Best Of The Best… ‘Top Gear’ Of The Year

One Ring To Rule All — Since the release of SRAM XX1 in late 2012, we have been riding 1X (pronounced “one-by”) drivetrains on a few of our bikes. The setup eliminates the front shifter/derailleur by banking on only a single front chainring instead of two or three (as is the traditional mountain bike standard).

SRAM XX1 provides a weight savings and a simplification to riding by concentrating all the shifting to the rear cassette. In our thorough testing the setup flat out works.

The full SRAM XX1 component upgrade goes at more than $1,000. It’s worth it if you want a top-end 1X build.

But Wolftooth (image above), an aftermarket ring manufacturer out of Minnesota, makes the 1X game more affordable by building custom chainrings (around $75) to fit onto your cranks.

Wolftooth offers many different designs to make its rings compatible with your cranks. One of our editors now has Wolftooth on four of his bikes! (Go here for the full review of this product on GearJunkie.)


‘Top Gear Picks’ continued on next page. . .

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Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.