According to Wolf Tooth Components, elliptical rings provide smoother, more consistent power and this results in less spin-out and stalling for better traction.
Writer: Travis Poulin
Wolf Tooth’s PowerTrac Elliptical (PTE) chainrings apply innovative technology to a concept that has been around for a while, and is making a comeback with mountain bikers. The rise in popularity of single chainring drivetrain (1x) setups began with riders looking for simplicity and performance with their pedaling systems. PTE chainrings are oval shaped and many say this is the way to optimize pedaling power on a 1x system, which can take some leg training to get used to.
According to Wolf Tooth, elliptical rings provide smoother, more consistent power and this results in less spin-out and stalling for better traction. With the proprietary design of the PTE rings – with more aggressive timing and less aggressive ovality – the pedal stroke is more natural and efficient.
Think of them as two rings in one: a 34t PTE ring is actually equivalent to a 32t ring in the weakest area of a pedal stroke, the “Recovery Zone” (crank arms between 11:00 and 1:00), and a 36t ring in the “Power Zone” (between 1-5 and 7-11).
One of the key technologies on the PTE chainrings is Wolf Tooth’s Drop-Stop tooth profile. The aim of the technology is to provide better chain retention, mud shedding and wear life by using different shaped teeth. For example, looking at the chainring head on, the right side of the tooth transmits force to the chain and the left side provides clearance for mud and debris.
The rings are compatible with all 9, 10, 11 and 12-speed drivetrains and will fit nearly every crankset. The rings come in 7075 aluminum and hardened 416 stainless steel.
Wolf Tooth currently has seven patents related to wide/narrow chainring technology and the asymmetrical Drop-Stop tooth profile, which is a considerable amount for what a appears to be a simple bike component.
Photos courtesy Wolf Tooth