Truvativ HammerSchmidt: Shifting Into the Future

in Cycling by Carl H. Martens

truvativ-hammerschmidt-detailThe concept has been out for years, internal shifting. We have seen it in internal hubs and even on Honda’s prototype downhill bikes. Now Truvativ has stepped into the game and brought internal gearing technology to the mountain bike masses. The Truvativ HammerSchmidt replaces the normal front derailleur with a completely internal drive system.

There are two versions to be available, one for all mountain and one for freeride. Truvativ discovered that the majority of riders in these categories used only two chainrings, so the system offers two selectable gears. It also provides chain retention to eliminate the need for chain guides, and a shifter, which is a near clone of SRAM’s X.0 shifters. That makes one think about the possibility of using it for single speeds/dual speeds.

One of the benefits to the HammerSchmidt is seamless shifting, even while shifting backwards or under load. The compact design also increases the ground clearance substantially, as well as eliminates the potential for bent and broken teeth on chain rings without a bash guard. Furthermore a constant chain line means you can use your full rear gear range with either of your front “chainrings.” No more worrying about cross chaining with the Hammer! For compatibility the HammerSchmidt offers a variety of bottom bracket sizes and crank lengths, but it does require the frame to have ISCG tabs. Adaptors won’t work.

truvativ-hammerschmidt-disassembledIt is a breakthrough in design, and at an expected $700-$800 it seems the adage you get what you pay for holds true. But keep in mind this is the whole package; cranks, bottom bracket, and shifter. Plus you can kiss that wimpy old front derailleur goodbye. One negative to the HammerSchmidt is weight. Compared to similar crank and BB combos the HammerSchmidt runs anywhere from 100-500 grams heavier. Nevertheless an extra pound may be a worthwhile sacrifice for all of the benefits the Hammer offers. In the near future you can bet on seeing this technology become lighter, cheaper, and much more prominent in the MTB world. Watch out cuz’ the Truvativ HammerSchmidt is just the beginning!

2008 Interbike Outdoor Demo: Truvativ HammerSchmidt

in Cycling by Carl H. Martens

The Cool Component: Truvativ Hammer Schmidt

2008-interbike-hammerschmidt-up-close

2008-interbike-hammerschmidt

The cool:

  • Crankset integrated shifting
  • No Front Derailleur
  • Integrated Chain Guide
  • No Cross-chaining the rear cassette – all gears accessible all the time
  • Increased ground clearance

The Details:
Two Versions — All Mountain and Free Ride

  • All Mountain is a 24/38 or 22/36 double chain ring equivalent weighs 1623 grams (incl BB)
  • Free Ride is a 22/36 or 22/36 double chain ring equivalent weighs 1785 grams (incl BB)

Both use dedicated shifters in the X0 or X9 product lines.

Price:
Around $750

The Review:
I rode the TruVative All Mountain Hammer Schmidt integrated front shift system. It worked as advertised – even when I plowed through the SRAM obstacle course knocking out some of the obstacles – but I never miss-shifted or dropped a chain. It shifted when pedaling backwards, forwards or when not pedaling at all. Ground clearance was great and even when you do hit something, you’re not going to damage a chain-ring or drop the chain. I’m looking forward to getting a longer test ride, the Hammer Schmidt equipped test bikes were in high demand at the Interbike Dirt Demo this year. This system is well sealed and looks to be up for serious abuse – and is still serviceable when needed.

Notes: It does require International Standard Chainguide tabs on the bike frame.
Info: http://www.magicmechanics.com

HammerSchmidt Who? We’ll All Know Real Soon

in Cycling by Carl H. Martens

follow-me-to-the-futureTrends and styles of riding have burgeoned in recent years; almost always as a result of the constantly evolving technology that is present in the sport. The early 90’s yielded suspension to the mountain biking community which many feel has been the greatest advance in the sport of mountain biking to date. In spite of this, some traditionalists have dismissed this development and fully embraced the simplicity of the fully rigid frame. While the significance of suspension may be debatable to some, especially with the evolution in frame geometry, production of disc brakes, and improvements in wheel and tire design, SRAM has boldly added another contender to the debate, the Truvativ HammerSchmidt front shifting line, that should make any rider of any style momentarily recede from the debate and eagerly await their chance to try out this new advancement. Leaving the front derailleur obsolete, the HammerSchmidt is a breakthrough in front transmission technology that provides the same benefits of a duel ring system neatly packed into one single ring.

The Truvativ HammerSchmidt will overcome many of the problems encountered with a two or three ring system. Riding with traditional two or three ring systems require constant attention and planning in response to the approaching terrain. In fact, shifting is an art that requires careful timing to successfully shift your front derailleur, especially in situations with abrupt terrain changes. A surprise incline can leave you in a precarious situation as you desperately try to keep the pedals moving in order to guide the chain to the lower ring. Similarly, many chainring teeth are ravaged as they unsuccessfully clear trail obstructions, or an unsuspecting rider is granted the surprise of zero chain tension as they begin to crank upwards after a bumpy downhill jolted the chain completely off of the rings. The HammerSchmidt should successfully evade all of these problems, all the while packaged into a cool, sleek design.