Bicycle Chainrings — Shift Technology
WickWërks chainrings are known for awesome, fast, stable shifting. The shift technology that makes this improvement is something we call BRIDGE — a little different technological approach to chain movement.
Though the shift technology is straightforward, proof is in the performance, where the chain meets the teeth. That’s where you’ll see it work — and where you feel the speed. This is the story of WickWërks shift technology given as a comparison to more common front shifting techniques.
Shift Technology Comparison
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Final Synopsis
From the comparisons above, it is evident that the WickWërks BRIDGE Shift Technology has two major functional advantages:
- The method of lift is much more stable.
- The stress on the chain is reduced.
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!