A SRAM Eagle hack deliver business up front, party in the back. We’ve discovered how you can build a #BudgetMullet SRAM drivetrain for your adventure gravel bike, thanks to an insider tip from Parallel Handbuilt, a bike shop in the Netherlands. All you need is your current mechanical SRAM 1x drivetrain, a new Eagle derailleur, a few standard tools, and a little bit of patience. Then your dropbar adventure gravel bike will be ready for up to a 52T cassette!

How To: Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet dropbar Eagle 1×11 hack

How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

c. Joergen Trepp

Mullets, the same idea behind mixing 27.5 & 29″ MTB wheels and mixing MTB rear derailleurs with road cranks & shifters on gravel bikes. You get fast-moving efficiency up front and technical trail-capability in the back. It’s one of the reasons that the newest SRAM AXS wireless groups are so interesting, pairing Red/Force AXS dropbar shifters with XX1/X01 Eagle MTB Derailleur. But all that wireless 1×12 drivetrain options are still gonna cost you at least $1400 just for derailleur, levers & cassette. And you need to keep everything charged. Not exactly the best option for remote bikepacking.

So, is there a better way?

How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

Enter the #BudgetMullet SRAM Eagle hack. After some digging and measuring, Joergen Trepp of Parallel Handbuilt figured he’d try to make an Eagle derailleur work with his Rival1 shifters. Instead of aftermarket cages of leverage ratio gadgets, he uncovered a cheaper & easier solution, all the while sticking with original SRAM parts.

How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

The secret is the cable fin. That’s SRAM’s name for the small curved cable guide that directs the derailleur wire into the pinch bolt. That simple & replaceable part on all modern SRAM MTB & CX 1x rear derailleurs also happens to determine the cable pull, and swapping it can convert a regular X-Horizon Eagle MTB derailleur into a 1:1 Exact Actuation Eagle road pull derailleur.

But Why?

How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

The biggest cassette cog supported by the Force 1 derailleur is 42T, but swapping to a GX Eagle derailleur extends that up to 52T. Joergen is headed off to ride the Atlas Mountain Race next week, lugging a loaded bikepacking bike over the Atlas mountains in Morocco. And he wanted a wider gearing range (without resorting to a 2x) to crawl up steep off-road climbs, while not just spinning out on the descents & flat sections of the 1145km long self-supported race.

Let’s talk compatibility

How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

This hacked conversion requires a mechanical SRAM 1x road/cross/gravel rear derailleur to donate its cable fin. Likely, you already have this on the bike to start. If not, find someone who has broken one. (SRAM does not currently sell it as a spare service part.) Only Force 1 & Rival 1 are compatible, as their cable fin is clipped/bolted-on. With a steady hand, you might be able to drill out the rivet on a Apex 1 derailleur, but that’s on you if you try.

How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

As for the replacement MTB derailleur, you will need an XX1 Eagle, X01 Eagle, or GX Eagle rear derailleur. NX & SX won’t work since they rivet the cable fin on, and so you can’t really reinstall the donor fin.How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

 

Then, you are going to need a new 11-speed cassette to get the most out of this conversion. Remember, the shifter determines how much & how many times the cable gets pulled with each shift, so you still end up with a 1×11 setup. Since SRAM doesn’t do an 11-speed cassette bigger than 10-42 or 11-42, you need to look elsewhere. Any big 11-speed cassette should work, but be according to Joergen, “beware of chain length when using small cassettes with an Eagle derailleur.”

His ideal choice is a Sunrace 11-50t cassette for its simple setup. TRW Active also offers an 11-speed 11-52T cassette, a colorful Garbaruk 10-50/11-50T, or OneUp used to have a 50T Shark conversion for a Shimano 11-42T cassette if you happen to have one of those still laying around. And if you want the most range, look no further than the eThirteen TRS Plus 9-46t.

Here’s where the hack begins and we remind you that this is not authorized by SRAM, and is likely going to void your warranty. Now, let’s do it!

Step-by-step: Hacking your BudgetMullet Eagle derailleur

SRAM Eagle hack instructions, as provided to us: 

How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

Step 1: To remove the cable fin’s, remove the small circlip holding the fin using pointy tweezers or an actual circlip tool. Avoid using a flathead screwdriver as it may bend the circlip (you need to reuse it).

How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

Step 2: Once the circlip is removed, loosen and remove the cable pinch bolt. Now you can lift the cable fin off of the derailleur.

How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

Step 3: Swap the shorter Exact Actuation cable fin onto the Eagle derailleur. Follow these instructions in reverse to install the cable fin again.

How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

For bonus points you can also replace the cable wheel on an Eagle derailleur with the barrel adjuster from a Force1 derailleur, however [Joergen] prefers to go without and place an inline barrel adjuster near the cockpit for on-the-fly adjustments.

How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

Step 4: Go ride you newly Eagle-equipped dropbar bike on an adventure, confident in the fact that you just managed to hack together your own #BudgetMullet setup. And you avoided buying a bunch of expensive new wireless AXS components, working with a lot of what you already had mounted to your bike.

How To SRAM Eagle gravel 1x 11 speed drivetrain hack, Parallel Handbuilt BudgetMullet drop bar wide range adventure bike 1x11 drivetrain conversion

One last thanks to Joergen Trepp and Parallel Handbuilt in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. If anyone at SRAM asks, we don’t know him, he doesn’t know us, and we don’t know what you are talking about.

sram.com

71 comments

  1. NDOSS on

    I did this three years ago to a tandem bike, I posted it on World Bicycle Mechanic Forum. 20 minutes later SRAM called me and asked me to remove the post alleging what I did was not going to work. I removed it but I’ve been mad at SRAM since then.

    Reply
  2. Heffe on

    This has to be one of the best posts from this website in some time. Great! Now I want the hack to turn my 11 speed SRAM brifter into a 12 speed one and the goal will have been reached.

    Reply
  3. Blake on

    Or for brevity’s sake, just take the cage from the GX, graft it on to the road derailleur and be good with that. As long as you have the same type clutch on each derailleur, it’s a lot quicker and less hassle taking every smaller part to graft onto the eagle derailleur.

    Reply
  4. OriginalMV on

    “And if you want the most range, look no further than the eThirteen TRS Plus 9-46t.”

    What’s weird about this article is this sentence above, because all the 11sp SRAM long-cage 1x derailleurs are already compatible with this cassette without having to cannibalize them to mod a 12sp mtb derailleur.

    If the goal is to increase the gearing range of a bike with 11sp dropbar levers, then logic would dictate that just buying am eThirteen cassette would be cheaper than destroying an 11sp and then buying a new 12sp Eagle derailleur AND a cassette.

    The only way the hack described in this post could be cheaper is if your existing rear wheel was HG and not XD-compatible. In this scenario, we are assuming that the freehub body is not convertible to XD and that you would have to replace the whole rear wheel with one that can take an XD cassette like the eThirteen. So, yes, you would need to replace the derailleur a 12sp unit that has a larger max cog spec, to fit an HG cassette with a 50T-ish max cog…….and then you would need to hack that derailleur to work with the 11sp road lever pull-ratio.

    I guess you could argue that you prefer the gearing jumps of SunRace, TRW Active, Garbaruk, or whatever…..but at that point you are raising a white flag on the “cheap hack” argument.

    But hey, why should Bike Rumor vet anything it posts when the comments are the reason they get traffic?

    Reply
    • Padrote on

      But hey, you think bikerumor has to bait know-it-all-bike nerds into making verbose “well actually” posts, like yours, that contribute nothing? You guys do this all on your own. This is clearly useful information for people that are interested in combining parts they have laying around.

      Reply
      • OriginalMV on

        Padrote:
        Well, actually, I am a professional bike nerd, and unfortunately a fair bit of my shop time is taken up by explaining to customers why what they “read online” is wrong and/or totally irrelevant to their needs. In fact, I literally just had a 45min conversation with a customer to shoot down what the internet AND another bike shop said.

        Snelbroek:
        1) Ok, the hack does not “destroy” per se, merely renders the donor derailleur inoperable indefinitely. No difference in cost on the front end.
        2) I had not noticed that eThirteen had discontinued their 9-46 11sp cassettes. It’s not like I sold a lot of them, but it is disappointing that I no longer have that option. BTI still has a few in stock though FWIW.

        Reply
    • G T on

      Exactly, that 9-46 cassette works great with a Rival 1x system, I ran one myself all last year, everything else was standard Rival 1x.

      Reply
      • Axel on

        Hi GT – that is good to know. I run my bike packing bike on Rival 1 and 11-42 – so I can change to 9-46 without problems. Officially SRAM Rival goes only till 42. But I guess it works with 46 too. Did need to adjust the derailleur? Also, did you have to change chain length? Thanks.

        Reply
        • G T on

          If you keep the same size chainring I think you’ll probably need a longer chain. Because I went from a 10-42 (IIRC) to a 9-46 I think I changed the chainring too, and I believe I went with a new chain, though I don’t know if it was a different length.

          I did definitely have to adjust the “b screw” on the rear mech, if you don’t it either won’t shift well or won’t shift into the 46 at all.

          Reply
    • Dhr. Snelbroek on

      1. You don’t destroy any derailleurs with hack if you’re using rival/GX and above.
      2. The ethirteen cassette gas been discontinued, but the concept remains the same with another 50t cassette or expander ring.

      Reply
    • Nathaniel Dixon on

      Came to post this. Contrary to the comment below, e*Thirteen does still make a 9-46 cassette (I just bought one) and it doesn’t destroy any derailleurs (it works beautifully with my Force1 setup). But if you don’t believe me, just ask e*Thirteen.

      Reply
      • Axel on

        Hi Nathaniel , that is good to know. I run my bike packing bike on Rival 1 and 11-42 – so I can change to 9-46 without problems. Officially SRAM Rival goes only till 42. But I guess it works with 46 too. Did need to adjust the derailleur? Also, did you have to change chain length? Thanks.

        Reply
  5. Victor U. on

    This is a great hack and an excellent, detailed article. Yes, similar setups could be done before, but this gives yet another option to us tweakers, and simplicity of the final setup is refreshing. Thank you, BikeRumor!

    Reply
    • Sinisa Petkov on

      Hi Stevo, I’m interested in doing the same thing. I have a Salsa Cuthroat 2019 with a Force 1 x 11 and I’d like to switch to a e13 trs 9-46. What do I need for this? The e13 trs 9-46 cassette and SRAM XD driver?

      Reply
  6. Ape Escape on

    @Blake I believe you mis-understand. Pulley cage length does not in itself increase cassette capacity, it mearly adds to the derailleurs ability to manage chain length. Upper pulley position and derailleur geometry is what dictates cassette clearance.

    Reply
  7. Ray Symonds on

    Rus from Paths less Pedalled on youtube did this in his cave of bad ideas series in december I think. Check there to see him go through the whole process

    Reply
  8. Adrian Engel on

    Paul Components makes a Sram Shifter Adapter that allows one to mount the Eagle thumb shifter to a standard road bar. I paired the Eagle set up with TRP’s Hylex RS brakes to complete the group. Rode that for over a year till I went to the AXS mullet. It worked fine.

    Reply
  9. Clip on

    I run a Shimano ultegra 34t cassette with 32×20 chain ring. Low as an eagle can fly. 2x yes though It’s hydro brakes and can easily get lower with the xt 42t cassette if i ever wanted to pedal in place.

    Reply
    • Alles Prima on

      Many frames cannot run their maximum tire size with a 2x system, many 2x systems are not durable enough for intense off-road situations/mtb’ing unless your name ends in van der Poel.

      But otherwise, yes, 2x systems offer better cassette jumps and in general a larger range for touring, no questions there.

      Reply
      • Dylan on

        What 2x crankset that can run 20-32 chainrings are you thinking of that isn’t “durable enough for intense offroad situations”?

        Reply
  10. Simon Holzhammer on

    Thx for sharing this information. Had three Sunrace cassettes running and swapped two if them for Garbaruk ones. Much better build quality and shifting is world’s apart.

    Reply
  11. Ben on

    This is all very nice but completely unnecessary. Garbaruk 10-50 cassette works perfectly with Force RD – just need to change the cage to the one that comes with the cassette. I put 10k km on this combination including SRMR. Shifting was perfect.

    Reply
  12. Cal on

    12 speed 11-42 (or 10-36) and 11-36 cassettes would be very desirable for the more road oriented 1x cycling. No idea why SRAM haven’t made a 1×12 mechanical. What are they waiting for? I don’t want to recharge my gears, carry spare watch batteries and faff with my phone to ride my bike. 1x is meant to be simpler not harder.

    Reply
  13. Firly on

    Instead of sacrificing a derailler for its donor fin, such a fin could easily be 3D-printed, given that someone models one. They could sell for less than a buck each this way.

    Reply
  14. Andrei Piatrou on

    if only it is possible to buy it somewhere 🙂

    PS cage replacement solves the same problem (if only it is possible to buy somewhere) 😀

    Reply
  15. durianrider on

    Great hack.

    I run a 32×42 on my gravel bike. Force 1 rear mech and force 11spd shifters with TRP sypre SLC no faff brakes.

    How often you really need to pedal on gravel descents or any descent when touring or exploring? I use the DH to get out of the saddle and have a bit of a stretch.

    Reply
  16. Adam Kerin on

    I’ve just simply run a (poorly named) road link by wolf tooth, drops the derailleur down 1cm to allow the guide wheel to clear the larger cogs of mtb cassettes. I was worried re shift performance but done on two bikes now and its been awesome. ive also been able to run up to a 50t by replacing ghe guide wheel with a smaller 10t guide wheel as above 46 even on max b-tension an 11 or 12t guide wheel wont clear, but 10t does. This method leaves you with amazing range, still great shifting, and no voidance of warranty. Thanks wolf tooth. Last cx / gravel bike (Trek boone) and new cx / gravel bike – i run 11-42 for cx and 10-46 (garbaruk cassette) for gravel events, all i need to do between the two cassettes is a couple turns of b-tension adjust screw to allow clearance for 46t, a couple turns back again when put 42t back on to ensure crisp shifting, and voila, all the range i need and no taking apart derailleurs and voiding warranty. My bikes have been shimano equipped so the above hack wouldn’t have worked, however that led me to simply find the road link solution, and its been happy happy days for years since.
    *Note officially the road link is to extend road derailleurs to take up to 40t cassettes, but i have found using on road long cage derailleurs up to 46t has been no problems – shifting has been brilliant – at least with my shimano equipped bikes)
    https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/products/roadlink

    Reply
  17. James Richards on

    I love this, it makes me laugh inside, the demise of the front derailleur has people trying to find more appropriate gears rather than having 2x and gears to do everything, with out having to swap stuff around for ages in the workshop, I love tinkering but I love riding more,, 2x on road gravel touring makes so much sense, other you just spend all your time looking for the right gear, and it’s either too small or too big. You don’t see the pro’s on the road running 1x for proper days out?

    Reply
  18. Atte Karttunen on

    Great post, more of these please!

    So to my understanding this does the same as Jtek Shiftmate 9, just more elegantly and possibly cheaper if you’re lucky to find a broken derailleur from someone who is willing to give away the fin.

    My question is, would this work equally on a 11 speed MTN draillerur?

    Reply
  19. Paul on

    You can get all this options since couple of years from Stock-Rennsporttechnik in Germany. they have Sram roadshifters for use every cassette thats available on the world, up to 13 speed. 1×12, 1×13 , 2×13 . there you can get upgradekits or complete sets. great and cheap.

    Reply
  20. Sean on

    Hi there! This is exactly up the alley for what I was looking for! However, I’m curious if this mod works on the 11-speed SRAM GX rear derailleur (or maybe even 1 speed NX?)
    I’m stuck with a Rival shifter, and my frame will only take a 73mm crank, so thought might as well buy the entire NX/GX groupset.
    Hopefully someone can help answer this for me, and thanks in adnvacne!

    Reply
  21. Niner@forty on

    Another easier hack if trying to use a 11-50t cog:
    -Rival/Apex1 RD type 3 clutch
    -Get a pulley & cage from any eagle rd sx to xx1 which ever fits your budget. Less finicky, Leaves you with a road shifter friendly rd with a barrel adjuster intact (rivals have built in barrel adjusters vs force1 with removable one and replacable with a pulley).
    * Note why i didnt call for a force1 rd.
    Most force1 rds would be fitted with a 2.1 clutch which has the cage lock not matched to an eagle rd. Further it would cost you more.

    However i have my own hack of a gevenalle 1×12 shifters, sram mtb 1×11 rd, e13 9-46t cassette on my gravel/commuter.

    Reply
  22. jherrerob on

    Hi. I’m very interested in this hack. Anybody has thinked about print with 3D plastics the piece? Can be the solution because find a broken road rear derailleur can be hard.
    Thanks

    Reply
  23. smoothmoose on

    More and more I regret getting the Apex 1 build on my bike and not paying the extra $200 for Rival 1. My Apex 1 RD needs replacing and this would perfect just to buy a GX Eagle instead.

    I might try to drill out the cable fin on my Apex 1.

    Reply
    • Hcn on

      @smoothmoose, I guess you could do the mod mentioned above by just swapping the Apex cage with a cage from Eagle SX, NX etc.

      Reply
  24. Sinisa Petkov on

    Hi Stevo, I’m interested in doing the same thing. I have a Salsa Cuthroat 2019 with a Force 1 x 11 and I’d like to switch to a e13 trs 9-46. What do I need for this? The e13 trs 9-46 cassette and SRAM XD driver?

    Reply
  25. Ferry Verwijk on

    I did use a Eagle NX with succes! You only have to drill out the rivet pin from the NX, take the pin out the donor Rival derailler. The lower derailler arm has to be drilled to 4mm, to make it fit the Rival Pin. Cut the small nylon bushing from the Rival derailler and place it om the pin before you mount the fin and the circlips.

    Reply
  26. Ferry on

    You can use a NX derailleur, I did with succes. It does take some more work You must drill out the rivet from the origional pinou need to use the pin/axle from your donor derailleur with the small circlips) the original axle/pin is 4mm but ends in 3.5, so you must drill out the lower derailleurarm to make the 4mm donor pin/axle. And on the donor derailleur is a small nylon bushing, cut it off with a sharp blade and push it on the pin before you mount the cable vin.

    Reply
  27. Sam on

    This is brilliant. I have a apex 1 shifter and planning to use the X1 derailleur. Will it work or do i need to change the fin as well?

    Reply
  28. Neil on

    Have just done this hack using Eagle GX, Apex shifter and Garbaruk cassette. Works brilliantly! Many thanks to Joergen for his detailed ‘how to’ guide. Salvaged 11-speed fin from old 1x Rival RD. Only tricky part was removing the circlip. All my circlip pliers (standard motor car service tools) were too big. Eventually managed the task using a couple of jewellers screwdrivers.

    Reply
  29. Joe Nation on

    Anyone know if the reverse hack is possible/functional? By that I mean fitting the longer cable fit to a Force/Rival mech, so you can use an Eagle shifter with a smaller cassette. *mumbles something about the MicroShift 12 speed bar-end shifter and time trial bikes*

    Reply
  30. Marc Besancenot on

    I dit it this on my Cx bike, went from 11-36 to 11-46 for now and I am very pleased, it shifter very well and cost me just a new cassette (Shimano XT 11/46) and a Gx Eagle last gen to go up to 52 tooth cassettes. Thanks !

    Reply
  31. Andy Long on

    The cable fin is available from Ratio Technology as well as some custom parts to convert 11s road shifters to 12s and support Eagle 10-52t.

    Reply

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