Just about two months ago, SRAM unveiled their own single-piece chainrings for 1x drivetrains. The new direct mount X-Sync chainrings drop weight from the originals and, contrary to what we thought might happen, don’t really add any more effort to swapping between chainring sizes.
Compared to offerings from Absolute Black, Wolf Tooth Components… heck, even Race Face… SRAM’s have much burlier arms. It’s not surprising. By keeping the “spider” thicker and shaped to prevent any flex, the chainrings should perform better under intense efforts that may otherwise deform a lesser chainring. Not that we’ve had any issues with any of the other brands’ offerings, but larger, OEM brands like SRAM tend to overbuild things a bit to maximize pro race level performance.
But, that doesn’t mean they’re any heavier…
Left to right: 32T DM (63g), 30T DM (59g), and 32T standard X-Sync with spider (91). For comparison, the Race Face 34T narrow wide CINCH chainring came in at 70g on our scale. Considering there’s only 4g jump between the 30T and 32T SRAM chainrings, that puts them in the right spot weight wise.
As thick as the legs look, they’re hollowed out on the backside.
To change out the DM chainrings, you’ll need to remove the drive side crank arm, then the three bolts (not shown in these pics) that secure the ring to the crank. Fortunately, SRAM’s 1x cranks put the spindle on the non-drive side, so it’s a very quick, easy removal with a 10mm allen wrench. So, it’s still just four bolts to replace the chainring, they’re just four different bolts than you’d be changing on the standard setup. Honestly, it takes about the same amount of time.
Visual comparison of the original versus the new DM rings.
Riding the new chainrings feels just like riding the old ones. Great chain retention, smooth and quiet operation and just generally flawless performance. Only lighter. Good stuff.
Check our original post for full tech specs, pricing and availability.