DISRAELI GEARS

SRAM 9.0 (T500-535-4?)

Starting in 2000, SRAM decided to merge the DI.R.T. designs that they had inherited from Sachs with their own ESP 1:1 actuation designs. Both traditions shared a love of composites and of innovative cable routing.

SRAM decided to go for stiffness with very wide parallelogram plates, something that most derailleur manufacturers have since adopted. SRAM also went for the DI.R.T style straight cable routing. In many ways these derailleurs were the prototypes for the modern classic that is the first generation SRAM X-0.

But there were more than a few flies in the ointment:

  • The derailleurs were not light, and, in fact, were heavier than both the Sachs DI.R.T and SRAM's own ESP series.
  • In my experience, the composite b-knuckle on the earlier models had a tendency to explode. I found this odd. SRAM were paranoid about b-knuckles exploding - because that was the famous problem with their very first design, the SRAM ESP 900. How did they let this happen again?

  • And then there was the look of the beast. It is strangely clunky and uninspiring.


I think that this is a late example of the plain vanilla SRAM 9.0. The giveaway is the aluminium b-knuckle. Its features are:

  • It is silver and black.
  • The b-knuckle is aluminium.
  • The inner parallelogram plates are steel.
  • It has a long, 92mm, pulley cage.
  • The pulley cage plates are the later speedier shape.
  • The inner pulley cage plate is aluminium.
  • The pulley wheels have sealed bearings - as on the SRAM 9.0SL.
  • The small plate on the inside of the b-knuckle that bears on the gear hanger is made of aluminium.

And despite being almost a SRAM X-0, it weighs a very, very chunky 264g. That is heavy!


  • Derailleur brands: SRAM
  • Categories: SRAM - the X series
  • Country: USA, manufactured in Taiwan
  • Date of introduction: 2002 for the 2003 model year
  • Date of this example: September 2003 - stencilled on inner pulley cage plate
  • Model no.: T500-535-4?
  • Weight: 264g
  • Maximum cog: 34 teeth
  • Total capacity: 45 teeth
  • Pulley centre to centre: 92mm
  • Index compatibility: 9 & 8 speed
  • Chain width: 3/32”
  • Logic: top normal
  • B pivot: unsprung
  • P pivot: sprung
  • Materials: Grilon composite p-knuckle, steel inner parallelogram plate, aluminium b-knuckle, outer parallelogram plate and pulley cage plates.
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