Race Face Narrow Wide: Going 1x10

My bike is a 2011 model that is slowly getting the stock items replaced and upgraded as they wear out.  I'm now at the point where the bike only has a few stock components remaining as I continue to rack up the miles on my Airborne Goblin.  One of the last survivors from stock status is the SRAM X7 crankset.  The crankset its self is still in pretty solid shape however the chain rings are pretty much done.  unfortunately this particular X7 crankset is the s1400 version which is supplied with an 120BCD spider for the big ring and 80BCD for the small ring, anyone who has been in the same position and looked for replacement rings at 120bcd will be able to attest that options are extremely limited.

This got me thinking and looking around at several options, in particular I'd been reading that there was lots of love for a 1x10 set up.  So as I like to be a fairly early adopter I began hunting around for the parts I'd need to make this happen.

There's lots of great options out there but for 120BCD they come at a premium I did however come across a replacement spider for my crankset from North Shore Billet.  This is a direct replacement for the 120/80BCD spider and converts it to 104/64BCD making it much much easier to find replacement rings in future.  There are options to use a ring without any spider specifically for SRAM cranks however in case I ever want to go back to 2x10 I wanted to maintain the flexibility.

Outside of the crankset It seems all the love is for Race Face Narrow Wide or Wolf Tooth rings with many more reviews for the race face items.  As a starting point I chose to go for 32T fearing that anything smaller would having me spinning out too often and anything larger would leave me lacking on some climbs.  The Race Face rings also come in an array of colors and not having too much bling on my bike I opted to go with the green.  All tied together with black chain ring bolts from Origin 8.

Removal of the original SRAM spider is a fairly straightforward process as its held onto the crank by three small Torx bolts on the inside of the chainrings.

Cleaned up crank arm with NW ready for install back on the bike

With the crank back on and the new ring in place its time to go ride!  Since starting the post I've got 3-4 rides in and have to say it performs extremely well.  The NW ring is definitely quieter than the worn chain rings it replaced and chain retention so far has been great, there's not even been a suggestion of a dropped chain.  Its recommended to run these rings with a clutch rear derailleur, however, so far so good with my standard SRAM X9!  Its also strangely liberating only being able to change gears with one shifter, never mind the weight savings.

Here's to many more miles of fun.


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