Sram XX1 Fatbike Crank & Wolf Tooth Chainring Review

MJ5L0044I love my fatbike. I’ve been riding my Salsa Ti Mukluk a lot more this summer as overtime the notion of it being a “snow bike” has been completely removed in my mind. I’ve wanted to do a one by conversion on my fatbike for a while and recently ordered the required parts from my local bike shop.

I knew I wanted to run a Wolf Tooth chainring for a few reasons. I’ve read a lot of positive things, I have friends who love them, and I prefer to support the little guys when I can. It doesn’t hurt that it’s beautiful, seriously, and it is also light weight. The 28 tooth chainring from Wolf Tooth I purchased weighed 60 grams as advertised. One benefit over Sram’s own XX1 chainrings are that Wolf Tooth offers a 26 tooth chainring and Sram’s smallest option is a 28 tooth chainring.

Once I made the decision to use a Wolf Tooth chainring, I had to start looking for a replacement crank as the E13 that came spec’d on my Mukluk features¬†proprietary interfaces. I knew I wanted to have the option of running small chainrings as deep snow can be difficult to pedal through. With a normal 104 bcd crank spider, you are limited to chainrings that are 32 teeth or higher as numbers below that throw off the chain line and would start to interfere with the spider. The solution is to not run a spider. When looking for a crank that is compatible with Wolf Tooth direct mount chainrings and has a 100mm spindle for fatbikes, the choices are somewhat limited. My search came down to either a Sram X9 or a Sram XX1 crank. To be honest neither of the options was appealing. I am replacing all of the drivetrain and brakes with Shimano XTR bits and I was a bit hung up on having a Sram crank in that mix, but in the end, the XX1 was the best choice for me as I’m a bike parts snob.

The Sram XX1 crank is light, and simple. I appreciated that the fatbike version does not come with chainrings so there is no added cost of unused parts. As a fan of simplicity, it looks great. It feels stiff but then again, I don’t know that I’ve ever felt a modern-day crank flex.

Overall the combo of the XX1 Crank and the Wolf Tooth chainring is great. With those components and removing the front derailleur, cable, and shifter, the bike looks much better. I think I nailed the gearing with a standard 10 speed 11-36 cassette and a 28 tooth chainring. I have yet to spin out the gearing while riding singletrack and it climbs very well. The chain refuses to drop even with no chain guide and a rear derailleur without a clutch, although I plan on adding a rear derailleur with a clutch as soon as parts come into stock. I’d highly recommend both Wolf Tooth and the Sram XX1 fatbike crank if you’re looking for a light weight one by solution for your fatbike.

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2 thoughts on “Sram XX1 Fatbike Crank & Wolf Tooth Chainring Review

  1. I have a 42t Raceface version of this chainring (basically the same thing as your Wolftooth) on my bike (a Salsa Warbird) and the wide/narrow tooth pattern is brilliant. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? I’ve put about 400 miles on this chainring and have no problems at all with dropping a chain.

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