Rotor teased their 1×13 TT/Tri groupset last fall at Ironman Worlds in Kona, but now the first 1x 13-speed time trial & triathlon drivetrain is ready for your solo race efforts against the clock. At its heart is a single, simple new component – the bar extension end Rotor TT Shifter, which ties in with the existing Rotor 1×13 hydraulic allowing twelve quick shifts from your tucked-in position on the aerobars…

Rotor 1×13 TT aero hydraulic time trial groupset

Rotor 1x13 TT aero hydraulic time trial drivetrain groupset, Kona IronMan Ventum Profile Design concept bike
all photos c. Rotor

The secret to Rotor’s 13-speed 1x hydraulic drivetrain is that no matter what kind of bike you are building up, the rear derailleur which indexes & executes every shift is the same. The same clutched, hydraulically-actuated rear derailleur will shift your mountain bike, cyclocross, gravel, endurance all-road, or road bike. And now your time trial or triathlon bike, too.

To customize your Rotor 1×13 build for each bike, you just need to pick the right cassette spread – Rotor offers 10-36, 10-39, 10-46 & 10-52T options in 13-speed – and your front chainring. Paired with their wide range of standard or powermeter cranks for on or off-road, pick from 26T-54T round or elliptical chainrings (in 2-tooth increments).

(No word yet if Rotor plans to machine any larger, tighter-spaced cassettes or larger chainrings to cater more to time trialists for often demand their inherently increased power transfer efficiency.)

Rotor 1x13 TT aero hydraulic time trial drivetrain groupset, hydraulic TT Shifter

Then all you need is a single hydraulic shifter…. The first available was the road dropbar lever set with a right-only shifter combined with Magura hydraulic disc brake cylinders for road, gravel & cross. Then, the single standalone MTB trigger shifter was added for flat bar builds. Now, this TT shifter rounds out your aero bar shifting setups.

Rotor 1×13 TT – Tech details

Rotor 1x13 TT aero hydraulic time trial drivetrain groupset, Kona IronMan Ventum Profile Design concept bike

Like the rest of the 1×13 family, Rotor says the TT/Tri groupset offers all the gearing spread of a conventional 2×11 setup, “without the fallibility and wind resistance of a front derailleur“. Combined with Rotor’s aero chainring and crankset (or powermeter) setups, 1×13 TT promises to offer the greatest drag reduction you can ask for out of any drivetrain.

The new shifter itself is pretty low on drag too, as it essentially looks like an extra snub-nosed, one-finger hydraulic brake lever that fits on one of your TT bike’s aero extensions. And that’s pretty much what it is.

Rotor 1x13 TT aero hydraulic time trial drivetrain groupset, Cervelo Profile Design concept bike

The closed-system Rotor 1×13 TT hydraulic shifter is actuated just like the rest of their road groups, with a short pull of the lever dropping down a cog on the cassette, and a longer pull shifting back up a cog. The single trigger is meant to be easily accessible without moving your hand from the aero bar extension.

Shifting action still happens entirely at the rear derailleur, which means you don’t really feel the shift at the lever like with a traditional mechanical (or even electronic) shifter. It only requires a single 3mm diameter hydraulic line, which can easily be routed fully internally, and can navigate tight bends inside the frame with no degradation in shift performance.

1×13 TT – Pricing & availability

Rotor 1x13 TT aero hydraulic time trial drivetrain groupset option

Rotor has now announced four different 1×13 TT kits to get your time trial or triathlon bikes set up. All complete 13-speed Rotor 1×13 groupsets require a special Rotor freehub body to fit the 13-speed cassettes, so the two complete kits include either the special Rotor hub or a complete wheelset.

The top 1×13 TT Performance kit is built around a dual-side measuring 2INpower road powermeter crankset with Aero MAS (micro adjust spider) to dial in the position of the elliptical aero QRing chainring. Pricing starts at 2450€, also including the new TT shifter & hydraulic rear derailleur, plus a 13-speed cassette, the compatible 12sp KMC chain, and a Rotor Rvolver rear hub. For an extra 1100€, the kit can add a 50mm deep EU-made tubeless carbon complete wheelset (claimed 3459g complete weight with 50mm carbon wheels.)

A slightly more affordable 1×13 TT INspider kit starts at 2250€ with all of the same kit, except a lightweight Aldhu alloy crankset with a single-side measuring INspider power meter, again with the carbon complete wheel upgrade available extra (claimed 3368g complete weight with 50mm carbon wheels.)

Rotor 1x13 TT aero hydraulic time trial drivetrain groupset, Kona IronMan Ventum Profile Design concept bike

Like the rest of Rotor’s 1×13 groupsets, the TT version is also available in an 12-speed upgrade kit that pairs the new TT shifter & 1×13 derailleur to one of four Rotor 12-speed cassettes that fit on existing Shimano freehubs so you don’t have to upgrade your wheels right away. The 1×13 TT Groupset 12 kit is the most affordable way to get started, from just 1500€ it includes the new shifter & derailleur with an alloy direct-mount crankset & chainring, plus a chain & 12-speed cassette (to fit on your 11sp Shimano HG freehub.)

A fourth 1×13 TT Shifting Set option of just the new shifter and rear derailleur (443g claimed weight) should also be available soon, for 1000€.

Rotor officially says that the entirely made-in-Spain 1×13 TT groupsets will be available this spring. But while they have been added to their online shop, no official date has been set for when TT components are expected to be in-stock.

RotorBike.com

10 COMMENTS

  1. Don’t quite follow how the shift lever works but my take-away from this is: why do modern triathlon bikes look like a dog’s breakfast? All kinds of crap hanging off the saddle, seatpost, stem, bars, etc. Jeesh, ridiculous. With all the stuff flapping in the wind, why even care about what little drag a front derailleur would add? And is a front derailleur really THAT bad anyhow? Last time I dropped a chain was before switching to Di2 years ago.

    • The answer to why Tri bikes look the way they do is kind of obvious isn’t? The bike legs of triathlons can be long (I’m sure the bikes are designed with IM’s in mind); drafting isn’t allowed; and the triathlete has to carry all food and water/energy drink along with them. That means minimizing aero drag while allowing the athlete to carry everything that is necessary.

  2. The Rotor group has been panned in every review I’ve read. I’d like to see them succeed but in order to do so they might want to refine their mechanism rather than churning out more variations of the same technology.

  3. I’d have preferred to see that group on a sweet road bike. Any good modern road bike would do, this is a unique looking group, and have it assembled on possibly the ugliest bike out there didn’t do Rotor any favors. It’s an intriguing road group that deserves attention. Putting them on a triathlon bike repels it. Would love an in-depth study on a road bike tho.

  4. “wind resistance of a front derailleur”… that’s hilarious cycling irony, right? Can’t wait to see drag figures measured in milligrams.
    They forgot to mention that their 3 mm hydraulic line will greatly reduce drag compared to a 4 mm OD housing… that’s a 25% reduction in frontal area after all.
    Lousy marketing… but nice engineering nevertheless.

  5. I really want Rotor to succeed, but maybe triathlon is not a great place to pioneer a single hydraulic bar-end shifter when other vendors are already offering electronic shifting – which can let you have an extra shifter elsewhere, like the base bar.

    Unless you’re on a truly flawless, flat, junction-free course, there will be times when you need to change gear but reaching all the way forward to the tip of the bar extension is annoying at best or dangerous at worst. I used to endure that ten years ago because it seemed to be the best setup at the time. Now we can do it better.

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