Lekkie released their bling ring several months ago and I just got around to getting one and testing it this week. I was blown away at how good this chainring performed on almost every level.
I tested the Bling Ring on a 26 full-suspension bike with a 9 speed massive Shimano HG61 36T cassette designed for 29er bikes. With the 36T granny gear and the 42T up front and a 26″ wheel with a 2.2″ tire I found that I could always get to a low enough gear even when climbing up very steep slopes that I would normally walk up. Every configuration I’ve done with this bike has had chain derailment problems, even with the stock Bafang 44T chainring.
The Bling Ring worked fine (with almost no clearance to spare) on my Full Suspension Ace 2.0 and on the Bullseye Monster Green Machine. On the Boris X9 Reaper I could not mount it without using a spacer as the teeth hit the chainstay. It is likely that if you own a fatbike with a 5″ clearance on the rear that this chainring will hit the chainstay without a spacer.
The top speed on the road with a 42T front and 11T rear is a little less (especially going downhill) than the stock 48T chainring that comes standard with the BBS02, but it still comfortably will do 25+ mph with full throttle. There is no way to go smaller with the Bling-Ring than 42T and still be able to correct the chain-line as much as it does.
The standard chainrings offset the chain-line back toward the bike by 5mm, but the Bling Ring offset back toward the bike is 9mm. Using a chainring adapter for smaller chain wheels like the raceface will push your chainline away from the bike even father creating even more chain derailment problems, especially under load.
Dealing with chain derailments is the biggest bummer with the BBS02. The problem is somewhat corrected by many work-arounds that are outlined at the end of this article here but none of them work as well as a Lekkie Bling-Ring.
The Lekkie Bling chainring is available in Blue, Black or Gold. For stealthy singletrack ebikes black is the color I would choose, as you don’t want draw attention to your drive unit.
Will 42T be a small enough chainwheel to avoid burning out your controller? It depends on the wheel diameter and the size of your biggest cog on the cassette. For whatever reason the biggest cog I can find on an 8 speed cassette is 34T (Shimano Megarange 11-34) although many of my 8 speed cassettes are only 32T. For 9 speed cassettes there is the Shimano HG-61 12-36T but the 9 speed chain is more fragile than the 8 speed chain. For 11 speed chains there are some incredibly big cogs in the X1 series like the Sram XG-1180 10-42T but I am extremely skeptical that this setup can take the power output of the BBS02 750 unit without getting destroyed. A 26″ fatbike tire is about the diameter of a normal 29″ tire. Different configurations I feel still work best for different setups.
- A 26″ fat-bike tire with a 32T rear cog is still going to need a 36T or 34T Raceface Ring
- A regular 2″ 26″ tire with a 36T rear cog is going top be fine with a Bling Ring
- A 26″ fat-bike tire with a 36T rear cog could go either way and work
- A 24″ or 20″ tire with pretty much any sized cassette (except single speed) is fine with a Bling Ring
- A 29er with a 36T ring could go either way but better with the Bling Ring
- A singlespeed with a 22T rear ring is going to need a 32T chain ring for single-track although it could use the Bling chainring if it was only a commuter
You can purchase a Lekkie Bling ring direct from Lekkie in NZ for $120 or from Paul with em3ev in China for $80 here. As far as I know the only person selling them in the US currently is Matt from EMPowered cycles who sells them for $90 here. Matt also includes a Lekkie chainring as an option when you buy his BBS02 kits. The only downsides I see of the Bling Ring is that it is made of hardened aluminum (which wears faster) instead of steel and the price.