Is that some new SRAM wireless drivetrain wizardry we spy?
Wow, what a weekend of racing the 2022 MTB World Champs was. But spectacular though the after-race celebrations were, look a little closer and you might have spied some interesting new tech. In particular, focus your eyes on the Scott Spark of freshly minted cross-country World Champion Nino Schurter, because we spotted a BlackBox marked drivetrain that looks very interesting indeed.
Given this was his tenth (!) elite World Championship gold, Schurter is clearly doing something right. So did the mysterious new tech help? It certainly didn’t hurt!
We spied some interesting bits and pieces on the drivetrain, and in particular around the rear mech. It’s obviously a wireless AXS drivetrain, but the mech itself is mounted directly to the frame with no separate hanger. This suggests it uses the UDH (universal derailleur hanger) system to give a more resilient and accurate interface.
The frame seems to be sandwiched between the mech, like a clevis joint, which should make it much stronger and resilient to impact. And in fact this was handily tested by Schurter crashing mid-race on the mech side, and then continuing on his speedy way with no obvious transmission issues.
We can’t spot any limit screws or adjusters, so does that mean that this new system – if it is a new system – is a bolt-on-and-ride? It also looks like the lower cage pulley or jockey wheel is alloy, and there’s some additional machining going on at the cassette.
Schurter wasn’t the only athlete to be sporting a BlackBox-marked drivetrain. Other SRAM-sponsored athletes had something going on too, including Yannick Pontal, who raced the eMTB XC race on the Specialized Turbo Levo, so it’s clearly not just an XC-specific part.
So is it something new, and if so, when will we have more details? All excellent questions, to which we don’t have answers yet – but don’t worry, as soon as we do we’ll let you know!