It may come as second nature to most of us, but a new French company is looking to shift the way we change gears.
HxR’s Easy Shift crankset fits a freewheel in the bottom bracket and fixes your cassette to the rear wheel. It seems like a small switch but it means your chain remains in motion as you freewheel and you can change gear without putting in a pedalstroke.
The main advantage we can see is that it takes the anticipation out of riding. In turns for example, you won’t have to put in a stroke if you mess it up or churn the pedals if you’re in too high a gear. Maybe if you don’t have to think so much about gears you can spend more time thinking about the trail ahead.
Really you’re talking about miliseconds here though – maybe this is something for racers only to consider but it does also look quite cool for the rest of us.
What about the drawbacks? Well, firstly it’s only for 1x systems, so if you’re not on board with that yet, you’ll probably miss out. Also, you’re effectively riding a fixie so if the chain drops it will be like slamming on the back brake – maybe this is why HxR say running a chain guide is mandatory. Of course, chain drops are a rare thing in these days of narrow/wide teeth profiles, but it’s still worth bearing in mind.
This sort of system is already used by trials cyclists, and was trialled by Schwinn in the 70s, but this is the first time we’ve seen it on a 1×11 system. Do you reckon you’ll be giving it a go?
HxR sells a crankset, a freewheel and everything you need to fit it in one package.You will need to buy your own fixed rear hub and chainguide on top but HxR does sell its own versions. HxR believes it will fit almost any bike with a 1x set up. This set weighs 773 grams and costs €449 (roughly £390).
For more info, check out hxrcomponents.com