With crisp shifting and nothing in the way of flex, the Easton 4-Bolt 11 Speed Shifting Chainring is a great choice if you are using a crankset with modular Cinch technology.
- Pros: Great gear changes even under load
- Cons: No lower gear options for those who like to spin
Designed to work with Easton's EC90 SL cranks, the 4-bolt spider setup here follows the direct mount fitting system found on a lot of modular cranksets. The spider is separate to the cranks, allowing you to customise your gear choices and swap between 1x and 2x setups if the need arises.
The Easton rings come in the usual road combinations of 50/34, 52/36 and 53/39, although if you want to tweak that, the rings are available separately for £42.99 each.
If you want some for a bike that carries a load or use it for audax or gravel riding it would be good to see a 48/32 option, but Easton does have that covered with its EA90 2x Direct Mount chainrings.
Made from Easton's EA90 grade aluminium alloy before being anodised, the rings are plenty stiff enough and thanks to various grooves and ramps on the teeth, shifting is very quick and doesn't become flustered, even when I was trying to make it fail under huge loads.
Price-wise, when looking at similar solutions the Easton version isn't massively overpriced, though it's no bargain. Praxis Works' X-Rings, which work with the Zayante Carbon chainset, are £140 for a twin-ring setup. They do come in that 48/32 combo as well.
Overall, if you want a good looking and stiff set of chainrings for your direct mount chainset, these are very hard to beat.
Excellent shifting even under load, and they look the business too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Easton 4-Bolt 11 Speed Shifting Chainring
Size tested: 52/36, 11-speed
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Easton says, "Building on a strong shifting ring technology platform we went through seven rounds of revisions and refinement with the help of rigorous lab testing and on bike field and race testing with Silber Pro Cycling. The final product is a thing of beauty. Heavily machined for weight savings and excellent stiffness, the Easton shift rings have excellent shifting performance thanks to extensive optimized shift ramps and pins. Utilizing the versatility of the CINCH system, Easton offers spiders with a 45mm chainline optimized modern road bike hub spacing. The EC90 SL crankset is your Easton Advantage."
I found the shifting between rings to be very impressive indeed.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
FINISH MATTE BLACK ANNO
RING CONFIGURATIONS 53/39, 52/36, 50/34 REMOVABLE SPIDER
WEIGHT 255G 53/39, 243G 52/36, 227G 50/34
WEIGHT COMPLETE 590G 172.5MM 52/36 W/O BB
MATERIAL EA90 ALUMINUM
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
No issues with setup or the shifting.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Impressive shifting across the rings.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No 'gravel' option in the range.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There are a few systems like this on the market and they are around a similar price to the Easton.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Some of the best-shifting chainrings I have used – if you can justify the price.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.