If you’re looking for an alternative to SRAM and Shimano the new TRP DH7 shifter and derailleur combo might give you reason to consider something different. Long rumored, the new downhill-specific 7-speed component group has some very interesting features that help set it apart. From ergonomics to function, they’ve not just worked around patents, they’ve designed something that does what no other drivetrains do. Here’s how…
The TRP DH7 rear derailleur gets two very unique features. First is the Hall Lock, which locks the mounting bolt to prevent it from rotating once installed. During testing Aaron Gwin noticed that normal derailleurs would pivot and move around that bolt (by design, not that anything was wrong with them), and make noise. He doesn’t like noise, as he makes very clear in this promo video:
So, his mechanic, John Hall, thought it might be good if the derailleur didn’t rotate around that bolt. TRP looked at it and decided there was no benefit or reason for it to do so, so they created the Hall Lock. It’s a simple lever that clamps down on that bolt sleeve to prevent rotation. And if you ever need to rotate or remove the rear derailleur, just flip it open to unlock it.
Check out our video to see it, and the ratcheting clutch and more, in action:
Destined for rough DH tracks, the DH7 features an adjustable ratchet-style clutch with a small on/off lever underneath. For bikes with lots of chain growth, stiff derailleur clutches can actually be felt through the suspension, while other bikes benefit from a tight clutch. Because of that, the tension can be adjusted to suit rider needs.
Designed with large diameter clutch surfaces, TRP engineered the DH7 with durability in mind as well as offering predictable force output of the clutch. There’ll actually be three pawls.
Just for fun, here’s what all the parts look like.
Not shown, the derailleur cage has a Chain Length Indicator marked onto it that is intended to line up with the other marking on the derailleur knuckle. When the two marks line up with each other, the chain is the proper length. There’s also a similar marking on the gack side of the derailleur cage above the top pulley for helping to line up proper B-adjustment gap.
Available in three colors, the derailleur will retail for $179.90 with the shifter sold separately.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
• Hall Lock
• G-Spec Ratchet Clutch
• G-Spec finishing touches:
- Carbon fiber cage & Upper link
- Extra wide parallelogram pivot
- Sealed cartridge bearings pulleys
Up front, ergonomics played a key role in the development of the DH7 shifter. Imagine if you could have a company custom make you a shifter to fit your precise needs and likes? That’s basically what Gwin was treated to as TRP worked to develop the new shifter. Their claim is that the shifter has unique ergonomics that result in “consistent thumb contact and overall better grip and shifting performance.”
Details include embossed grooves on the shift paddles, a user adjustable lever starting position for the lower lever, and a ball bearing housed in the carbon fiber body to keep things running smoothly with minimal effort.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
• Shift levers designed and located for optimum performance by Aaron Gwin
• Enhanced grip & tactile feel built into lever paddles: embossed grooves on advance and release lever
• Carbon fiber upper housing & advance lever
• Ball bearing equipped
• 7 speed
• Tool-free straight lace cable changes
• Rider adjustable home position of lower lever with a 40-degree range
Need to change a cable in a hurry? TRP’s Striaght Lace cable design means you can do it without any tools.
Pricing for the shifter is set at $119.99.
In other news, their oversized 223mm rotor, which is also a bit thicker, is now shipping for 29er downhill mountain bikes and all types of e-bikes.