Bike Chainrings For Sale
Bikes are meant
to be used.
Chainrings have gotten complicated, in a good way. Back in the day, a chainring was compatible across all platforms, so long as you were able to match the bolt circle diameter (BCD) dimension. With advances in shifting technology and component integration, chainrings are far more complicated and specific.
When replacing chainrings, the easiest thing to do is match the new rings to the old ones. Same brand, same model, and same generation. For those who want to change their gearing, different tooth counts can make climbing or descending easier based on your preference. There are about 17 standard BCD sizes. You also need to count the arms on the spider. If a standard is matched, the brand and model don’t necessarily have to match. FSA, for example, makes chainrings that fit other brands' cranks. Shimano and SRAM chainrings used to be interchangeable and still are in some cases.
1x shifting systems have increased complexity. 1x rings have a narrow-wide tooth profile that helps keep the chain from falling off the front ring. Furthermore, many 1x rings mount directly to the right crankarm, unlike a spider system.
When seeking out increased performance on a derailleur-equipped bike, take a moment to consider non-round rings. Some believe oval chainrings are best, like those from Absolute Black, Rotor, and others. Osymetric, Chris Froome’s choice, makes “twin cam” rings.
Mountain Bike Chainrings
In the early days of mountain bikes, a touring-style triple crankset was close to standard with 46/36/26 rings. With more cogs in the back, those became less appealing; double chainrings ascended. As suspension got bulkier, tires bigger, cassettes wider, a single ring became the norm. All options can still be found.
Road Bike Chainrings
While 1x was a thing before the front derailleur was invented, two chainrings have been standard on road bikes for generations. The BCD for road spiders used to be pretty similar across all brands for years. That’s much less common today—there is a “standard” (usually 130mm BCD), “compact” (usually 110mm), and “subcompact” (not a standard yet) that sometimes goes down to 28t. Road triples can still be found on some touring bikes, and road 1x is also a thing.