TRW Active is among the growing number of drivetrain companies who are challenging behemoths like Shimano and SRAM. The key selling feature is typically a combination of price and unique features, as a way for consumers to get performance without completely emptying their wallets. We spotted a near-production version of TRW’s upcoming 1×12 mountain groupset at Sea Otter 2019, so let’s dive in to some details.
TRW Active 12 speed MTB groupset
TRW Active may not be a household name, but they’re looking to become a force among lesser-known component manufacturers like Microshift, TRP, and SunRace. We showed their existing 1×11 grouppo recently, which is a huge value for less than $300 complete (at least when it was on sale at the time). They promised a 12-speed system soon, which we were happy to see in the flesh at Sea Otter 2019.
Overall, the system looks similar to the 11-speed group, with the obvious addition of an extra cog. TRW founder, Taber West, told us that they’re still refining the clutch in the rear derailleur – and once that’s done, it’ll be ready for prime time.
As far as we can tell, the crank set is a carryover model from the 11-speed system, likely with updated tooth profiles to account for the narrower 12-speed chain. The back-side of the crank should look familiar, with Torx bolts holding the ring in place.
Two cassette levels will be offered, in 11-50 and 11-52 sizes. These rely on the current Shimano HG design, because it seems that smaller manufacturers are struggling to get quick licensing deals worked out for the new Microspline freehub.
We should also mention that TRW Active is working on their own unique, 100% new freehub standard, which they say will be compatible with 9-tooth cogs and will be open to all manufacturers to license for free.
GravityWorx carbon enduro rims, new Reactor hubs, and stems
In addition to the TRW Active brand, founder Taber West also has an enduro-focused components brand called GravityWorx. They just debuted an updated version of their Reactor hub set, available in HG and XD drivers. The new hub has stiffer axles, new bearings, and a 6-pawl engagement system.
The hubs lace up to rims of up-to-36mm external width and 30mm internal width. Taber tells us that the rims are 100% tubeless-ready without rim tape, using a fully sealed rim bed. Spoke nipples are installed using magnets to guide them into the rim holes.
GravityWorx even does Enduro bars and stems, showing off aluminum and carbon models. Enduro-focused carbon stems aren’t common, and Taber says that they’re one of very few on the market.
We don’t have official availability dates for the new 1×12 system, but it sounds like late 2019 as a 2020 model year product. We’ll follow the story for more updates, and their development of the aforementioned new freehub standard that’s in the works. For now, check out GravityWorx and TRW Active at the links below.