First Look: Race Face Prototype XX1 Compatible Narrow/Wide Chain Rings
It appears that it won’t be long until Race Face joins the growing list of companies providing XX1 compatible chainrings that will retrofit existing cranks. Official details won’t be released until Sea Otter, but we got a little sneak peek at what’s down the pipeline.
Get all the details as well as why companies are able to make these rings, after the break!
Built on the same narrow-wide principle as all of the other XX1 compatible single rings on the market, word is that the Race Face Narrow/Wide Single ring will be compatible with 11, 10 and even 9 speed chains allowing you to ditch the front derailleur with almost any set up. Built with the characteristic stiffness and performance of other Race Face single rings, the narrow/wide rings will be offered in 32-38t, 104 BCD rings with plenty of Ano color options to match your current Race Face cranks. Weight of the new 32T ring is said to be 38g. Full details from the Otter!
On a side note, we asked Race Face why everyone has been able to produce narrow/wide rings without infringing on any patented designs from SRAM. The surprising answer, is that the concept of narrow-wide chainring goes back to an expired patent from the 1970′s. Race Face, and we’re assuming everyone else other than SRAM, has designed the tooth profiling within the scope of that expired patent, to avoid any patent infringement and create a ring with excellent chain retention properties. Sram will likely be able to patent some of the aspects of XX1, though companies like Race Face have been very careful to design their own versions of this what’s-old-is-new-again technology.