One of the maxims about cycling you can almost always count on is, “It’s been done before“. With that said, here is an example of what that means in the case of the elusive quest for the “29”er Specific Crank Set”.
So many times this subject gets raised on forums and in e-mails sent to me. Well, here is what you are looking for, only it was done in 1992 and has long since been out of production. Campagnolos ill fated Record OR group was a last stab at mountain bike credibility for the famed Italian road component company. Unfortunately, the group suffered from a very poorly designed shifter at a time when Rapid Fire was being introduced by Shimano. Regardless of the fine finish and functionality of the rest of the Record OR parts, this lack of a good shifter, (and a bit of weight over a Shimano XT group) was the nail in the coffin for Record OR.
Interestingly, this crankset was available in a configuration that included a 20T granny and a 30T middle ring: exactly what 29″er freaks are asking for now days. Another feature of this crankset was the “cassette” mounting of the rings, an idea Shimano would take and refine for some of its late 90’s cranksets.
So when you think about having some of those lower gears for your next assault on that five mile climb to the clouds, think about this neat little design that deserves to be updated. Too bad these are super rare. They would be a great solution to a lot of folks desires for “29”er specific” gearing.