M5 CHR – Mountain Killer

I eventually became fed up having to mash up really steep hills at a low RPM on the CHR. While it’s doable, it’s not pleasant, particularly if you’re tired. And I’ve been tired a lot recently – still having ongoing health issues with my breathing and I’ve had to back off the intensity quite considerably.

I had a dinner plate 11-42 XT cassette sitting around unused for 2 years after failing to make it work on the Cruzbike, so it got me thinking. I got a JTek Shiftmate and an XT Long Cage derailleur, and I now have some proper low gearing whilst keeping the compact double up front. 34-42 gives me 21 gear inches as opposed to 28 on the 34-32 I had previously. It doesn’t make the hills any easier in terms of power output but I can now sit at a much better cadence and bring the speed down a little more on the steepest parts. There’s quite a few climbs round here between 15-20%. I really should have put a triple on it before I bought the power meter……

I now have Sram TT R2C bar end road shifters, running into the Shimano XT MTB derailleur via the JTek Shiftmate. I also have Sram flat bar brake levers, a TRP front disk brake and an Ultegra rear caliper brake. I just need to get a Campagnolo component on there somewhere too…..

Initial quick test ride tonight – it all works really well. Nice to climb the hill out of Stow at 90 RPM for the first time. The smallest 3 sprockets are unusable on the 34T ring even with the supermassive XT long cage derailleur due to chain slack, but I can live with that. It’s quite an extreme setup for any derailleur to handle. I think most riding will be done on the 50T ring now with such a wide range with a drop down to the small ring for the steep bits.

I quite like the new KMC two tone chain as well 🙂

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