Nino Schurter brought home a stonking 10th World Championship win aboard a Scott bike last weekend at the World Champs in Les Gets. While the win is huge news for the Swiss cross-country legend, it also brought some interesting tech to fore - SRAM's new direct-mount derailleur.
We spotted patent drawings of SRAM's direct mount mech on one of our routine US Patent Office trawls back in April and now a fresh prototype has been spotted under SRAM's Blackbox moniker on none other than Nino Schurter's Scott Spark.
With rumblings of the new tech making waves in the industry, we didn't think prototypes would be coming so soon but it's speculated to bring a host of advantages against a traditionally mounted derailleur. First off, it looks as if it will make the whole mech much stiffer, which should result in crisper shifting but it should also be much more resilient to knocks and scuffs. The mech's strength was seriously put to the test after Schurter's mech-side spill mid-race.
It also brings the mech closer inboard of the frame, keeping it well out of the way of trail debris and rock strikes. This new design will also save weight - albeit marginal - as it ditches the mech hanger completely, potentially replacing it with full carbon mounts.
Interestingly, on Nino's Blackbox version, there aren't any limit screws, as far as we could see. Perhaps SRAM has moved all limit adjustments onto the AXS app in this instance.
As I mentioned when we discovered the patent drawings, this doesn't look as if it'll be a direct swap for your existing derailleur as it mounts onto the frame in a very different way. Instead, you'll need a whole new bike that can accommodate the derailleur if you're looking to make the change.
If we hear or see anything else about this forward movement in drivetrain tech, be sure that we'll keep you in the loop.
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