Drivetrains are a hot topic these days among cyclocross and gravel racers, with many options available but new technology from the likes of SRAM and Shimano aren't your only options. We took a look at new products from Wolf Tooth Components and Praxis Works for upgrading your gearing to a wide-range 1x setup.
Wolf Tooth Component's New GC 49 Tooth Cassette and WolfCage:
Wolf Tooth Components in Minneapolis has been busy not only working on its new Otso bike brand and stainless steel Warakin gravel bikes, but also new drivetrain components.
At Interbike 2016, the company revealed the GC 49t cassette cog that pairs with SRAM, Sunrace, and Shimano 11 speed mountain cassettes. The GC 49t comes with an 18t cassette cog as well to replace the 17 and 19 that come with your existing 11-40 or 11-42 cassette. If you have a Shimano cassette, WolfTooth has WolfCage that includes an inner cage and eccentrically mounted upper jockey wheel so that the GC 49t will shift with the SLX, XT and XTR rear derailleur. The kit bolts in place of the stock inner jockey wheel cage and repositions the upper jockey wheel to allow easy shifting to the new large cog.
For SRAM, the GC 49t is only compatible with the NX and Apex cassettes, PG 1130. It is not compatible with any XD driver cassettes with a 10t cog.
The GC 49t is available now for $89, or for Shimano as a kit with the WolfCage for $125.
More info: wolftoothcomponents.com
Praxis Works Optimizes 1X Wave Chainrings for Mud, Adds Watchers and Wheels for 'Cross and Gravel:
Praxis Works of Santa Cruz had a few new items that debuted at Interbike 2016. Praxis Works has always been known for its problem solving with bottom brackets and other drivetrain components. This year, Praxis re-examined the single chainring. Despite the meteoric rise in popularity of single ring drivetrains, preventing the chain from derailing the chainring can still be a challenge in tough conditions.
SRAM introduced its version of the wide/narrow chainring design with the debut of the CX1 group and X-Sync chainring in 2014.
Others followed suit with wide/narrow tooth designs, including Praxis. This year, Praxis debuted the Wave Technology chain ring, eschewing the wide/narrow design. Instead the teeth are displaced and have different profiles. Praxis looked at reducing friction, noise and the derailment of the chain due to mud buildup with the wide tooth profile recent designs. The company found that as mud built up, the chain would ride up the tight spacing and more easily derail.
The Wave Technology profile shows teeth of equal thickness with alternately different front and back profile, and displaced in alignment. There is an orientation guide etched on the ring, but with an 11 speed chain the teeth do not settle in when the chain is out of proper synchronization anyway (see photos).
Wave Technology chainrings are available now in 40 and 42 teeth for 110mm BCD cranksets for $80 USD, and in other sizes for direct mount cranks.
To further secure the chain, Praxis has a chain guide, and at Interbike 2016 the company introduced a braze-on mount and high-direct mount for cyclocross users. Previously their chain guide was only with an ISCG mount for mountain bikes.
Finally, Praxis Works decided to enter into the competitive wheel market with complete wheels, as we saw at Sea Otter 2016. For cyclocross and gravel, the RC 21 with a tubeless profile 21mm internal width, 30mm deep carbon rim, and Praxis hubs that are developed for them in conjunction with DT Swiss. We're anxious to test this model.
Those hubs use DT Swiss 350 internals, but with thicker flanges according to Praxis. They are IS 6-bolt rotor mount; there is no Centerlock option at this time. Axle configuration is 12mm TA front and rear with a QR option for both. The rims have a hookless wall design with a prominent bead-locking ridge which looks very promising for trouble-free tubeless reliability.
The claimed weight is 1570 grams for the set, with MSRP set at $1799 USD.
More info: praxiscycles.com
See our ever-growing collection of new product news from Interbike 2016 here.