Praxis Works Chainring Review

Praxis Works Cyclocross Chainrings 48 - 36 Gold Anodized

Poor front shifting can really ruin an otherwise amazing drivetrain setup.  Not to mention, it can really put a downer on your rides.  I myself have been victim of poor front shifting.  My cyclocross bike came set up with amazing Cannondale Hollowgram SI cranks, but used FSA rings.  I was never able to get the front shifting to work the way I wanted.  So, to improve my front shifting performance I started looking into aftermarket solutions, but nothing was really catching my eye.  That is until I started hearing about Praxis Works and their forged chainrings. The hype sounded too good to be true, but nothing else (short of running Shimano Dura-ace chainrings mixed in with my SRAM Red drive train) sounded any better.  So, while at Interbike I made a point to stop by their booth and find out just what the Praxis Works chainrings are all about.  You can find that post here.

Luckily for me, I left that meeting with a set of both 50/34 compact road rings, and a 48/36 cross set (46/36 is coming).  I took the bikes to my mechanic and had the chainrings properly set up, and have since put a decent amount of miles on each now.  I have the road rings set up on a complete Shimano Ultegra SL 10sp drive train, and the cross set up is using a SRAM Red front derailleur.  Both drive trains are using a Shimano Ultegra 6600 10sp chain.  Head on past the jump to see if the hype is real, or if these are just another aftermarket dud.

Praxis Works 50 - 34 Road Compact Chainrings Black and Silver

I am going to get straight to the point.  You want these chainrings  and you want them right now!  These are the only chainrings I have ever ridden that have equal, if not slightly better, front shifting performance as compared to a Shimano Dura-ace set up.  And if you ask me, Dura-ace is the gold standard for front shifting.

Praxis Works Cyclocross 48 36 Chainrings On Bike

So what makes the Praxis Works chainrings a better choice than other after market rings?  For starters they are forged, not CNC’d.  They are made from 7075 T6 aluminum.  Praxis uses what they call a “One-Shot” forging process.  It allows them to make a longer lasting ring.  And, they are able to add in more shifting features compared to a normal CNC processed ring.  In their own words, ” Individual tooth profiles, alternating tooth angles, timed ramps and tactically placed shift elevators are all jam packed onto a Praxis ring.”

Praxis Works Cyclocross Chainrings Detail Shot

All these features are dubbed LevaTime by their marking department.  And while the term may not mean much, the bits that make it up do.  Praxis has spent years in the R & D phase with these rings, and the hard work has really paid off.

Praxis Works Cyclocross Chainring Large Ring Tooth Profile

Every single tooth has a unique profile

There are four main parts to the LevaTime system.  The first components are the stainless steel shift elevators (aka pins).  These are placed very precisely around the big ring to alleviate missed shifts.  Next are the tactical ramps. These ramps are timed with the little ring to grab the chain without hesitation.  Third, you have unique tooth profiles to aid in the smoothness of each front shift.  And last, Praxis has built scallops into the system to prevent chain suck.

Praxis Works Cyclocross Chainrings 134g

What does all this tech equate to?  That’s easy, it delivers perfect front shifting.  I find that I never have to pay attention anymore when going up to the big ring.  I don’t even have to ease up when up shifting.  I can just jam the lever and the chain moves without hesitation.  I haven’t had a missed shift on either bike since mounting these chain rings.  Downshifts are equally as smooth, and happen without issue.

Praxis Works Road Chainring Ramp and Pin Detail

We get to test a lot of really nice stuff here at BikeRumor. And while we usually end up with positive reviews, usually a product has at least one downside.  This time, I have yet to find one.  Even the price is decent at $160 for either the compact road or cyclocross version.  If you are in the market for new chainrings these should be at the top of your list.

Comments

Robin - 12/05/11 - 8:18pm

Does the performance justify the cost? Their website says “Campy BCD coming soon.” Do you have any insight into how soon “soon” is?

Nick Burklow - 12/05/11 - 8:46pm

@Robin “Does the performance justify the cost?”

For me, very much so. The best shifting rings I have used up to this point are the Dura-Ace 7900 rings. Those run $200 ish for just the large ring. The Praxis Works rings come in a sets for $160. If i were in need for new chainrings, or doing a custom build these would be my first choice hands down.

wv cycling - 12/05/11 - 10:44pm

Me Gusta

Aaron - 12/05/11 - 11:06pm

Any chance they’ll be offering mtb double rings? Specifically 38/24t…….

Robin - 12/06/11 - 4:19am

Does Praxis make any claims about life span compared to a machined chainring or stamped chainring? I wonder what the lifespan of one of the Praxis chainrings would be versus Shimano’s, SRAM’s, or Campy’s offerings.

Collin S - 12/06/11 - 8:53am

To Nick, Dura Ace rings are great, but so are Ultegra’s. I have a set of 6600 rings on my Cannondale SI cranks and it shifts lighting fast and have never had shifting issues. Heck, I bought the entire crank on clearance, took the rings and sold the arms which made the entire package less then $100

TAYLOR - 12/06/11 - 10:55am

Any chance these will be made to fit the DA 7900 or Ultegra cranks so that it has the same smooth nice look as the DA and Ultegra rings do?

Dave - 12/06/11 - 11:35am

Robin, the new Mountain Cycle lineup comes with a set of Praxis double rings (30/42) mounted on Turn cranks. I haven’t seen them available as aftermarket yet, but I’m sure they will be available soon (hopefully with more ratio options too).

Britton - 12/06/11 - 11:39am

@Aaron

38/26 available in 120/80 or 104/64. 42/30 also available. MSRP is $130.

KP, MAMIL - 12/06/11 - 12:12pm

Recently replaced FSA SLK stock rings with Praxis. Quantum leap in shifting performance resulted.
Plus, they look really good, like “lingerie for my cranks”.

Will - 12/06/11 - 12:54pm

Nick What is the weight for the road version? Sounds like an awesome product.

Chris - 12/06/11 - 2:14pm

“I took the bikes to my mechanic and had them chainrings properly set up, and have since put a decent amount of miles on each now.”

You had to have a mechanic install your chainrings??

Nick Burklow - 12/06/11 - 4:44pm

@Robin – I have not seen any specific claims on lifespan form them specifically. Given that the rings are a high quality fordged product (just like a Shimano ring) I can only image they would have very simlar logevity.

@Colin S – I had been running the 660 rings on my Ultegra SL cranks for a while and you are right, they are fantastic. Mine were just worn out, and in the interest of our readers, I thought trying out an after market solution would make for a good post. I am super glad I tried out the Praxis rings, but if they did not exisit, I would have totally gone with another set of Ultegra rings. They work very well. I was also glad to get rid of the FSA rings I had on my C’Dale cranks. That was where I saw the real improvement.

@Taylor – I was told there is something in the works that will satisfy you, but they would not share the specifics. Stay tuned for updates when we get them (no idea on the time frame though)

@KP – I replaced the FSA rings on my C’day cranks and I saw the same performance leap. It’s insane how much better these things really are.

@Will – I totally failed at weighing them. Which is odd, cause I weigh everything! The next time I get a chance to take them off the bike, I will weigh them, but for now I have no clue where they come in at. If I had to guess, I would say 140g would be close, but that is just speculation.

@Chris – Yes. While I do some of my own work, I am far from a skilled mechanic. I know when to let others do what they are good at.

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