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Race Face Narrow Wide Single Chainring

Race Face have the mountain bike market all sewn up. If you have been a dirt bike rider for any length of time, then you're bound to have heard of them - they make items across the board, ranging from backpacks, clothing, body protection and components. Their products are generally made to a high standard, and this Narrow Wide chainring is no exception.

The 38-tooth chainring, priced at £49.95, features teeth alternating in thickness. The green ring complimented the colours of my Santa Cruz V10 Carbon downhill bike - while lurid green won't suit everyone, Race Face provides many colour options. The ring also comes in a range of sizes from 30 to 44 teeth, weighing in at 37g for the smallest to 57g for the largest. It went on to the bike simply, with four standard crank bolts. Placing the chain onto it correctly was also child's play - each wide wide link sits into a wide chainring tooth and therefore each thin link onto a thin tooth. The ring is also available in a five-bolt option.

The testing ground was set to be the area of Ports Du Soleil in the French Alps, with a base in Morzine. As such, for absolute confidence, the chainring was paired up with an E13 LG1+ chain guide, and run with Shimano Saint drive-chain without a clutch rear mech. I ran a nine-speed set-up, but the ring is compatible with nine, 10 and 11 speed.

As expected, the terrain ranged from smooth dry hard-pack, to roots, rocks and some of the deepest mud you could anticipate. Throughout a 12-day trip, through the deepest fast paced braking bumps, roots and rocks (where in the past I have lost chains between the chainring and chain guide) not once did I drop the chain. Furthermore, whilst my mates stopped for chain-guide and chainring-related issues, my confidence grew. Every time I put the power down, I knew everything was going to work. And that's the beauty of this item; as it works so well, you completely forget it's even there, just doing its job as it should. I have read reviews of similar products in the past, collecting mud and derailing chains; there was none of this here.

During one outing, I damaged the roller on the bottom of my chain-guide, and so took this opportunity to run the ring without the bottom of the guide to assist in chain retention. This is where I was truly gobsmacked, on the same terrain, in dry and in wet, using a rear mech without clutch, the chain still didn't let go; a true testament to the capability of the product.

After two months of testing, there's nothing bad to say about it. It's priced well and has never failed during our testing. It's competitive on weight, being on the lighter end of the market compared to some other well-known brands, and similar on price, too. If you need a single chain-ring, this should be your first port of call.


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Silverfish UK Ltd. Units 3a-3c Woodacre Court, Saltash Parkway Industrial Estate, Burraton Road, Saltash, Cornwall, United Kingdom, PL12 6LY
Silverfish UK Ltd. (Registration No. 4075057).

Technical specifications are for guidance only and cannot be guaranteed accurate. All offers are subject to availability and while stocks last. Errors and omissions excepted. Silverfish UK Limited acts as a credit intermediary and only offers credit products for Close Brothers Retail Finance. Its registered office is: Close Brothers Group plc, 10 Crown Place, London EC2A 4FT. Credit is subject to application and status.

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