While the drivetrain brands prefer you run their complete setup, and indeed have put a lot of time and effort into optimizing their systems to be run “on brand” from tip to tail, sometimes we just like to have options.

And Rotor’s carbon and alloy cranks are some very nice options. Now, they’re offering new Universal Tooth Design chainrings in round and oval shapes that they say are 100% compatible with Shimano and SRAM 11- and 12-speed mountain bike roups and chains, as well as KMC chains.

Rotor round mountain bike chainrings with universal tooth profile to work with sram and shimano 12-speed chains

The chainrings are CNC machined from 7075 T6 alloy, which they say is durable enough for thousands of kilometers of trail riding. They’ll come in the following sizes and options for direct mount to Rotor’s cranksets or standard 110×4 BCD spiders:

• Direct Mount: 38/36/34/32/30/28
• BCD110x4: 38/36/34

• Direct Mount: 38/36/34/32/30/28
• BCD110x4: 38/36/34

Just look for the little chainring-tooth-in-a-circle icon on the backside of the rings to confirm you’ve got their new UTD tooth profile.



  1. None Given on

    PLUS! They are made of a much stronger metal and last far longer than (SRAM) others. I have never ridden Shimano…but, I know the Rotor (34Q) lasts far longer than SRAM (and never not once ever had bad shifting on the current tooth system).

  2. smart mechanic on

    Shimano 12spd hg+ chains specifically require 3.2mm thick tooth, while Sram 12spd mtb & SH 11spd require 3.6mm. This small change, changes everything.

    So it may work ok on one chain but will never work fine on the other simply because too thin teeth will drop a chain. If that would be doable with no major issues all other aftermarket companies would be already doing it for years because it would reduce their sku count. But guess what – no one does.

    Narrow wide chainrings specifically rely on the precise thickness of the thick tooth as this is what holds the chain.

  3. Exodux on

    I’m pretty sure Rotor has it figured out and they say they are 100% compatible with Shimano and Sram 11/12 spd groups and chains.
    I currently run a Absolute Black oval on my gravel bike(works great) but I will look into these for my other bikes as long as they are price competitive.

  4. night rider on

    Exsodus, of course they are 100% compatible 🙂 they will Accept both chains as teeth are very narrow. Problem is that narrow teeth will drop the chain during rough ride for Sram 12spd chains.

    It’s not something you can figure out. One chain requires one thickness the other chain another. You can’t marry two together and say both works great. Unless we are only talking if chain will sit on the chainring -then of course yes. In this way everything is compatible…

  5. Steve H on

    Of course they are 100% compatible, as in both chains will fit – but its obviously done by making the teeth narrower to allow it to work with the narrower Shimano chain, leaving it 0.4ish mm narrower than it should be.

    Absolute Black, Wolf Tooth etc make two tooth patterns for this reason, there isnt a clever way to design around the reality that there are two different chain widths and I am sure you would agree if there was they would have both done it rather than go to the effort of making entirely different chainrings.


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