Bike Chainrings are an important part of any riders drivetrain. Not only do they greatly effect the gear ratio of the entire drivetrain, they can pose many underlying problems for the entire system if they are not cleaned and replaced at proper intervals. It is a long-known fact that bike chainrings wear together with chains and cassettes, but they are constantly overlooked when riders replace those other components.
Bike chainrings can come in many different configurations including 3X, 2X, and 1X drivetrain systems. Double chainrings and triple chainrings are often found on touring/road bikes while 1X drivetrains are most commonly found on Mountain Bike Drivetrains. 1X chainrings have been perfected in recent years and companies such as Absolute Black, Race Face, and OneUp Components offer fantastic solutions for riders.
It is very common that on a double or triple chainring system, one of the chainrings will wear out faster than the others. This is due to the rider riding primarily in that gear (often the middle gear on a triple) which accelerates the wear. When you consider the bike chainring on a 1X system, it is recommended that you replace that chainring every time you replace your cassette. With just a single ring, it is taking all of the wear and tear that double and triple systems can share between other rings.
Chainring spacing (BCD) is a very important measurement that you need to consider while finding a replacement chainring. The most common BCD measurements are 64 (inner rings), 104 (primarily mountain bikes), 110 (road bikes), and 130 (road bikes). If you are unsure of this measurement, Park Tool offers a handy tool to measure them, or you can stop in to see your local mechanic.
More modern crank systems are starting to use direct mount chainrings. This eliminates the BCD measurement as the chainring is mounted directly to the crank arm. These systems offer superior performance and expanded chainring options for riders. Direct mount chainrings are becoming more of the norm on mountain bike systems as 1X drivetrains take over the market. Northwest Bicycle offers chainrings from all of the major brands that will fit almost any configuration of chainring you can find. If you need help with the technical details, please contact a member of our team to help.