Wolf Tooth: Stainless Rings + Boost Conversions
Take A Deep Breath
Take a deep, deep, deep, breath captain retro grouch. Okay, good? The nice people at Wolf Tooth just released, wait for it, their new five-bolt chainring mounting system.
Yes, I said: Wolf Tooth has just released their new five-bolt chainring mounting system.
So what? Wolf Tooth has been making direct mount and 4-bolts rings for some time. Most every brand that offers a crank based around direct-mount rings (RaceFace, SRAM, etc) also sells a direct spider to run standard 4-bolt chainrings. How is this any different?
Wolf Tooth Camo
The guys at Wolf Tooth weren’t just sitting around one day admiring a set of 1997 XTR M950 cranks. Sexy machining and plethora of mix-and-match anodized colours aside, Wolf Tooth’s Camo mounting system is a case of form follows function.
Due to popular demand they started manufacturing their direct mount Drop-Stop narrow wide rings using stainless steel. Durable as… Expensive as… Heavy as… With their Camo mounting system they aim to deliver all the durability of their stainless Drop-Stop direct mount rings in a package that is notably lighter, equally stiff and durable, and significantly less expensive over its lifetime because the wear item (chainring) is much cheaper to replace.
The Wolf Tooth Camo mounting system aims to deliver all the durability of their stainless Drop-Stop direct mount rings in a package that is significantly lighter, equally stiff and durable and significantly less expensive over its lifetime because the wear item (chainring) is much cheaper to replace.
Where Camo is significantly different from a standard bolt-on chainring & spider arrangement is the interface. The chainring slides onto posts on the direct mount spider, which in turn absorb all the energy from pedaling.
The five alloy bolts thread into the spider and they just hold the chainring in place rather than taking all the load of a standard bolt & nut configuration.
Mix and match the anodized alloy bolts of Wolf Tooth’s Camo system. The chainring sits on posts on the crankset spider which absorb all the pedaling forces.
Wolf Tooth is making Camo spiders for SRAM, RaceFace, and Cannondale cranksets. I’m sure when Shimano starts offering removable spiders again in 2018 they’ll make a spider available for those too. A stainless Camo ring is almost twice the initial buy-in of the alloy Camo option. If you don’t mind a few grams it should last more than twice as long. Pricing for all the Camo system product is here.
Fat Paw Grips
While almost everyone racing mountain bikes has been chasing the thinner is better mantra, Wolf Tooth’s Dan Dittmer, and a lot of bike packers, have been experimenting with ways to get more all day comfort. Especially on rigid bikes being taken off the beaten path. But on their mountain bikes too.
Also under the heading ‘what’s old is new again’ are Wolf Tooth’s Fat Paw Grips.
Wait, are fat grips back in again? There are at least two people who don’t give a F*** if they are: Wolf Tooth’s Dan Dittmer and NSMB.com’s Fergs. Oh yeah, they’re also making a dropper post remote that works on its own, with Shimano IS, or with SRAM MatchMaker.
I’m not a fan of fat grips but I have to say the Fat Paws are soft enough that they feel much narrower than their massive 36mm outer diameter would suggest. I’ve tried both Red Monkey and ESI’s silicone grips and wasn’t a fan but on my all day adventure, trailer puller, road, gravel, and light off-road bike I could definitely enjoy the much more forgiving Fat Paws.
Fergs on the other hand was willing to do whatever it takes to get a set. If you like a more generous grip definitely check these out.
5-bolt chainrings and fat grips aren’t the end of it. Wolf Tooth also wants to bring the old 142×12 (135×10/12) hub standard back to life!
Actually they are making a conversion option to convert a growing collection of hubs for use with Boost spacing. $25 (USD) front and $40 (USD) rear along with a wheel re-dish and your existing hoops are ready to be mounted on any Boost (148×12 / 110×15) bike.
Wolf Tooth Boostinator. $25 (USD) front. $40 (USD) rear. Convert your existing 142/100 hubs to Boost 148/110 with a kit a wheel re-dish.
Currently Boostinator spacer kits are being offered for select Industry Nine, DT Swiss, Hope and White Industries hubs. There are A LOT of higher end wheels (Roval, Bontrager, Giant) using DT Swiss guts so with no guarantees it is possible that Boostinator also works as a conversion for some of those wheels.
Depending on demand I would love to see Boostinator released for more common hubs using similar interchangeable hub spacers (Stans, Mavic, etc). For me, the system shows how easy it would be for any company to make conversion kits to Boost to keep customers on their high-end hub sets rolling with forward compatibility. Even for Chris King it’s as simple as a new axle, a rotor spacer, and a wheel dish to make any 135/142 hub into a Boost hub.
Five Bolt Chainrings! Why doesn’t every high-end hub brand offer a Boostinator kit for their hubs?