When it comes to dropping down to a single ring at the front you will hear everybody and their mother singing their praises for the RaceFace Narrow-Wide chainring. Unfortunately, this means that it’s little brother, the lowly RaceFace Single Ring often gets ignored. But it shouldn’t.
Using a standard chainring just doesn’t make the cut when going single. You will be dropping chains all over the place and it’ll ruin your ride not just for you, but everyone else waiting for you to put your chain back on. Sometimes a simple chain tensioner might do the trick, or you could slap on a chain guide, but your best bet is to go for a single specific ring – that’s where RaceFace steps in.
RaceFace Single Chainring
The Narrow-Wide’s predecessor is still very much a big boy in it’s game. It’s deep teeth make it very difficult for the chain to jump out when you’re hauling ass across rocks and roots, giving you a very secure footing no matter what you’re riding.
According to RaceFace, the single ring is made out of ‘aerospace quality 7075 aluminum’. We don’t really have a clue what that means, but we will tell you one thing – considering how light it feels, this ring can take a real bashing!
At GrindingGears we like to put everything to the extremes, that includes trying it on things that it may not be suitable for. Well, the RaceFace Single Chainring performed wonderfully when it was being used for XC and trails. The 32t option is by far the best call for anyone who does a lot of All Mountain riding, we used 36t for Downhill stuff and it was terrific but very hard work pedaling uphill with it!
Throughout the testing we didn’t have many problems with it. The chain stayed exactly where it was meant to be for the most part, however we found that flicking through the gears quickly would sometimes caused the chain to dislodge. This was quickly remedied with the BlackSpire Direct Mount Chain Guide and we haven’t had any problems since. It may be that a Narrow-Wide ring wouldn’t have had this issue, but we haven’t tested yet.
This is a stunning product and coming in at around £10 cheaper than its Narrow-Wide brother makes it an absolute bargain. The chainring comes in a range of different colours so that you can match your bike’s colour scheme, as well as a range of teeth for a variety of different riding styles.
It can be hard to find a product that not only looks great but performs well too, but RaceFace have well and truly delivered here. You’ll see a bit of wear and tear on the paintwork on you’re first ride, but that’s expected.
We give the Single Ring a solid 4/5 for being awesome. It’s incredibly simple to fit as well, four bolts and you’re done – a fantastic and cheap mtb upgrade for anyone looking for it!