12-speed 46/30 Chainrings Back in StockJan Heine
Our most popular chainrings are back in stock: The 46/30-tooth 12-speed-compatible rings have just arrived. The other sizes are in production, and we should have the entire program available again within the next month or so.
Why has it taken so long? These chainrings are very hard to make: With just 3 arms and a very small bolt circle diameter, any runout (wobble) of the rings is magnified. On the plus side, the three arms are one reason our cranks are so light. And the small bolt circle means you can install chainrings from 24 to 52 teeth: more gearing choices to match your riding style.
Our 12-speed-compatible chainrings are the result of two years of intensive research & development. Our goal was to equal the best-shifting cranks. We analyzed cranks from all the big makers (plus a few small ones), before deciding that the shifting of the chainrings from a certain company in Osaka (Japan) stood heads and shoulders above the rest. Obviously, we benchmarked those. It took a lot of research until we understood how shifting really works, not as a static system, but a dynamic one. (The cranks are spinning at high rpm when you shift.) Then we researched where to place the pins so they work under those conditions, and we designed ramps that guide the chain onto those pins.
Why is that such a big deal? Many small makers put ramps (and sometimes pins) on their chainrings, but they are mostly cosmetic. To really work, ramps and pins must offer a clearly defined path for the chain to move smoothly onto the big ring. This requires matched pairs of chainrings, since that path depends on where the chain starts the shifting process. Testing other systems, we learned that even large makers still look at shifting from a static perspective: The chain wraps beautifully from the small ring to the big one—when you play with the cranks on your workbench. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate into smooth shifting when the cranks are spinning. We designed our chainrings to work best between 80 and 110 rpm.
For downshifts to the small ring, the chainrings have our downshift technology that allows the chain to pass between the teeth of the big ring, rather than having to climb over them. For our small R&D team, all this was a huge effort, but it was worth it. Everybody who has tried our 12-speed chainrings agrees: They are among the best-shifting chainrings on the planet.
These chainrings aren’t just for 12-speed; they also work great on drivetrains with 9, 10 or 11 cogs. I’ve been running mine with 8-speed chains and 7-speed freewheels, and they work great there, too.
Quantities are still limited, but more chainrings are on the way. And in a week or two, we’ll have 44/28 chainrings, followed by the other models. Thank you for your patience while these were out of stock.