Acros A-GE hydraulic shifting now available in US

By Matt Pacocha, US editor, from Park City, UT | Thursday, June 23, 2011 1.55pm

Acros make waves anytime they show their A-GE hydraulic shifting system and now it’s finally for sale here in the US.

The German manufacturer has almost sold through their first shipment of 250 transmissions, which are only sold as complete packages, including front and rear derailleurs, housing and shifters. Marius Wrede, Acros’ general manager, said that the production of 1,000 more transmission packages are currently underway. The transmissions, which cost US$1,999, will only be sold as complete packages until the fall Eurobike and Interbike trade shows when separate components will be made available.

The paddle shifter both up shifts and downshifts depending on how it is pushed: the paddle shifter both up shifts and downshifts depending on how it is pushed

The paddle shifter both up shifts and downshifts depending on how it is manipulated

The four main components made up of derailleurs and shifters along with lines are said to shave 175g from the weight of the same quadruplet of Shimano’s current XTR components with properly sized housing and cables or more than 200g from SRAM’s X0.

But shaving weight is only a part of the story. The transmission promises to do the same for shifting that hydraulic discs have for braking — to totally change the game. Wrede explained that 40 prototype transmissions have been in the field since 2006 and many haven’t been re-bled since. In the stand the derailleurs move the chain around powerfully and precisely, especially out front.

The system is adaptable for 8-, 9-, and 10-speed rear shifting and triple or double front combinations. Additionally the paddle shifters can be customized in terms of both what lever action controls what derailleur movement — they can be set both ‘high-normal and low-normal’ and even which shifter operates what derailleur, so you can theoretically have a left hand rear derailleur control.

The a-ge rear derailleur's lower cage has a wide stance that follows the angle of the chain towards the top of the cassette: the a-ge rear derailleur's lower cage has a wide stance that follows the angle of the chain towards the top of the cassette

The A-GE rear derailleur's lower cage has a wide stance that follows the angle of the chain towards the top of the cassette

Both Thomas Vanderham and Cedric Gracia are on board to ride and race with the A-GE transmission and Acros is prototyping a system for Gracia in which the rear derailleur is controlled by both left and right shifters.

The cost of the parts are an obvious detractor, however, the initial outlay is somewhat offset by the reparability of the system. An entire derailleur can be easily rebuilt from slave cylinder outward and parts are promised to be readily available this fall along with the ability to purchase the systems pieces for use with a 1-by drivetrain or otherwise.

More than just hydraulics

While the A-GE transmission grabs the spotlight at every chance, Acros has an entire line of German manufactured components that will soon be available in the US.

Stand out new products, include a new A-Wheel .74 wheelset with 29in hoops. The set is based upon the manufacturer’s 26in set and use their 5-pawl .74 cross-country hubs, which feature angled J-bend spoke flanges and both quick-release and through axle compatibility front and rear (15mm front and 142x12mm rear). The hubs are laced with 32 Sapim Race spokes 3-cross at high tension to a 7000 series rim, which Acros extrudes in their Stuttgart facility. The rim is wide with a 21mm inner dimension, and the ‘Hump,’ which is a raised ridge that sits in the rim bed a few millimeters from the wall and lock the tire bead in.

The a-rim is tape sealed for tubeless and features the 'hump' bead lock: the a-rim is tape sealed for tubeless and features the 'hump' bead lock

The A-Rim is tape sealed for tubeless and features the 'Hump' bead lock

The set is claimed to weigh 1,580g and costs US$799; for $51 more ($850) Acros will upgrade the wheels with their RTR (Ready to Ride) package and include two Continental Race King tires, tubes and wheelbags.

Along with the wheels the BlockLock headset is surely useful, as it integrates elastomer stops within its top race that limit steering radius to 176-degrees (88-deg from center in both directions) to keep brake levers, shifters and lock-on grips from puncturing or denting the top tubes of light weight carbon cross-country and trail bikes.

The top bearing race of the blocklock headset features a groove with elastomer bumpers in which a key on the top cap runs limiting travel to 176-degrees: the top bearing race of the blocklock headset features a groove with elastomer bumpers in which a key on the top cap runs limiting travel to 176-degrees

The top bearing race of the BlockLock headset features a groove with elastomer bumpers in which a key on the top cap runs limiting travel to 176-degrees

Acros’ product with the greatest cult following is surely the A-Flat a 466g, $110 flat pedal popular on the downhill circuit and can be found unbranded on more than a few pro riders’ bikes. The pedals have a huge platform that measures 110mm by 120mm, but maintain a slim 20mm profile. The extruded aluminum body has a chromoly axle that spins on an oversized, sealed bearing and inner bushing.

The a-flat oversized platform pedals: the a-flat oversized platform pedals

Related links

The A-Flat oversized platform pedals

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