At A Glance
Ever since the mighty SRAM first introduced the narrow/wide chainring a few years ago, the idea has not just gained a few followers, but has taken a complete hold over the mountain bike industry to the point where many of us have resigned our front derailleurs to the scrap heap. Initial claims of completely eliminating dropped chains and therefore the need for any sort of chain device have proved over time to be not entirely accurate, but most designs have certainly gone a long way towards this aim at least until the rings start to wear out. So, what's so special about the Kore Stronghold? To the casual observer, very little to be honest, however the beady eyed may notice a small bulge towards the top of the wider teeth. This is intended to aid the retention the chain, almost it could be seen in the same way as a worn chainring with a hook at the leading edge will cause chain suck. The ring comes in a 104 BCD flavour, in sizes from 30-36 teeth as well as a number of delightful colours to allow those so inclined to colour match to their desired schemes. Oh, and in the 32 tooth it weighs in at a reasonable 39 grams, if such things are a concern.Buy Drivetrain on
On The Trail
How has it performed? Honestly, boringly, it did nothing. Sorry, wait, it did exactly as it was supposed to! Fitting to my very outdated cranks was a breeze, the machined spacer on the rear side of the crank keeping the chainline just about where it should be. After 3 months of fairly rough treatment, including a very poor general maintenance schedule on my chosen test steed I've yet to drop the chain. The aforementioned mule happens to be a hardtail, just to give the chainring a bit more of a challenge, and there has been no chain device in sight. The anodising on the teeth has started to wear a touch, but so far that's all there is to report!
Overall so far, I can only say I've been totally happy with the Stronghold, it very studiously and quietly gets on with its job. Obviously though as I say, so far… Three months isn't a vastly long time as we all know, with a bit more wear things may well change, however current signs are certainly very promising!Buy Drivetrain on For more information visit KORE Components
By Matt MartindaleMatt Martindale is a rare breed, capable of riding for days on end without sign of fatigue and still able to navigate the steep and technical with style, simultaneously putting both Enduroists and XC types to shame. As comfortable on a single-speed 29er as a 160mm full bouncer, his breadth of knowledge and experience give him fantastic insight into what really makes a great bike.