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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a narrow wide chainring (Race Face, 40 tooth) on my cross bike and I think it might be nearing replacement time. It is skipping under load but only really high load (like standing on a climb steep enough to be in the easiest 2-3 gears).

In case it is related I wanted to include that I just put a power meter on this bike and I had to adjust the derailleur afterwards. The crank uses a proprietary crank spindle which needed a different combination of spacers than the stock one to fit right so I think the chainline may be a hair different. 2 clicks clockwise on the barrel adjuster got the derailleur perfect so any difference was a small one. Just wanted to include this in case it was relevant.

The chain is not stretched whatsoever and the cassette is in great shape according to my Rohloff cassette wear indicator (both have <500 miles anyway, chainring is around 2k miles). See pic. The black finish on the teeth only lasts a few rides so that isn't really an indication of wear.


Bicycle part Bicycle drivetrain part Crankset Iron Metal
 

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Those chainring teeth look perfect to me. I very much doubt that the skipping is chainring related as they have to be very worn for that to happen. 2000 miles for a chainring? They las way longer than that. My current ones have about 14K on them and they still look perfect too.

A worn chainring has hooked teeth and the last one I knew of that really did skip was worn down to nubs and the rider went over the bars when it skipped.
 

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That's not worn. Just the anodizing on the teeth is worn but the teeth look fine. Worn chainrings have a hooked look to the teeth- they're worn on one side. If you put a new chain on worn chainrings they make a kind of grinding/rumbling noise while pedalling.
 

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I agree with Mike T. and ericm979; it ain't the chainring.

I've never had a chainring skip, worn or new.

You COULD have a bent tooth on the chainring. Worn teeth on chainrings usually manifests itself with chainsuck or poor downshifting where, as the chain drops from the large to the small ring, it delays dropping onto the small chainring teeth-it rides on top of the teeth momentarily.

I think something else is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know if it is the chainring that is skipping. It feels like the cassette area, but the cassette and chain are new. This bike gets ridden in pretty destructive environments (wet and sandy) where chains usually only last ~500 miles and cassettes a little over 1k miles, so a chainring at 2,000 miles wouldn't be THAT crazy. Narrow/wide 1x mountain bike chainrings often wear out in the ~1,000 mile range.
 

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To quote Peter, "it ain't the chainring".
^^^This^^^

Are you sure the skipping is the front, not the rear? I would say it's as simple as a rear derailleur adjustment or possible a bent derailleur hanger. Front rings generally don't skip. If they are worn enough to do that, the chain will drop.
 

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Narrow-wide chainrings wear out much, much faster than normal road chainrings that most of you are talking about. It very well could need replacement. They are machined much differently and the teeth don't tend to get that hooked shark fin appearance. They just stop holding on to the chain like they used to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Narrow-wide chainrings wear out much, much faster than normal road chainrings that most of you are talking about. It very well could need replacement. They are machined much differently and the teeth don't tend to get that hooked shark fin appearance. They just stop holding on to the chain like they used to.

I noticed that too on yesterday's ride... if I shove down hard with my left foot once and stop, my right foot coming back up quickly on the rebound causes the chain to come up off the ring a little bit and hits the chainstay. I don't think it used to do that... everything on the bike is 6 months old and some of it even less than that (replaced chain/cassette in February)
 

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The chain is not stretched whatsoever and the cassette is in great shape according to my Rohloff cassette wear indicator (both have <500 miles anyway, chainring is around 2k miles).
This is a joke, right? Those parts are practically new, and your chainring looks like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is a joke, right? Those parts are practically new, and your chainring looks like it.
I've burned up mountain bike narrow/wide rings in as little as 400 miles. There are fewer teeth so obviously it'll wear quicker. So 2,000 on a bigger ring wouldn't be insane to wear out a ring in. The MTB ones show they're worn by dropping chains or making squealing noises. This one is exhibiting symptoms I've never seen so I'm asking.
 

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This is a joke, right? Those parts are practically new, and your chainring looks like it.
Again.........Narrow/wide chinrings are not even in the same ballpark as the road chainrings you guys are getting all up in arms about. Ihave Race Face narrow/wide on my one-by Mountain bike and the narrow-then-wide profile of the very square machined teeth in conjunction with a clutch rear derailleur are intended to hold on to the chain tightly, and prevent chain drop and chain-slap. They wear out very fast depending on tooth count. I have had 30 tooth rings wear out in 350 miles.
 

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Again.........Narrow/wide chinrings are not even in the same ballpark as the road chainrings you guys are getting all up in arms about. Ihave Race Face narrow/wide on my one-by Mountain bike and the narrow-then-wide profile of the very square machined teeth in conjunction with a clutch rear derailleur are intended to hold on to the chain tightly, and prevent chain drop and chain-slap. They wear out very fast depending on tooth count. I have had 30 tooth rings wear out in 350 miles.
As an aside......the OP probably should have posted this over on MTBR or in the CX forum, cause a chainring wearing out in a thousand miles does not compute to roadie only types.
 

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I noticed that too on yesterday's ride... if I shove down hard with my left foot once and stop, my right foot coming back up quickly on the rebound causes the chain to come up off the ring a little bit and hits the chainstay.

Possibly the chain is just a bit too long? Try taking a link out, but make sure you can still run in the largest cog without binding. Your shifting will be smoother in general.
 

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As an aside......the OP probably should have posted this over on MTBR or in the CX forum, cause a chainring wearing out in a thousand miles does not compute to roadie only types.

Apparently not. This is news to me about 1x wide/narrow rings. Wear out in 350 miles? Still seems premature to me when you consider how long a 34 ring on a road bike lasts. Then again, road bikes usually don't regularly deal with mud, water and other constant nasties that CX and mountain bikes do.

Yes, I would say post on MTBR or in the Cyclocross forum here and you will get more people in your camp.
 

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I've burned up mountain bike narrow/wide rings in as little as 400 miles. There are fewer teeth so obviously it'll wear quicker. So 2,000 on a bigger ring wouldn't be insane to wear out a ring in. The MTB ones show they're worn by dropping chains or making squealing noises. This one is exhibiting symptoms I've never seen so I'm asking.
I'm not buyin' any of this $hit. If stuff wears out in a few hundred miles (a month?) then it's not viable parts or technology. Conditions my @rse. I raced and trained MTB's for years and didn't wear stuff out like that. So what's the benefit to one chainring? If it needs to wear out in a few weeks then my three-ring setup is going to stay. Hey if I don't shift out of the middle ring, I've got a 1-ring system too eh? The two extra rings and the frt derailer is the price I'll pay. I don't need to look hip.
 

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I'm not buyin' any of this $hit. If stuff wears out in a few hundred miles (a month?) then it's not viable parts or technology. Conditions my @rse. I raced and trained MTB's for years and didn't wear stuff out like that. So what's the benefit to one chainring? If it needs to wear out in a few weeks then my three-ring setup is going to stay. Hey if I don't shift out of the middle ring, I've got a 1-ring system too eh? The two extra rings and the frt derailer is the price I'll pay. I don't need to look hip.
C'mon Mike. As a huge contributor over at MTBR for what 12 years? I find it hard to believe that you don't understand the concept of 1 by or narrow-wide rings. It was a mistake of monumental proportions for the OP to post this crap here cause the ensuing chaos should have been seen coming.

To those that don't see the benefits or why the rings wear so fast I will try to explain more clearly. The concept and benefits of a single chainring in front for MTB's was the ability to eliminate the front derailleur, left shifter, cable, housing, and a VERY heavy in comparison triple or double paired to a boat anchor crank and spider. Before one by specific stuff came out.....Clutch rear derailleurs, one by specific cranks with direct mount chainrings (no spider), guys were taking off the big and little rings of their cranksets, and running downhill bike style chain tensioners to keep the chain from falling off the single ring when riding techy sections. Then came clutch equipped rear derailleurs.....the cage of these derailleurs are kept under heavy tension by a clutch type mechanism to hold the chain taut. This came with the additional benefit of eliminating the chain bouncing off the chainstay of the bike and made the ride almost silent. In an additional effort to maintain strict and confident chain retention and control several companies......Race Face, Wolftooth, etc came out with narrow-wide chainrings. These rings match the profile of a bike chain exactly............ie: one tooth is very wide and square and the next tooth is very thin and narrow. The chain sticks firmly to these rings to aid in chain retention. With the absence of the granny gear these chainrings rarely rose above a 32 and are usually 26-30 depending on the size of the largest cog in back. These rings are often aluminum, and when paired with say a Race Face Next SL crank like pictured below can see weight savings of pounds not grams. Great for cross country guys. At the time (and maybe still) The Race Face Next SL was the lightest Carbon crank being commercially produced. The system works as advertised but comes at the expense of rapid chainring wear. Especially if the chainline of the bike is not carefully adjusted, and the rider uses the big cog often. They are not expensive......30-50 bucks and are easily replaced. The photo below is my bike and shows the one ring system as it is meant to be used. That is a 30 tooth chainring and 11-36 cassette. These rings don't sharkfin or show anything remotely resembling the wear we are all used to seeing on road rings....
Hope this helps.

 
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