More compact doubles
This works really well with Ultegra 10-speed STI and Shimano CX70 cyclo-cross front mech, plus a 12-36 cassette, 10-speed of course, but shifted by a 9-speed MTB mech (as recommended in Cycle). Finding that I could use even lower gears on this adventure touring bike, I’ve just changed the rings to 42/24. The system continues to function perfectly: great range and manageable jumps.
I hear from lots of cyclists who’ve fitted a 46-tooth cyclo-cross outer ring on the not-so-compact-road double that came with the racing bike they bought in pursuit of lost youth! Admittedly 46 is a lot more useful than the usual 50-tooth dinner-plate, but does nothing to help them up steep hills. For that they want a smaller inside ring too – but nothing less than a 34 can be fitted to their chainset. Cue the expense and trouble of switching to a triple: which shifts less efficiently thanks to an outer ring they don’t need!
A truly compact double of 46/30 is perfect for so many people, very few of whom would still want a triple (especially since most road triples lost the capacity to go any lower than 30). So I’m glad to hear from someone who’s managed to get their hands (and feet!) on one of these Sugino OXD chainsets.
Here’s hoping a few more firms (as well as Sugino in Japan and Middleburn in UK) will realise that lightweight bikes are not just for the young and strong to play at racing on, wake up to the frustrated demands of older and less competitively-minded riders and satisfy them at a price most people can afford!
This was first published in the August / September 2014 edition of CTC's Cycle magazine.