Remember how we shared with you the SRAM Eagle hack that converted your current SRAM 1×11 groupset to work with a wide-range cassette? Now Ratio Technology in the UK has taken it a step further, with a new and more advanced DIY Upgrade Kit that takes your 11-speed mechanical setup all the way to 12 speed. Bring on the mechanical mullet!
Ratio DIY Mullet 12 speed Upgrade Kit: 11sp mechanical to Eagle
Ratio’s conversion kit will take a bit more do-it-yourself mechanical aptitude than Parallel Handbuilt’s BudgetMullet Eagle 1×11 hack, but the idea is the same. Tons of cross and gravel cyclists already have a perfectly functional SRAM 1x 11 speed mechanical drivetrain, and would love to get the gearing boost of Eagle mountain bike cassettes. And SRAM fully supports the ‘mullet’ setup of dropbar shifters mated to an Eagle rear derailleur… but the only solution they provide is the quite expensive wireless AXS eTap setup. But…
Parallel Handbuilt taught us how simple it was to hack together the dropbar shifter cable fin from your current 1×11 road/CX/gravel rear derailleur and stick it onto a new SRAM Eagle mountain bike rear derailleur. But that only got us the compatibility with wide cassette range. To go to 12 speed, you would need another tooth on the internals of your shifter.
Ratio created their own 3D-printed stainless steel Ratio 12-speed ratchet, , so you get shift spacing designed just for an Eagle mountain bike derailleur with your existing drop bar shift lever. The catch, you have to take your shifter apart and rebuild the internals yourself.
Ratio just sells you the DIY kit. But that £50 kit includes the new 12-speed replacement ratchet gear, plus a cable fin that they 3D printed from reinforced nylon (so you don’t have to take apart a 11sp road derailleur), a cable adjuster that you can add to the new Eagle derailleur to fine tune tension, a spare fin circlip, and the M2.5 bolt that hold the new ratchet in place.
How To: Ratio Technology dropbar Mullet Eagle 1×12 hack
And they have a detailed series of videos to guide you step-by-step through the entire upgrade process. There are three instructional videos: one to upgrade a SRAM mechanical brake/shift lever, one to upgrade a SRAM hydraulic brake/shift lever, and one to upgrade the cable fin and barrel adjuster.
It’s not a super simple DIY job, but Ratio thinks most capable home bike mechanics shouldn’t have too much difficulty.
Besides the normal tools you will need to undertake the job, the £50 kit does not include a new SRAM Eagle rear derailleur (obviously) so you’ll have to buy one of those – XX1, X01, or GX mechanical Eagle derailleurs will work (SX & NX will not).
You also of course need a set of 1×11 shifters to put the new ratchet in. Ratio says their kit will work with Red, Force, Rival, Apex, or S-series levers – both rim brake or disc brake.
Then once you finish, you will need an Eagle 12 speed cassette, and of course a compatible rear wheel with an Xd/XDR driver body (or of course an NX or SX cassette that will work on a Shimano freehub, but with a limited 11-50T gear range.) Your 1x front chainring will also need to be 12sp-compatible, as will your new chain.
It’s not as simple as say installing a new cassette or bolting on a new derailleur, but it doesn’t seem that complicated either. (One caveat is that you need to be sure that your cable routing will work, but Ratio has some helpful diagrams to make sure your frame is compatible.) And for sure this could be the cheapest and cleanest DIY solution we’ve seen yet to upgrade to a mullet 12 speed setup on your gravel or adventure bike. In fact, writing about it makes me want to buy a kit for my old cyclocross bike.
The kits apparently just came into stock today, even though they are still listed as “Available on back-order” on Ratio’s site. But in any case, you can place a back order for the kit now, with them expected to ship by the end of this week if you act fast.