Tested : Pete’s eThirteen Helix Race Cassette Review.

With a fair old whack of range on offer, Pete has been running the eThirteen Helix Race cassette to see how it stacks up against the big guns.

eThirteen won’t be the first port of call when you think of cassettes but that shouldn’t be the case as their Helix Race Cassette proves.

Photos by Pete Scullion.

Key features:

  • XD™ and XDR™ Drivers Only
  • 2 aluminum cogs, 10 steel cogs.
  • PVD finishing on Intergalactic model improves durability and wear life.
  • 578% range
  • 9-52T: 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 20, 23, 27, 31, 36, 43, 52t
  • 12 Speed only
  • 392g
  • £319.95 RRP
  • ethirteen.uk

The Helix Race Cassette is eThirteen’s top of the range cassette, and thanks to its 52t top cog and tiny 9t bottom cog, sports a mighty 578% range, dwarfing that of SRAM and Shimano’s biggest efforts. Most of this ability to go one step down is the ingenious two-piece construction, with the outer being alloy and the smaller gar cluster locking into it. Both of these are replaceable when the alloy wears faster than the steel numbers.

These are 12-speed only and will only fit XD drivers but will work with SRAM, Shimano and TRP drivetrains. Some older, cable actuated Eagle drivetrains from SRAM won’t work as they max out at 50t but otherwise, the cassette should work just fine. This Race cassette is also available with the outer two cogs in a variety of different anodised colours.

Fitment is straightforward enough, as long as you follow the instructions to grease every contact surface. Whilst a clamping band might not see the best idea for a cassette attachment, the fit is snug and you may need to gently persuade the two separate clusters into place before tightening the grub screw and lockring.

Out on the bike, the step changes between the various cogs are small, two teeth for the most part meaning you’ll barely notice the difference between it and other cassettes when you’re riding around. The biggest jumps come lower on the block where the biggest jump is between the 11t and 9t cogs.

Beyond that, you simply fit and forget with the Helix Race Cassette, it does what it sets out to do with little fuss but gives you that extra range at the bottom end if that’s the kind of thing you’re after. It also comes in a wee bit lighter, if no cheaper than the SRAM GX equivalent.

What do we think?

If you want a wide range, light weight cassette, you can’t really go wrong with the Helix Race Cassette. It does what it says on the tin. The Helix Race’s younger sibling the Helix R also offers proper value if you’re looking to swap out a worn Shimano or SRAM cassette.

We love:

  • Plenty of range
  • Low weight

Could do better:

  • Not cheap
  • No SRAM T-Type option
  • XD only

You can check out the eThirteen Helix Race Cassette over on their website here.


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