A couple of weeks ago SRAM put out a little video for Cage Lock, ‘the simple and easy way to remove and install your wheel’.
The idea being you can fix your rear mech cage in a forward position taking tension out of the chain and helping you drop your rear wheel out. That, on the face of it, is a pretty cool little feature, but it was really just a bit of a red herring from big red.
Here’s the official word from SRAM on what’s really going on:
SRAM TYPE 2 REAR DERAILLEUR
Introducing the SRAM TYPE 2 rear derailleur.
Designed for X0 and X9 families, TYPE 2 rear derailleur delivers maximum drivetrain stability—even through the most punishing technical terrain. With Roller Bearing Clutch technology, SRAM TYPE 2 eliminates derailleur bounce and chain slap without sacrificing precision.
Roller Bearing Clutch Technology
• A one-way roller clutch controls chain tension for consistent shifting.
• Needle bearing
• Self lubricating for consistently smooth action
• 360 degree clutch force for reliability and durability
Tuned Clutch Force
• TYPE2’s clutch force comes factory calibrated by SRAM
• Consistent shifting feel
• Maintenance free clutch design • Three Cage Lengths
• For precise drivetrain performance on all types of bikes and terrain,
• X0 and X9 TYPE2 rear derailleurs come in three different cage lengths.
Cage Lock Technology
The first rear derailleur of its kind, SRAM TYPE 2 lets you push your cage forward and lock it into place with the push of a button. This creates slack, removing all tension from the chain. With Cage Lock, TYPE 2 makes wheel removal and installation —as well as chain installation—easier than with any other derailleur on earth.
So, what does that all mean then? Well, essentially it means that the rear mech applies more tension to the chain than a conventional mech would. This should, in theory, mean that you’re less likely to lose your chain on bumpy descents and with a tensioned chain you’ll get less chain slap on your frame, so it’ll be quieter too. The Cage Lock system is actually pretty essential to all this. That tensioned chain would make removing the rear wheel a real struggle and the world doesn’t need more swear words uttered or grazed knuckles in the name of wheel fitting. By keeping the cage forward you can de-tension the drivetrain and enjoy quick wheel removal.
Right, great, but does it work? The short answer is yes it does, but there are a few things to mention. For a lot of riders this mech will do what it set out to do, namely keep your chain where it should be and stop the chain chipping your frame’s paint, but that doesn’t mean everyone who currently runs a chain device will be sticking them on the classifieds quite yet. The best way to describe its effectiveness is to say it’s an 80% chain retention solution, that is to say if you ran a Type 2 mech with a chain device you would have a 100% chain retention system, there’s just no way, short of something quite cataclysmic, you’d lose your chain. A Type 2 with a 2×10 system would sit at 80%, which for most us is plenty good enough.
I’ve been riding the X0 model for the last two days and it’s impressed me, but not in the way I initially thought it would. It certainly keeps noise to a minimum with less clatter coming from the chainstay area, and that’s something I’m looking forward to enjoying on my Orange Five back home. Having a quiet bike just feels better for those of us with mechanical sympathy and gives you one less thing to worry about. I can see this quiet bike thing becoming an obsession, I digress…
I have actually had the chain jump a couple of times, but only momentarily, the tension in the system drags the chain back to where it should be as soon as you pedal and it always happened at the chainset rather than the rear mech, highlighting the fact that that area was now the weakest link in the chain. Pun mildly intended. To be fair I’m pretty certain with a normal set up I would have plain lost the chain altogether rather than had a slight misplacement. As I said, it’s an 80% system, it can’t always save me from my poor technique.
SRAM are so committed to Type 2 that as of next year in the U.S this will be the only X0 and X9 mech available, the normal (Type 1?) mech will be phased out for aftermarket. Details for the European market are TBC, but SRAM will certainly be steering people towards the newer design.
Prices are the same as for the current generation models, so £195 for X0 and £87 for X9, and they’ll be available from April, yes, as in next month.
Update: SRAM now say that both Type 1 and Type 2 rear mechs will be available in Europe and the U.S.