Review: Alba DM-X chainset with Praxis BB M30

A close-up of the Alba Praxis chainset on a bike
The DM-X chainset from Alba spins freely in use
Cycle magazine’s technical editor Richard Hallett reviews the compact double from Alba with a good choice of crank lengths, bottom brackets, and chainring sizes

Available in a choice of five crank lengths from 160mm to 175mm and with the option of bottom bracket assemblies to fit a wide range of frame formats – including regular BSA and T47 threaded, BB30/PF30 and even BB Right – the Praxis Alba chainset can be configured as a 50-34t compact, 48-32t subcompact or 52-36t mid-compact.

The two chainrings are fixed to a detachable spider using 160mm and 104mm BCDs. The spider itself is attached to the right-hand crank by two small set screws, with drive torque handled by a lobed interface.

Permanently press-fitted to the right-hand crank, the aluminium axle requires a Praxis M30 bottom bracket. This locates the axle in a similar way to the Truvativ EXP design, with the 30mm diameter axle a sliding fit in the right-hand bearing.

It’s reduced to 28mm in diameter at the non-drive side end, with the left-hand bearing gripped between the axle shoulder and left-hand crank; the latter is tightened to provide secure axial location.

It’s important to pay attention when installing the cranks, since the bottom bracket, which requires its own specific spanner, is supplied with a wave washer and five different dust covers.

The forged aluminium cranks have a boxy outer face and cutaway inner that keeps the weight of the chainset to around 800g. The bottom bracket adds around 100g to take the total for the test sample – 175mm cranks, BSA bottom bracket and 48-32 chainrings – to just shy of 900g.

Whether under power or in the workstand, the chainset spins freely, with little drag from the bearing seals and nil chainring runout. The cranks are nice and stiff.

With a 148mm tread (or Q factor) they are slightly narrower than the industry ‘standard’ of 150mm. This, plus the useful 6% gearing reduction the 48-32 chainrings offer over a regular compact, makes the Praxis Alba an attractive choice for road, audax and sportive riders as well as tourists and gravel riders.


This is a good-looking, sturdy and nicely made alternative to the major manufacturers’ offerings, with a useful range of chainring sizes, crank lengths and bottom bracket formats.

Other options

Middleburn RO2 £157.92

Expensive, versatile, UK-made chainset with a 46-30 option.

Shimano GRX 2×10 £135

Gravel-specific chainset with 46-30 rings and four crank lengths. Also available as in 1×11 and 2×11 formats.

First published in Cycle magazine, August/September 2022 issue. All information correct at time of publishing.

Cycle magazine

Every two months Cycling UK members receive Cycle magazine, filled with interesting and informative articles, news and reviews for all cyclists.

Members can read the magazine in full online; non-members can read selected highlights.

Our test promise

At Cycling UK and Cycle magazine, we are proudly independent. There’s no pressure to please advertisers as we’re funded by our members. Our product reviews aren’t press releases; they’re written by experienced cyclists after thorough testing.

Tech spec

Price: £135. 
Crank lengths: 160mm, 165mm, 170mm, 172.5mm, 175mm. 
Weight: 800g. 
Available from: Tweeks Cycles.

Pros & cons

+ Lowered gearing 
+ Fit and finish 
– Specific BB assembly