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Why we love Garbaruk

Posted: 1 November 2021 Products

If you’ve dropped in to our shop, you might remember a glass case full of drool-worthy bike bits. Recent visitors, however, may have noticed an addition to this area: Garbaruk components.

Shiny, functional and colourful, these Polish-made pieces have been the subject of much attention, so we thought it was worth doing a Garbaruk review, and exploring how they landed a highly coveted spot in BMCR’s Glass Case of Fancy Treasures.

Why did we decide to stock Garbaruk?

  1. Garbaruk have solved a few problems with narrow gear ratios, especially for gravel riding.
  2. Their components are extremely well-priced when compared to the big-brand alternatives.
  3. Their components are also lighter than their competitors.
  4. They specialise in what they do well, unlike some brands who try to be everything to everybody and end up failing.
  5. Those aesthetics. (That anodisation!)
  6. Crucially, parts were more readily available in the great COVID Supply Chain Decimation

Here’s a closer look at the range, and how to find exactly what you need.

Garbaruk cassette: no shrinking Violet. (Ba-da-bing!)

Garbaruk Cassettes

Garbaruk’s flagship product is their cassette. The range has options for 11 and 12-speed SRAM and Shimano, and all Garbaruk cassettes slot directly onto standard freehub designs for each brand and speed variant. Neat, huh?

Now, just pick your ratio option:

  • Shimano 11-speed: 11-46 and 11-50t
  • Shimano 12-speed: 10-52t and 11-52t
  • SRAM 11-speed XD: 10-46 and 10-50t
  • SRAM 12-speed: 10-48, 10-50, 10-52t
Meet the Garbaruk chainring

Garbaruk Chainrings

There are far too many options to list here; let’s just say you’re covered for almost every major manufacturer in 1x, road, MTB or gravel.

One important point to note is that Garbaruk machine their chain rings to suit Shimano profiling so it blends in, unlike other chain ring brands. (cough Wolftooth cough)

Hello, Garbaruk derailleur cage!

Garbaruk Derailleur Cages

Now here’s where the magic is: Garbaruk’s rear derailleur cages. Not content with just turning heads, a Garbaruk cage will also turn your low-volume rear derailleur into a monster that’ll take enormous cassettes. (Note: they’re only designed for 1x; forget having a 2x cassette with a 5-foot-long chain.)

Garbaruk’s rear derailleur cages let you:

  • convert Shimano 2x road drivetrains to 1x
  • expand Shimano GRX 1x derailleurs take a 50t cassette and
  • help SRAM 11- and 12-speed rear derailleurs become Eagle-esque MTB derailleurs.
Garbaruk pulley wheels - how can you resist?

Garbaruk Pulley Wheels

Garbaruk's crowning touch is their pulley wheels. Now, you don’t have to run Garbaruk pulley wheels for the derailleur cage to work -- regular boring ones work fine -- but you really should because they look awesome (and aren’t as expensive as you might think).

High-Value Performance

In addition to doing magic things to your drivetrain’s gearing options, Garbaruk components are also noticeably cheaper, lighter and just as well-made as the big-brand alternatives.

The cassette’s main assembly is milled from a single piece of steel, with nickel coating added for longevity. The largest cog is machined out of 7075-T6 aluminium alloy and bolted to the steel piece in 12 places to keep it rock-solid. Basically, it’s one single glorious chunk of metal that slides easily onto your freehub (and also comes off easily for cleaning). Similarly-made cassettes from SRAM and Shimano are both heavier and more expensive. The winner? Garbaruk. And you, of course.

Check out some evidence!

Garbaruk's affordability also gives us an ability to create custom builds and add personalised touches without blowing the budget.

What problems do Garbaruk components solve?

For 12-speed mountain bikers, it’s simple: Garbaruk components won’t disrupt your drivetrain at all, and are an excellent-value alternative to the big brands. Their 11-52 option also means you can upgrade to a 12-speed drive train without the need for a new freehub (or possibly a complete rear wheel).

For 11-speed MTB and gravel bikers, Garbaruk’s offering is much more compelling.

Garbaruk’s derailleur cage extenders let standard Shimano and SRAM rear derailleurs take MTB cassettes and give you a proper range of gears for all gradients. The multitude of chainring options then allows you to pick and mix to create the perfect total package.

Got it in black? Yes!

Our prototype build took a Shimano GRX Di2 drivetrain and turned it into a monster, with a 46t chainring and 11-50t cassette. This set-up has been thoroughly tested (e.g. thrashed) on some of Adelaide’s brutally steep gravel trails. It has not only made those 20%-plus gradients less horrific but also given the ability to spin up to 55-60kph on the descents without any trouble.

Putting a number to it, a 44t chainring and 11-50 cassette gives you a very similar range to SRAM Force Wide 2x. Granted, the spaces between ratios are larger but if you’re an off-road rider used to MTB drivetrains, it won’t bother you.

See? We told you it got thrashed.

The Anodising

If the colour options have caught your eye, here are a few pointers before you order:

  • These parts are made to order, which means that lead times are usually 8-12 weeks (though this depends on a number of factors, COVID-19 delivery times being one of them).
  • As different batches of anodisation give slight colour variations, we’d recommend ordering all of your anodised parts at the same time. This will give you a better chance of getting consistent colour across the range. (Trivia: did you know that the process of anodising is done by putting things in a bucket of chemicals and shooting electricity through it? #themoreyouknow)
  • Like any other component, anodisation is subject to wear and tear, and you’ll start to see this on places where the chain contacts the pulley wheels, chainring, and largest cog. It’s really not a big problem, just a warning that it won’t look perfect forever.

Garbaruk’s colour range includes red, orange, yellow, green, violet, blue (I can sing a raiiinboooow), silver and, for the stealth riders among you, black.

Garbaruk Top Caps, patiently waiting to finish off your build

HOW TO BUY

Direct from BMCR! We have one of the largest ranges of Garbaruk in Australia, and we’re also cheaper than big online shops that might come up when you first Google ‘Garbaruk’. *ahem* We can also ship Australia-wide.

So whether you’re after Garbaruk cassettes, Garbaruk rear derailleur cages, Garbaruk chainrings, Garbaruk pulley/jockey wheels, or Garbaruk top-caps, get in touch and get ready for some drivetrain magic.


What You Say

After buying a brand new bike from overseas, I was very disappointed with the brakes. I took it to my LBS and was told to throw the brakes away and put some others on it. I took it to BMCR, who gave them a quick bleed and adjustment. They went from Formula Frigged to Formula Frigging Awesome. Best…Charles Hatcher
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