain.


Another thing to remember is that backpedal performance almost always improves over time, so even if you're experiencing a backpedal derailment with your new setup on the stand, it may very well solve itself after the chain has a chance to wear into the cassette over the first few rides.


Here are a few steps to take to optimize backpedal performance:

  • Verify you are running the correct chainring offset designed for the chainline intended to be used on your frame.
  • Verify your derailleur is adjusted correctly, particularly the B-Tension adjustment.
  • Some BB/crank/chainrings have options for adjusting chainline. If your setup offers the option to move the chainline inboard, making this adjustment can improve the chainline in the larger gears. However, this makes the chainline worse in smaller gears and could impact backpedal performance in some of the smaller cogs. 


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Are e*thirteen cassettes compatible with Gravel/Road drivetrains? Which ones?

e*thirteen cassettes make a great choice for all sorts of bikes, but you'll need to carefully consider your parts selection to get the best possible performance.

Cassette Compatible Drivetrain Parts
XCX 11 Speed - 9-34T


  • Ultegra RD-R8000-GS / RD-R8050-GS (DI2) Medium Cage
  • Ultegra RX RD-RX800-GS / RD-RX805-GS (DI2) Medium Cage
  • 105 RD-R7000-GS Medium Cage
  • GRX RD-RX810 / RD-RX815 (DI2) (34T Max Low Sprocket)
  • GRX RD-RX812 / RD-RX817 (DI2)  (42T Max Low Sprocket)


  • SRAM Force 1 11-Speed, Long/Medium Cage
  • SRAM Rival 1 11-Speed, Long/Medium Cage
  • SRAM Apex 1 11-Speed, Long/Medium Cage


XCX 11 Speed 9-39T / 9-42T


  • GRX RD-RX812 / RD-RX817 (DI2)  (42T Max Low Sprocket)


  • SRAM Force 1 11-Speed, Long Cage
  • SRAM Rival 1 11-Speed, Long Cage
  • SRAM Apex 1 11-Speed, Long Cage


Helix 11 Speed 9-46T

TRS+ 11 Speed 9-46T


  • GRX RD-RX812 / RD-RX817 (DI2)  (46T not officially supported by Shimano, but works)


  • SRAM Force 1 11-Speed, Long Cage
  • SRAM Rival 1 11-Speed, Long Cage
  • SRAM Apex 1 11-Speed, Long Cage

Helix 12 Speed 9-50T


  • GRX RD-RX822-SGS (Use of SRAM™️Chain recommended)


  • AXS Red/Force Shifter + AXS Eagle XX1/X01 rear Derailleur

Helix 12 Speed 9-45T


  • GRX RD-RX822-SGS (Use of SRAM™️Chain recommended)
  • GRX RD-RX822-GS (Use of SRAM™️Chain recommended)


  • XPLR


"Unofficial Solutions"

The chart above shows the many off-the-shelf options which can work with e*thirteen cassettes. In addition to these, there are many aftermarket upgrades available to either increase the capacity of certain road derailleurs or to modify the operation of others.

While we have not tested most of these solutions in any rigorous way, we have had good success with some adapter products from Wolf Tooth Components, and more recently with the 12 speed upgrade for SRAM mechanical shifters from Ratio Technology

If you've had good success with an alternative setup, post a comment below or shoot us a message and we'll update our list!


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Are Helix Cassette Parts Backwards Compatible with TRS+ Cassettes?

Helix 11 Speed 9-46 - No backwards compatibility

11 speed Helix parts are not backwards compatible with 11 speed TRS+ cassettes, regardless of generation.



Helix 12 Speed 9-50 vs TRS+ 12 Speed 9-50 - Yes!

12 Speed Helix 9-50 parts are backwards compatible with 12 speed 9-50 TRS+ cassette parts.


Helix 12 Speed 9-50 vs TRS+ 12 Speed 9-46 - NO!

12 Speed Helix 9-50 parts are NOT backwards compatible with 12 speed 9-46 TRS+ cassette parts.


The Fine Print - misaligned lock screw

The first production batch of Helix 9-50 Cassettes included an error in the location of the lock screw. Because of this error, if a Helix steel piece is installed on a TRS+ aluminum section or vice versa, the lock screw holes will not line up!

This includes all Helix cassette parts with date code 46M or earlier. This code will be laser etched on the cassette pieces with the rest of the date code. Where can I find my Date Code?

Helix parts with version code date code 47M or later are directly compatible with TRS+ parts.

Regardless of this hole misalignment, you can still use any Helix parts with TRS+ parts. We have developed a special lock screw to deal with the hole misalignment.

Please contact e*thirteen support if you have this issue and we will be happy to supply you with this lock screw.

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Is the Helix cassette approved for e-bike use?


Yes. The Helix cassette is now approved for ebike use. 


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Are bearings in e*thirteen LG1 DH integrated 7 speed drivers serviceable/replaceable?


Can I replace or service bearings in LG1 DH integrated 7 speed driver/cassette units?



Bearings in our LG1 DH 7s drivers are not replaceable. While it may be tempting to attempt, e*thirteen generally recommends replacing entire 7s cassette unit itself. This is because pawls, springs and to an extent driver bodies are wear-and-tear items. Pawls wear, springs loose their force and pawl pockets on the driver body can wear and open up over time. Since all our integrated 7s drivers come with new pawls and springs, it's best to replace the whole unit.


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Can I use an e*thirteen cassette on a Microspline or HG driver?



Answer: No. All e*thirteen cassettes require XD or XDR drivers for mounting

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Can I use Helix, TRS or XCX cassettes with a double (2x) chainring setup?

Answer: It depends on your rear derailleur capacity. 

The ability to use TRS or XCX cassettes with a 2x system is strictly dependent on the capacity of the rear derailleur.  Your derailleur capacity is the maximum amount of slack chain the rear derailleur cage can handle. The more potential slack, the bigger a derailleur cage you need. 2x systems generally require more capacity than 1x systems.

Capacity is found by taking the difference between your largest and smallest front and rear gears. 

(Difference between tooth count on smallest and largest chainring) + (Difference between tooth count on smallest and largest cassette cog) = Capacity. 

For example, if you are running 22-36 chainring and 9-39 cassette then: (36-22) + (39-9) = 44. This means you need a derailleur with a capacity rating of more than 44 for your 2x system to function correctly. 

Please reference your derailleur models technical specifications to find information about specific model capacity. 

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Are e*thirteen cassettes compatible with XD™ and XDR™ drivers?

Answer: e*thirteen cassettes are all compatible with both XD and XDR drivers.

XDR is a freehub body standard designed by SRAM to allow the installation of 12-speed road cassettes on an XD-style freehub body. It is 1.85mm longer than XD, but otherwise identical.

To use an e*thirteen cassette with an XDR™ driver, place a 1.85mm shim behind the cassette on the driver during installation.

Most wheels with XDR hubs will supply the necessary shim with the wheel. If your wheel or hub didn't come with this shim, you should be able to contact the manufacturer to supply a shim.

XCX cassettes are supplied with the necessary shim in the box!

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Can I run an e*thirteen 12 speed cassette with the new 12 speed Shimano™ drivetrains?


*With an XD driver, a few setup tips and the proper chain.

Note: For best results, our new Helix 12 speed cassettes are specifically designed to work with Shimano™ 12 speed MTB drivetrains.

The new Shimano™ 12 speed XTR™, XT™, and SLX™ groups are excellent kit, and you probably want to run one. We invested a lot of hours in setting up and riding these parts so we can recommend the best setup to maximize performance with our e*thirteen 12 speed cassettes. For everything we know on the subject, jump over to our comprehensive guides.

Quick Tips:

  1. You will need an XD driver on your hub.
  2. Chain length is king. It is critical to follow Shimano's chain length instructions for proper performance. (These instructions are also contained in our comprehensive guides!)
  3. Chain selection is important. Shimano's new 12s chains (CN-9100, etc) were designed to work specifically with Shimano's new 12s cassettes.. and may cause problems with other cassettes. Choose a chain according to the attached design graphic for best performance with your e*thirteen cassette. (These instructions are also contained in our comprehensive guides!)
  4. Setup may be a little different than you're used to. Shimano™ 12s spacing is a little different than SRAM™. Our cassettes were largely designed around SRAM™ spacing, since that's all that existed when we started! This means you need to focus your attention on the largest steel sprocket on your e*thirteen cassette. Set up your shifting and limit screws as normal, then check for rubbing in the largest steel sprocket, and fine-tune to eliminate that noise.
  5. B-Limit tuning. The setup markings on the Shimano™ 12s derailleurs are designed for their 51T large sprockets, and thus don't translate directly to the large sprockets on our 9-46T and 9-50T cassettes. The short answer is you probably need to adjust the b-limit screw out a bit to get the best shifting performance. (Did we mention our comprehensive guides? they've got instructions to dial this in.)

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Can I use a TRS+ or Helix 12 speed cassette with the SRAM™ Grip Shift™ 12s system

Yes, this setup is compatible.

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Is it possible to replace the steel/alloy section of my 11 speed cassette to convert it to 12 speed?

No, due to differences in cog spacing and different interfaces this is not possible.

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Is my TRS Cassette ruined if I rode it without the plastic bushing under the steel section installed?

Possibly - install the bushing and check function. If limited rides were done without it in place, it may still be fine.

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Do I have to use the e*thirteen 12s chain on the e*thirteen 12s cassette or will other manufactures work also?
Most 12 speed mountain bike chains should work including SRAM and KMC™, YBN and others.

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Can I use an 11 speed chain on the 12 speed cassette?

No, you must use a 12 speed chain.

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Did the steel sections of the TRS+ 9-46 cassettes change when you updated the alloy sections to the pinch bolt version?

No, the steel sections and interfaces between the two parts did not change. This means that steel and alloy sections of all e*thirteen TRS+ 9-46 and TRS Race 9-46 Gen 1 cassettes are interchangeable and backwards compatible. Gen 1 cassette sections are not compatible with newer Gen 2 cassette sections. 

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Why did you change from using a lockring to a pinch bolt for cassette attachment?

The change to the pinch bolt version simplifies the install/removal process dramatically.

Instead of requiring a proprietary lockring tool, now all you need is a T25 torx wrench to install or remove the alloy portion of the cassette. 

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What derailleur cage length do you recommend with the 11sp cassette?

For Shimano drivetrains both GS (short) and SGS (long) cage derailleurs will work. We typically recommend long cage versions as they tend to shift a bit smoother.

For Sram there is only one cage length option in the 11sp derailleur lineup.

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Which drivetrains do you recommend for your 11sp cassette?

The TRS+ and TRS Race cassettes were designed to work well with either Shimano or SRAM 11 speed drivetrains.

For Shimano drivetrains both GS (short) and SGS (long) cage derailleurs will work.

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Which chains do you recommend for your cassettes?


11 Speed Cassettes:

We recommend Shimano™, SRAM­™, or KMC™ chains.


12 Speed Cassettes:

We recommend:

  • SRAM­™ Eagle 12s Chains


  • YBN™ or KMC™ 12s chains

Not compatible / we do not recommend:

  • Shimano 12s chains


That doesn't mean others won't work, but we have tested and ridden chains from these manufacturers extensively, and we are confident that they perform well with our cassettes.

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