Tektro’s all-new E Drive 9-speed mountain bike drivetrain promises improved durability for the high-stress life of an e-bike’s chain & cassette. With high-performance tech of more pricey MTB groupsets, the entry-level ED9 also includes an easily replaceable 3-cog cluster in the cassette to account for the most common e-bike drivetrain wear.
The production ED9 rear derailleur also hints of the revised layout of an anticipated TRP TR12 groupset update…
Tektro ED9 long-wearing 9sp e-bike drivetrain
Developed together with e-bike maker Conway, Tektro’s new ED9 e-bike drivetrain combines DH derailleur & shifting tech from their premium TRP family with a long-wearing steel 9-speed cassette for extra durability and lower lifetime cost.
Tektro says their e-bike partners were looking for a longer-wearing drivetrain. Especially on entry-level models, e-bike makers see increased wear in the smallest cogs, since riders often stay in those harder gears, relying on Turbo mode support to get going again from a stop. All that strain across the smaller number of teeth often results in costly early cassette replacement, while much of the cluster is unworn, reserved only for pedaling up the steepest inclines.
Like many low-cost groups, Tektro ED9 gets a pinned, stamped steel cassette. But its three smallest cogs are built tougher as individual steel cogs like in more premium cassettes, so they can be easily swapped out when worn. It’s a relatively simple and low-tech solution, but should save e-bike riders in service costs over time.
The 545g steel 9-speed cassette comes in one wide 11-46T gearing spread, with replaceable 11/13/16 cogs.
The Tektro E Drive 9-speed groupset includes two steel cage rear derailleurs to choose from, with 12T pulleys. Pick either the 361g M350 with a non-adjustable clutch inheriting TRP DH7 / TR12 chain retention tech, or the lighter 344g T350 derailleur without a clutch.
A simple 105g ED9 thumb shifter cycles through the 9 speeds, with a max 3 gear downshift.
Interestingly, the parallelogram layout of this new ED9 derailleur looks more like the next-gen TRP TR12 derailleur prototype we spotted last fall, minus the external adjustment levers. Perhaps with the simpler ED9 version already available on consumer e-bikes starting next month, we can expect to see an official TRP TR12 launch in the very near future, as well.
Tektro ED9 e-bike drivetrain – Cost & availability
For the time being it looks like the Tektro ED9 drivetrains are exclusively an OEM option on Conway’s Cairon hardtail eMTBs & trekking e-bikes this season, for example on the 3500€ Cairon S 5.0. Since the components aren’t available separately, we don’t have real groupset retail pricing.
The new 2022 Conways are online now, and will be available in dealer shops throughout Europe in February.