Are non-stick chainrings the answer to improved 1x drivetrain efficiency?

PMP releases range of distinctive narrow-wide chainrings coated with Teflon-like treatment

PMP has just released a set of 1x chainrings that are coated with a Teflon-like treatment that the Italian brand is calling PMC (Poli-Matrix Ceramic).

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PMP claims that this coating not only reduces friction — improving drivetrain efficiency — but that it also reduces chainring wear by anything between 30–40 percent. The coating is also said to be highly resistant to mud, oil and grit sticking to it, improving drivetrain longevity and reducing maintenance.

The matt grey finish of the coating looks rough from a distance, but, fumbling them with hands sweaty from stomping around a trade show for a couple of hours, the chainrings have a definite slipperiness to them that is quite unlike anything else I’ve ever felt before.

The chainrings have a distinctive hook machined into the leading edge of the teeth
The chainrings have a distinctive hook machined into the leading edge of the teeth
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

The chainrings also have a distinctive ‘hook’ machined into the leading edge of the teeth. PMP claims that this setup is more efficient, quieter and has better retention characteristics than a more conventional narrow wide profile.  

The chainrings come in at €89 and are available for SRAM spiderless cranks, Shimano four-bolt 104mm PCD cranks and any five-bolt cranks that use a 74mm PCD.

I asked PMP whether it has any plans to employ the coating on double chainring drivetrains and whether the coating would have any effect on shifting performance and the brand confirmed it is currently testing this and that early results look promising.

Whether or not a slippery chainring translates into real world performance benefits remains to be seen
Whether or not a slippery chainring translates into real world performance benefits remains to be seen
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Of course, whether or not this coating will actually translate into the claimed performance gains remains to be seen, but it’s undoubtedly a cool bit of tech and something that we’re really keen to try out.

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What do you think? Can a more slippery chainring really make that much of a difference? Or will you be shifting a double setup for the rest of time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments?