While all the big brands have been shaving weight, adding stiffness, changing their bottom bracket systems, hollowing their crank centres and adding all sorts of clever sculpting to their rings, it's taken several years for them to rival the low weight options that Middleburn have to offer.
The British company's approach allows you to opt for one, two or three rings, with a choice of spiders to suit. You can choose between splined (X-Type) and square-taper axles, and a range of different crank arm lengths. The external bottom bracket RS8 X-type Duo tested here comes with a choice of 26/39- or 28/42-tooth chainrings and 170 or 175mm arms.
The rings don’t shift quite as smoothly as some of other brands' and you'll have to add in the cost of bottom bracket cups/bearings but the fact that the whole setup lasts so long and can be replaced bit by bit helps to make up for that.