You may sit and wonder what the idea with this Dual Drive is. This not very common drive train is proposed by Sram and it’s made from a 3 integrated speed hub and a 9 speed cassette which also includes a derailleur. Quite interesting indeed, but why would anyone need an external derailleur, together with one working inside the hub at the same time?
If you’re riding an electric bike or pedaling on a City Bike, Sram’s solution becomes a reasonable one if your bike has only one chainring. So, the 3 hub gears have the task of acting like 3 chainrings.
In the beginning, the way you shift gears might seem a little confusing. But, you’ll soon get used to it, as the system is very intuitive. Under the Grip Shift knob (simply turn forward and backwards to change gears) there is another small lever enabling you to choose the way you shift gears: by using the hub only, by using the derailleur or by using both.
Hub shifting is relatively fast, same as Sram 57, but the derailleur is a little more slower and noisier, compared for example to a Sram x.7). Plastic and the materials your finger gets in touch with do not leave an impression of quality, especially when comparing them with similar competing systems coming from Shimano.
The good news is that when buying this system you receive a complete package, without the chain of course. You receive a classical nut hub, a shifter with a very easy to read indicator, a derailleur for the hub ratios, and last but not least, the regular sprocket derailleur.
If the hub and its internal system spare you maintenance tasks, not the same things can be said about the regular derailleur and the sprockets which need your attention. This is why you have to be sure that you thoroughly clean them for extra durability.
Sram Dual Drive has been on the market for some time and it has been constantly improved. It did its job without any hesitation for normal shifts, but under load, it sometimes proved to be a little overwhelmed. It still is a very good solution for city bikes, its biggest advantage being that it is a cheaper alternative of Rohlhoff or Shimano hubs. Its gear ratios are enough for riding across town, and after getting used to Dual Drive you will change gear instinctively.
After all, just think that you will pull more rabbits out of the same hat: you won’t have to buy any shifters, cassette, hub, or even a derailleur. We recommend Dual Drive for all those frequent riders on city bike, especially if they have to pedal uphill on their daily route.
Weight: 985 grams (hub) 320 (derailleur), 162 grams (shifter)
Use: City Bike, E-bike, Trekking