Cheap compact doubles?

In the April-May 2014 edition, Gear Up reviewed a double chainset for touring costing £276. The next issue another was mentioned, available only at great expense from Japan. Can you let me know about any touring double chainsets with inners of around 26T at prices below £100?

Malcolm Fletcher

My first reaction was: there are none. Nor are there likely to be so long as sport remains the primary reason to ride a bike! A member told me about a chainset by PMP of Italy, but it’s just as expensive as Middleburn’s.

Mountain bike doubles are available at reasonable prices (Shimano Deore FC-M615 can be had in 38-26T for as little as £60) and they’ll do, but these have much wider chainline and pedal spread than you really want or need on a bike that does not suffer from tyre obesity! Or you can always miss the outer off a triple, which keeps the chainline close but spreads the pedals even wider.

Then I remembered the remarkably cheap Stronglight ST55 single chainsets, sold by Spa Cycles with drillings for a second ring. But this didn’t sell. I guess the non-replaceable outer ring was too cheap. But John at Spa is looking to import something nicer. Watch that space!

Chris Juden


This was first published in the December 2014 / January 2015 edition of CTC's Cycle magazine.