Performance Chainrings, Faster Shifting
WickWerks is a small company based in Ogden, Utah that makes innovative chainrings for mountain, cross and road bikes. What sets their chainrings apart from other rings is their patented B.R.I.D.G.E. technology, which uses ‘bridges’ instead of pins on the rings to move the chain. Their rings are made out of CNC 7075-T6 aluminum and made in the USA. The company promotes their chainrings as being faster than conventional chainrings. We received a set of 2×10 chainrings in 38/24 teeth size that replaced the same size on our SRAM X7 equipped test bike. We found the WickWerks chainrings to be a worthy upgrade.
WickWerks on the trail, close-up.
Upon first receipt of the chainrings, we noticed two things. They felt significantly lighter than normal rings and the CNC machining and anodizing (“MIL Type 3 True Hard Anodize”, according to WickWerks) make for a visually appealing product. Many might not care how the rings look, but as long as you are going to upgrade, why not get something that adds a little flair?
It is also nice to see a small company like WickWerks endorse a big name racer in one Katie Compton (USA Cycling Cyclocross National Champion many times over). They are also a sponsor of the Kenda/Felt Mountain Bike team as well as a few other cross and track racers. They have also run product sweepstakes right here on Mtbr.com and via their Facebook page.
The WickWerks chainrings are available for a multitude of mountain bike, road bike and cross bike drivetrains including 2×10, mountain triple, mountain double, road compact and standard and about 6 variations for cross bikes. They have bash guard ready models, too. Prices range from $95.50 to $159.50. The 2×10 38/24 we tested sells for $132.50. Currently, WickWerks products are sold manufacturer direct only via their website.
Left: WickWerks install outer view. Right: WickWerks install inner view.
The install was very simple and the hardest part of the whole process is unrelated to the WickWerks chainrings themselves. Depending on who built your bike, removing the cranks can be a bit difficult since they require a lot of torque when installed. On my Airborne Hobgoblin test bike, I had to use a breaker bar on my 8mm Park Tool Allen wrench to get enough leverage. Once the cranks are off, unbolting the stock X7 Truvativ rings was easy enough (5 and 6mm Allens required).
When bolting on your new WickWerks rings, be sure to properly align the big ring, placing the triangle indicator in the same direction as the crank. This is the same position where the crank protector pin is located on the stock big ring. (If you match up the teeth pattern on the big ring, it is also the same as the stock ring.) After you install the big ring, install the small ring and re-install the cranks. The types and sizes of tools you need will vary depending on what brand and model of cranks you have. Also, be sure to torque the cranks back on with the manufacturer recommended torque specs. You don’t want to have your crank fall off mid-ride!
WickWerks recommends replacing your chain when installing your new rings, but our Airborne did not yet have a ton of miles on it when I did the WickWerks install so the chain was still fairly new. It has not been a problem during my testing. Once on the bike, I did have to do some barrel adjustment to the shifter cable even though the new rings are the same size as the old, but just a touch.
Continue to page 2 for WickWerks Technology, Performance, Bottom Line and full photo gallery.