E*Thirteen is a really annoying company name. It’s a pain to type into a search bar, with that * thing, which, among other things, reminds me of the end of a hot dog.
They are not Kurt Vonnegut. It is not there to be funny. Anyway, E Hot Dog End 13, as I will call them, makes mostly downhill "brah" type parts. Flat brim approved. I try to steer clear of most "brah sick-flow brah" gear, if only so I don’t find my hat brim slowly uncurling and flattening out. There is a link between flat brimmers and flat earthers, ALLEGEDLY.
Here at Analog, we’re not opposed to poaching good tech though, and although I don’t need a crankset that looks like it was designed by a 13 year old kid, I do like me a wide range cassette. Those have wider application than just Endurbroing around. Like bike packing, or touring, or just 1x road applications, like I have on my Veloci Plan Big.
Back in the waybacks, when Pontiac was still a car company, and DiscoVision was thought to be the future of home movies, we thought that any cog smaller than a 13 tooth cog was going to generate massive amounts of friction, like a visit to the in-laws during an election cycle.
Frank Berto, whom I love dearly, did a bunch of friction tests, and found that the smaller the cog, the more friction was generated. This is true! Why, you ask? Because the chain has to bend more to go around a smaller cog, so the links travel in a longer arc, generating more friction. That said, Campagnolo, who wouldn’t release something ‘slow’, have a 9 tooth driver on their new Ekar gravel group, and SRAM’s new AXS Red Grouppo, which is made for top level competition, features a 10 tooth cog on it’s cassette. These folks wouldn’t use these small cogs if it was going to make someone lose watts. So my guess is this: When Frank was testing chains, chains were tighter, they had to shift across less gears. Now chains are thinner and more flexible. They come with more side to side wiggle than older chains. And these new chains might not be quite as efficient on a 9 or 10 tooth cog as they are on a 11 or 13 tooth, but you will not be able to feel any difference. You will however, be able to run a smaller big ring and still motor along reasonably fast. I run a 36t chainring on my Veloci, and this 9-46 cassette. That’s the same top gear inch number as a 44t chainring x 11t cog, which is plenty fast enough in my slow book. You spin out a 44t on the regular? Get a bigger ring. A 40t ring gets you to the equivalent of a 50t x 11t, but you’d have a lower low gear than a typical road compact set up with a 34t middle ring and a 32t low gear on your cassette. In other words, this cassette kicks the ass of a normal ‘wide range’ compact race set up. It’s less expensive, and lighter too.
Putting the cassette together and taking it apart are a bit of a hassle. You need two chainwhips and you really wanna read the directions. It’s not hard, but it’s nothing like how you take a normal cassette apart. XD freehub body only.
Two things about this cassette to know, besides what’s already been said. One: E Hot Dog End 13 isn’t SRAM or Shimano. The shifting isn’t as good. Look, I don’t mean that it’s bad, it’s not. At all. It’s good, it’s just like a 94% vs a 100%. For everyone but elite level riders, non issue. It’s also a bit noisier, not because the shifting isn’t as good, but because of the way the cassette is made. The first 10 gears are made out of one piece of steel, in a sort of dome shape. Ostensibly so you can smuggle potent potables across the boarder. That dome shape sort of is like a resonator, and it makes the shift a bit louder. I wouldn’t ride it if it was annoying, it’s just a thing to be aware of if you are hyper particular about your bike bits.
Nut shell: very useful range, relatively affordable for a high tech cassette, shifts fine, decently light. Good work E hot dog star 13!