It wasn’t too long ago when an 11-speed cassette was thought to have one too many cogs. Then came 12-speed.
Now, 12 speed has yet to gain wide-spread adaptation. Shimano only has it on its flagship (delayed) XTR, SRAM just announced the 12-speed RED eTap AXS, after first foraying into 12 speed with the mountain-going Eagle groupset, and let’s not forget Campagnolo.
But Rotor, the Spanish firm better known for their hydraulics-driven drivetrain, cranks and power meters, is one-upping everyone else with the first 1×13 drivetrain, aptly named 1X13 after teasing it pretty much all last year.
Highlights include full hydraulic shifting in a clutched rear derailleur compatible to 12-speed (more on that in a bit) controlled with a carbon fiber brake/shift lever pushing mineral oil in both the drivetrain and a flat-mounted brake system made by German brake specialist Magura.
Rotor’s 1×13 runs on a KMC X12 12-speed chain thru a direct-mount chainring with options on a variety of Rotor crankset and power meters to match. The 13-speed, cic-machined cassette also features a variety of ranges for different types of riding: 10-36, 10-39, 10-46, 10-52.
The 13-speed requires the use of Rotor’s 13-speed specific hub that was launched together, but customers who don’t want to jump to 13-speed immediately or want to use their existing 10/11 speed compatible wheels will have the option to run the drivetrain in 12-speed configuration by activating what Rotor calls “The Bolt” on the rear derailleur body for the conversion. It requires one to use a 12-speed cassette (duh) and Rotor is also offering four of these: 11-36, 11-39, 11-46, 11-52. The groupset, according to Rotor, weighs 1,785 grams (flat mount calipers, uncut hoses: 1,800mm x 3mm / 1,800mm x 5mm, 160mm rotors, a 10-36t 13-speed cassette, a 126-link chain, plus all hardware).
Three build kits will be available in April: A full $4,900 1×13 Ultimate Performance geared for the road-oriented with carbon wheels and a 2INpower DM power meter; A $2,800 1×13 Adventure kit that includes everything but wheels and a ALDHU DM aluminum crank arms instead of the power meter; And finally, a $2,200 1X12 kit with a 12 speed cassette of your choice.