Whether you like to admit or not, road biking is largely about suffering. It's digging deep and crawling up a climb, or going fully anaerobic trying to hang with your friends. For those who haven't fully embraced the masochistic lifestyle, the new micro compact crankset from Praxis Works will be of interest.
Typically, compact cranks have 50/34t gearing, which works great for a lot of people. But if you're looking for something even more spin-to-win friendly, the new micro solution from Praxis allows you to step down to a 48/32t combination. They've accomplished this by machining a small step in the spider to allow the chain to clear, while also threading the chainring bolt directly into the small chainring.
The best thing about this spider design is that the cranks are modular, so you can remove the spider and replace it with direct mount chainrings when cyclocross season starts (if that's you thing).
There's also talk of a spider-based power meter. Both of these items are still in development., but appear to be nearing production.
The Zayante and Alba crank are named after the two toughest climbs in Santa Cruz where Praxis is based.
All of these features will be available at two price points. At the pricier end of the spectrum is the Zayante, which features hollow forged arms, and an M30 spindle that works with Shimano 10/11, Campy 10/11, and SRAM 10/11. Retail is $240 and it weighs approximately 712g with a compact 50/34t gearing.
The Alba M30 shares the same feature set as the Zayante but comes with solid forged arms. It weighs 63g more than its hollow forged counterpart but costs just $175.
For more info, visit www.praxiscycles.com.
This article is part of RoadBikeReview's coverage of the 2016 Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. For more from Interbike CLICK HERE.