When I first sat down to write this weeks KYR about Cinema’s Reel Guard Sprocket, my initial idea was to focus on the fancy CNC machining that made the Reel look a lot like its namesake, and how it’s both clever and rare to see parts that look like the thing they’re named after. Upon second thought, however, we’re going to focus on the 27t sizing that Cinema went with for the Reel, as gearing in the freestyle world is severely lacking in choices these days. You see, look at the parts catalog of your favorite brand or the sprocket section at your local shop, and I’d be willing to bet that 90% of their inventory consists of 25t gears, with maybe a handful of 28t’s available and perhaps an old 30t collecting dust on the back of the hook. Most completes come with 25t sprockets and 9t drivers, which is a similar ratio to the original 44/16 that BMX as a whole has been rocking for over 40 years. While I lament the lack of choices these days (seems almost impossible to find anything but a 9t driver), upping your front ring to 27t/28t has multiple benefits; the most obvious being an increase of top speed. Sure, it might take an extra second or two to accelerate, but this is something that your legs will quickly adjust to and within a week, you won’t notice the extra effort. Secondly, depending on your chainstay length, installing a slightly bigger sprocket may move your back wheel closer to the center of the bike, shortening your rear end which is a big benefit to many riders these days. Third, and this only really matters to riders rocking a cassette, but a larger sprocket/taller gear ratio aids in backwards landings, as the bigger gearing helps reduce the necessary backpedaling speed on rollouts.
Now that we’ve covered gear ratios, let’s point out that the Cinema Reel Guard Sprocket isn’t just a pretty piece of aluminum. The Reel is machined from solid 7075 alloy, which is the preferred choice in material as its a harder grade of aluminum and can take more abuse. The Reel features full protection to all 27 teeth (I mean, they do make 25t as well but the previous paragraph definitely sold you on the 27t), and is bored to fit 24mm spindles, but comes with adaptors for 19mm and 22mm cranks as well. The Cinema Reel is available now in black only for only $64.99, which is well worth it for a sprocket that should hold up to whatever you can throw at it for the next few years. Keep tabs on the new direction of Cinema under the Blackout family tree by giving them a follow on Instagram @cinemabmx, and for more information on their ever evolvoing catalog of parts, point your browser to www.cinemabmx.com now.