Fabulous precision performance, at a price
The EAI Gold Medal Premium sprocket is different. Most fixed sprockets are designed with bevelled teeth- slants designed to counteract imperfections in chain tension and/or chainline. However, these often make for a noisy transmission until they bed in.
The Gold Medal Premium with its laser cut graphics and presentation wallet could easily be dismissed as little more than bicycle jewellery particularly that gold colour. Well, "that gold colour" is in fact a layer of titanium nitride which is claimed to reduce friction so it as much for durability as decoration although the latter can't hurt.
Titanium nitride is far harder than steel and that's the point of it the late, great, Sheldon Brown reckoned it worked we given it our best efforts and so far failed to put a mark on it.
Closer inspection of the sprocket reveals a unique curve at the end of every tooth, designed to ensure smooth and silent chain feed over the sprocket without the noisy, running in period. Essentially the teeth have been profiled into a 'worn' shape so you get an instantly run in feel. Because the sprocket is so hard it shouldn't wear anymore.
Threaded on the hub, even teamed with a modest chain the transmission becomes super slick and serenely quiet. Nine months continual exposure to the elements on wet, dung strewn lanes without so much as a cursory wipe-over have failed to make the slightest impression on either finish or tooth profile.
However, for many, this will be a hard price to justify, especially given the less ritzy, (but still fairly ritzy), EAI Superstar finished in mirror polished stainless steel costs around half the price and performs in an almost identical fashion. Inch and an eighth sizing might also deter some, but discerning track riders or high end mile eating road fixers would be hard pressed to find a better looking, smoother or more durable sprocket. If you've got to have the best at any price, this is it.
One last thing to bear in mind, given their price the Superstars are not a standard stock item for Hubjub, the UK importers, they will custom order them. Mind you, if you're prepared to pay £59 for a sprocket you're probably prepared to wait a bit too.
Sizes 14-18 teeth