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Driveline Ecosystem - The Details

Driveline Ecosystem - The Details

8th Jun 2024

Sync Ergonomics has a collection of new products but the concept is hardly new and we’ve been working on this one for some time now. There is nothing new about 1X drivetrains and the use of a single front chainring, with gears at the rear can be traced back into the history books of cycling.

Famously, David Millar tried 1X in the 2003 Tour de France prologue - a dropped chain costing him the stage win. So, while nothing here is new, we believe we’ve done it better.

The limitations in how others have approached 1X motivated our “Optimised Driveline Solutions”, with a “time-critical shove” that escalated production in 2024. After all, it’s an Olympic year.

cSixx Chainring and Caps

In 2023 we were introduced to CSixx, a South African-based company, active in the MTB and Gravel space, making some exceptional after-market accessories.

CSixx combines their engineering know-how, design competencies and manufacturing capabilities, to produce class-leading products that push the limits of performance and maximise functionality. One thing that caught our eye was their 1X tooth profile, arguably the most refined to date and to the astute observer, they had solved our second problem.

Our first option caters specifically for the Shimano 9200 crank, and while technically compatible with other 4x110 BCD spiders, the interface has been profiled and optimised for the Shimano crank only. When fitted with our 9200 or 9100 chaining caps, the chainring cleanly interfaces with these cranks, without a step between the spider and chainring.

Chainrings 4x110 has become the industry standard and we now provide a solution for compatibility with a large number of cranks and spiders using this standard. Our “flat mount” chainring caps sit flush with the spider, providing an aesthetically considered finish when a “flat” chainring bolt option is required (non-Shimano)..

What started as a quest for making the best 1X chainring solution, evidently didn’t finish there, because we know that driveline performance comes from much more than just the chainring…

Pulley Wheels

We worked with cSixx to apply the same tooth technology to the pulley wheels, providing a gain in security of the chain, over challenging terrain. World Tour competition frequently sees cobbles as an addition to a course, and this poses a problem in the form of the chain jumping off the pulley wheel, a race-ending mechanical event that is simply not acceptable in competition.

In addition, we know that the standard derailleur cages are capable of housing larger diameter pulleys, with the combination of 12t guide and 14t tension pulleys striking the balance. Increasing pulley diameter reduces the chain articulation angle, minimising mechanical losses.

Ceramic Bearings - HSC Ceramics

Working with Melbourne-based HSC Ceramics, we have been able to source a locally assembled, high-precision bearing, with light contact seals and the highest quality grease. We have chosen a bearing supplier that understands the requirement of balancing outright performance and longevity, delivering a high-quality and dependable solution.

Precise shifting, free moving and secure chain retention. We are proud of this product that has met all of our expectations.

Treated Chains - Zero Friction Cycling

Bringing another Australian company into the mix, this time in the form of Zero Friction Cycling (ZFC). Adam has been very active in the space of testing and developing chain treatment solutions that offer tangible improvements in both function and performance. ZFC are also the local importer and distributor of a number of chain treatment products, and is at the head of the game in knowing what works best in this space.

ZFC is a local supplier of pre-treated chains and has developed an efficient solution for stripping, preparing and treating chains. For this reason, we have chosen to source treated YBN chain stock directly from ZFC.

Our choice of treatment? Molten Speed Wax has been a long-time favourite and we continue to use and recommend the product, with associated race day powder for additional speed.

Chain guides - cSixx

When additional security is required, a chain guide is the logical solution to prevent the chain from jumping off the chainring. Secondly, given we are increasing the chainring size, a guide is required that caters for the diameter of the chainrings we are running, where most are designed for much smaller rings.

Our approach was to directly mount the chain guide to the frame, as this is the most secure strategy for fixing the guide in place. This has its challenges, and currently our chainguide solution is available for select bikes only (Giant Trinity, CADEX Tri, Colnago TT1) but we are working on expanding compatibility.

About the author

Joe Laverick’s cycling introduction was via the British time-trial scene, since starting the sport, he has been all about speed. He’s a freelance writer and privateer racer who mixes road, time trial and gravel racing. To this day, he remains one of the only riders on the planet to have beat Remco Evenepoel in a time trial.