While cassettes have continued to mushroom in size on the MTB side of things for a few years now, those on the road have been limited to a veritably diminutive 32t granny gear in most cases.
Relic MTB aims to change this with its catchily named 40/42t + 16t sprocket, launched at this year’s Taipei Bike Show.
Designed to be used with Shimano road cassettes, the 40t expander cog slips behind a 28t cog on a 10-speed cassette or a 32t cog on a 11-speed cassette. A 16t cog also replaces the 15t and 17t to reduce the step caused by removing these cogs.
The system also uses an extender plate — which is alarmingly similar (identical) to the Wolftooth RoadLink — to move the derailleur far enough away from the cassette so that the upper jockey wheel doesn’t foul the large expander cog.
We can hear the comments already; get some legs! Just use a triple! While we can understand these sentiments, this is a much cheaper alternative to buying the parts needed for a triple conversion and much easier than doing some training.
On the other hand, with road bikes becoming ever more capable, I can definitely see the advantage of using a system like this when tackling gnarly slow speed climbs and straying off the beaten path for naughty gravel adventures.
A cursory search through the Relic MTB site also revealed a rather nifty looking dingle-speed cassette cog. And yes, Dingle Speed is a thing, with White Industries offering a dingle-speed version of its freewheels for years now.
Do you see the advantage of this system or will you insist on mashing up every hill you see until the end of time? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.