Not only has Flowrider Racing’s project trail bike given us a look at some Braking prototypes, it also reveals a prototype of INGRID’s long-awaited, all-new 12-speed mechanical rear derailleur. When we caught up with the Italian drivetrain component maker last fall, they teased a “one derailleur to rule them all” project was in the works, with talk of an early 2020 reveal. Well, it seems that official debut was planned to be Sea Otter.
But with the show getting pushed back until October, it was Swiss custom bike builder Flowrider Racing who has revealed their Revel Rascal project bike, featuring this prototype Ingrid 1x rear derailleur…
INGRID prototype 12-speed mountain bike rear derailleur
Flowrider Racing’s Marc Wohler didn’t just leak us some snaps of a prototype. He gave us a bit of story behind his unique bike build, referencing one of the first ever project bikes he put together back in the 90s.
But having worked closely with Giulio Mancini of Ingrid, Marc also shared with us a little back-and-forth mini interview to elaborate on why they decided to create a new derailleur from scratch in the first place. Scroll down for that full transcript…
Ingrid says they have a ‘grunge’ perspective on creating their own drivetrain. And we’ll take that to mean they plan to rock out on their own, with a low-budget approach to create some alternative for riders looking for something with a bit more character than a cookie-cutter Shimano or SRAM drivetrain. Their polished and colorful Made-in-Italy aesthetic carries over in this new Ingrid derailleur prototype that’s been in the works for several years now.
What do we know about the INGRID rear derailleur?
Ingrid previously described their derailleur project to us as one that could adapt to road, gravel and mountain bike builds. Now, this version is being dubbed a mountain bike specific rear derailleur. That change in approach could be chalked up to the adaptability of its design.
This pre-production prototype uses two main construction methods:
First, subtractive: This is Ingrid’s specialty… CNC-machined aluminum for much of the derailleur body and links.
Second, additive: The derailleur cage, cable routing guide, pulleys & a bit of the knuckle use a 3D-printed, polyamide composite.
Together, these two techniques give Ingrid flexibility and keep investment costs low – presumably to allow them to easily adapt or modify these composite elements to multiple cycling disciplines, without expensive additional tooling costs. They are a small company after all. It also means each individual element is replaceable, so the derailleur will be fully serviceable.
The prototype 1x Ingrid derailleur includes a clutch that appears to be adjustable, and it is shown here working with Ingrid’s 10-48T 12-speed cassette and 32T direct mount chainring on the 29er trail bike. While Ingrid says their own shifters are in development, this bike is build up with a SRAM XX1 Eagle shifter, suggesting the derailleur shares the same X-Actuation cable pull. Presumably, altering the geometry of the composite cable routing guide at the back of the derailleur could change production compatibility.
Ingrid does also give us a target weight of 265g, making it light… effectively one gram heavier than the XX1 mechanical derailleur. No word if it would be able to wrap a larger cassette since 48T is the largest Ingrid produces. But with SRAM at 50T & Shimano at 51T, it’s likely this derailleur will have a bit extra capacity in store, too.
So what are Ingrid’s plans for their new rear derailleur?
Ingrid hasn’t been shy about wanting to create their own complete drivetrain for either mountain bikes or dropbar bikes. This rendering is from all the way back at the start of 2017, when they first seriously envisioned the project.
Their chat with Marc reveals the MTB version is effectively complete and the mountain bike trigger shifter is coming soon. (You can even buy this one-off Flowrider Racing Revel Rascal, right now!) And Ingrid already told us last October that an “almost complete reinvention of drop bar shifters” would bring the setup to road and gravel, too.
With plenty of cranksets with 1x rings and 12-speed cassettes, adding this Ingrid rear derailleur to some upcoming shifters will see the project completed. Ingrid is vague when talking about timelines – completely understandable as they’ve just spent the last two months in a COVID-19 lockdown in Italy. It will surely take some time to move the new project closer to production. But we’re anxious to see it develop…
Flowrider Racing’s interview with Ingrid components
Full interview transcript between Marc Wohler (MW)of Flowrider Racing and Giulio Mancini (GW) of Ingrid components:
MW: The main question will be: When it will the [Ingrid] derailleur be ready?
Giulio Mancini (Ingrid): I don’t know! You can understand why. (Covid-19, still lockdown in Italy)
MW: Do you really want to compete with the big 2 “Shimano” and “SRAM”?
GM: No. How can a small frame builder think to fight directly against Specialized or Trek? As you know there are many faces in this market, such as in other [markets]. And the [correct] way is to discover the right one. After [having] shot some bullets in the wrong direction, maybe we found the right target.
MW: How can we call this way?
GM: I don’t know, if it was in music and in the early 90s, I think “grunge”. That was more or less the translation of “rock and roll will never die”.
MW: Okay 🙂 But why the drivetrain?
GM: Because it’s difficult, fascinating, and looks [like] there’s an empty room in that [for] “grunge”. So, step by step, after the first [cassette] extender for Shimano, the first L1 crankset, and during the development of the 11s and 12s cassettes, we started to study and prototype our first RD [rear derailleur].
MW: It was the missing link to complete the drivetrain…
GM: Yes, it was. And it was the challenge. Now it’s done and we are proud!
MW: Why should I prefer your Derailleur? What’s the advantage?
GM: Usually we prefer to [not] answer, except in some cases… [but the advantage here, is] because [of what] we do! Deeply, it’s made in aluminum and in PA (black parts). In 2 different and opposite technologies: one is based in removing material, one in adding material. “More or less” the same, one in one direction and the other in the opposite way. But both have some common points: flexibility, low investment, and closer to an “human-thought and hand-made” feeling. The same feeling that you can find in a carpenter, a jeweler or in a bespoke framebuilder.
MW: Can you give us some specs?
GM: Right now, it is a 12 speed MTB rear derailleur. The final target weight is 265 grams. Most important – all the parts will be available as spares.
MW: Will there be a Shifter too?
MW: What’s the price for the [Ingrid] Derailleur and Shifter?
GM: I don’t know yet.
MW: Thank you very much, Giulio!
And from us at Bikerumor: Thank you very much, Marc!