Before XTR M9100 is even widely available in shops, Wolf Tooth Components is already on the case. Specifically? Replacement chain rings. As they’ve found out in their personal testing and development, the new XTR chains are not compatible with the current chainrings on the market. That meant a new tooth profile had to be designed to play nice with the new chains while offering their signature chain retention and long wear.

One of the biggest hurdles for aftermarket brands like WTC is that the inner links of the chain extend farther past the rollers on the new design. That and the fact that the chain interacts with the chainring differently led to the complete redesign of their tooth profile to operate smoothly and quietly with the new XTR drivetrain.

As far as WTC knows, these will be the one of the first 9100 compatible chain rings available on the market, and they’ll be available for a wide selection of cranks including Race Face Cinch direct mount, and the Shimano Direct Mount cranks in both Boost and Super Boost Plus chainlines. They’ll also be available for a number of other cranks but with WTC’s CAMO system which cuts down on the number of skus and allows for quick changes in tooth count and material. Most of the options will also be available in round or elliptical rings.

While the Race Face Cinch round rings are available now, everything else is available for pre-order with the latest rings shipping by mid-April. Given how long it’s taking for the full Shimano roll out, this should be in plenty of time.

The other new product hanging out at Frostbike (under embargo) was the new ReMote Dropper Lever for dropbars. We got a sneak peek of the new lever at Interbike 2017, but it hasn’t made it to market – until now.

As more and more gravel bikes add dropper post compatibility, riders are looking for better options for a remote. Something that is easy to access without interfering with shifting or braking. That has led WTC to look to the end of the bar with a lever that doubles as a bar end plug. The expanding plug will fit most bars and it can be rotated to suit your preference of angle. The lever itself features Delrin bearings which can be serviced or replaced, and the cable clamp is designed to work with any cable actuated post.

Available now, the ReMote Drop Bar lever sells for $79.95.


    • Christoffer Braathen on

      Yes, they were first, but only with the shimano specific direct mount rings. You can’t use them with other cranck, for instance the Cane Creek eeWings wich use SRAM 3-bolt mount.

      • absoluteBLACK on

        Hi Chris,
        You can use any of absoluteBLACK chainrings with XTR 12 groupset providing you will use Sram Eagle, KMC , YBN or any other 12 spd chain. This means you can use any crank with this groupset. For details please read the comment we made below.

        • John on

          Why would anyone use an Eagle chain with M9100 and lose the benefit of HyperGlide+? How is it that AB doesn’t understand this?

  1. Seraph on

    Cool cool, but could we maybe focus on making chain rings for drivetrains that are actually available now? Like eTap AXS? Please?

    • Celest Greene on

      I’d be willing to bet that there’s a lot more M9100 XTR on the ground than AXS seeing as the Germans have been selling. It since. November

      • Seraph on

        Actually eTap AXS has been in stock at bike shops and has been available on many stock bikes for about three weeks now. I have yet to see a single XTR M9100 component.

  2. absluteBLACK on

    absoluteBLACK here. While we usually refrain from commenting competitor articles, we feel this is needed here for the clarification.

    It’s true that we launched our Oval chainring for the new XTR 12spd DM crank in late December 2018 and we didn’t add any other rings that are compatible with this chain for a reason.

    There is simply no sense for now in making all the other chainrings to be compatible with this new XTR 12spd chain. Reason being is that this chain is externally exactly the same as Eagle 12 or KMC 12spd chain. There is only internal difference.
    This means you can use any 12spd chain like Eagle, KMC, YBN etc with NORMAL chainrings and use it with the rest of XTR 12 groupset (namely cassette, shifter and rear mech). Cassette and rear mech pulleys sees any 12spd chain in the same way. Only chainring sees it differently because of the narrow and wide teeth. In this particular case the wide tooth has to be of a different thickness and differently chamfered to match with the XTR 9100 chain. Narrow teeth are same like in any other chainring.

    The only chain you can’t use in this configuration is the new Sram Red AXS. These chains have different diameter of the rollers and are of different thickness, this is why they will not work.

    We already have large number of customers, many brad ambassadors and some sponsored riders using XTR 12 groupset with our chainrings(for various cranks) and Sram or KMC or YBN chains with great success.

    Even Specialized (and few other bike brands) is speccing their new bikes with RF cranks, KMC 12 chain and XTR 12 groupset. Therefore Shimano quietly acknowledges this is perfectly ok.

    So lets try not to add the options that are unnecessary. Because they will only lead to greater customer confusion, dealer and distributor headache of stocking 2x more options per model(!) and general lack of understanding what can be mixed with what.

    • Wolf Tooth on

      Wolf Tooth here. We would like to clarify some of the comments made by Absolute Black as we feel they are not totally accurate. While a different brand of 12-speed chain can be used with the XTR cassette and derailleur, the shifting advantage of HG+ will be lost. Only the Shimano HG+ 12-speed chain will provide the improved shifting performance that Shimano intended. Furthermore the HG+ chain, when combined with a compatible front chainring, will give quieter and smoother performance compared to a traditional narrow/wide chainring and chain. This is especially noticeable when cross-chained. We’ve done extensive testing that supports these statements.
      Bottom line is that the new XTR drivetrain is engineered to work as a complete system. For this reason, Wolf Tooth has chosen to make a full range of chainrings that are 100% compatible with the HG+ chain and maintain all of the advantages that this system can offer.

      • Shafty on

        Yeah, why would someone even bother with new XTR, if they won’t be using the one innovative aspect? Cassette sprocket count, chainring mounting, etc., are all similar to existing designs. Shimano consistently sets the bar for shift quality, and their chains are a decent part of that. The top end SRAM chains are a close second, but at these prices, substituting seems ridiculous. Suggesting YBN or KMC are “just fine” is “just sloppy”. Passable is not ok at the top end.

      • absoluteBLACK on

        It’s not the best place to have discussion like that, but for the sake of completeness we have been testing the XTR chain since November 2018 and have slightly different findings. All 1X chains these days are very, very similar in terms of physical shape that “supposedly” aid shifting. The real difference however is in the cassette and rear derailleur. There are hundreds of patents on shifting ramps for the cassettes and many for derailleurs. This is where the “shifting” difference comes from. Chain has very little play in it since advent of 1X. They all have progressed a long way, but what we see now are “simple” chamfers like many chains already have. 1X dedicated chain does not require elaborated chamfers because they were mainly used for front shifting which in this case is not relevant.

        HG+ shifting performance is great, but we simply state that other chains on this groupset work great as well if used with absoluteBLACK chainrings (we can’t speak for any other brand as each manufacturer has different tooth design). It’s a well known fact that manufacturers will say that only whole group-set will work as intended. This has been communicated for decades and is no different this year. But as we all know for decades riders were using also KMC, Wippermann and many other chain brands as well as different chainrings with excellent results. This year is no different.

        Wolftooth itself is selling KMC chains on their own website as the go to chain instead of Shimano or Sram:)

        On the side note, new xtr tooth design seems not to carry any royalties so this could be a motivation to promote it over other designs.

  3. satanas on

    Does anyone know where the casing runs from the ReMote Dropper lever? Inside the bars, under the tape, or??? It’s not clear from the photos and there’s been no mention anywhere I’ve seen.

    • John on

      @satanas The cable/housing will run under the tape, on the outside of the bar. If you look carefully at that last picture, you can see the hole at the bottom left where the cable will run through.

  4. Rick Tan on

    To Wolf Tooth, will WTC be making Shimano 12spd chain compatible chainrings with 64BCD? There are wusses like me who still want to run 2x.

  5. geotrouvetout on

    While both Wolftooth and Absolute Black now have cross compatible chain rings for SRAM cranks and Shimano 12 speed HG+ chains, neither have them available in non-boost and that is a big bummer, there are more non-boost bikes on the market than boost but I’m hopeful…


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