The number of narrow/wide chainring manufacturers continues to grow, spurred on by the success of SRAM’s 1×11 drivetrains as well as the popularity of wide-range 10-speed one-by conversion kits from companies such as One-Up Components, Hope and e*thirteen.
While single-ring drivetrains have their merits, they can also cause concentrated wear on the single chainring. Wolftooth and MRP have updated their chainring designs, each taking different approaches to fighting chainring wear.
Wolftooth has been producing chainrings almost as long as SRAM has been making its X-Sync rings. It has seen how quickly narrow/wide chainrings can wear, particularly when riding in muddy conditions.
According to Wolftooth’s Brendan Moore, the build-up of mud along the base of the narrow teeth is one of the primary causes of chain derailment on his and other companies’ chainrings.
Wolftooth claims its new narrow/wide design does a much better job of clearing buildup from the teeth
“In muddy conditions, the rings can pack up,” said Moore.
To combat this, Wolftooth will be rolling out a new patent-pending tooth profile throughout the company’s extensive narrow/wide product line. It’s worth noting that this patent, if granted, would not cover narrow/wide teeth, but rather, the profiles that allow the chainring to shed mud and debris.
The new design has more shaping along the sides of the teeth, as well as a relief area at the base of the wide teeth, making it easier to wipe away grease and dirt that can cause premature wear.
Component and suspension manufacturer MRP is taking a more novel approach to improving chainring longevity. The company has done away with the narrow/wide profile in favor of what it calls a ‘wave’ profile.
MRP is ditching the narrow/wide design and replacing it with a ‘wave’ pattern
The Wave Ring has teeth of approximately the same width, but in three different positions relative to the centerline of the chainring.
Every other tooth is positioned down the middle of the chainring to fit between the chain’s inner plates — just like the narrow teeth on a narrow / wide chainring — but rather than relying on wider teeth to provide retention between the chain’s outer plates, MRP has moved narrower teeth to alternating sides of the chainring. The pattern is goes like this: middle, inboard, middle, outboard, middle, and so on.
MRP claims this patent-pending profile provides the same level of chain retention as narrow/wide chainring designs with less concentrated wear on the teeth and an improved ability to shed mud and debris.
MRP will offer the Wave design for SRAM direct mount cranks in 28, 30, 32, 34, and 36t sizes. It will offer the chainring in 30, 32, 34, 36, and 38t sizes for cranks with a 104mm BCD. Last but not least, there will be 38, 40 and 42t options for 110mm BCD cranks.
MRP expects to begin shipping direct mount Wave Rings in December, with others to follow. Price range will be US$49 to $75.