9 speed has deep roots in cycling and has been around in various configurations dating back to the late ’90s, however, these configurations were almost always “3x” drivetrains consisting of a front derailleur with 3 gears and a non-clutch rear derailleur with a small range, 11-34 cassette. Prime 9 is unique in that it combines much of the durability and reliability of the traditional 3 x 9-speed drivetrains with the simplicity of modern 1x drivetrains. This creates a bomb-proof drivetrain that is easy to set up and has a simple user experience.
Isn't 9 Speed Old?
Rider: Richard Gasperotti
Prime 9 chains have internal dimensions that are compatible with modern Wide / Narrow chainrings and perform similarly to 11 / 12-speed chains.. Externally, Prime 9 chains have dimensions similar to existing 9-speed chains. This unique geometry allows for thicker side plates than 12-speed drivetrains which resists stretching over time increasing shifting performance while decreasing wear on the cassette and chainring.
Rider: Vincent Tupin
Photographer: Maxime Rambaud
On the plus side, most bike shops are familiar with the 9-speed platform already, not that you'll need to make many visits with this low-maintenance system. Slap on your new simple, durable, and high-performing system and enjoy the ride without hassle. More does not always mean better, and we believe that 9 is Fine!
"I love my Prime 9 setup. When the system was explained to me, I was originally skeptical that the range would have gaps in between gears that would have me searching for the perfect ratio... I was pleasantly surprised at how well the system worked and I never feel that I am in between gears during riding and shifting. I experienced smooth shifting and was overall very happy with the set up and performance."
-Eric Carter//Hyper Bicycles
"For riders like me who only pay attention to the clock on the way down, Prime 9 trades those extra gears for a simpler, less finicky platform."
-Seth Alvo//Seth's Bike Hacks
"After going to a Box Two Prime 9 drivetrain, it's a nail in the coffin for both SRAM and Shimano 12 speed drivetrains (too expensive, too finicky and unless you are doing XC riding, too many gears placed too close together ratio-wise)."
-James Balfa//Everyday Rider