By now, there are myriad narrow/wide chainrings available from brands large and small. To set them selves apart, Danish firm T-Bolt spent some time testing ways to prevent mud from packing up under the chain in their very rainy homeland.
Two versions were developed, one for SRAM GXP direct mount and one for standard 104BCD spiders. Both machined in house at T-Bolt, both cut from 7075-T6 alloy and hard anodized with a durable “Type 2” process they say boosts the ring’s longevity. Claimed weight is just 66g for the direct mount 32T option, and 34T (71g) and 36T (76g) are also available.
Any good chainring must be stiff enough to handle sprints and uphill grunts, and the T-Bolt N/W ring uses I-beam style construction to keep it stiff and strong, but with extra material machined away to keep it light. They say it’s strong enough for DH, but the weights scream XC. What really sets it apart, though, is the shaping leading into the wider teeth…
The sawtooth-like reinforcements provide ramps to slough away the mud as the chain compresses it onto the chainring. The wider sections of the teeth are also a bit thinner than we’ve seen on other brands’ offerings, which should provide more room for muck to pass through rather than building up and potentially letting the chain ride high enough to bounce off. As is, they say chain retention is very good, eliminating the need for any guides or other measures.
Late model prototypes were tested raw and cut from a different alloy, but they went with harder, stronger 7075 for production, then gave it the deep black hard ano to make it last.
Retail is DKK 599,00, which translates to about $109 as of this post, making it perhaps a better option for Denmark locals looking to support a domestic brand. Stupid exchange rate.
The 104BCD versions are available in the same three tooth counts: 32T (35g), 34T (42g) and 36T (48g), but you’ll have the added weight of the spider, making them about 50g or more heavier than the direct mount version. Retail on these is a bit less at DKK 499,00.