AeroCoach unveils lustrous Aten 1x road chainring - the new gold standard?
British brand launches the road version of its super high-end track chainring
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Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 AeroCoach unveiled its £950 Aten track chainring (opens in new tab), made from titanium with a carbon backplate and a high-sheen gold-polished finish.
Now the British brand is to launch a similarly shiny 1x road version except this one is made from aluminium, is not Ti-nitride coated and therefore starts at a slightly more affordable £237.50 - but which has the same carbon backplate, undulating profile tooth design and AeroCoach’s subtly non-circular ARC shape that the brand says mimics muscular activation while pedalling.
AeroCoach says the new Aten road 1x chainring provides the most aero option for your crankset, allowing you to remove the front derailleur and benefit from the unique Aten design which provides optimal airflow from chain to chainring thanks to a shape that allows the chainring to effectively draft the chain.
The brand claims that swapping from a 2x standard charging setup to an Aten 1x chainring will save between 4-7W at 45kph (depending on the size/shape of the front derailleur).
As for the "subtly non-circular ARC shape" AeroCoach explains: "Due to the higher speeds involved in a time trial, inertia and momentum is much greater than normal. This causes pedal speed to be much smoother, and means that for a time trial (high speed) large increases in gearing and dramatic non-circular shapes are not optimal.
"The ARC increases gearing quickly at the beginning of the pedal stroke as this is when the main force producers activate (gluetus maximus, vastus medialis and lateralis, as well as the tibialis anterior).
"After this period gearing is maintained all the way through the highest torque phase before gradually decreasing down to a minimum gearing at bottom dead centre. This smooth dropoff is when the effect of gravity and the lower leg muscles come into play."
The effect of the unique time-trial specific design, says AeroCoach, is that it will help increase power output by 3-5W and allow a smoother pedal stroke than normal. Additionally, unlike other non-circular designs, you can train on the ARC ring without causing a detriment to your pedal stroke and swap between round/ARC rings without difficulty. In addition, there will be little to no artificial power inflation when using the ARC with a crank/pedal-based power meter.
The brand says the Aten chainrings are compliant with the latest UCI equipment regulations.
The Aten 1x chainrings will be available in 54t and 58t sizes, will be 11 and 12 speed compatible in 110BCD four-bolt and 130BCD five-bolt version.
The 54T 110BCD four-bolt chainrings are in stock and will be available to order at AeroCoach's website (opens in new tab) from Friday February 24, while the 54t 130BCD and 58t lead time is six weeks from the order date.
Prices start at £237.50 for the 34t 130BCD five-bolt version with increases depending on size/BCD.
Weight is 200g (54t, 110BCD).
If you prefer a traditional setup, AeroCoach has 2x Aten rings in the pipeline which, says Xavier Disley, will be the first aftermarket 12-speed 2x setup for time trialling. However, he explained, it's more complicated since Shimano and SRAM have a different chain link dimension.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
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