Looking for a solution to the dreaded chain suck? We were, now we think we’ve found it in the shape of Cycle Dynamics Titanium Chainrings.
$33 for a granny $45 for a middle ring. Rings are available to suit most mountain bike chainsets. Consult the table at the end of this review to help with sizing.
Firstly, Titanium chainrings aren’t about weight loss. Most of you reading this will know that Titanium is heavier than Aluminium. This doesn’t mean that Ti Chainrings are heavy, in fact Cycle Dynamics rings simply need less material and are therefore a fraction lighter than XT Aluminium rings. The real benefit is in the rate of wear of the chainring teeth.
An Aluminium ring has to stand a lot of abuse.
We certainly hurl a load of abuse at ours when we get chain suck. The better ones can take a really hard effort, cheap rings can ‘indent’ on the first
standing hard push and be subject to chain suck from day one. But the real Al killer is mud. The grinding paste we all ride in for eight tenths of the year
(in Britain) eats away at one side of each chainring tooth, carving a hook which will eventually result in a nasty case of chain suck. When you’re at your most tired, when you’re putting in your hardest effort, those little hooks will help pull the chain up around the back of your granny or middle ring. The result is a sudden jamming of your drive train. End of climb. When it bites bad you won’t be able to ride up a hill in that ring at all. This isn’t a rare event, it’s a time served certainty.
The only way to avoid it is to replace your Aluminium chainrings as soon as they show signs of wear (pointy, narrow teeth, wide gaps). This is an expensive job, with very fast wear rates in the Winter and the dreaded chain suck around the corner, the answer has to lie with harder wearing rings. Steel and Titanium rings wear at about the same rate (Ti has the edge) but Steel is a heavy alternative, especially for a middle and granny combination. Titanium rings will last around four times as long as
Aluminium. There are many chainsuck preventing ‘gizmos’ on the market and one or two fairly effective home cures, involving giant zip ties.
The trouble is that worn chainrings accelerate wear on your chain and this passes that wear rate to your cassette. The Steel cassette rings should give long wear but a prematurely worn chain will kill your cassette in a far shorter time. Once the cassette is badly worn the chain will slip suddenly and unpredictably during occasional hard
(we only put in hard efforts
occaisionaly...) This can cause badly banged knees and shins, ouch. In order to ensure a smooth shift under load the Cycle Dynamics Ti Chainrings have four pins and
shaped teeth which assist the chain as it climbs from the granny to the middle ring. Without these changing gear would be a clunky affair.
in text only form.
Cycle Dynamics produces it’s rings by ‘gear cutting’ which is the most accurate method of shaping the teeth. Accurately shaped teeth give a larger contact area than other brands of Ti ring, this gives the longest possible wear, by spreading the load across the greatest number of teeth and most edge surface of each tooth. All this wear reduction means that you save money compared to replacing your Aluminium rings four times (and even
use less cassettes and chains too). So all you have to do now is work out what specification of ring to order. There are two main types of chainring, four and five hole. However there are also several hole spacing standards. To find your granny ring spacing without removing your crankset, either use a spring calliper and ruler, or cut a hole in a piece of card and mark the granny ring bolt
centres. This will give you the Bolt Circle Diameter (BCD) the diameter of an imaginary circle joining the centres of each bolt hole. The Large and middle rings have the same BCD, so this can be measured from the more easily accessible large ring.
Cycle Dynamics Titanium Middle Chainring 40g
XT Middle Chainring (Aluminium) 45g
Cycle Dynamics Titanium Granny 23g
XT Granny (Aluminium) 24g
Q: Will I notice any difference in shifting with Cycle
Dynamics Ti rings?
Ans: The middle ring has the required pick-up pins and shifts as
well as Shimano.
Call Cycle Dynamics on 888-439-1204. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
5791 Beresford Street
Burnaby, British Columbia
V5J 1J9 Canada
Q: How do I know when to replace my chain?
Ans: When 12 links at full stretch measure 12 and 1/16th long it's time to replace.
We use a Park chain wear measure and it's a great investment. There
is a good piece on measuring your chain with a ruler here.
Q: How stiff are the rings?
Ans: We noticed no difference from a standard Aluminium Shimano
Q: My chainrings are anodised a fancy colour, will the Cycle
Dynamics Ti rings look goofy?
Ans: Get a life.
Q: Where can I find
out more about chain suck?
Ans: Chain Suck Feature
Q. What about 8 and
nine speed rings?
Ans: All Cycle Dynamics rings are 8 and nine speed compatible, this
isn't rocket science, it's just that they're narrow enough.
Q: Any more
questions e-mail the Editor at