RaceFace Narrow Wide Chainring: Rider Review

Our "Rider Review" article series features honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for. 

Picking the right chainring can drastically change pedaling feel, especially during climbing. For many people purchasing a new bike, the stock chainring just won't cut it. That is exactly what happened with our customer Matthew. He decided to add a 28T RaceFace Narrow Wide Chainring to his new bike. Check it out!

RaceFace Narrow Wide Chainring review


It was time for me to upgrade my bike packing, adventure, do everything Salsa Fargo, so I decided what can possibly be better than a Salsa Fargo? Well, that was simple, a carbon fiber Fargo or what’s better known as a Salsa Cutthroat! I picked up a brand new 2020, bright yellow, ultra-endurance mixed surface, tour divide inspired, bike packing Cutthroat with a Shimano GRX 810 1x build. The new bike came with Race Face Turbine cranks with a RaceFace Direct Mount 36t chainring. I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. When you ride bikes here, you are either pedaling up mountains or riding down mountains. There’s not much flat riding, so the stock 36t chainring wasn’t going to work for me and how I plan on using this bike. I prefer to spin up mountains, and when you are loaded down with camping gear, a granny gear can be quite nice.

My Order

I decided to order up a 28t RaceFace Narrow-Wide Direct Mount CINCH Chain Ring from Worldwide Cyclery. Seeing as how my new bike is fluorescent yellow with some blue accents, I had to opt for the blue anodized chainring. As typical with every past Worldwide Cyclery order I’ve ever placed, the order was placed and shipped on the same day. And thanks to Worldwide Cyclery having multiple shipping points across the country, the order shipped from Lancaster, PA, and arrived in my mailbox in just two days. How great is that?

RaceFace Narrow Wide chainring


The new Chain Ring arrived, and I immediately set out to install it. Installation is a breeze. The first step is to remove the RaceFace Turbine crankset so you can access the backside of the drive side crank arm. All that’s required is an 8mm allen key. Once you locate your 8mm allen key and remove the crank arm, you are going to need a Park Tool BBT-22 or BBT-32 for the lock ring. You will use the Park Tool BBT-22 to remove the lock ring holding the already installed direct mount chainring. Once you have the lock ring removed, you simply remove the old chainring and place the new beautiful blue chainring onto the crank arm. The chainrings will only fit one way. The chainring and crank arm is slotted to only allow one fitment. Once you have the chainring in place, you reverse the steps and thread the lock ring on by hand being careful to make sure you do not cross thread the lock ring. Once it is finger tight, grab your Park Tool BBT-22 and torque the chainring on to 44 nm. Now all you have to do is reinstall the crankset, and you are good to go!

Final Thoughts

Race Face makes it easy to change your gear ratios to better suit your riding style and terrain. Plus, they make them in numerous anodized colors that are sure to make your bike look even more awesome!

Shop RaceFace direct mount chainring

June 15, 2020

Chainring › Narrow Wide Chainring › RaceFace › Rider Review ›

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