The all-new Lokomotiv is distinctly different from any other chainset on the market, using what Deda describe as their Torque Transfer Concept. Holding the chainrings in place over a four-bolt design with two pairs of bolts at parallel but offset angles, it removes the need for a traditional spider.
Deda say this setup, along with the triangulated arm design, was derived using mathematics to determine the shape that would deliver optimal stiffness. This arrangement means the arms can be more evenly paired in terms of size and stiffness. However, because the rings aren’t anchored in the usual way there are a lot of unsupported chainrings on show – you might expect these to start ﬂexing under load and pressure shifting.
We’re happy to report that there’s no more ﬂex in the Lokomotiv than either the SRAM or Campagnolo units it’s replaced. What’s more apparent is the sheer stiffness of the crank arms: we haven’t tested a chainset that’s as stiff and positive as the Lokomotiv before and it’s a remarkable feeling. You can put as much power as possible through the arms without ﬂex, just positive transmission of your input straight through to the back wheel.
The chainset is a two-piece with Deda’s own external-cup bearing design. The titanium axle is machined down from its wide joint between arm and axle to a svelte 24mm diameter, which helps keep the weight down to a respectable 700g including rings and axle bolt. At £425 including the bottom bracket, it’s £15 cheaper than Shimano’s Dura-Ace but weighs 50g more (including BB).
The diamond-cut teeth have angled ﬂats both forwards and backwards to aid the chain in shifting up and down. Shifting on our Campagnolo 10-speed equipped bike was as good as it was with the original chainset, while the upshifts on our SRAM test ride actually improved. We were surprised to ﬁnd that the Lokomotiv works smoothly with 11-speed Campag as well. The radical look may not be to everyone’s taste but with such super-smooth shifting and superb stiffness we have no problem recommending an upgrade to this excellent chainset.