What is Hammerschmidt?

Although it was launched in 2009, there are a lot more Hammerschmidt-spec’d bikes for the 2010 model year. Cannondale’s RZ140 3Z has one as does their Moto 3, and Diamondback has models with it too. Cool name, but what is it?

Hammerschmidt is a revolutionary new product from SRAM/TruVativ for mountain bikes that eliminates the worst part on every bike: the front derailleur. The Hammerschmidt combines and simplifies the crankset, front derailleur, and chainrings all into one little magic unit. It is similar to a rear internal shifting hub in that  you can shift at any time, pedaling or not. The two-step shifting mechanism is controlled via a special front shifter available in both X.9 and X.0 levels.

Here’s basically how it works. In the low speed setting, it is like a regular, single chainring crank. Then you click the shifter, and it literally instantly engages the high-tech planetary gear system. As you pedal in this high speed setting, the single chainring turns FASTER than you pedal the crank. It is actually pulling the chain faster than you are turning the pedals. It is the coolest thing to watch.

Compatibility with bikes is a little bit tricky as it requires ISCG (international standard chain guide) ’03 or ’05 mounts on your frame at the bottom bracket. They advise in the tech manual not to use ISCG adapters because they are not strong enough structurally (even though it might technically work). The only bottom bracket you can use is the Hammerschmidt specific one. Then you need a Hammerschmidt front shifter. It takes some precision facing tools to install, then off you go. Hammerschmidt comes in two versions, All Mountain and Freeride.

I would love to see this technology implemented on road bikes. It will have to drop a lot of weight and mount differently to the frame in order to work, but I an dream, can’t I?

Hammerschmidt Exploded Rendering

Benefits

  • Nearly indestructable, you’ll never bend a chainring again
  • Shift while stopped or without pedaling
  • Buttery smooth shifting
  • Never drop your chain
  • Higher clearance
  • Ultra-cool freewheeling sound in high gear
  • Improved chainline

Downsides

  • Your friends might beat you up and steal yours
  • Not compatible with all bikes
  • Slightly smaller gear range (but since it isn’t oriented as an XC part, that’s not a big deal)
  • A little extra weight, but that’s the price you pay for indestructibility

MagicMechanics.com – Official Hammerschmidt Website

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