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.
American made brands are becoming more and more popular and at the head of the movement, you can see Wolf Tooth Components coming out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Wolf Tooth quickly took over the Chainring market with its drop-stop rings and a wide range of compatibility among most crank offerings in the market. Wolf Tooth has been a favorite of ours for years and those who use their products usually fall in love. Matt put on a Wolf Tooth Chainring on his SRAM Eagle set up. Let's see what he thought:
Well, basically Wolf Tooth has done it again. A super quality component at a solid price.
First, the reason for the purchase: Well, I was at the Lancaster shop telling super gravel man Matt Mccluskey how I needed to replace my $70 XO1 Eagle Chain. Matt took a quick look, then said no you don't, you need the $70 Wolf Tooth chainring. Matt promptly measured the chain, which was fine, then pointed out the dull ring teeth. In effect, Matt likely saved me $70 bucks because a dull ring would certainly have worn down my new chain. Thanks, gravel man.
Next, the reason for the 30t. Well, I like spinning instead of mashing. Given the option between power pedaling and spinning, I prefer the latter. With Wolf Tooth you get the wide option of 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38. I've run a 28t on a 1x12 and when I threw the bike into 12th gear, I could not pedal fast enough to go straight...I doubt I could tell the difference between 30 and 32, but I've run a 36 before and there is a very noticeable difference between it and the 30. With the 34, once you get to around the mid-gear range, you better have strong thighs... I don't know algebra well enough to know how the front ring size changes gear ratio, but I’m sure there is something to that.
How has it performed: I guess what you look at here are chain drops and durability. I have not run the ring long enough to give an honest opinion on durability but can say it has not broken on my many crashes. With regard to chain drops...not a one. Plus, I think the narrow-wide configuration eliminates the need for any chain guide.
In case you are considering terrain: I have this 30t on my Pivot Mach 6. The Mach 6 is my go-to bike when I travel or hit gnarlier trails or bike parks. From the flow out west to rock slabs in Moab to green mossy rocks in the Mid-Atlantic, I have not noticed any performance issues. I’ve run it in several enduros and bike park fun laps...again, no difference. For those of you who are mechanically as stupid as me... don’t worry, this was a … wait for it... a cinch to put on. With the right tools, it’s really nothing more than a few turns of a wrench. It takes about five minutes to install. The only thing there really is to concern yourself with is to be sure you don’t overtighten. For those of you concerned about weight, I would point out that the range does vary considerably from the 26t (48g) to 36t (75g). So while you might get more torque per pedal stroke at with the larger rings, it comes at a weight cost, naturally. Lastly, I run this with a set of Next SL cranks. I’d make sure you check the compatibility of the ring before you go out and order it. As Wolf Tooth is generally not OEM, you need to make sure it will work with your set up.
"Would I recommend? Absolutely. That said, I'd recommend any Wolf Tooth component. They have not done me wrong yet." - Matt