The Truvativ HammerSchmidt All Mountain Crankset could revolutionize bicycle drivetrains from this point forward by eliminating that last bastion of low-tech: the front derailleur. Gone are the days of jammed or dropped chains, missed shifts, and bent cages. The move is in favor of a seamless and bulletproof system that magically squeezes two gears out of a single chainring. The best part is that it will shift in any condition -- load or no load -- any time you wish.A system of planetary gears contained within HammerSchmidt's surprisingly compact and thoroughly sealed housing yields either a 1:1 or a 1.6:1 Overdrive gear ratio. Thus, a single 22T chainring delivers 22/36T versatility and a 24T ring provides the same range as a 24/38T. All along, the chain is held on tight by the included chain guide and you even gain more ground clearance, too. If you're envisioning downhill security with all-mountain versatility, you're on the right track.Even better, this wizardry comes with only a modest weight penalty and virtually no increase in Q-factor. At 1623g, a complete HammerSchmidt All Mountain system adds less than 180g to a comparable setup using a Truvativ Stylo two-ring crank and chain guide. It offers more reliable, faster shifting, and it's tough as nails and way, way cooler. The Truvativ HammerSchmidt All Mountain Crankset will only mount on frames with ISCG 03 or ISCG 05 tabs, and it requires the use of the matching HammerSchmidt bottom bracket and trigger shifter. Crankarms are available in both 170mm and 175mm lengths.
Strengths: The ability to instantly shift from granny gear to middle ring is as good as advertised.
Weaknesses: Mechanical drag when in overdrive. Had to grind it down to fit on frame of Kona Honzo.
I have always been curious about the HS and when in the market for a new frame had to get ISCG tabs to be able to try it out. Found a decent deal on a used HS on Ebay and decided to go for it.
When I first installed it I was surprised at how much drag there was in overdrive. Explanation: when you have it in "granny gear" it spins effortlessly and transfers all your power to the drive train. When you engage overdrive in order to simulate gearing of a middle ring there is a certain amount of drag that comes along with it.
Coming from a 1x9 I had envisioned myself mostly using the over drive to simulate the middle ring and then engage the normal mode when I had a long hill to climb. After seeing the drag I was worried that I had wasted my money.
However after riding with it for 5 days in Moab and Sedona I have fallen in love. I use it differently than I had imagined. I found myself primarily using the standard mode most of the time. Who knew riding in the granny gear could be so fun when you have the proper chainline? I realized that when riding 1x9 I had mostly used the lower range of my gears, so riding in the higher range of the granny gear was pretty comparable. The nice thing is now when I am ready to head downhill I can instantly kick it into high gear. I am using the 24 tooth ring rather then the 22 tooth which gives me a little higher gear ratios.
Strengths: Solid crankset! Had to make minor adjustments after first ride. Crankset would "ghost" shift from over-drive to 1:1 ratio.
After having the Hammerschmidt All Mountain crankset installed on my Maverickml 8 with aftermarket monolink to accomodate ICSG03 tab. During my first ride after initial install, the Hammerschmidt crank would "ghost" shift from 1.6:1 to 1:1. This is resolved by adjusting cable length and barrel adjuster.
Changing out the triple ring crankset to the Hammerschmidt has made a world of difference to the way I climb over obstacles. No more having to rock over rocks and logs with traditional triple ring crankset.
Strengths: Flawless any time shift (forward pedaling, reverse pedaling, coasting, standing still, under load). High ground clearance. Chain drop/suck nearly impossible. Cross shift all you want! Last minute shift if you didn't plan ahead. Shorter armed rear derailleur and shorter chain required (more crisp rear shifting as a result). Does not go out of adjustment once set up correctly. Can mount on ISCG frames that are not front derailleur compatible.
Weaknesses: A bit heavier than the comparable 2x AM setup. Noisy when hucking. Hums when in high gear. Expensive. Replacement parts expensive, but what high end component isn't? Requires ISCG or ISCG 05 compatible frame and that the tabs are properly faced.
I've always been happy with my 2x9 setup up on my trail bikes. I don't race and am not a speed demon on the downhill runs, so I seldomly using the big ring. Came across an awesome deal $300 for a mounted but never ridden set in box, so I though I'd give it a shot for my 2010 Specialized Enduro Comp I also picked up a the same bike swap.
FRAME PREP and INSTALLATION:
Initially, after reading the detailed section about frame preparation from the printed manual, I had some concerns that the LBS won't mess up my frame doing the ISCG facing improperly. It turns out that the tech knew what he was doing, and the facing came back perfectly within spec. Apparently, my ISCG tabs were almost a full mm off perpendicular from the bb axis. On the Enduro, the BB-ISCG-rear triangle pivot is one giant casting, and as such, you'd imagine the ISCG tabs would be pretty close to perpendicular with the BB axis, but no. The spacing washers that came with the crankset can accomodate a variety of BB-to-ISCG offsets (including flush). Once I got the frame home, the installation took about the same time as a traditional crankset. One note, Truvative's instructions does not note that which direction the spindle should be oriented. I used common sense (correctly) and oriented the longer end towards the drive side. I wonder if the DVD instructions (included) are more detailed...whatever.
Weird. First of all, as expected the reversed shifter trigger assignments was very confusing. I've used X9 and X0 shifters for quite a while, only now it looks and feels like a X9 shifter, but the buttons do opposite of what you'd expect relative to the gearing. In the Hammerschmidt, high gear (1:1.6) is normal and low gear (1:1) is pulled (think rapid rise for the front). I guess I'll just get used to it eventually, but poor design choice Truvativ. Even a simple toggle would be superior here. Reversed trigger issue aside, the other immediate issue I had was that I'm so used to giving the cranks 1/2 a revolution unloaded between shifts that I didn't take full advantage of the instant shift qualities of the Hammerschmidt. Furthermore, when I did conciously maintain load, I found the transition jarring as the instant shift is really that, instant--like slipping the foot of the clutch in a car. It's also impossible to tell which gear you're in just by looking. Another observation which really is a non-issue is the whining in high gear. This is normal, and I'm not so much bothered by it as annoyed by having to explain to nearby fellow riders why my bike make sounds. Lastly, when doing any kind of drops, some internal parts make noise, and I can notice this over the noise of the chain slap in the rear.
AFTER AN HOUR
The reversed trigger still confused me unless I thought about it consciously. I've started to tune out the extra noises and began to focus on the actual drive train performance as it relates to the riding. I LOVE it! The particular trails are essentially giant rollers--constant climbing followed by constant descents and repeat. In the past, I've always had to concentrate on when to shift and and plan ahead. Even with years of experience, sometimes I still lapse and find myself in the wrong ring up front. Now, I simply stay in high gear and pop it into low when I need it last minute. This way I can shoot up the hill much farther before the extend climb starts. Similarly, for the descent, I can now pedal through the rocks at the peak, start my tuck then shift up while beginning my downhill coast instead of having to spend time/distance making sure I've finished shifting to the big ring before my tuck. While doing some technical flat grade riding through a field of rocks, I was beginning to abuse the shifting by popping to high gear in between rocks (like 10 feet) and back to low once my front wheel got back up on the next rock. That's a bit excessive, but it's doable for whatever reason. I also welcomed the remarkable ground clearance. It's essentially the diameter of a 24-toothed ring!
AFTER A FEW RIDES:
Got used to the reversed trigger but still unsure at times which gear I'm in, but a quick flick of the trigger clears that right up. I'm totally getting spoiled by the instant shifting though. I find my self now shifting the front more than the rear if you believe that! I've got about 50 miles on it now and it works just as the day I installed it. No adjustments at all. It just works period. Both set of ratchet rings are each engaged by 3 pawls. The beauty of the design is that the 1:1 low gear loads the larger of the two ratchet rings which is about 3" diameter. This would exceed even that of some of the best hubs/freewheels out there in terms of load capacity. Plus, all the parts are user serviceable.
SHORT TERM VERDICT
Debatable at MSRP, but a definite YES YES YES at $300 and if you're not a weight weenie.
a All Mountain Rider
from Pasadena, CA USA
Date Reviewed: March 15, 2012
Strengths: I'm riding the Hammerschmidt AM and it is amazing!
As for the weight factor, note that when you take into account the loss of a large chainring & front derailleur coupled with the heightened ground clearance & add the efficiency of the Hammerschmidt... it's a huge plus!
While it does make a light whirling buzz sound in the 1:1.6 ratio I can discern NO drag. I really think people are hearing that (rather minor, certainly not loud as some say) sound and interpreting it as drag. I feel none). It was a bit louder for my first 2-3 rides but now is a non-factor. The sounds are not a distraction at all for me, in fact I use the louder clicking sound made by pedaling backwards in the 1:1.6 ratio to let people know I'm coming on curvy DH switchback trails. Very useful & only makes this sound when pedaling backwards.
Weaknesses: None so far.
Two thumbs up from this SoCal all mtn rider. (For reference, I ride 5-6 days/wk with rides consisting of 3-4 mile climbs of 1200-2000 ft. of vertical. Then technical singletrack trails [often rocky w/ drop-offs] back down - for me the HS is perfect)
Similar Products Used: There is nothing similar to the HS (not withstanding internal gearbox set-up... crazy money for those). I also ride a Shimano XT Hollowtech crank on my XC bike.
Bike Setup: IH 6 Point (17"), Marzocchi 55 Micro Ti (160mm) fork, Fox DHX 3.0 shock, Sunline DH superlight 26" wheel set, Schwalbe Hans Dampf 26x2.35 tires, Hammerschmidt AM crank, Sram X.9 short cage rear der, Sram XO shifters, 12/36 cassette, Nukeproof Electon pedals, Crank Bros. AM seat, Magura Louise BAT brakes.
a Weekend Warrior
from San Jose, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2012
Strengths: Everything advertised is true. Shift anytime you want, load independent. Integrated chain retention. More clearance than a traditional bash guard.
Weaknesses: HEAVY. Freewheel "rattle" as others mentioned. Spendy (but if you think about how much a nice traditional crankset costs, the extra cost is not too much given all the advantage IMHO).
Let me start off saying the rattling sound when you freewheel is audible, but not nearly as annoying as some make it out to be. Of course it would be nice to be quieter, but really, it's not that big a deal. Also, the drag in the overdrive mode is NOT THAT BAD too. Is it there, sure. But I honestly don't notice. Then again, I'm not doing XC races so perhaps I'm less critical over efficiency.
Prior to running the Hammerschmidt, I had a single-ring setup. This was light and I never dropped a chain but I also had less success clearing climbs.
I didn't want to run a traditional front derailleur, so I looked into the Hammerschmidt as a good alternative. Found a great deal on it and it has been a godsend.
Simply put: I absolutely LOVE it. It was one of the best purchases I made for my bike aside from converting to gravity dropper seatposts. If you can think of it this way: neither is really "necessary", but they make a positive improvement to your fun and performance.
With the hammerschmidt, all the advertised features are legit. Shifting is perfect. So fast. Anytime. Clearance for obstacles is impressive. Chain retention is also addressed with a variable top plate.
One caveat: make sure you buy the right version that matches your ICG tab spacing. I made the mistake and got the wrong kind, but fortunately my LBS was able to order the replacement back plate to address the problem.
It's going to add a pound or two to your bike if coming from a standard crankset. But obviously this is no light-weight part.
The crankset seriously rocks. If you hate front derailleurs more than extra weight, this is the best way to go if you want more than one gear up front. No complaints so far. It has worked flawless for me. Now if only they would make a lighter version, but I have no idea if they are even pursuing development anymore...which is a shame if so because this is an awesome piece of kit.
Bike Setup: 2011 Canfield One, all XO drivetrain (including XO Hammerschmidt shifter), I9 endure wheelset, 2011 Marzocchi 66 RC3 Evo Ti, 2011 X-Fusion Vector HLR with Ti spring, Chromag cockpit, Canfield Crampon pedals, KS dropper seatpost.
a Cross Country Rider
from Renton, WA, USA
Date Reviewed: June 30, 2011
Strengths: On the fly shifting, fantastic clearance, sealed assembly
Weaknesses: Heavy and noisy
This came on a bike I bought used from a friend and now I couldn't imagine using anything else. The on the fly shifting and clearance makes up for the weight gain you suffer. I haven't had any maintennance issues with it yet though after a year the bash guard has a crack...need to replace that.
Strengths: Great clearance, can use ALL gear combinations 2 x 9, instant shift
Weaknesses: noisy in overdrive mode
Very happy with this crank. If installed correctly, i.e., chain ring in the middle of the cassette, you can use all the gear combinations. With the 22 in the front and a 11-34 (or 36) you get all you need for steep uphill to light downhill. The overdrive, unfortunately, is less compelling. The whirling sound of the internal gears is not much of a bother but the ratchet sound is pretty annoying. Not a problem when you just bomb down a more or less obstacle free fire road but on technical trails the ratchet is just constantly making rather loud clicking noises. When you do not turn the pedals, that is, just coast down some technical trail, every little obstacle triggers that annoying sound. This sound makes the Hammerschmidt sound more like a 99 cent carnival toy than the $500 professional equipment is it supposed to be. After some time you learn how to minimize the need for the overdrive. Overall still a great product but SRAM better finds a way to silence that ratchet.
Strengths: Shifts quicker that any front shifter out there. Nothing comes close. Shift anytime, weather pedaling or not. Lots of clearance, looks great. EASY INSTALL with great instructions with lots of detail and a DVD.
Weaknesses: None so far.
This is a great product. I could not even think about going back to a traditional front chain ring set-up. This is good for weekend warriors, downhill, free ride, etc. However, may be on t
Similar Products Used: Traditional front chainring set-ups.
Bike Setup: Intense Slope Style, Hope Brakes and hubs, Mavic 721, Sram X9 (10 Speed).
from San Diego, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: August 31, 2010
Strengths: Instantaneous shifting, great ground clearance, very stiff, never cross chain again, looks awesome
Weaknesses: None really, but if you're picky, there is a bit of a winding sound when in overdrive.
I don't really see any weakness with the Hammy aside from the winding noise when overdrive is engaged. Just accept this as a given when using the Hammy. I'm not worrying about it. Nothing is perfect, but the hammerschmidt is pretty damn close to it.
Again, this is new tech, so it will take some getting used to. The upshift/downshift is backwards compared to a regular X9 shifter and pedaling with what equates to a 36t is a bit different, but will make you a stronger rider. I never have to worry about dropping a chain again or cross chaining. The setup allows me to go through my entire cassette in the 22t mode smoothly and easily transition to the 36t mode with no problem.
Shifting is near instantaneous and silent. Very little chainslap even when I'm on the 11t of the cassette. Since it has an integrated chain guide, I never once worried about dropping the chain. Usually when bombing down a long rock garden, I have to do a half pedal stroke somewhere just to make sure my chain hasn't dropped. Not with the Hammy. I was bombing down Barney Rubble @ Noble Canyon at DH bike speeds without fear of dropping the chain. Not once did I spank the bashguard on anything even though my DB Mission has a very low BB.
The hammerschmidt is a work of art that has people asking... "hey, can I try it out?" The most common comment after a short test ride is, "I want it."
Bottom Line... if your bike has ISCG tabs and you like to ride as fast and hard as you can. The hammerschmidt is for you. Just understand that it will take some getting used to. But once you change your riding paradigms, you'll be hooked.