Losing the Front Derailleur: The Wolf Tooth Bit My Indy Fab

At this point in the MTB game, probably one of the greatest inventions in the past few years has been the narrow wide chainring. Sure, there was a patent from a century ago, that called out a similar design but at a much larger scale but it was SRAM who first applied that technology to the cycling industry.

Later, companies like Wolf Tooth and Race Face adopted the narrow wide ring design, making it applicable to a wider platform. Basically, any system can use this ring design and work.

Independent Fabrication and a Wolf Tooth

I’ve ridden the shit out of my Tallboy with XX1 and have never dropped a chain. It really has changed how I feel about MTB gearing. I’d rather sit forward on the saddle and dig hard on the 34t x 42t than rely on a front derailleur for my trail bikes.

Without sounding like a complete idiot, who is crying Wolf about the big bad front derailleur, let me emphasize that they are very, very important. Especially if you’re riding an off-road tourer or embarking on a bikepacking trip, but for a daily shred sled, a 1×10 or 1×11 is a lot of fun.

Independent Fabrication and a Wolf Tooth

After bending the big ring on my Indy Fab 29r, rather than buying replacement Shimano ring(s), I sprung for a limited edition Wolf Tooth chainring in blue. Since I wasn’t going for the 42t add-on cassette, I sprung for a 32t.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been crushing the trails on this bike and haven’t dropped a chain yet. Wolf Tooth recommends a clutch rear derailleur, but I don’t even have that. Granted, with no swing arm, this bike has less movement than a full suspension. Still, no dropped chain, no need to shift up front, just immediate swiping up and down the rear cassette.

Independent Fabrication and a Wolf Tooth

The Wolf Tooth ring has made this bike even more fun! I also like that the blue matches the bike so well.

Independent Fabrication and a Wolf Tooth

Too bad those bosses are lonely…

Wolf Tooth rings come in just about every mount, BCD, in 32t and 34t for cross and MTBs. They’re made in the USA and range from $68 to $89 depending on mount.

  • Those rings look ace, I’m amazed it’s taken this long for them to be generally available. Really could have used one ten+ years ago when I built my 1×9 ‘daily shred sled’.

    • That technology wasn’t available even two years ago!

  • Tyler Nutter

    So good, I’ve been loving this chainring on my cross bike. Can’t wait to do the same for the MTB soon!

  • Ted Barbeau

    Are those Rubber Side Up stickers available somewhere?

  • Goog Smells

    I like that bit of rusted steerer tube that’s peeking out from behind your stem.

    • i think that’s just dirt. never seen any rust on a prolly bike

      • Goog Smells


      • That’s definitely rust. It’s a steerer tube. They rust. ;-)

  • Boy Bensdorp

    And these Wolf tooth rings indeed rock. Have three of them on several bikes. None of them with a clutch derailleur. Both SRAM and shimano. Never dropped a chain

  • Joost

    Can this setup work on a fully?

  • Ace Metric Cycles

    Dear Wolftooth, Pretty please make a 110 bcd Campy spec- or explain why you do not. Sincerely, Blackshaw.

    • I think it probably has to do with the fact that the number of people who race / ride Campy on cross bikes doesn’t merit the PR&D / prototyping involved? Not sure, but that would be my guess…

      • Ace Metric Cycles

        I thought maybe that or the non clutch factor.

  • Rasmus Riemann

    If in Europe you can also get Works Components rings from the UK. A Bit cheaper over here.

  • Arnie Phillips

    I love the YoEddy front fork. I asked IF to build mine with that fork and they said “no”. Maybe I can ask again ;). Sweet ride