How do you make a splash in a world gone mad with addition cogs on the cassette? Add more, of course. At least, that’s what Phil Wood has done with their radical 1×13 drivetrain on a 222mm spaced hub. Pushing the 1x concept to the next level, Phil’s system shows what could be possible and while it may just be a concept at this point, we may see kits for sale in the near future.
How do you make a 13 speed drivetrain work with current components? Click through for the details…
Even though the drivetrain uses a custom Phil Wood hub, most of the components are standard. The rear derailleur is a normal SRAM XX1 model that has just been adjusted with the limit screws to work with the 11 speed chain on the wider range.
The rear cassette is also off the shelf, but consists of two different Shimano Ultegra 11 speed cassettes that have been mixed and matched. The result is a full 13 speed gear ratio without any duplicates, though some of the gear jumps aren’t exactly ideal.
In order to get through the gears, Phil Wood modified a stock SRAM XX1 grip shifter so that the first 11 gears are indexed and gear 12 and 13 are friction. Michael with Phil Wood mentioned the modification is fairly tricky, but can be done reliably.
Looking at the rear hub you notice the huge offset between the disc and disc side flange. This was done so that the hub was perfectly symmetrical and uses the same length spokes for both drive and non drive sides. Remember, this thing is 222mm wide! The hub uses a 12mm thru axle at the rear.
Built up to a fat bike, the frame set is able to run standard fat bike cranks in spite of the 222mm rear width which was chosen for proper chainline and chain and tire clearance. Phil Wood mentioned that 150mm rear spacing would be the smallest width they feel comfortable mounting the 13 speed system on, so it’s clear they are envisioning its use on standard mountain bikes as well. Currently just a concept, they are trying to figure out demand and how to package the kit for retail sale. Obviously, you would need a bike with a 222mm rear spacing, but custom frame builders should be able to accommodate.
What do you think? Is 13 speed the wave of the future?