Renthal makes some quality products and the inclusion of a new 1XR chainring is now available. The 1XR chainring comes as a natural progression to Renthal’s offerings and inside we take a deeper dive on its features and functionality. While many offerings exist in this space, Renthal’s offering is definitely worth considering given our experience onboard it.
When you ride in muddy conditions this accelerates the wear and tear of your drivetrain components. Users of an 1x chainring are well aware of this and perhaps have experienced a dropped chain as a result on occasion. All chainrings are not designed equally and this is something quite evident if you’ve used a variety of chainrings on your bike. Renthal sent us a 1XR chainring to test out for ourselves a little while ago and we’ve got some of our thoughts embedded in this review as well as a number of comparison shots for you to compare against some other 1x chainrings side by side from Race Face and SRAM X01 / XX1.
Renthal saw potential durability and functional improvements with a 1x chainring. A problem with many of the wide/narrow chainrings exist and they sought to help bridge the gap. Enter their 1XR chainring.
After going through a number of different designs, including ultra tall teeth and a whacky chainring with three in-line teeth, we proved the best levels of chain retention were achieved with alternating wide and narrow teeth. So, we went back to the wide/narrow format and tackled the issues that it caused.
Here’s what we did:
Durability – As the tooth face wears, the inner chain plates come into contact with the wide section of the chainring tooth. When this happens the efficiency of the chainring is lost, as the chain is no longer running on just the roller. To alleviate this problem and extend chainring life, we profiled the face of the wide section to allow clearance for more tooth face wear to occur before the chainring has to be replaced. Durability is further bolstered as we use a full width tooth face and manufacture from 7075 T6 aluminium, which is then hard anodised. We bench marked the two market leading chainrings and the Renthal 1XR showed considerably improved longevity.
Mud condition performance – In heavy mud conditions, two issues occur; mud quickly builds up on the shoulder that links the wide section teeth and it can clog on the x-section wide teeth. Both of these cause efficiency and premature wear issues at best. At worst, it can cause the chain to lift up and de-rail. We tackled this in three ways. We significantly lowered the shoulder between the wide section teeth, giving mud room to evacuate. We also added mud grooves in the tooth bed to further speed the process. Additionally, the profiled front section of the wide tooth allows clearance for mud to purge out, rather than clogging.
The Renthal 1XR chainring tooth profiling ensures the highest level of chain retention, in all conditions.
Alternating 1.8 / 3.5mm width teeth interlock with the chain for ultimate security, with no loss of efficiency. The 1XR can be used with a clutch-type rear derailleur, without a chain guide. The reduced frontal profile of the 3.5mm wide teeth increases mud clearance for the inner chain plates and extends longevity. Durability of the hard wearing 7075 T6 aluminium construction is maximised with a hard anodised surface treatment and mud evacuation grooves in the tooth bed.
Below you can see how the tooth profile helps grip and hug the chain. This is important as retention depends on this interface in conjunction with a clutch style rear derailleur that helps reduce movement in the drivetrain. The first shot below shows the SRAM X01 chainring profile for comparison.
The Renthal 1XR chainring as you can see hugs the chain with good retention. The wear rate is also quite impressive and the ring has shown to be quite good for us in testing so far. Unsurprisingly, the wider profile allows for the chainring to retain its retention properties very well in comparison.
Overall we were quite pleased with the retention, wear rate, mud shedding, and quality of the Renthal 1XR chainring. With other 1x chainrings, they tend to wear quicker which reduces their ability to function as inteded for 1x applications. The 1x chainrings can also be utilized with a chain guard as well for even more retention. You can see a variety of comparision shots in the gallery as well to see the detailed machining that Renthal does with the 1XR. Machining a chainring can be a complex process as the advanced steps can often take more time to machine. Renthal has taken their time with their chainring and clearly have put quality ahead of speed which means you as the consumer win. Overall we’ve been big fans of SRAM’s chainrings as their rings often have a good wear rate and retention. Our Renthal ring so far is performing on pace to match or beat that ring as far as retention and longevity.
As many riders may want a 30 tooth chainring option we asked Renthal about that and they are currently in the testing stage of a 30t / 104mm BCD chainring and have plans to release that by mid-2015.
If you’re looking to buy a Renthal 1XR you should be able to purchase this chainring from any quality bike shop through their distributors so ask at your shop. If you don’t have one be sure to check out their website for more details and availability. www.renthalcycling.com