Video: SRAM’s eulogy to the front mech

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As far as we’re aware, SRAM is still making front mechs – but as our reporter Rob is out in Italy right now finding out all sorts of exciting things, you never know – but SRAM has posted this video up on YouTube, eulogising the front mech:

Can’t see the video? Click here.

In suitably sombre tones, Voiceover Man tells us all that it was fondly remembered, but that, really, the new way (led by SRAM, natch) is better…

…what say you? Cobblers, or chapeau?

Barney Marsh takes the word ‘career’ literally, veering wildly across the road of his life, as thoroughly in control as a goldfish on the dashboard of a motorhome. He’s been, with varying degrees of success, a scientist, teacher, shop assistant, binman and, for one memorable day, a hospital laundry worker. These days, he’s a dad, husband, guitarist, and writer, also with varying degrees of success. He sometimes takes photographs. Some of them are acceptable. Occasionally he rides bikes to cast the rest of his life into sharp relief. Or just to ride through puddles. Sometimes he writes about them. Bikes, not puddles. He is a writer of rongs, a stealer of souls and a polisher of turds. He isn’t nearly as clever or as funny as he thinks he is.

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Comments (30)

    Just in time for the 10-50t 1×12 to be released in a weeks time.

    Would be better if it was a eulogy to all external forms of gear shifting so we could have good, cheap(er) gearbox bikes instead.

    It’s not dead yet if you have 29on wheels and actually pedal up hills.

    Cobblers…..I still want triple ring bike so I can link up my riding area… road and in road…..

    What vondally said +1

    No chance 1×10 or 1×11 is ample, man or even, person up.

    Cobblers! I have 1×11 on both my bikes and bolt a granny on as a bailout on all day epics.

    It is not the front mech per se……

    It is more that cutting down on gear ranges is an abjectly stupid thing to do where most people are concerned – especially when it is that vital low climbing gear that goes out of the window.

    It is even more galling when it is supported by abjectly stupid journos, who are in effect, paid by the riding public to represent their interests.

    Even more galling in some cases when you know the journo concerned is a classic case for needing lower gears to get his unfit carcass up steep hills.

    You know who you are.

    Room 101 for you my boy!

    I really really hate front mechs. Just saying. The new wide range cassettes and a suitable chairing should do most people . Does for me anyway.

    I can’t remember when I last used a front mech on an mtb

    Its not obsolete.
    Single ring systems still don’t offer the same low gear that nearly all MTBs were sold with for year after year. Couple that with larger wheels and the front mech still has a place

    What I don’t get is why we’re going from front mechs capable of 44-48t chainrings, and because that is stopping the chainstays getting shorter? not redesigning the front mech?
    If there was a front mech with a max chainring size of say 36t, maybe even 32t, its cage could be shorter and the chainstays could be a fair bit shorter. Not far off a single ring bike?

    You are wrong billyboy, on several points and your personal insults are not appreciated. Perhaps you’d prefer a different magazine.

    what an arsehole. No need for that at all.

    peakpedaler said on March 17, 2016

    It’s not dead yet if you have 29on wheels and actually pedal up hills.

    Somehow I manage. And I’m pretty puny AND lazy.

    …. so they will surprise us all with a gearbox then.

    1×10 on the hard tail is fine for me, but I still prefer 2×10 on the full suss which I use for longer/bigger days.
    Fine by me though, I prefer shimano

    Pretty sure a lot of us 24hour racers and bikepackers will still be rocking two rings up front.

    what ev’s ……………….
    I rock a double on my xc bike and 1 by on the full suss.
    Would not touch SRAM with a barge pole anyway.
    10 X 50 is a awesome range though. Catch up Shimano!

    No matter the hill, or bike. There is no reason to have a front mech with these new huge-range cassettes. Except perhaps at first, with cost. The cost will come down and everybody will have all the gears they need.

    A bit overdone. It’s only a front mech.

    Glad to be able to run 1×11 on both my bikes. Happy to miss out on the grinding changes from the granny. Always feeling the need for just one more, slightly easier, gear on some hills. I should just ride more.

    Why the need for the crazy low gears? I seem to remember Deore XT low gear in 1990 was 24:28…..

    1 x 11 is fine if you like the simplicity and can live with the gear range. However the weight saving is not all it is cracked up to be. I took off all my 2×9 drive chain weighed it and compared to SRAM GX 1X11 setup, GX is less than 200 grams lighter.

    @leadfold – It also means shorter chain stays – more room for suspension gubbins.. I have 1×11 on all of my bikes – I can manage with it – however on my 29er I sometimes feel that I’m ” behind ” the gear ( never on top of it?) I should really just get a 28… ; ] Dick waving about fitness Billy Boy is really not the point of 1 x systems at all- there’s loads of people with doubles or single speeds that could trounce me uphill or 1 x 11 gearing (My wife for one!) doesn’t mean that I can’t ride a 1×11 and I’m sure once the new wider gearing comes out (Allegedly) it’ll be even more suitable for more people.

    1) 2 x 10 is King (3×9 had too much overlap).
    2) Shimano all the way.
    3) Frame and Pivot issues, my arse, look at E Type or Direct Mount. (Check the Transition Scout, F Mech on the Pivot!)
    4) Mountain Biking is not Trail Centre, Most CX bikes could ride a Red route. Mountain biking is steep technical and grim weather.

    Mark, I like the magazine, in fact I think it has long been the best one out there. If you are worried about being insulted then can I direct you to our last exchange where you changed my forum name when you replied to the more derisive and belittling billybob! Sow – reap etc! This is a serious issue and I feel, very strongly, that limiting the range of gears, both high and low, will seriously damage the mountain bike industry. Ordinary punters will be put off buying bikes if they can’t get up a hill on them and the can’t get up a good head of speed on a descent. There is also the dark area that dogs product review journalism. Essentially you are there to enlighten us, and that’s what we pay you money for, because most of us are not able to adequately test stuff before we buy it. When the industry come out with a product which they label as a ‘wide ratio’ gear system, that actually has narrower ratios than the systems that preceded it, then I worry if you, as our paid representative, swallow what is essentially a misrepresentation of reality without challenging it on our behalf. Kind regards, billyboy

    Don’t forget, this is only one company saying goodbye to the front mech.
    There are others that are still embracing it and (I would think) always will…
    If you can get away with a narrower selection of gears, go 1by.
    If you need a larger range, stick with 2by or even a triple….
    All options are still covered.

    Calm down guys, if you want an argument, head over to Pinkbike!
    I’m personally very happy with my one by ten by Oneup, and was very upset by the irritation of deciding which shifter to use on my new road bike commuter thing, to the extent that I just ignore the front shifter now…
    But… I don’t mind what anyone else wants to use, I just don’t want them to tell me that their way is the only way. That’s kind of how wars get started!

    “this is a serious issue”

    Is it bollocks.

    Perhaps now SRAM can divert their resources into making jockey wheels out of something that lasts more than five minutes.

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