Wolf Tooth DropStop (v2) 32t Chainring
Available in sizes 26-34t (49mm chainline), 36T (51mm chainline)
Configuration Tested: 32t Direct Mount for Race Face Cinch
Manufacturer Stated Weight for 32t: 63 grams
Reviewer: 6’2” , 210 lbs.
Test Location: Wasatch Range, Utah
Duration of Test: 300 miles
The modern 1x setup with a Narrow/Wide chainring has all but killed the front derailleur and chain guide (including the bikes of some sponsored DH racers and freeride athletes).
This setup has proven to be simpler and lighter than 2x or 3x drivetrains, and to operate with less friction, while effectively minimizing chain loss.
SRAM invented and popularized the Narrow/Wide chainring (with a custom tooth shape they dubbed “X-Sync”) when they launched the XX1 build kit in 2013, and they have since licensed this specific shape to a few companies, most notably Chromag.
There are now about a million other companies producing different designs that skirt around, imitate, and in some cases, improve upon the original SRAM design. The strength of SRAM’s patents on X-Sync and whether these designs infringe them are questions best left to IP lawyers.
My experience, however, is that not all Narrow/Wide (NW) chainrings are created equal, and that’s why I wanted to compare this second (latest) version of the Wolf Tooth Dropstop to their original version, along with Race Face’s Single NW ring and the SRAM’s X-Sync ring.
Wolf Tooth’s original chainring design fell somewhere in between the Race Face Single Narrow/Wide and the SRAM X-Sync tooth designs. The SRAM teeth are pretty tall, protruding above the chain, and the walls of the teeth are mildly tapered at the end.
The Race Face teeth are shorter in height, more similar to standard chainrings, and the bevel at the top ⅓ of each tooth tapers to nothing. This more aggressive bevel is meant to help the chain clear the ring more smoothly.
Wolf Tooth’s original chainrings had a taller, squared off profile like the SRAM rings, but added taper to the top of the tooth like the Race Face design.
On all of these first generation Narrow/Wide chainrings, the ribs on the teeth are straight in line with the center of the crank’s spindle.
Wolf Tooth’s new chainring design, however, keeps the taller squared teeth with an aggressive taper at the top, but further refines their design by changing the orientation of the rib on the tooth.
The new design offsets the rib at an angle. This design parallels the design found on SRAM’s XX1 and X01 derailleur pulleys.
This gives a little more bite and support on the back end of the tooth, and more taper on the leading edge of the tooth.
NEXT: Chainline, Chain Retention, Etc.