Wolf Tooth Direct Mount Chainring [Rider Review]

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

Wolf Tooth makes a variety of aftermarket chainrings for all sorts of cranksets that offer both high quality and good looks. Our friend Patrick recently installed one on his XTR crank and loves the dependable quality and style. Read on for more! 

Wolf Tooth Direct Mount Chainring [Rider Review]


I have been running an X01 carbon crankset for the last two years. I had a Wolf Tooth CAMO spider and Shimano 12-speed chainring installed for compatibility with my M9100 drivetrain. There are lots of loose rocks where I live so my crank arms were peppered with rock dings. A friend of mine had his carbon crank arm snap in half right at a dinged spot, so I decided to switch to an aluminum M9100 XTR crankset.

The crankset I bought did not come with a chainring, so I considered the following options for a round chainring:

XTR Chainring – aluminum – 84g – $129.99
XT Chainring – aluminum & steel – 116g - $61.99
Wolf Tooth Hyperglide+ Chainring – aluminum – 63g - $79.95

The XTR chainring has a nice finish that matches the rest of the XTR groupset. I wasn’t excited about its price though. The price of the XT chainring is definitely more reasonable. It also has steel teeth and an aluminum spider, resulting in a good combination of durability and weight savings. The Wolf Tooth chainring is the lightest of the three and has a clean and simple appearance. I try to save weight where I can, and the Wolf Tooth chainring seemed like a reasonable deal at $50 less than XTR.

This Wolf Tooth chainring is designed to work with the new series of M9100 XTR, M8100 XT and M7100 SLX cranksets. It is available in 30, 32, and 34t sizes and for Boost and Super Boost Plus chain lines. Wolf Tooth makes an elliptical version of this chainring too (32 & 34t, Boost only). This chainring is intended for use specifically with Shimano 12-speed drivetrains. Shimano 12-speed chains have extended inner link plates and require uniquely shaped chainring teeth especially for clearance with the master link. It is likely that this chainring would work with a Sram Eagle drivetrain, although chain retention may not be optimal. The Boost version of this chainring results in a 52mm offset.

The Wolf Tooth Chainring represents good value compared to some of its competitors, at the same high quality.

Shimano’s new 12-speed cranksets come with a special tool (TL-FC41) for attaching the direct-mount chainring to the crank arm with a threaded lock ring. The Wolf Tooth chainring meshed well with the crank arm splines and was held firmly in place by the lock ring. After installing the crankset, the resulting offset of the chainring was identical to the Sram/Wolf Tooth setup that it replaced. I did not have to realign my chain guide.

Final Thoughts

I have owned several Wolf Tooth chainrings, and this one has the same high level of quality as the others. The machining is well done and clean. The finish is smooth and shiny. The laser etched text is a nice touch. I like that it is made in the USA. I hope Wolf Tooth comes out with a CAMO spider for 12-speed Shimano cranksets, as it reduces the replacement cost and simplifies the replacement process.

Wolf Tooth Direct Mount Chainring [Rider Review]

October 11, 2021

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