Singlespeed chainrings...how are they unique?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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    Singlespeed chainrings...how are they unique?

    Hello everyone,

    I'm very new to SS and I'm in the process of customizing a 2015 Kona Unit that I recently picked up.

    I'm interested in replacing the FSA Comet boat anchor of a crank that came with it with something lighter. It seems that most of the single ring cranks I'm seeing online have a narrow wide ring on them and I've been told they are incompatible with the KMC Z610 chain I've put on it.

    Are there any cranks like this that come with an SS compatible chainring?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Last edited by Pucker Factor; 12-08-2016 at 08:12 AM.

  2. #2
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    Your KMZ Z610 will work perfectly fine with a narrow/wide ring.

  3. #3
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    Interested to hear who told you that chain is incompatible with narrow/wide chainrings, and why. It should work fine.

    It wouldn't be my choice for a singlespeed chain, but it should work fine.

  4. #4
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    N/W rings often have an 11 or 10 speed chain specification but it is only related to chain retention when on derailleur bikes and operating at angles.

    any 3/32 chain should work fine.

  5. #5
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    Basically a chainring intended for a derailleur is designed to allow the chain to slide off easily.

    I can testify this is not a good thing for male single speeders.

    A SS ring has taller teeth and no cutaways that allow derailment.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  6. #6
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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    Thanks for all of your responses. I had been looking at a RaceFace Aeffect crank on Chain Reaction Cycles web site and I inquired about the chain ring it was equipped with before ordering anything.

    This was the response from a CRC staffer...

    "The chainring used on this chainset features a RaceFace Narrow Wide tooth profile which is devleoped for use with 9, 10 and 11 speed chains only. This will not work with your Single Speed Chain width and design."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pucker Factor View Post
    Thanks for all of your responses. I had been looking at a RaceFace Aeffect crank on Chain Reaction Cycles web site and I inquired about the chain ring it was equipped with before ordering anything.

    This was the response from a CRC staffer...

    "The chainring used on this chainset features a RaceFace Narrow Wide tooth profile which is devleoped for use with 9, 10 and 11 speed chains only. This will not work with your Single Speed Chain width and design."
    I have the same crankset running Raceface N/W chainring with a KMC 610 HX chain(3/32) SS no problem on my ROS9+. (EDIT: actually turbine crankset, but raceface NW chainring been on almost a year)

    Singlespeed chainrings...how are they unique?-20161207_155552.jpg
    Last edited by socal_jack; 12-07-2016 at 05:03 PM.

  8. #8
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    The Renthal 1XR did not work with with the z610 3/32 chain. Just to add my experience.

  9. #9
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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    Thanks everyone...this is great info!

  10. #10
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    Not quite the same, but I'm running a set of RF cranks with an absolute black chainring NW spec'ed for a 10 spd chain with an 8 speed chain and no problems. I briefly had a 9 spd chain and no problems.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  11. #11
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    I just picked up a Praxis Wave chainring and a new z610 chain seemed to rub and catch slightly enough from the different "wave" tooth profile to make a ticking noise while pedaling. Moved over to a X10.93 and the noise went away. However, on my now retired Absolute Black oval ring the Z610 works great! Point being: there's about a 98% chance it'll be compatible if you're going with a regular N/W ring.

  12. #12
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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    Point taken...cheers!

  13. #13
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    I've been running a Raceface N/W ring for a couple years on my trail bike, but my beer bike has the venerable Surly steel SS ring. I still find the Surly rings to be the best rings I've ever run, and I personally find a SS ring works better than a N/W. My $.02.

    Also you can't run a halflink with a N/W, and I like that rear wheel snugged up as much as possible.

  14. #14
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeStroganoff View Post
    I've been running a Raceface N/W ring for a couple years on my trail bike, but my beer bike has the venerable Surly steel SS ring. I still find the Surly rings to be the best rings I've ever run, and I personally find a SS ring works better than a N/W. My $.02.

    Also you can't run a halflink with a N/W, and I like that rear wheel snugged up as much as possible.

  15. #15
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    I use KMC Z410 chains which are 1/8th inch BMX chains on my singlespeed--mainly because I use Endless Cogs, and I recall seeing somewhere that she recommends this chain for those cogs. I happen to use a RaceFace N/W chainring and this chain works fine with that ring. Lots of riding and ultraendurance races using that chain--no chain drops, no breaks, no drive-related problems at all. I've seen several chain discussions on this forum, and I have noted that most people use 3/32 chains, so I might be missing something. I've also used 3/32 chains and I do not notice any difference between those and a 1/8 inch chain. It just seems if you line up your drive train and have a good way to maintain reasonable tension, it's hard to go wrong with a singlespeed. The whole point, right?

  16. #16
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    Z610 w/ Surly SS chainring and rear cog. It's something like an $80 upgrade on top of new cranks, but it's just gonna keep going.

    I still run a Sram 9spd chain, Raceface N/W, and a Surly rear cog on the trail bike. I put a new rear wheel on in the spring, and at some point before this coming spring I am going to upgrade (or downgrade if you're into the whole technology thing) to the above. The N/W came with my cranks, and the local shop carried Sram chains. I don't recommend them, but they work alright enough. Again, my beer bikes have always used all Surly and KMC drivetrains, and I ride them at least 1000+ miles a year, treat them like a bmx, and take them on mild trails.

    The small bit of weight savings of aluminum rings and cogs is not worth it, but the huge durability increase is. I'll also be able to use a half link to pull in my rear wheel a bit. That is definitely a matter of personal preference. Some people say they feel a difference with a slammed rear wheel, some people don't. I know I'm one of those stereotypical crusty, drunk, steel-is-real single speeders still riding a 26" Surly with v-brakes, but as much as I scoff at new bikes and everything, there is a reason chain stays are getting shorter and shorter on modern frames.

    Once more, take my advice or leave it, it's all good. This is what works for me. Mess with what you have, break it, then try something else.

  17. #17
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    Surly stainless chainring. Last so much longer than alum.

  18. #18
    Always in the wrong gear
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    I'm using an aeffect crank with the stock 32T ring on my SS. I alternate between a 22 and 19T cogs depending on the ride. I've used 8,9, and 10 speed chains by KMC and SRAM.

    I rode over 1k miles last year and dropped not a single chain.

  19. #19
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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    Thanks again everyone for your input! There is a wealth of knowledge and experience here and I'm grateful for your contributions. I've been lurking on this forum for a couple of months now and I've seen that there is a generosity and openness to share information that is not necessarily seen on some of the other forums of mtbr. Cheers!

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