Thru-axle chainsets are becoming commonplace now, and rightly so – the benefit of a bigger, more widely spaced set of bearings supporting a large hollow axle is massively increased stiffness that’s immediately noticeable.
This platform is coupled with a fairly traditional one piece forged crank and compact spider design that’s plenty solid enough to cope with heavy pedalling with no discernible flex. I had no problems fitting the Elita, but mind your fingers – those Truvativ chainrings are mighty sharp! If you’re upgrading at home you can add another tenner to the price to cover a new bb tool. The bearing cups are simple to install, and the non-drive crank secures with an oversize crank bolt. The resulting setup worked faultlessly from mile one. In theory the change from a standard 53T big ring to a compact 50T should have required a minor front mech adjustment, but in practice it wasn’t necessary, so have a test ride before you go fettling.
Shifting performance between the two rings is good. At 882g and £129 with bottom bracket cups, the Elita is going head to head with Shimano’s new R700 compact, which is a shade lighter but also a touch pricier. Performance-wise, I reckon you’d be hard pressed to separate them. I prefer the Elita’s more open and traditional look, but one man’s meat…