We recently showed you the special 34/42-tooth chainrings WickWërks made for Katie Compton's (Trek Cyclocross Collective) new Trek Crockett, which she says yields a more useful gear range for most racers than a traditional 46/36T setup or even a slightly downsized 44/34T pairing. That new 42/34T chainrings and several others will soon be available to the public, too.
"The gearing options have changed from SRAM with 11-speed – everything's got an 11-tooth cog," said Compton's husband, coach, and mechanic, Mark Legg-Compton. "For a woman, and even the vast majority of amateurs, a 44-11T is just too big – you're never going to use it unless you're maybe on a group ride somewhere. I ran the gear calculations and found that with a 42-tooth chainring and an 11-26T cassette, you have a slightly lower gear in the crossover gear and a slightly bigger gear compared to the 44-12T."
Compton's particular version is specific to SRAM's latest Red 22 and Force 22 cranksets with their hidden fifth-bolt design but WickWërks says there will be a version for standard five-arm, 110mm BCD cranks as well. Retail price will be about US$140 but unfortunately, they won't be widely available until the end of November.
WickWërks has an impressively broad range of CX-specific sizes available
However, WickWërks does have standard Red 22/Force 22 cyclocross rings ready to go for 130mm BCD crankarms in a more conventional 46/38T size plus 46/36T and 44/34T sizes for 110mm versions. Prices range from US$152.50-158.50.
All of the new WickWërks rings share the company's trademark 'Bridge' design, which passes over riveted-on steel shift pins in favor of multiple machined-in ramps to help guide the chain on to bigger rings. WickWërks claims this not only yields faster shifts – particularly under load – but creates less stress on the chain, too.
WickWërks uses machined-in ramps instead of conventional steel pick-up pins