Words: Chris Herron
 
There was a time not too long ago that 11 speed drivetrains were all us mountain bikers needed to shred our local trails and climb and descend the big mountains. 11 gears, good range and reliable shifting. I even thought that any more gears would be wasted and reliability and durability would go out the window.
 
That was until the ‘Eagle’ had landed. SRAM dropped 12 speed Eagle drivetrains on us and it was bye-bye forever to 11 speed. I know most people who haven’t had the chance to ride Eagle could argue that it was only one more gear, but it is really is more than just that.
 
So, what do you do as a rider that has a perfectly good, expensive 11 speed SRAM XX1, X01, X1 or even GX drivetrain on their bike but want to upgrade to 12 speed? Well, don’t contribute to landfill is what e*thirteen were thinking when they came up with their 12 speed upgrade kit for SRAM.


The TRS+ 12 Speed Upgrade is e*thirteens answer to any SRAM 11 speed owner with that itch to upgrade to 12 Speed without dropping more than a weeks pay on a shiny new Eagle drivetrain.
 
The entire conversion kit comes in at a reasonable $499, not too bad considering what you get in the box. Plus, you get an even larger gear range thanks to e*thirteens 511% 9-46T cassette outdoing SRAM’s 500%.
 
When I first heard about this upgrade, I was pretty keen to get my hands on a sample to see exactly how they have achieved this feat whilst keeping most of your existing 11 speed parts on your bike, or at least replace some of your already worn drivetrain.


Opening the box for the first time revealed a 12 speed cassette, 12 speed YBN silver chain, some shift housing and cable, 12 speed ratchet spool, spacers and bolts and lastly a bag of tools and grease. Everything you need to get the job done at home. That’s right, I said at home, as this is what e*thirteen were intending when they thought up this conversion.
 
The ‘genius’ behind their conversion… change your 11 speed shifter to a 12 speed shifter. Pretty simple idea, executed by a rather simple upgrade to your shifter. It sounds daunting, pulling apart something most bike mechanics would tell you never to tinker with, but this is what they want you to do.