Divorced the 50

We got back together, all be it briefly. We tried to work out our differences but it didn’t work. Today is a sad day. Sadly, I have to announce my relationship with the 50T chainring is over. Its an amicable split. We’ll keep in touch. We just couldn’t reconcile our differences and I took the decision to part ways and move back in with my beloved 46.

I’ve talked about my love of the 46 before so I won’t go back over that again. What I want to ask though is why manufacturers stick with the 50T??? It blows my mind and makes no sense. 50-11, 12 & 13 are MASSIVE gears which is ironic given the reason why compact chainsets came about in the first place. Lower gears for us normal people. For average Joe, in my opinion, the 50 just offers high gears that will be rarely used and makes a portion of their cassette effectively redundant. This is what has happened to me since I got my Ribble CGR AL a few weeks back. I have a 10% descent on my commute every day. Its a reasonable length and I can’t get anywhere near top gear. I’ve never used it. In fact the top 3 gears have not been used. The reason I love the 46 is it makes use of all of my gears. They all fit in with the type of riding, pedaling and cadence I use. I tried to make the 50 work but alas the experiment failed.

nice, clean, unused and redundant

My options have been pretty limited though. I have done extensive research and unless I change my chainset or stick to round rings there is only one brand that make rings to fit my Shimano 105 R7000 chainset. absoluteBLACK.

They are oval and they are sub-compact. I’ve gone for the 46/30T combo which is the only combination they do with a 46. So thats it, those or nothing. At £167 a set, they ain’t cheap but luckily I can get 25% off through work which has softened the blow.


The bonus I get though is a 30T inner ring to replace my 34. I’ll have 30/32 now which means I’ll be able to go anywhere and climb anything comfortably even if I’m loaded up touring.

I’ll write more about the rings, the fit and the ride on them when they arrive. Can’t wait.

bye, bye

2 thoughts on “Divorced the 50

  1. I would gear out regularly with a 46… I have a 48 on my gravel bike and it’s acceptable on that bike, but I need the 50 on my rain bike and i enjoy the 52 on my fast bike. I’m down in the highest three gears at least two or three times a week. I get that many cyclists won’t need them, but you’ll have to also accept that many of us do… and the those of us who do tend to spend the most on our bikes so we are catered to. And that’s the “why”.


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