WickWërks Technology

Bicycle Chainrings — Shift Technology

Shift Technology Comparison

WickWerks Bridge

WickWerks chainrings have multiple long ramps, or BRIDGEs spread out every four, or five, or six teeth, providing a fast positive engagement of the chain no matter where in the crank set revolution you choose to shift.

WickWerks chainrings have low profile teeth near each bridge and an angled area above the top portion of each bridge that allow the chain to lean in and mesh smoothly onto the teeth of the next ring during an up-shift. The low profile teeth around the chainring allows the front derailleur cage to physically move the chain past a cut tooth allowing for very fast downshifts as well, especially under load.

Bridge Shift Technology

Bridge Shift Technology

Shift Pins

Traditional Shift Pins

Traditional Shift Pins

Traditional chainrings have two sets of pins 180 degrees apart (some now have three sets) providing fewer chances to engage the chain than with WickWerks ramps that circle the entire chainring.

Traditional pins snag the chain by a link to pull it onto the next chain ring when up-shifting. When downshifting, with traditional chainrings the chain often stays engaged with the teeth due to chain tension and because all the teeth are full height – thus not allowing a place for the front derailleur cage to physically move the chain past the teeth. This results in slower downshifts, especially under load.

The technology differences are more than pretty pictures and explanations; BRIDGE Shift Technology is a significant leap forward in shifting performance. When applied with proper shifting technique, the results are quickly realized by most riders.

Shift Technology Comparison

WickWerks Chain Support

BRIDGE Shift Technology lifts the chain from the bottom of the links directly below multiple load points of the chain. This way of lifting holds the chain with much more stability – partly because there is more contact area with the chain, and partly because it lifts under the load points rather than in the middle of a chain link. The result is superior engagement without the slippage of traditional pin designs, especially when the pins wear.

With WickWerks chainrings it doesn’t matter when the shift is requested, the chain engages quickly because there are lots of ramps! WickWerks shift technology was the FIRST in the world to lift BOTH the inner and outer chain links from under two or more load points of a chain. Whether the ring has a pin above the ramp or not it’s our Patented Ramp & Shift Technology that allows this unique engagement to happen — and happen fast.

End result? WickWerks chainrings provide superior contact between the chain and ramp, yielding faster and more solid engagement. That’s BRIDGE Shift Technology.

Chain Loading on Bridge

Bridge Shift Technology

Chain Loading on Pin

Traditional Shift Pins

Pin Type Chain Support

Traditional chainrings put the entire shift load on the small contact area of a pin and a single outer link plate – where it can more easily slip off. It also puts more stress on local points of the chain and the pins.

Pins that lift at the center of a link also have some stability issues. As the chain is lifted from the nearly horizontal position at shift initiation, the angle of engagement changes as the crank rotates. That angle change causes the link on the pin to pivot a little as the load direction changes — causing a quasi stable condition that can result in the chain “falling” off the pin. Contrasting that to WickWerks shift technology, the load direction does not change as the crank rotates – it stays perpendicular to the chain – thus adding to stability.

Traditional chainring pins can only grab an outer link! The pins are designed to slip between outer plates and under the inner links. They physically cannot grab an inner link. The combination of grabbing only one outer link plate and rocking on the one point of contact, leaves this traditional method lacking in stability.

Chainring Patents | US 0540,718S US 0599,717S | US 0599,255S US 0599,716S | US 0599,718S US 0599,719S | U.S. Pat. No. 8,092,329 | U.S. Pat. No. 8,506,436 | U.S. Pat. No. 8,617,015 | U.S. Pat. No. 8,821,329 | U.S. Pat. No. 9,677,658 | U.S. Pat. No. 9,791,033 | Other Patents Pending

Shifting Comparison —

— Final Synopsis

From the comparisons above, it is evident that the WickWërks BRIDGE Shift Technology has two major functional advantages:

  1. The method of lift is much more stable.
  2. The stress on the chain is reduced.

Both of these advantages prove out in actual riding conditions in ways that are noticeable and make for surprisingly quick shifts. In the end, there really is no comparison.

Yes, to effectively use BRIDGE shift technology, it does require a change in the way a shift is initiated (fast, deliberate shifter motion). Trying it is the only true way to understand how this technology will change your cycling paradigmn. It works!