FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — Tektro Racing Products has moved beyond its brake specialty to release a 1×7-speed drivetrain for gravity bikes, which it revealed last week at Eurobike. The drivetrain was the first of several new products on TRP’s horizon in the next two years.
Designed with input from five-time downhill World Champion Aaron Gwin and his personal mechanic, John Hall, the drivetrain was four years in development at TRP, which is Tektro’s brand for race-quality products. Louis Tsai heads a new production line located in Tektro’s Changhua, Taiwan, main facility.
“Bike parks or downhill and gravity athletes is who this is marketed to,” Lance Larrabee, U.S. managing director, told BRAIN at Eurobike last week. “It’s a way for us to slowly introduce ourselves to drivetrains, and in the next 24 months, we have a lot of neat products coming out.”
TRP will manufacture only a shifter and rear derailleur, allowing riders to select a cassette and chain.
The DH7 Derailleur’s main feature is a locking B-knuckle at the hanger, called the Hall Lock. A lever is integrated into the mount and can be closed and opened. Once closed it is locked to the frame and stabilizes the derailleur in rough conditions. This results in efficient shifting and chain retention, according to TRP. The derailleur also has ratchet-styled adjustable clutch.
The derailleur will retail for $180.
“One thing John would note during races was how much noise bikes made,” Larrabee said. “The Hall Lock was the result of making a quieter and better shifting drivetrain.”
The DH7 Shifter was designed not only for crisp shifting under duress but to be ergonomically efficient. TRP designed the levers to move in a linear path to mimic the motion of the rider’s thumb, rather than rotating away. This, according to TRP, results in consistent thumb contact and better grip.
“The shifter has a positive, snappy feel, especially when you’re doing rapid down shifts,” Larrabee said. “More like what you’d find in a Baja race truck than in a luxury car, where you’re wearing driving moccasins.”
The shifter will retail for $120.
Dirk Belling, TRP’s global marketing and brand director, would not say how much will be invested into marketing the new drivetrain. He said the company’s commitment is strong as it enters an extremely competitive market led by Shimano and Sram.
Seven speed “is a very niche product,” Belling said. “$1.3 million, $1.4 million (in marketing), what does it mean? It’s a lot of money. Our goal is the team has the backup and trust from management. We know we’ll have some valleys to go through.”