I have been a huge TRP Sypke Brake Caliper fan boy for years. Something about those dual actuated pads paired with compression-cables just makes a super nice hard braking system without the hassle of hydraulics. So, when I was at my local bike shop buying another GX Eagle cassette for my skinny fat bike wheel set, the wrench showed me the new TRP Trail12 system; I was intrigued. I knew about the TRP 7 speed version for downhill racing, so I was pretty excited that they added a 12-speed version to their lineup. I bought the cassette, a new chain and the TR12 derailleur and shifter kit and had it installed just in time for fellow BBR Test Pilot Dustin Marsh’s “Rolling Bike Snack Party Ride”(MMM… snacks) on the gravel Mecca in Elroy, Wi. I couldn’t wait to break it in.
Installation was a breeze. The alignment was almost perfect from the factory. I needed an adjustment to the lower shifter lever, so my thumb didn’t hit the bottom of the top lever. Shifting was tight, flawless, and quiet.
The quietness of the shifter is due to the Hall Lock built into the derailleur. The Hall lock is named for John Hall, the lead mechanic for Team Intense Racing Factory. The Hall lock is a lever integrated into the derailleur mount. It locks the mounting bolt in place after installation. Developed for stability, the side effect is noise reduction. With my Onyx Racing hubs, it is extra ninja quiet. I enjoy the quiet for sneaking up on creatures frolicking in the woods or Dustin. TRP recommends opening this lever up when working on your drivetrain and closing it when riding. An added bonus, when the Hall Lock is open, it makes removing the rear tire easier. When you remove the derailleur, you need to unlock that bolt first.
The TR12 shifter has some unique differences from other trigger shifter levers.
When you shift the lever it actually pushes straight forward, instead of an arc. Ergonomically correct, it works much smoother and faster especially on bumpy terrain. The contact point has a nice pattern and grips your thumb nicely. The shifter can be set at numerous angles to accommodate different riding types and hand placement preferences. This is really nice if you have larger or small hands. It can also be connected with Sram’s matchmaker mount for a cleaner look.
The retail price for the derailleur and shifter is $329. This price is comparable to Sram’s GX eagle and Shimano’s Deore XT 12 speed system. TRP definitely made a winner. I can see other companies following suit and adding a lock in the future. The derailleur weighs in as 282 grams and the Shifter comes in at 120 grams. They are both a mix of aluminum and carbon fiber. TRP doesn’t make a cassette but it fits almost all 12 speed cassettes from 9-50. It won’t fit the newer 52 teeth cassettes. My Sram GX eagle cassette works beautiful with this system. The system comes in three accent colors, black, silver, or gold. I opted for the black with gold because I knew my next build was going to have some funky cool brass brazing. One of my favorite features are the printed pictures on the clutch and jockey wheel to help align your chain. Adjust and lock the Hall lock and you are done. You are ready to ride. Brilliant, super easy setup.
I’ve put about 500 miles on this system it is still runs as quiet. Actually, it’s bit quieter after the new chain and cables have stretched. I did a quick adjustment about 300 miles in and haven’t touched the system yet. I’ve noticed that the chain doesn’t slap as much in the chunky stuff. It also hasn’t skipped. I also haven’t had to adjust the clutch at all. You can keep as much tension on the chain as wanted. I think this system may be helpful for people riding full squish bikes.
If you are interested in learning more about this setup check out TRP website at – https://trpcycling.com/
I give it a 4.75/5.0 Flaming Danger Gnome rating!