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by Shane Stokes
April 13, 2018
In today’s Daily News Digest: Martin seeking to shrug off bad luck and land success in Ardennes Classics; Van Avermaet trying to land first Classic win of 2018 in Amstel Gold; Strong QuickStep Floors trio announced for Amstel Gold Race; Verschueren out of competition due to malignant brain tumour; New Zealand men tussle for MTB gold, England’s Last takes women’s; Easton adds new gravel and adventure gearing options for EC90 SL crankset; Yeti builds a downhiller’s cross country bike, the SB100; Inaugural Australian Gravel National Championships announced; Boulie safety upgrade revealed; Video: The people of Paris-Roubaix; Video: Phil Gaimon’s “Worst Retirement Ever.” Taiwan KOM Challenge, Part 2: The race
Easton’s EC90 SL carbon fiber road crankset is already one of the lightest available, but now the company has expanded its appeal further with new gearing options that cater to the gravel, cyclocross, and adventure segments: 47/32T, 46/36T, and 46/30T.
“Gravel bikes with larger, heavier tires, more rolling resistance, and less aerodynamic rider positions are without a doubt slower than road race bikes,” states Easton’s official marketing collateral on the new rings. “So why are they forced to use road bike gear combinations?”
The 46/36T combination has long been popular for cyclocross, and the 46/30T setup has already become a fast favorite the adventure crowd. The 47/32T pairing is more unusual, but Easton says it’s nevertheless better suited to modern gravel bikes than what’s currently available when taking into account the much larger tires used as compared to the road.
“The 48T ring is equivalent to more than a 50T ring on a road bike which isn’t necessary. In our testing, the only time when speeds went above 54kph on a gravel bike was during descents when there was no value in pedaling. There is merit to the 32T small ring size as it gives a very light 1:1 ratio easiest gear when using an 11-32 cassette. A 1:1 ratio is generally the preference and is considered the optimal easy-gear for gravel, which is why many riders on 1x drivetrains are using 10-42 or 11-42 MTB cassettes with their 42T front ring.”
The 46/36T cyclocross chainrings use the same 110mm-diameter four-arm bolt circle diameter and spider as the standard road versions of the EC90 SL crankset. The new gravel and adventure setups, however, use a new design that machines the outer chainring and spider as a single part, with the inner ring bolted on as usual. All of them are readily interchangeable using a single lockring.
Claimed weights for the 47/32T, 46/36T, and 46/30T combos are 194g, 192g, and 182g, respectively, and retail price is US$150 across the board. International prices are still to be confirmed. See more at Eastoncycling.com.