What is a super compact chainset, and do you need one?

If you struggle on the hills and yearn for a granny ring then the new wave of low-ratio chainsets could be just what you need

The super compact chainset, otherwise known as a sub compact chainset is the latest gearing system to gain traction — especially in the world of gravel or all-road cycling.

With even lower ratios than the original compact, which used a double 50/34 set-up, a super compact chainset runs 48/32 or even lower.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.