One of the reasons why I’m going XX1 on my new Rosko mountain bike is the simplicity of running a single ring up front. When you lose the front derailleur, it lightens the bike up, while freeing up your trigger location for a dropper post or front fork control. XX1 runs a 32 or 34 up front and up to a 42t cog in the back, which is an incredibly wide range.
But what if I want to run a single ring up front with my XT setup? Before, you’d have to have a chain keep, which isn’t an issue, but it certainly doesn’t look as sharp without anything holding your chain to the ring. One of the first things I noticed on Tim’s Yeti SB95c that I rode was the Wolf Tooth Components 30t 104BCD ring.
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Finally! I get to see how these unique chainrings work. I’ve contimplated putting one on my cross bike because every single race I’ve done, I’ve dropped my chain going down technical sections (funny thing is, I never do it when I’m trail riding). The Wolf Tooth “Drop-Stop” design allows you to run as low as a 30t on a 104 BCD, which prior, didn’t exist. Right?
These rings achieve the impossible by designing the rings to sit at a minute offset to the inside of the crank’s spider. Viola, 30t on a 104BCD. Now you’re getting a little closer to that 32 x 42 range, if you’ve got a 38t cassette in the back.
Ok, so cut the shit, literally. How do they perform in heavy mud? Well, other reviews report zero issues but I’ve yet to test one out in those conditions. I will say that I didn’t drop a chain the whole ride, not even through rooty, technical, fast descents, or while hopping up and over logs. Hell, my XT double cranks can’t even keep my chain in place when I do that.