e*thirteen TRS Plus cassette review£299.00

Massive range in a more affordable 11-speed package

BikeRadar score3/5

Component maker e*thirteen rolled out the wide range TRS Race cassette last year. As gears continue to grow, e*thirteen has introduced a new version of the TRS Plus cassette with the same massive range as the Race version in a more affordable package.This new 11-speed cassette boasts an impressive range that makes it a contender with SRAM’s 12-speed Eagle drivetrains, but at a more reasonable price-point.  

e*thirteen TRS Plus cassette highlights

  • 11-speed
  • 9-46t range
  • 339g weight
  • XD driver compatible
  • $249 / £299

How it stacks up

The e*thirteen TRS Plus cassette brings the range of the TRS Race cassette to a more affordable level
The e*thirteen TRS Plus cassette brings the range of the TRS Race cassette to a more affordable level

e*thirteen still holds the high ground in the current range wars, with an impressive 511-percent range for the 11-speed TRS Plus and Race cassettes. The tooth count for these cassettes is 9-10-12-14-17-20-24-28-33-39-46t.

The company is hoping that the combination of range, weight and price will lure customers from SRAM and Shimano.

  • e*thirteen TRS Plus and Race cassettes: 511%
  • SRAM 1x12 Eagle: 500%
  • OneUp Shark 10-50 11-speed cassette upgrade: 500%
  • Wolf Tooth 49t GC cog for SRAM and Shimano 11-speed cassettes: 445%
  • SRAM 1x11 drivetrains: 420%
  • Shimano 11-46t XT cassette: 418%

We measured the actual weight for the TRS Race cassette with lockring at 300g. The actual weight for the new TRS+ cassette is 339g. This puts it at 13g lighter than SRAM’s top-end 12-speed XX1 Eagle cassette and 106g lighter than Shimano’s 11-speed XT 11-46t cassette.

It’s more affordable than SRAM’s top XX1 and XO1 Eagle cassettes, but more expensive than a GX Eagle unit. Though the switch to 12-speed also requires a new shifter and rear derailleur, which makes the TRS Plus cassette look more appealing.

Shimano’s wide-range 11-speed SLX and XT cassettes undercut the TRS Plus significantly, albeit with less total range. 

Ride impressions

The TRS Plus cassette has a 9-46t range
The TRS Plus cassette has a 9-46t range

Installation and removal of e*thirteen’s cassettes requires a few more steps than SRAM or Shimano cassettes. To install the TRS+ cassette, the three largest cogs are placed on the driver body and the lock ring is then threaded onto the freehub to hold it in place. Then, with the help of a chain whip, the eight-cog cluster locks onto the larger cogs through a series of locking slots.

(Detailed installation and removal instructions can be found on e*thirteen’s website.)

In terms of shift performance, the TRS Plus cassette is consistent, but not quite on par with SRAM or Shimano’s offerings. Chain uptake to a larger cog is a bit slower, particularly under power. When shifting the chain into a smaller cog, the action doesn’t feel as silky smooth as Shimano, which, despite the limited range of its 1x drivetrains, still sets the bar for refined shifting. 

That said, the shift from the TRS Plus’ 39 to 46-tooth cog and back is a smoother transition than the larger, somewhat clunky, jump between Shimano’s 37 to 46-tooth cogs.

The gap between gears on e*thirteen’s wide-range cassettes does seem more thoughtful than Shimano’s 11-46t cassette. How much this matters may be dependent on your local terrain.

It's also worth noting that many riders pair this cassette with a smaller chainring as a way to get a similar low-end gearing to SRAMs 12-speed groups. e*thirteen touts this as a benefit in terms of marginal weight savings and, more importantly, more clearance between the chainring and the ground. The downside is that smaller chainrings also tend to wear faster. 

Verdict

Over the course of testing, e*thirteen's TRS Plus cassette provided reliable, albeit slower, shifting than high-end SRAM and Shimano cassettes. The amount of wear on the three largest alloy cogs is acceptable. One nice feature of this cassette's two-piece design is that these high-torque cogs can be replaced while keeping the rest of the cassette. 

If you'd prefer to upgrade your existing 11-speed SRAM or Shimano drivetrain, rather than make the larger investment in a full 1x12 kit, the TRS Plus cassette is a good way to grow your gearing. 

Josh Patterson

Tech Editor, US
Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Age: 35
  • Height: 170cm / 5'7"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 72cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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