MRP Wave Chainring
- Patent-pending offset tooth design
- 7075 Aluminum construction
- 49mm chainline on SRAM direct mount cranks
Blister’s Measured Weight: 54 grams
Mounted To: Canfield Yelli Screamy
Test Locations: Park City, UT; Jackson, WY
Days Tested: 25 / Miles Ridden: 250-300
Reviewer: 5’8”, 160 lbs
Along with the increasing popularity of 1x drivetrains, narrow / wide chainrings have been growing in popularity, too.
Many companies jumped on the narrow / wide bandwagon, and came out with rings that were very similar to SRAM’s XX1 with only slight variations in tooth height, shape, and cross section (e.g., Wolf Tooth, Absolute Black, and Race Face). Other companies simply licensed SRAM’s tech (e.g., Chromag and the Accel group—Ghost, Haibike, Raleigh, Diamondback, Lapierre, Redline, and several others).
MRP is one of the first companies to take a different approach. With their Wave ring, every other tooth is wide, and the teeth in between are offset to the side. This changes the number of contact points on the chain.
This design is interesting because it allows for more mud clearance, which could increase drivetrain life by reducing wear.
But we were interested to see (1) whether the offset teeth retain the chain as effectively as other designs, and (2) whether the offset teeth would increase chain drag.
The Build, Weight, Installation
The MRP Wave chainring features good build quality and a smooth surface finish with no visible machining marks.
The chainline is 49mm, 1mm narrower than the Wolf Tooth SRAM direct mount ring or the stock SRAM ring. This leads to less resistance on the chain in larger cogs while creating a bit more drag when in the smaller cogs.
On my scale, the 30T MRP ring weighs 54g (6g lighter than MRP’s stated weight of 60g).
SRAM states that their X-SYNC direct mount ring weighs 68g, and Wolf Tooth states that their 30T ring weighs 65g, so the MRP ring stacks up really well against the competition.
The Wave mounted easily to my SRAM GX 1400 cranks, and the spline fit tightly. Compared to other narrow / wide chainrings, nothing really stood out about the installation.
MRP offers the Wave ring in both GXP and BB30 direct mount configurations, with 28T, 30T, 32T, 34T, or 36T options available in three different offsets (-1, -7 and -8) to accommodate 24mm and 30mm spindles, as well as fat bikes.
Additionally, they offer a 104mm BCD version of the ring.
If I didn’t look down while riding, I wouldn’t know that I had this ring on my bike instead of another narrow / wide ring.
Chain retention has been great so far; I have yet to lose a chain from the Wave while riding. This is similar to my experiences with SRAM and Wolf Tooth rings when they are fresh, and better than my experience with Race Face rings where I have lost chains occasionally even when the ring is new.
Wear on the ring is focused on the offset teeth and away from the wide teeth. Mud, dust, and chain lube gunk isn’t building up as quickly as on other narrow / wide chainrings.
I’ll keep my eye on this, but so far, it is looking like the durability of the MRP Wave will be better than the other narrow / wide chainrings I’ve been on, and I expect that chain retention will stay strong as it wears.
The MRP Wave feels like it adds just a hair more friction to the drivetrain than the Wolf Tooth or Race Face rings. It is pretty subtle though, and I’d say it is comparable to SRAM X-SYNC rings.
I wouldn’t claim, however, to have quite the same ability as Blister reviewer Marshal Olson to discriminate between X-SYNC and Wolf Tooth rings, and the minimal drag on X-SYNC rings has never bothered me.
The only thing to watch for is the fact that, because of its offset teeth, the Wave requires just a bit more chainstay clearance than other rings.
The Canfield Yelli Screamy has particularly tight clearance, and the 30T ring just barely fits on mine. For most folks this won’t be an issue, and those who should watch out for this probably already know who they are.
When new, the MRP Wave’s chain retention and drag performance are on par with SRAM’s X-Sync chainrings, and it retains less mud and drivetrain gunk due to its novel offset design.
After 300 miles of riding, the MRP Wave chainring shows less wear than other narrow / wide rings, so it appears to be a contender for the longest-lasting narrow / wide ring available.
Stay tuned for long term results.