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Rotor 1×13: The Ultimate 13-Speed Drivetrain for Road, Gravel, and MTB

Rotor Introduces 1×13 13-Speed Hydraulic Single Ring Drivetrain

Rotor takes their hydraulic shifting solution one step further with a new single ring, 13-speed groupset. Simply called 1×13, the all-new derailleur & cassette promise wide ranges, more gear options, and better optimized cadence steps.

Introduction to Rotor 1×13 13-Speed Groupset

At the heart of the new 1×13 groupset is an all-new aluminum derailleur, machined in-house by Rotor in Spain. Combine that with a new range of 13-speed cassettes with tightly spaced cogs in a small machined steel cluster and a variety of larger cog clusters of machined alloy to offer ranges from 10-36 up to 10-52.

Compatibility and Hub Options

The 13 gear cluster does require a new 13s specific hub that currently is only offered by Rotor’s Rvolver, although it is a simple update using a standard Shimano-style freehub body with updated hub flange spacing. And in the meantime if you want to stick with current wheels, you can simply run the 1×13 as 12 speed, by adjusting a limit screw. Each of the four new 13 speed cassettes are also available in a 12 speed version that chops off the small 10t cog, allowing them to fit on a standard freehub body.

Shifter Options

The shifters are a completely other story. Since the shift indexing is within the derailleur, Rotor can use their current Uno road shifter or a new direct mount trigger shifter to cover everything from road racing to mountain bike trail riding.

Technical Details

Housing all of the shift indexing within the derailleur, Rotor puts all of the brains of the system there, making the actual shifters a simple mechanisms to push fluid for the shift. That makes the entire system very modular & less dependent on the shifter and those same 3mm hydraulic lines as their current Uno road groupset. The 1×13 rear derailleur utilizes a rather unique, open pulley cage design with a large one-sided construction that essentially cantilevers the lower pulley. The upper and lower pulleys are effectively on separate arms, which leads to a release function…

Derailleur Features and Adjustability

The derailleur incorporates a clutch to tension the long chain needed to wrap the biggest range 10-52t cassette. To get around Shimano & SRAM patented clutch releases, Rotor uses a simple mechanical switch on the cage that you push to disengage the pulley cage from the clutch mechanism. It is a simple & easy to do movement, but is likely going to be a messy solution in the real world as you have to press near the chain to release, and hold the lower section of the pulley cage to re-engage. The lower pulley does incorporate an interlocking, closed lower cage with some complex machining for the lower pulley that Rotor says offers solid chain retention and quiet operation.

Cassette Design and Weight

The cassette is equally unique in its design, using a standard Shimano-stye body, but placing the additional 10T cog outside, off the freehub body. Rotor stuck with 12 speed spacing for compatibility and the ability to stick with a proven 12-speed chain (by KMC.) Pulling the 10t cog off the freehub body, Rotor was able to offer a number of cassettes with very tightly spaced harder gears, while still offering huge range up to 520% with the widest cassette.

Hub and Shifter Compatibility

Yes, all of this 13-stepped goodness (craziness?) requires a new hub. Rotor’s Rvolver is the only one ready right now, but actual group availability is still a ways off, so there may be more options by then. Shifters are less critical to the new system, as they can work with any of Rotor’s hydraulic groups, no matter the number of speeds. The existing Uno road shifter will pair with 1×13 perfectly, but Rotor also has this new low profile, modular direct mount mountain bike shifter also.

Alternate 12-Speed Cassette Option

All of the cassettes are actually 12-speed spacing (even in 13-speed variations), making them a suitable alternate for Shimano or SRAM 12s cassettes. Each of the new sizes will be available as a lightweight 12-speed cassette, minus the 10t cog. With the 10t machined off, the 12-speed cassettes all get a standard 11t small cog and slide onto a regular hub and freehub, with a standard lockring.

Complete Rotor 1×13 Groupsets

All of the 13 speed tech is actually confined to just the new rear derailleur, cassette, and hub. But that means you can pick and choose from the rest of the Rotor lineup to build your complete bike. Most all of the Rotor cranks & power meters are compatible, with Rotor offering direct mount 1x rings in two tooth even steps in pretty much any size you could want (26-54T.) Pick the shifters that work for you, then the brakes (although you’ll have to look elsewhere for MTB brakes) and off to riding.

Final weights aren’t really nailed down just yet, but.. basically the new group comes out about 35g heavier than a current Uno road group, while adding a clutch and wider gear range. On the road that makes for…

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