On the surface, Wolf Tooth Components new CAMO system almost seems like a step backwards. The whole reason to go direct mount was to eliminate unnecessary hardware and create a lighter, more robust system.
While they did just that, Wolf Tooth wasn’t convinced that direct mount rings were the only answer. They wanted something that was still lighter, but offered more versatility, while maintaining some of that direct mount look.
Still not sure why you’d want the CAMO system over one of WTC’s direct mount rings? Read on to find out…
Short for Chainline And Material Optimization, CAMO is sort of a hybrid between a direct mount and bolt on spider system. Starting with the spiders, there will initially be four SRAM GXP spiders with chanciness for 135/142mm (Standard), boost, bb30, and reverse dish, three direct mount options RaceFace Cinch (135/142mm, boost, bb30, and reverse dish), and one coming for Cannondale AI.
Future spiders will include e*thirteen, S-Works, and FSA – which is one of the big advantages of the system. With all the different direct mount standards out there, WTC simply can’t manufacture direct mount rings for each standard in a range of colors, sizes, and round or oval options. The ability to make just the spider opens up a number of standards that wouldn’t have many options otherwise. Wolf Tooth figures that in order to cover all the options, sizes, standards, and colors, they would need several hundred different chainrings.
Comparatively, WTC claims just 9 rings and 5 spiders will cover 85% of direct mount chainring demand which would require 45 individual rings. WTC will offer two kits for dealers, one with the standard selection, and another with 7 rings and 4 spiders that covers all the fitments needed for fat bikes.
The separate spiders also allow for you to dial in the perfect chainline for your bike with -8mm, -5mm, and +1mm offset spiders. WTC points out that it wasn’t that long ago that mountain bikes were basically 142 x 12mm in the rear and a standard chainline up front. Compare that to now 142, 148, 150/157mm axles and multiple chainlines needed for various drivetrains and tire sizes, and you start to see the need for individualized chainlines. Especially for aluminum rings, optimum chainline is necessary for the best drivetrain durability and shifting.
While it may look like a standard bolt on ring, the CAMO system has been tuned to create the lightest bolt on system possible. Sort of like their 30t 104 BCD chainrings, the spiders have a shoulder that bears the load of the ring. That allows for smaller T25 alloy bolts for easy chainring swaps. Aluminum rings will be available in 28-34t in round (36t coming soon) and 30-34t in oval. Another benefit of the system is easier gear changes if you show up to a race and decide you want to run another front ring. Instead of having to pull the crank, you can simply unbolt the outer ring, pull it over the crank, and swap it out.
That’s all well and good, but one of the biggest draws will likely be the ability to run a stainless steel front ring without the added weight of a full stainless direct mount. WTC claims the SS ring with aluminum spiders will be 50% of the weight of a full stainless steel option.
You might not need to worry about wearing out the SS rings, but if you do wear out the aluminum rings on the CAMO system, you’ll be able to replace just the outer ring for less money than it would take for a full direct mount.
Of course, the system also allows for even more anodization customization with anything from a stealth black, to colorful bolt and spider options. Available now, aluminum rings are starting at $44.95 and the spiders start at $27.95. Each spider will include matching bolts – black with black, blue with blue, etc. Bolts in other colors will be available for purchase as well at $5 for five bolts.
Aren’t sold on the CAMO system? Don’t worry, WTC isn’t going to discontinue their direct mount options. The new system just adds another way to dial in your bike.
Aluminum round chainrings 28t-34t available now, 36t in 2-3 weeks
Aluminum elliptical chainrings 30-34t available now
Stainless round chainrings available in 2 weeks
4 offsets of SRAM direct mount compatible spiders available now covering all the different offsets: 135/142mm (Standard), boost, bb30, and reverse dish
3 offsets of Raceface direct mount compatible spiders available now covering all the different offsets: 135/142mm, boost, bb30, and reverse dish
Cannondale AI compatible offset available in 2 weeks, standard and other offsets this Fall
E-thrirteen, Sworks, FSA, etc all in the coming months.