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  1. #1
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    No good XX1 28t chain grinding?

    I'm feeling and hearing some grinding when I'm in the top 2 cogs (42 and 36) when mashing on the pedals. I'm pretty sure it's the front 28t chain ring. It's like I'm feeling the chain links on the chain ring teeth. I'm guessing it's the crappy chain line with it in those cogs, combined w/ the deeper teeth, and small chain ring (more chain wrap). This grinding doesn't happen when I use a 32t front ring. Anyone else seeing this?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cytoe View Post
    I'm feeling and hearing some grinding when I'm in the top 2 cogs (42 and 36) when mashing on the pedals. I'm pretty sure it's the front 28t chain ring. It's like I'm feeling the chain links on the chain ring teeth. I'm guessing it's the crappy chain line with it in those cogs, combined w/ the deeper teeth, and small chain ring (more chain wrap). This grinding doesn't happen when I use a 32t front ring. Anyone else seeing this?
    I get it on mine with the 28 on my bike, Sounds quite bad when everything is covered in mud.

    I have just set up another bike with 28 tooth Wolf tooth on 1 of my other bikes, I must take it out & see how it goes
    I have a 6 Berth Motorhome that I rent out . It is based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  3. #3
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    I can't say that I have this issue when using my 28t.

  4. #4
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    I had it on my 30t but looked closer and noticed a good amount of wear on my chainring, I replaced it and no more noises.

  5. #5
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    I just got a 30t and no grinding yet. My 28t doesn't look very worn...not that much mileage on it either.

  6. #6
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    XX1 28t chain grinding?

    I had that on my 30t, and it was especially bad if conditions were a bit muddy. The noise started after about 200k's, and I ended up replacing the chainring after 900k's. I'm not impressed with xx1 durability at all.

  7. #7
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    Yup, somewhere between 200-300K's it started. Both 36 and 42 under load grind away.
    The ring doesn't look very worn, but I also think it's the chain line. Don't really want to be replacing one every 4 months.

  8. #8
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    Old "3th world country" trick but it works great, if you chainrings are not afix to the cranks, you can rotate them "a hole" that way the tooth that "do the work" can be reflesh, hell I used to even "flip" my chainrings for even longer durability...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    Old "3th world country" trick but it works great, if you chainrings are not afix to the cranks, you can rotate them "a hole" that way the tooth that "do the work" can be reflesh, hell I used to even "flip" my chainrings for even longer durability...
    Awesome, never thought of this!

  10. #10
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    My 32 tooth lasted 1500 miles before it started grinding.

    My 30 tooth lasted 250. I flipped it around to reverse the rotation until I can secure a replacement.

  11. #11
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    I had this problem as well. I followed the instructions in the type 2 clutch adjust thread XX1 knocking/clunking and it went away. I never had any of the knocking or clunking issues described in the thread but felt that the cage had too much resistance to movement so decided to adjust it. I was surprised it eliminated the chain grinding problem I was having. Give it a try.

  12. #12
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    i have the grinding noise and sensation on the largest few cogs myself. i run a 34t and have about 600 miles on the set up. just replaced the chain too as it broke prematurely. are you all positive it is the chainring and not the pulleys or something else? also, how can you rotate the chainring with the holes not being consistent? thanks.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by norman2020 View Post
    I had this problem as well. I followed the instructions in the type 2 clutch adjust thread XX1 knocking/clunking and it went away. I never had any of the knocking or clunking issues described in the thread but felt that the cage had too much resistance to movement so decided to adjust it. I was surprised it eliminated the chain grinding problem I was having. Give it a try.
    That thread is very long. Could you please point us the exact posting that describes the procedure you followed ?

  14. #14
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    XX1 Rings can't be rotated or flipped.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarango View Post
    XX1 Rings can't be rotated or flipped.
    Maybe some are different as I turned mine(gxp xx1) around while I was waiting for a replacement and it worked fine.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlennard View Post
    Maybe some are different as I turned mine(gxp xx1) around while I was waiting for a replacement and it worked fine.
    I did the same after my 2nd 28t ring started to grind. I plan on flipping the ring back the other way when it grinds again.

  17. #17
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    Although not designed for it, XX1 rings can be flipped over without issue, I guarantee it.

  18. #18
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    XX1 28t chain grinding?

    I have xx1 of pf30 bb. The ring can only be screwed in one particular orientation in order for then holes to match. And it cannot be flipped.


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  19. #19
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    Yes, I have experienced this on two XX1 setups. I bought an S-Works Enduro in Oct 2013 and have only rode it 10 times and it is knocking. The other is also an Enduro that I had converted. They both started knocking when I changed the front Chain Ring Gear.
    I have done everything, for instance, measured the chain for wear, insured that I have the proper length of chain, adjusted the cable length, used dry chain oil, cleaned the chain, adjusted the set screw to insure proper spacing between cassette and idler pulleys. Nothing has worked.

  20. #20
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    Is there any way you can shim the ring in to get a better chain line?

  21. #21
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    The S-Works came from the factory with the XX1 and the alignment looks good. The older Enduro also looks good for alignment. I had two different shops confirm the alignment. Both bikes ran silent until I changed the ring gear to a smaller size.

  22. #22
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    I still think it's a wear issue but interesting enough, after changing lubes from pro gold to white lightening, 90 % of the noise disappeared.

  23. #23
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    XX1 28t chain grinding?

    I've also just switched lubes recently to see if there's a difference. I was previously using Pedros Go (oil based), now I'm using Finishline PTFE (wax based). Let's see what happens

  24. #24
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    I am having a similar issue. Chainring/chain grinding under load. I put a new chain on and it is probably worse now. I am going to put a new ring on. The old chain measures 0.5 on the parktool chain checker. Is it possible that the ring could be worn out before the chain? This is the first chain on this drivetrain and it still measures like a new one for the most part.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cytoe View Post
    I did the same after my 2nd 28t ring started to grind. I plan on flipping the ring back the other way when it grinds again.
    Is there any particular reason to not ALWAYS do this? Wouldn't this double the life of the ring for the most part?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by epiphreddy View Post
    I am having a similar issue. Chainring/chain grinding under load. I put a new chain on and it is probably worse now. I am going to put a new ring on. The old chain measures 0.5 on the parktool chain checker. Is it possible that the ring could be worn out before the chain? This is the first chain on this drivetrain and it still measures like a new one for the most part.
    I tried the same...it's not the chain. You can flip the ring around, and this will help for a while...but the grind will return. The grind seems the worst when I don't have the chain lubed enough, or if it is really dirty.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by epiphreddy View Post
    Is there any particular reason to not ALWAYS do this? Wouldn't this double the life of the ring for the most part?
    I tried flipping the ring back (to the "correct" direction), and the grinding was really bad...so I'm keeping it reversed.

  28. #28
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    I have another chainring. I guess I will try that. I don't have a good measure as to how many miles are on the ring, but it is the original drivetrain and the chain still measures fine. I have used the drivetrain about 8 months now. I would like to think it will last longer than that. I guess when I change the ring out this afternoon that will answer that question.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by epiphreddy View Post
    I have another chainring. I guess I will try that. I don't have a good measure as to how many miles are on the ring, but it is the original drivetrain and the chain still measures fine. I have used the drivetrain about 8 months now. I would like to think it will last longer than that. I guess when I change the ring out this afternoon that will answer that question.
    A new ring will help for a bit, but the grind will return. My current theory is the anno on the teeth helps w/ the friction. When this wears off (and we don't have a clean, lubed chain), we get the grind. Pretty sure it all has to do w/ the the narrow/wide teeth; one side of my teeth (the outboard ones) are very shinny from contact w/ the chain.

  30. #30
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    I'm using a 32, so I assume this won't happen as quickly. If this is the case, then this sucks!!!!! Do you actually feel the grind? I just starting using a Chris King Press Fit 30 BB and thought that was the culprit. I hear and feel the grind.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by epiphreddy View Post
    I'm using a 32, so I assume this won't happen as quickly. If this is the case, then this sucks!!!!! Do you actually feel the grind? I just starting using a Chris King Press Fit 30 BB and thought that was the culprit. I hear and feel the grind.
    I hear the 32 stays is grind free longer...make sense I guess. Unfortunately, I do feel and hear the grind. In the "old" days, this kind of grinding ment you were about to break something. Anyway, I just cleaned my chain and will try the WD-40 dry chain lube next.

  32. #32
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    You are actually using "WD-40" as in the WD-40 that has been around forever? I have been using Demonde Tech for several years (as recommended from Niner). This grinding is unacceptable! Gotta try something different. Hopefully the new chainring will do the trick.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by epiphreddy View Post
    You are actually using "WD-40" as in the WD-40 that has been around forever? I have been using Demonde Tech for several years (as recommended from Niner). This grinding is unacceptable! Gotta try something different. Hopefully the new chainring will do the trick.
    good to know...I almost chose Demonde Tech. I'm going to try the new bike specific stuff from WD-40: Products*|*WD-40 Bike. I'll post back how it goes.

  34. #34
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    Well, for what it is worth...I have another bike with XX1 and it is a 30T. The drivetrain is probably 4 months newer and it is quiet, or at least quieter than the older one. I am getting paranoid now. I have been thinking for sometime now that it has been a bottom bracket issue (on both bikes). That is one reason I went with a CK pressfit 30 bottom bracket, thinking the Sram pressfit to BSA adaptor may be the culprit. The one bike has recently just gotten plain loud and annoying. I hope the other one is not about to follow suit.
    From reading this thread I now think (will know this afternoon) it is the chainrings.

  35. #35
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    I have three bikes with XX1. I have run 32T & 34T rings. This includes SRAM, Race Face, and Wolf's Tooth Direct Mount. All three ring types start to grind as they wear to what I have to consider is the useful life of the ring (700-800 Miles). I am convinced it is inherent to the tooth shape/design with the possibility of the original chain design as being a possible contributor. I now have my first solid plate chain in use and will see how it wears.

    Of the three rings I believe the Race Face to be the best. Not because it outperforms the other two, but because mated with a 3x spider it is the lowest price to purchase and because I can SAFELY turn it around and use it for twice as long. I know folks have said they turn around the SRAM one, but it is not designed to be used that way and they are resting completely on aluminum bolts when reversed which I fear under my weight and trail style is not a safe scenario compared to the steel sleeves used on the traditional 3x spider bolts.

    I use Dumonde Tech blue with great success on XX1 and prior 2x10 groupos. My XX1 runs quiet and smooth with no issues and after learning the nuances of the derailleur clutch it truly performs flawlessly.

    I understand that we all are not getting 1500-2000 miles off of this chainring like we might have with 2x10, but we are also not splitting duty with two rings. As well our range of rear cogs is larger and physically wider than a 3x9 or 2x10 so one should not expect the chain to last as long either. A price I am OK with due to the XX1 simplicity and function I have grown so fond of.

    Hopefully my experience and perspective will help at least a couple of you and I wish all of you good luck.

  36. #36
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    Well, it was the chain ring!!! I am happy to report. Thanks Goodoljake! Your post was very helpful. I am going to guesstimate that my ring was around 6-7 months old. So I replaced the chain first and then the chain ring. The Chain ring was definitely the problem. My question now is, can I safely put the old chain back on to get more mileage out of it? It measured right on 0.5 on the parktool chain checker, or should I just chunk the old chain?

  37. #37
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    Since you already started using the new chain I would just continue to use it. Save the other one for a spare. I've changed mine each time with the ring, but they were at .75 anyway.

  38. #38
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    I've gone through two 28t XX1 chainrings due to grind and am convinced it has nothing to do with lube and is rather inherent to the design. I can feel mine but can't hear it.

    I hope someone solves this problem quickly. I ride with Cytoe and his audible grind is driving me NUTS !

  39. #39
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    Speaking of chains, the one I installed has the groove on the side plates. My understanding is that SRAM quit making the chain this way. I wonder if the chain will become a problem eventually? Break or whatever.

  40. #40
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    I'm experiencing this grinding as well on my 1 month old XX1 w/ 28T ring. It's audible and tactile. I don't recall where I found it but it's the same as the grinding in this video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Soy84zpMOXE

    Doesn't matter what gear I'm in on the rear, just proportional to load/torque. I'm really bummed about this, I waited over a year before committing to XX1 and all the reviews were glowing?! My derailleur B tension jockey pulley to cassette gap is within spec and the der hanger has been aligned perfectly. I can't own a drivetrain that requires a new chainring every damn month!

    Somebody suggested above reducing the clutch torque. Intuitively that makes no sense to me as I would think more derailleur spring force would tend to help pull the chain off the front chainring but I'll give it a try regardless. I'm not experiencing any of the derailleur clutch clunk/noise.

  41. #41
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    I've got GRINDATOSIS also (can I get credit for that diagnosis name).

    new chain and cassette this year, but the same 32 tooth chainring as last year. Going to try another one of my chainrings tomorrow.

    Wish Shimano had made a wider range 1 x 11!
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  42. #42
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    Greasing the derailleur does nothing for the grinding as I expected. Reversing the chaninring solved the issue. I can see shark toothing on my ring after only 1 month. WTF?!

    I searched for somebody that makes a steel or Ti ring for XX1 to no avail but did find Blackspire makes them from 7075 which is a bit harder or stronger than the 7050 of SRAM. I'll be trying that to see if it proves more durable.

  43. #43
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    The wd-40 dry bike chain lube helps, though I do still hear/feel the grind...but it's much reduced, dare I say bearable. I'm guessing I'll have to lube often to keep the annoying grind at bay, but I guess I'll see.

  44. #44
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    I got 1500 miles out of a 32 t ring, and only about 300 out of each of the 30 t rings I've tried...

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    I got 1500 miles out of a 32 t ring, and only about 300 out of each of the 30 t rings I've tried...
    That seams to be the general consensus. I just can't understand why that is the case:

    The max load or torque applied is going to be similar regardless of ring size. In fact the larger ring should see large peak torque with the increased gear ratio/reduced leverage ratio. A 32 has a gear ratio approx 14% higher than a 28.

    Conversely the smaller ring would then stand to have slightly higher total number of revolutions. Again, worst case would be according to the gear ratio difference or 14% more total revolutions.

    What am I missing? Is it the chainline angle? I checked the chain and it's at .25 on a Park Tool.

    I probably spent 80% of my time on a 2x9 in my 22T granny. I would get over a year of life (4,000+ miles?) out of that aluminum chainring and never change the chain!

    What is so different about the 1x11 system that causes such fast chainring wear and why have none of the gushing editorials even remotely hinted at this? It's a deal breaker for me. As much as I love the simplicity I may have to revert to a 2x Shimano system just for total cost of operation reasons. Running a 32 is not an option for me - I simply won't be able to climb everything I currently do or I'll blow my knees and back out trying.

  46. #46
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    Perhaps stating the obvious, but this "knock" sound must be caused by reshaping of the front edge of each tooth where the chain links roll over them under load. Has anyone looked at a really worn XX1 ring in detail to see if there is some small bump worn into the front of each tooth?

    Standard rings (with shorter teeth) wear into waves / sharktooth shapes but retain a smooth load bearing surface - with the result that you can just keep riding them until either you get terminal chainsuck or the chain slips forward over the rings. I'm wondering if the taller XX1 teeth don't wear like this?.....

    It might actually be difficult to find a really worn XX1 ring - I would think most users are changing chains / chainrings pretty regularly in an effort to save the costly cassette (or maybe because this knocking sound annoys them!)

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by dodger View Post
    That seams to be the general consensus. I just can't understand why that is the case:

    The max load or torque applied is going to be similar regardless of ring size. In fact the larger ring should see large peak torque with the increased gear ratio/reduced leverage ratio. A 32 has a gear ratio approx 14% higher than a 28.

    Conversely the smaller ring would then stand to have slightly higher total number of revolutions. Again, worst case would be according to the gear ratio difference or 14% more total revolutions.

    What am I missing? Is it the chainline angle? I checked the chain and it's at .25 on a Park Tool.

    I probably spent 80% of my time on a 2x9 in my 22T granny. I would get over a year of life (4,000+ miles?) out of that aluminum chainring and never change the chain!

    What is so different about the 1x11 system that causes such fast chainring wear and why have none of the gushing editorials even remotely hinted at this? It's a deal breaker for me. As much as I love the simplicity I may have to revert to a 2x Shimano system just for total cost of operation reasons. Running a 32 is not an option for me - I simply won't be able to climb everything I currently do or I'll blow my knees and back out trying.
    Smaller chainring = more chain tension + less material to sacrifice to wear.

  48. #48
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    The teeth are wider (or thicker??) on the XX1 rings as to keep the chain on it. But the side effect of that is faster wear due to the approach angle of the chain going from the cassette to the ring as it grinds down the sides much more than on a typical ring. I believe that shoulder created from that contacting the chain (with grime and grit) is what causes the horrible and annoying sound.

    As for one size ring lasting longer than another, I do not think it has anything to do with the tooth count, but everything to do with the most common rear cogs you use. Meaning if you are in the top of the cassette more than anything you will wear the outer teeth surfaces of the ring faster. Smaller cassette cogs will cause inner ring wear, and if you are balanced and use the middle cogs the most you will have more equal wear and probably a longer lasting ring.

    I run a 34T up front, but I also do a lot of climbing so I spend a lot of time under load on those larger cassette cogs. I would bet $$$ that if I switched to a 32T I would get more life out of it as the chain would wear the front teeth more evenly, but those times I am on flats would suffer with a lower top speed. Awe heck, I am going to go with a 32T next time and see if my theory proves correct.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimification View Post
    Perhaps stating the obvious, but this "knock" sound must be caused by reshaping of the front edge of each tooth where the chain links roll over them under load. Has anyone looked at a really worn XX1 ring in detail to see if there is some small bump worn into the front of each tooth?
    I would describe my issue as chain grinding, not knocking, but yes, when I reversed my chainring I had a close look and saw Brinelling or a small spot indentation on the driving faces of the chainring teeth. I previously described it as sharktoothing but as some folks noted here, maybe the sharktoothing dynamic is different with these taller/wider teeth. It did appear to be more of a spot indentation than the overall hooking I've seen on past 2x and 3x standard rings. I'm fairly sure the chain doesn't roll off that spot indentation easily and that's the source of the noise.

    In any event, once my ring starts doing it in this reversed position I plan on selling the whole XX1 kit. I don't mind spending a wad of cash on top shelf kit but not if it means having to buy a new chainring every damn month. That's just absurd and I'm really disappointed I waited almost 2 years on this system and never heard a peep in the press, forums, fellow riding buddies, nothing. I guess I just like a quiet bike and am not willing to tolerate it sounding like a damn Huffy.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by dodger View Post
    ... once my ring starts doing it in this reversed position I plan on selling the whole XX1 kit.
    PM me and I'll take it off your hands.

  51. #51
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    Maybe one option would be to give up the narrow wide type rings and go with a standard chain ring and a chain guide?

    I have X01 with a 26 T Wolftooth. Its all still pretty new, but no problems yet. If I can get through the season on this ring, I'd be happy. If it wears out before summer is over, that won't be good.

  52. #52
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    Sharktoothing pretty evident after 1 month. Note I have reversed the chainring now so the sharktoothing is all on the trailing edges, not leading, in the pic.

    XX1 28t chain grinding?-img_1344.jpg

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    I got 1500 miles out of a 32 t ring, and only about 300 out of each of the 30 t rings I've tried...
    I'd like to hear a theory of why that would happen. It makes no sense.

  54. #54
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    Re: XX1 28t chain grinding?

    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I'd like to hear a theory of why that would happen. It makes no sense.
    Post 48.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodoljake View Post
    Post 48.
    So, your theory is that if you change ring size, and the new size causes you use either the top or the bottom of the cassette more than being in the middle, then you wear one side of the ring teeth, whereas staying in the middle results in even wear on both sides of the teeth and longer chain ring life.
    Did I get that right?
    There might be some merit to that idea. A narrow wide ring might be much more sensitive to chain line than a regular ring.

  56. #56
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    Absolutely. I ride high on the cassette and the outside of my chainring shows much more wear as compared to the inside. Other than that I can't think of anything.

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    Same problem here, 28T chainring. Interesting to see so many others with XX1 grind, clearly it's a design issue that SRAM needs to address.

    For me the grind only happens in the 2 largest cogs, and mostly under high loads / high chain tension. My hunch was that it had to do with the poor (high angle) chainline to the big cassette cogs, causing the outside chain plates to rub on the sides of the wide/narrow chainring teeth, at the point where the teeth rotate up into the tensioned chain. This would also explain why I had premature chain failure, where one of the outside plates popped off a pin.

    Hilly around here, so I spend a lot more time in the big cassette cogs than the small ones, so I was wondering if it might help to move the drive-side BB spacer to the other side, moving the chainring slightly inbound to better align with the bigger cogs. Might move the grind to the other end of the cassette (where the chainline would be worsened), but I could live with that. Anyone try moving a spacer to improve chainline to the big cogs?

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by trenchDiggr View Post
    Same problem here, 28T chainring. Interesting to see so many others with XX1 grind, clearly it's a design issue that SRAM needs to address.

    For me the grind only happens in the 2 largest cogs, and mostly under high loads / high chain tension. My hunch was that it had to do with the poor (high angle) chainline to the big cassette cogs, causing the outside chain plates to rub on the sides of the wide/narrow chainring teeth, at the point where the teeth rotate up into the tensioned chain. This would also explain why I had premature chain failure, where one of the outside plates popped off a pin.

    Hilly around here, so I spend a lot more time in the big cassette cogs than the small ones, so I was wondering if it might help to move the drive-side BB spacer to the other side, moving the chainring slightly inbound to better align with the bigger cogs. Might move the grind to the other end of the cassette (where the chainline would be worsened), but I could live with that. Anyone try moving a spacer to improve chainline to the big cogs?
    I have no bb spacers, so I tried spacing the ring in some using chain ring spacers, and it seemed to help (driveway test). However, i found the longer chain ring bolts I have don't have threads that are as deep as the xx1 specific bolts. I stripping one hole...good thing the ring is toast anyway. Back to my original grinding 28t ring...

  59. #59
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    There was a guy making Ti chain rings in the classifieds. I was going to try one to see if it lasted longer than the sram butter ring...but he's now out of raw material. Ideally, I'd like to try a 28t ring using the shimano 1x deep teeth pattern (not narrow/wide).

  60. #60
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    Dude, I can't imagine the grades you all have to climb using a 28. Too bad you can't manage a 30 and then race face will solve all your problems.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by cytoe View Post
    Ideally, I'd like to try a 28t ring using the shimano 1x deep teeth pattern (not narrow/wide).
    They will probably figure out a way to only make it work with a new XTR crank. But they do look cool, and have titanium teeth.
    First Look: 2015 Shimano XTR ? Eleven Speed Cassette - Choose Your Drivetrain - Pinkbike

    I'm really curious if this grinding thing will turn out to be a widespread problem. SRAM is sitting on top of the world right now, and that would kill them.
    Last edited by smilinsteve; 05-22-2014 at 06:36 AM.

  62. #62
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    Turns out Pinkbike noticed and diagnosed the XX1 grinding issue in their XX1 review a year ago:

    Our only other concern boils down to a very strange popping noise that would occur intermittently and only during high torque scenarios, once or twice a ride at most. Talking to a few other riders who have time on XX1 revealed that they too noticed the noise, although none of them, ourselves included, ever suffered from any mechanical issues related to it. The sound only occurs when the chain is riding on the large 42 tooth cog and while powering up a steep incline, leading us to believe that it is a result of the chain interfacing with the thicker and heavily stepped X-Sync chain ring teeth while at the acute range of the chain line. Again, there were no mechanical issues related to it.
    SRAM XX1 Drivetrain Review - Pinkbike

    Now I'm more convinced that an improved chainline to the big cassette cogs will fix this. I have a threaded 68mm BB shell with GXP, so a 2.5mm spacer on either side. I think moving the drive side spacer to the other side might shift the chain line too much. Maybe I can replace the drive side 2.5mm spacer with a 1.25mm, and add another 1.25mm spacer to the other side. If I can find some 1.25mm BB spacers, will report back. Even if it helps, without screwing things up too badly on the small cassette cogs, it's not an option for those with a 73mm BB shell.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by trenchDiggr View Post
    Even if it helps, without screwing things up too badly on the small cassette cogs, it's not an option for those with a 73mm BB shell.
    One option if you do have a 73mm BB shell is to get a ring with a 64 mm BCD and put it on the inside position of a 2x or 3x crank. If you have a Sram 1x crank the spider can be changed out to a 64/104.

    I don't know how much that would help anyway. Is bad chain line for small cogs better than bad chain line for big cogs?

  64. #64
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    Re: XX1 28t chain grinding?

    Quote Originally Posted by trenchDiggr View Post
    Turns out Pinkbike noticed and diagnosed the XX1 grinding issue in their XX1 review a year ago:



    SRAM XX1 Drivetrain Review - Pinkbike

    Now I'm more convinced that an improved chainline to the big cassette cogs will fix this. I have a threaded 68mm BB shell with GXP, so a 2.5mm spacer on either side. I think moving the drive side spacer to the other side might shift the chain line too much. Maybe I can replace the drive side 2.5mm spacer with a 1.25mm, and add another 1.25mm spacer to the other side. If I can find some 1.25mm BB spacers, will report back. Even if it helps, without screwing things up too badly on the small cassette cogs, it's not an option for those with a 73mm BB shell.
    I made my chainline for the gears I use the most, and not just for the center of the freewheel. This is to the left.

    sent remotely

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I don't know how much that would help anyway. Is bad chain line for small cogs better than bad chain line for big cogs?
    Yeah, that's a damn good question. For me, I think the answer is yes. I spend more time in the biggest couple of cogs than I do in the smallest couple. Also the problem seems to arise when putting down lots of power, high chain tension. I am more likely to be laying down gobs of power when muscling up a steep climb in the low gears than when cruising in the top gears. But I won't know til I try it - I might find that a bad chainline on the small cogs causes other issues.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by squareback View Post
    I made my chainline for the gears I use the most, and not just for the center of the freewheel. This is to the left.

    sent remotely
    Did you accomplish this with the xx1 crank and a 73mm BB shell? If so, how'd you do it?

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodoljake View Post
    Dude, I can't imagine the grades you all have to climb using a 28. Too bad you can't manage a 30 and then race face will solve all your problems.
    My same issue with a 30T race face is what led me to this thread. I have 500 miles on mine with meticulous drivetrain maintenance and been having this issue for a few weeks already.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    My same issue with a 30T race face is what led me to this thread. I have 500 miles on mine with meticulous drivetrain maintenance and been having this issue for a few weeks already.
    That is too bad. I would suggest flipping it to get another 500. Wolf tooth is proving to be the softest aluminum thus far for me.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodoljake View Post
    That is too bad. I would suggest flipping it to get another 500. Wolf tooth is proving to be the softest aluminum thus far for me.
    It's my understanding you can't flip the 30T cuz it has built in spacers on one side only and will pinch the chain going the other way.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    It's my understanding you can't flip the 30T cuz it has built in spacers on one side only and will pinch the chain going the other way.
    Dang! Plan spoiled. I do recall hearing that now that you mention it.

    I guess I am more fortunate than most as I run the larger rings so flipping is doable.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodoljake View Post
    Dang! Plan spoiled. I do recall hearing that now that you mention it.

    I guess I am more fortunate than most as I run the larger rings so flipping is doable.
    I may go to a 32T so I have that option but if anything I want a 28T. There's a few spots that a 30T is bad enough for my 240lb ass

  72. #72
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    is this only a problem with xx1, or does the x01 or x1 have similar grinding problems?

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    I have an X0 and X9 also and they are very smooth and have never had a problem. It is just the XX1. I have had three on a couple of different bikes and they all knocked. I tried lots of things like adding chain links and removing chain links and of course adjusted the cable length several times. The noise is coming from the bottom teeth of the chain ring when applying a lot of torque. Like when doing a steep climb.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTB'ingFool View Post
    I have an X0 and X9 also and they are very smooth and have never had a problem. It is just the XX1. I have had three on a couple of different bikes and they all knocked. I tried lots of things like adding chain links and removing chain links and of course adjusted the cable length several times. The noise is coming from the bottom teeth of the chain ring when applying a lot of torque. Like when doing a steep climb.
    are the issues with the xx1 also problematic with bikes that come already with the xx1 (e.g., remedy 9.9, fuel ex 9.9), or is this problem happening only to those who convert to a xx1 from another drivetrain setup?

  75. #75
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    Its not just XX1, I've read people complaining about this problem with Wolftooth and Race Face rings as well.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Its not just XX1, I've read people complaining about this problem with Wolftooth and Race Face rings as well.
    Happened to me on my RaceFace. Problem went away when I got a narrow wide ring on the granny (64BCD) spot. Absolute Black. Better chain line for the gears you spend the most time in. Which, unless you are on a downhill bike, you spend the most TIME in your bigger cogs. Assuming you're on a trail where you gain/lose the same elevation, more TIME is spent in climbing gears. Because climbing is a slower process and you don't always pedal on the downhill.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Happened to me on my RaceFace. Problem went away when I got a narrow wide ring on the granny (64BCD) spot. Absolute Black. Better chain line for the gears you spend the most time in. Which, unless you are on a downhill bike, you spend the most TIME in your bigger cogs. Assuming you're on a trail where you gain/lose the same elevation, more TIME is spent in climbing gears. Because climbing is a slower process and you don't always pedal on the downhill.
    Good point. More time, and more force on the chain when climbing.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Good point. More time, and more force on the chain when climbing.
    Exactly. For my trails I'm climbing about 60% of the time, flat for 25% and descending 15%. Most of the time descending I'm not pedaling anyway. When I'm pedaling on flat or climbing my chain line is perfect. It's not perfect in my 11-15T cogs but I'm almost never in them so who cares if 85% of my time its perfect?

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Happened to me on my RaceFace. Problem went away when I got a narrow wide ring on the granny (64BCD) spot. Absolute Black. Better chain line for the gears you spend the most time in. Which, unless you are on a downhill bike, you spend the most TIME in your bigger cogs. Assuming you're on a trail where you gain/lose the same elevation, more TIME is spent in climbing gears. Because climbing is a slower process and you don't always pedal on the downhill.
    So do you just leave the 104 BCD spot blank or what??? I am in desperate need of finding a solution to this issue. I cannot afford buying a new chainring every three months. I would think that there would be someway to space the xx1 chainring over for a better chainline. What kind of mileage are you getting out of the absolute black chainring on the 64BCD position??? The other option I was thinking about would be to change my 28t chainring to a 30t chainring and put a 40t cog on the cassette. I am running a 1X10 setup. Not sure how much more mileage I would get out of a 30t chainring with it still having the same chainline. I do A LOT of climbing as well and only got about 500 miles out of my 28t XX1 chainring.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainBiker77 View Post
    So do you just leave the 104 BCD spot blank or what??? I am in desperate need of finding a solution to this issue. I cannot afford buying a new chainring every three months. I would think that there would be someway to space the xx1 chainring over for a better chainline. What kind of mileage are you getting out of the absolute black chainring on the 64BCD position??? The other option I was thinking about would be to change my 28t chainring to a 30t chainring and put a 40t cog on the cassette. I am running a 1X10 setup. Not sure how much more mileage I would get out of a 30t chainring with it still having the same chainline. I do A LOT of climbing as well and only got about 500 miles out of my 28t XX1 chainring.
    Yep the 104 is left blank.

    Can't comment on durability, haven't had it that long. But it feels and looks better quality than RaceFace. Time will tell... Chain line alone should give better durability though.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by chachbear View Post
    are the issues with the xx1 also problematic with bikes that come already with the xx1 (e.g., remedy 9.9, fuel ex 9.9), or is this problem happening only to those who convert to a xx1 from another drivetrain setup?
    It occurred on my factory spec'd Tallboy LTc

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Yep the 104 is left blank.

    Can't comment on durability, haven't had it that long. But it feels and looks better quality than RaceFace. Time will tell... Chain line alone should give better durability though.
    Any way you can post a pic of your setup when you get a chance?

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainBiker77 View Post
    Any way you can post a pic of your setup when you get a chance?

    Alias has posted a picture elsewhere, and I thought it looked ok. But you could also add a bash ring in the 104 spot if you want to do something with those holes, and give it a cleaner look.

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    It only looks funny when looking down from riding position. Depends how much you care but as above you can add a bash. I don't think 28-30T rings are big enough to need one.

    Also, function > form in my opinion

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    XX1 28t chain grinding?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    It only looks funny when looking down from riding position. Depends how much you care but as above you can add a bash. I don't think 28-30T rings are big enough to need one.

    Also, function > form in my opinion
    Thanks for the info. Please keep me posted on how your setup wears. I just might end up going your route.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Reading this thread is a bit bittersweet for me. I'm happy to know that I'm not the only one this is happening to (so many times I break things and I hear "Hmmm.. never seen that happen before"), but at the same time, that doesn't fix my problem and it sucks that others are having the same problem too. I've been dealing with this since I got my XX1 in the early months of 2013. I started with the XX1 32T ring. I first thought it was a bad ring. SRAM warrantied it, and the second one went bad just as quick. The kicker? 250 miles. That's all I get out of my chain rings with XX1. Too bad I'm addicted to that drivetrain like it was crack.

    I changed my spider to a Northshore billet 1x10 (104 BCD). Then I decided to try a Wolftooth 30T ring. 250 miles, toast.

    I'm now using a Race Face 30T ring. 230 miles, just about to call it toast.

    I've tried the spacing method. The NSB spider puts the chain rings at a 49mm chain line. Exactly what SRAM wants for XX1. I used some Wheels Mfg. chain ring spacers to push the chain ring closer to the BB. I had the same thought as mentioned before; If I'm mostly in my climbing gears, I'll make the chain line for those gears. Didn't matter. I pushed it in 1mm. I then pushed it in 2mm, then 2.5mm. No dice. Still got the noise and the rings still wore out at the same rate.

    Have any of you noticed that the noise really gets loud after lubing the chain? Mine does. Really bad. I have to get through at least one ride, wipe off the chain, then wipe off the teeth of my chain ring. Seems like the lube almost helps the chain get stuck on the chain ring to the point where you almost get chain suck. I'm assuming everyone here notices it the most when climbing (as mentioned before). Putting the power down hard and it makes a sweet "WRRRRAAAP!" noise on every pedal stroke. I have tested it though in every gear. I'll get on the flat areas and shift to 2 harder gears to put myself in the same situation where I have to lay down a lot of power to get the bike moving in that gear. Same noise. It doesn't matter what gear I'm in. That was what originally told me that it had to be the chain ring.

    There was one comment on a review for the XX1 chain on Amazon that brought up something new to me. It mentioned that thicker lubes tend to cause this noise more than thin lubes. I found that to be interesting. I always use Dumonde Tech blue lube. It is thick for sure. I recently changed to Pro Gold and the noise isn't as bad. Now, I made that change not too long ago so my current ring was already on its way to being toast, but I'm curious how many more miles I get out of my next one. If I just got twice as many miles (I see some of you are getting 500) I would be elated. So far, Race Face are the cheapest and last as long as anything else so I'm sticking with them for the time being.

    Oh, I should mention that I leave my chain rings on til the noise happens when I'm not even putting down a lot of power. It drives me crazy. Then when I actually do have to put down some power, the noise reverberates so bad that it vibrates into my feet. At that point, I have to change the chain ring.

    Has anyone tried just going back to a normal, not narrow/wide, chain ring? I mean the clutch should keep the chain on for the most part. I can deal with a couple chain drops here and there if it means my chain rings would last a little longer.

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    Have you tried reversing your ring? I reversed my 28T XX1 ring about 8 weeks ago now and the noise has not returned. That's probably 400 miles or so for me. Fingers crossed it continues...

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laterilus View Post

    Has anyone tried just going back to a normal, not narrow/wide, chain ring? I mean the clutch should keep the chain on for the most part. I can deal with a couple chain drops here and there if it means my chain rings would last a little longer.
    That seems like a logical thing to do. Luckily I haven't had the grinding problem (yet?). But if I did, I'd probably try a standard ring, and even a chain guide if necessary.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    That seems like a logical thing to do. Luckily I haven't had the grinding problem (yet?). But if I did, I'd probably try a standard ring, and even a chain guide if necessary.
    I ran a narrow wide ring only (no clutch) and no dropped chains. Now that I have a clutch der it might work to run a regular ring and a chain guide.

    My setup is working fine now but I'm not gonna spend $70 every 250 miles on a chain ring if it dies as fast as my RaceFace. The only people I've found who make narrow wide 28T rings (for Shimano cranks) is Absolute Black and with shipping they're $70

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    XX1 28t chain grinding?

    I've also noticed less noise by switching lubes. I used to use Pedros synlube, which is thick. Switched to Finishline Teflon and there is substantially less noise, and I am hoping, less wear. I was managing just under 500km per ring, the current one has done 677km and looks like it might have another 100-200km in it.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    The only people I've found who make narrow wide 28T rings (for Shimano cranks) is Absolute Black and with shipping they're $70
    I think you mean NW rings with a 64 BCD

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I think you mean NW rings with a 64 BCD
    That's why I said Shimano cranks. 104BCD doesn't go as small as 28T

    SRAM 11spd (x01/xx1/etc) is the only other 28T narrow wide at all I think

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    That's why I said Shimano cranks. 104BCD doesn't go as small as 28T
    64/104 are common bolt circle diameters for 2 and 3 ring cranks. Many manufacturers use these BCD's not just Shimano.

    You are right, if you want to use a 28T or smaller, you need a small BCD, like the 64 (which will let you go down to 22T), or 76 which will take a 28T. The other way to use small chain rings is to use a direct mount ring, which takes the place of a removable spider, so you don't have the limitations of the normal BCD's.

    SRAM 11spd (x01/xx1/etc) is the only other 28T narrow wide at all I think
    X01 uses a 94 BCD and only accepts down to 30T, and XX1 uses a 76 BCD and can go down to 28T. Both these cranks have removable spiders so you can get direct mount chainrings from Wolf Tooth that work for either and go down to 26T. I think North Shore Billet and others also make direct mount rings.

  94. #94
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    Chromag makes a single ring called the Clocker that uses a deep tooth design instead of narrow wide, for chain retention. It might be something to consider, but only comes in 104 BCD and down to 32T.

    Chromag Bikes - Clocker

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    64/104 are common bolt circle diameters for 2 and 3 ring cranks. Many manufacturers use these BCD's not just Shimano.

    You are right, if you want to use a 28T or smaller, you need a small BCD, like the 64 (which will let you go down to 22T), or 76 which will take a 28T. The other way to use small chain rings is to use a direct mount ring, which takes the place of a removable spider, so you don't have the limitations of the normal BCD's.



    X01 uses a 94 BCD and only accepts down to 30T, and XX1 uses a 76 BCD and can go down to 28T. Both these cranks have removable spiders so you can get direct mount chainrings from Wolf Tooth that work for either and go down to 26T. I think North Shore Billet and others also make direct mount rings.
    Any chance of XT cranks having a removable spider for direct mount? *Crosses fingers*


    I don't like having only one option for my setup/needs.

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    XX1 28t chain grinding?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laterilus View Post
    Reading this thread is a bit bittersweet for me. I'm happy to know that I'm not the only one this is happening to (so many times I break things and I hear "Hmmm.. never seen that happen before"), but at the same time, that doesn't fix my problem and it sucks that others are having the same problem too. I've been dealing with this since I got my XX1 in the early months of 2013. I started with the XX1 32T ring. I first thought it was a bad ring. SRAM warrantied it, and the second one went bad just as quick. The kicker? 250 miles. That's all I get out of my chain rings with XX1. Too bad I'm addicted to that drivetrain like it was crack.

    I changed my spider to a Northshore billet 1x10 (104 BCD). Then I decided to try a Wolftooth 30T ring. 250 miles, toast.

    I'm now using a Race Face 30T ring. 230 miles, just about to call it toast.

    I've tried the spacing method. The NSB spider puts the chain rings at a 49mm chain line. Exactly what SRAM wants for XX1. I used some Wheels Mfg. chain ring spacers to push the chain ring closer to the BB. I had the same thought as mentioned before; If I'm mostly in my climbing gears, I'll make the chain line for those gears. Didn't matter. I pushed it in 1mm. I then pushed it in 2mm, then 2.5mm. No dice. Still got the noise and the rings still wore out at the same rate.

    Have any of you noticed that the noise really gets loud after lubing the chain? Mine does. Really bad. I have to get through at least one ride, wipe off the chain, then wipe off the teeth of my chain ring. Seems like the lube almost helps the chain get stuck on the chain ring to the point where you almost get chain suck. I'm assuming everyone here notices it the most when climbing (as mentioned before). Putting the power down hard and it makes a sweet "WRRRRAAAP!" noise on every pedal stroke. I have tested it though in every gear. I'll get on the flat areas and shift to 2 harder gears to put myself in the same situation where I have to lay down a lot of power to get the bike moving in that gear. Same noise. It doesn't matter what gear I'm in. That was what originally told me that it had to be the chain ring.

    There was one comment on a review for the XX1 chain on Amazon that brought up something new to me. It mentioned that thicker lubes tend to cause this noise more than thin lubes. I found that to be interesting. I always use Dumonde Tech blue lube. It is thick for sure. I recently changed to Pro Gold and the noise isn't as bad. Now, I made that change not too long ago so my current ring was already on its way to being toast, but I'm curious how many more miles I get out of my next one. If I just got twice as many miles (I see some of you are getting 500) I would be elated. So far, Race Face are the cheapest and last as long as anything else so I'm sticking with them for the time being.

    Oh, I should mention that I leave my chain rings on til the noise happens when I'm not even putting down a lot of power. It drives me crazy. Then when I actually do have to put down some power, the noise reverberates so bad that it vibrates into my feet. At that point, I have to change the chain ring.

    Has anyone tried just going back to a normal, not narrow/wide, chain ring? I mean the clutch should keep the chain on for the most part. I can deal with a couple chain drops here and there if it means my chain rings would last a little longer.
    Well, I was kind of thinking that if I changed my 28t chainring to a 32t chainring that I might get more life out of the bigger chainring, but it sounds like you wore out your 32t just as quickly.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  97. #97
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    wax lube

    I mentioned this awhile ago, I went from progold lube to White Lightening
    clean ride and the grinding feel and sound has disappeared.


    Quote Originally Posted by midbunchlurker View Post
    I've also noticed less noise switching lubes. I used to use Pedros synlube, which is thick. Switched to Finishline Teflon and there is substantially less noise, and I am hoping, less wear. I was managing just under 500km per ring, the current one has done 677km and looks like it might have another 100-200km in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by viccoastal View Post
    I mentioned this awhile ago, I went from progold lube to White Lightening
    clean ride and the grinding feel and sound has disappeared.
    I use a rock and roll gold lube. Not sure how thick this lube is compared to others. I thought it was a relatively thin lube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dodger View Post
    Greasing the derailleur does nothing for the grinding as I expected. Reversing the chaninring solved the issue. I can see shark toothing on my ring after only 1 month. WTF?!
    I searched for somebody that makes a steel or Ti ring for XX1 to no avail but did find Blackspire makes them from 7075 which is a bit harder or stronger than the 7050 of SRAM. I'll be trying that to see if it proves more durable.
    you can buy a Teflon coated steel Doval chainring on ebay, might last a bit longer
    Last edited by WaXed64; 06-28-2014 at 09:44 AM. Reason: added

  100. #100
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    SRAM chainline is specified at 49mm
    the centre of the XX1 cluster is 6th gear and has a chainline of approximately 45mm, I believe SRAM have a bad chainline on the XX1 from the start

    this puts a heavy cross chaining load on the top of the chainring in 1st gear
    especially when standing up grinding, for a 75kg rider 175mm crank arms and a 28T chainring will produce maximum chain tension around 220kg on the chain
    this is likely causing grinding noise under load

    it also looks to me like the narrow/wide design of the SRAM chainring increases the angular load on the chain links where chain meets the top of the chain ring teeth (put your XX1 in 1st gear and see for yourself)

    another outcome of cross chaining with heavy load is the chain wears quicker which in turn wears the chainring teeth faster

    as a solution we can
    use a better chainline, even make it slightly in favour of 1st gear ie. get it down to 43mm
    could be done by using 64BDC on a triple and use a standard ring or maybe 80BCD on a double, okay hard to find chainrings but they are around
    standard chainring will be more prone to chain dropping so you might need to use a chain guide

    it also goes without saying "regular chain clean and keep chain well lubed always extends the life of the drivetrain"
    Last edited by WaXed64; 06-29-2014 at 06:57 PM.

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