Create your own theeverydaycyclist approved ‘Double/Triple Everyday Chainset’
Here’s my dilemma. I don’t need the duplication and complication of a triple chainset. However, the range of an MTB or touring triple makes for super-versatility. However, I also want the plug and play, wear-your-normal-trouserage compatibility of a chainguard, without suffering the aesthetic indignity of an afterthought plastic chainguard disc. They look ugly when brand new and get even uglier once they get beaten up with daily use.
After years of using compromised chainsets I decided to make my own killer chainset for everyday all round riding. And here’s how to do it:
- Take one used road triple chainset (with 130mm bolt circle diameter – BCD) – it doesn’t matter what state the rings are in, because you’re going to lose them.
- Remove the existing rings and dispose of ethically
- Buy a 42t and a 24t ring (yes, believe it – a 24t ring will fit on the 74BCD small spider of a road triple!)
- Also buy a 130BCD aluminium chainring guard, available, amongst other places, here (link to SJS cycles)
- The chainring guard replaces the outer (52t ring) and the other rings slot into place.
- Operate the front rings with an MTB front derailleur
The result? When teamed with an appropriate cassette, you get practically the same gear range as an MTB, with all the high and all the low that you need.
What you don’t get is the overlap and duplication of gears that comes as standard with most triple setups. Old school soldiers with scorn the lack of ‘crossover gearing’ found on closely spaced front chainring setups. But, we’re not racing here and today’s 8 and 9 speed cassettes have ratios spaced closely enough to render crossover setups (eg 38/44) obsolete.
Worried about the big jump between the 24 and 42 tooth rings? Don’t be, it works just fine (with a ‘trimmable’ front shifter – like a downtube or bar end lever. (Sorry folks I can’t vouch for STIs triggers/Gripshift etc).
Think of it as an extension of the compact chainset idea, but with more appropriate gears for everyday riding, and the unbridled luxury of a trouser guard.
What kind of riding is this for? Commuting, loaded touring, recreational cyclo cross, trail riding, real world road riding (I’ve ridden sportives on this setup and never missed the dinner plate ring once). Anyone who isn’t racing who thinks that a 52/11 top gear combination is necessary is living in dreamland. I use an 11-32t nine speed cassette – the 11 is rarely used but useful for fast, tailwind-enhanced flat roads. Another fringe benefit of this setup is that your big ring is effectively in the ‘middle ring position’, which means you can use the full range of rear gears in the 42t without chain crossover problems, saving your 24t crawler for the really steep or heavily laden stuff.
FOOTNOTE: You can also achieve a similar setup with a 110 BCD triple chainset (e.g. the Sugino XD/Stronglight Impact/Spa Cycles own brand)