Back at the start of December, Ratio unveiled their new drivetrain universal-fit Aero DM 1x chainrings, but also quietly rolled out a tiny alloy cable spool to bring life back to old SRAM dropbar shifters. And it’s a tiny little widget that’s the perfect example of what Ratio Technology does best.
- Develop low-cost solutions to extend the life of, or even significantly upgrade, the drivetrain components you already have. So…
What’s a Ratio Cable Spool? Why your SRAM shifter needs it?
Alright, so inside every SRAM 10-speed and 11-speed righthand shifter is a little plastic cable spool. That serves as the connection point between the end of your inner shift cable and the toothed ratchet inside the shifter that controls the indexed shifting of your rear derailleur.
Ratio says, “the most common failure mechanism for a SRAM shifter appears to be the cable pulling through [this] cable spool“. But SRAM doesn’t typically offer this as a service part, so a damaged shifter would most often be trashed.
A couple of years ago, Ratio made a 3D-printed nylon replacement spool with the double benefit of keeping old shifters on the road AND allowing further upgrades with custom Ratio ratchets. And they routinely sold out.
See, Ratio’s 3D-printed steel ratchets allow you to upgrade SRAM 11-speed mechanical shifters.
First, that was an upgrade to Eagle 12sp, then 1x or 2x road 12sp, then Campy Ekar-spaced 13sp, and most recently to road 12sp Shimano cassettes for even cheaper upgrading. That’s a lot of new life for old 11sp shifters.
But even first gen SRAM 10-speed that debuted in 2006 (two years older than Bikerumor!) can get those same upgrades, if you replace their original cable spool & ratchet with Ratio’s new versions.
Now, Ratio machines this new aluminum version from 6082 alloy in the UK’s Lakes District for extra durability.
And of course good looks. At least for those moments you see it during the DIY upgrade installation. And maybe for the glimpse you might see when changing your shift cables.
Ratio Cable Spool – Pricing & Compatibility
The new machined and anodized blue Ratio Cable Spool sells for just £24.50 (~$26 / 24€). That just includes the spool, install bolt & a sticker. Ratchets sold separately.
It will fit inside every 10 and 11-speed version of SRAM’s dropbar road, cyclocross & gravel righthand shifters as a replacement for the stock white or red plastic cable spool if damaged. That’s Red, Force, Rival & Apex. It is compatible with the stock SRAM 11sp ratchet, or… You can also install the alloy Ratio Cable Spool in the oldest (white spool) 10-speed shifters to upgrade them to one of Ratio’s newest 12 or 13-speed ratchets.
Note: 11sp SRAM shifters do NOT need this spool in order to upgrade to 12/13sp. That is, if their red plastic spool is not damaged. Read more here if you need extra clarification.
Get the new spool, upgrade ratchets, derailleur cage upgrades, and 1x chainrings that work with ALL 12 & 13-speed drivetrains – all UK-made and direct from Ratio now at: