Where most rivals use alternating thick/thin teeth, Praxis’ T6 aluminium chainring has a special ‘wavy’ offset tooth pattern to improve chain retention
This patented Wave technology relies on alternating lateral (sideways) force on inner chain plates, rather than just friction, like thick/thin designs. It’s claimed this allows more room for mud and clag to escape, and also wears more slowly due to spreading the chain’s load over a larger surface area.
Sourcing a chainring for a new Super Boost bike in a hurry, I found a suitable Praxis ring and installed it; hoping a memory of issues I’d had on e-bikes with Praxis previously were an anomaly. For the first couple of rides, the chainring worked fine in the dry, kept the chain stable and cycled with no noticeable extra friction over many other chainrings I’ve used.
However, in thick mud and grit, I soon had big problems and in my experience, the Wave design simply doesn’t work. Not only do you end up with more mud and dirt embedded in the teeth, this causes chain suck and more frequent chain jams. On multiple occasions, the inside of the chain failed to release from the alternating teeth, causing it to lock solid between ring and chainstay. This can damage paint and frame finish (or worse), and unless you can clean everything somehow and carry lube with you, it totally interrupts your ride. On top of this, you can actually feel it and hear it really dragging and grinding, slowing you down and wearing out the drivetrain.
Taking into account all of my previous experience with Praxis chainrings, I can only conclude that the Wave design works fine in drier, sunnier climates, but it’s a total failure in the kind of UK conditions most of us will ride in. My advice is to totally avoid this design and fit one of the many other rings that work fine in the mud.