Race Face releases steel chainring for Shimano 12-speed drivetrains

Race Face Steel Chainring
(Image credit: Race Face)

Race Face has released a new direct-mount chainring for Shimano 12-speed drivetrains that are made from steel and costs just $20, so riders can personalize their Shimano-equipped bikes on a budget. 

The chainring is compatible with the brand's Cinch Direct Mount Cranks and is available with 30, 32, or 34 teeth. 

The low cost of this chainring will attract a lot of riders. The Aluminum version of the chainring costs $80, so there's a cost savings of $60. However, the cost-saving comes with a weight penalty. The steel chainring is 154 grams, more than double the weight of the aluminum version. 

The benefit of steel though is it will last longer and be more durable. Chainrings are a 'set and forget' component and a steel one will allow riders to tick off miles of singletrack without worrying about replacing their chainring anytime soon. 

For comparison's sake, a Shimano XTR chainring is around the same price and weight as the Race Face Aluminum version. Riders will struggle to find a 12-speed chainring from Shimano or other brands for as low as $20, so Race Face's product is certainly a bargain. 

The Race Face steel chainring uses a narrow-wide tooth profile, just like any other modern 1x chainring, so riders don't have to worry about their chain falling off when the trails get rough.

The chainring is available now online or in shops. 

Tech specs: Race Face Steel Direct Mount Chainring (Shimano 12-speed) 

  • Compatibility: Cinch Direct Mount Cranks 
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 154g
  • Sizes: 30T, 32T, 34T 
Ryan Simonovich

Ryan Simonovich has been riding and racing for nearly a decade. He got his start as a cross-country mountain bike racer in California, where he cultivated his love for riding all types of bikes. Ryan eventually gravitated toward enduro and downhill racing but has also been found in the occasional road and cyclo-cross events. Today, he regularly rides the trails of Durango, Colorado, and is aiming to make a career out of chronicling the sport of cycling. 

Rides: Santa Cruz Hightower, Specialized Tarmac SL4