Oval chainrings are nothing new in mountain biking, let alone cycling. We’ve tested numerous oval rings ourselves here at Singletracks over the past few years, but they’ve typically been from small-sized component manufacturers. SRAM has obviously seen a market for oval rings, as evidenced by the release of their own.
Most notably, SRAM’s oval chainrings use their X-Sync 2-tooth profile, introduced when they launched their 12-speed Eagle drivetrains. Of course the teeth alternate between narrow and wide, but the X-Sync 2 teeth are heavily shaped compared to the previous generation. SRAM says the changes to the teeth provide better chain retention while reducing friction, thus improving efficiency. While the oval rings are compatible with Eagle drivetrains, they should also work with 11-speed drivetrains.
The new oval chainrings, available this month, will come in 32-38 tooth counts and retail for $119.