In the world of aftermarket crankset and chainring upgrades, it’s sorta hard to beat the value that Praxis brings to the table. With quality parts and solid designs, the latest Levatime 2 chainrings and spider make it even harder.
Designed to be stiffer and lighter, the Levatime 2 chainrings do several things to also improve shift quality. First, they thicken up the base plate of metal. They’re forged, so as the metal is pushed into shape, it creates a 5mm (up from 4mm) base. The actual teeth and tips are narrower, but at the bottom of the bit chainring, you’ll find 5mm of cold-forged aluminum.
Then, the front face of the chainrings is machined out for their top-tier Praxis Zayante crankset. This helps shed a few extra grams.
It also gets alloy bolts to save a few more grains. The spider is new, too, moving to an asymmetric four-arm spider that’s heavily machined on the backside to save weight.
The ramps were reshaped, too, and the pins have been hardened and tweaked. Those help make it shift better, but the real improvement comes from the shape and placement. The big ring has been moved outward slightly, putting a bit more (~1mm) space between it and the small ring. But, since the lower part of the ring is thicker, they were able to shape it like a ramp to avoid having the chain get dropped and wedged between them. They say this improves clearance when cross-chaining and helps it all shift more powerfully and smoothly, particularly with today’s stronger electronic drivetrains.
Look for the Zayante LT2 set to come in 165, 170, 172.5 and 175 lengths and com in around 625g for the complete crankset and chainrings, but without BB. Retail should be about the same as prior model, around $325 without the 4iiii power meter installed (about $700 with). (UPDATE: we made a few pricing corrections since this story was published)
And now, the even more affordable options
Step down a level to the new Zayante S (which replaces their former high end alloy crankset) and you’ll get the same carbon arms, same new spider, but switch to Levatime 2 chainrings without the additional machining on their front face. Retail will be around $250.
Below that is the Alba, their alloy crankset that also gets the new LT2 chainrings ($175 for the set). All of them use a three-bolt attachment to connect the spider with the arms, so they’re all interchangeable. And, if you already own a set of recent Praxis cranks, you can upgrade to these new spiders and the lighter machined LT2 chainrings for $160.
The clever touch that allows the same spider to work on both the Alba and Zayante cranks is this keyed rubber insert that fills the gap between the edge and the Alba’s smaller arm shape. It’s slotted, so it won’t slip or pop out once installed.
All of them will be available with 48/32, 50/34, 52/36 and 53/39 chainring combos, or just go with a 1x and choose from 38, 40 and 42. They hinted that they’re working on other chainring sizes and combos, but no details yet.