Upgrades, lower gears

I did my weekly clean of my bike today, paying particular attention to cleaning the drivetrain as I do. Its something I’m quite diligent about and thats why a year on, I’m still running the same drivetrain from new. I’ve done just over 5000km on it so far, not bad given the weather through the Winter and just proves how well components can last if you look after them. I measured the chain and its just getting over 0.75 and is almost ready for a change.

I’m still using Screwfix’s No Nonsense Degreaser in my chain bath. 5L for £9. BARGAIN!

My brake pads are also the originals too (gotta love disc brakes!) but the front one has been squealing very, very loudly this week and not working very well at all so I took them off to check and found they were contaminated from road grime and probably on their limit. I cleaned up the rotors with some alcohol and lightly sanded the pads to get them back to working condition but it prompted a think on what to do with my drivetrain given bits are wearing out now.

231 rides, 5000km from new so far

When I bought the bike it came with a compact 50/34 chainset and I’ve missed my beloved 46T outer ring ever since. I tried to retrofit one unsuccessfully so I had to reluctantly accept it and wait for the Shimano GRX groupsets to go mainstream in the meantime. I promised myself I would have another look at it when they were available.

So here I am. My drivetrain needs a change and I have a tantilising amount of gravel and touring coming up in the next few months, there is no better time to do it.

Fuerteventura gravel in March, a 3-day 200 mile tour in April

At the moment I have Shimano 105 R7000 throughout the bike. A compact 50/34T chainset + 11-32T cassette. I’ve decided to go for the Shimano GRX RX600 46/30T chainset + another 11-32 cassette. I looked at the 1x option but the double gives me super-low (much lower in fact) gears for gravel/offroad/touring and the 46 is perfect for commuting. I don’t need to change the rear mech. Its the best of both worlds and covers all my needs for the bike.


I’ve decided NOT to buy a dedicated commuter bike and convert my Ribble for offroad. My Ribble can and will do both so I’ll probably just by some new wheels instead

Given I’m away in the sand and dust in March on holiday, I’m going to run my current transmission till I get back as it will be worn out by then and then swap it out wholesale fresh when I get back ready for my mini-tour in April.

46/30 – It couldn’t be any better for me!

Now… this is the annoying bit. I get 25% off @ Tredz through work. Good you might think. I popped the chainset, cassette, a chain and a couple of pairs of brake pads in my basket. Total £220, £180 delivered with my discount. £40 saving. Nice


Just out of interest I had a quick look online. Tried Bike24. Same order, 180 Euros or £150 delivered! How does that work?

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