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I plan to use my new Canyon Endurace AL (11-34, 52/36) for some touring and I'd like some slightly more pleasant gears as I'll be carrying some weight (I have a tailfin rack I'm using with it) up some hills.

My ideal setup would be buying a 46/30 crankset for around £100-£150 which I could just swap in when touring (a couple weeks a year) (readjusting the front derailleur of course) and swap out when doing normal riding (95% of the year). I realise I'd also probably need to swap over the chain or shorten it each time.

Are there any such 46/30 or 48/31 cranksets that would work with a 105 setup and standard Shimano BB? I wouldn't want to change the BB over each time. I saw the RX600 but assume this would need a new FD as well due to the chainline difference. Are there any hacks to make it work? Are there any parts in Shimano's lineup that could help - I don't mind if it's not perfectly permitted by Shimano, just need it for a couple weeks a year really.

If not, I guess my options are just to switching the chainrings down to 50/34 - a small decrease of about 6% vs 17% for 46/30 but better than nothing. Would that be just a case of buying two new chainrings and installing them?

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I assume your current crankset has a 110mm BCD? You could go down to 46/33 teeth. (example 33 teeth chainring: https://www.bike-components.de/en/TA/X110-Chainring-4-arm-Inner-110-mm-BCD-p46803/)

The Shimano RX600 crankset puts the rings and pedals slightly more outwards. It might work with a normal road front derailleur, otherwise (officially) you need a GRX front derailleur.

I’d rather go for a traditional width, something like the FSA Supercompact with 46/30t.

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  • Current crankset is the R7000 105 crankset here: bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/component/shimano105-r7000/… – Tom H May 12 at 10:00
  • That's a good shout - just did some googling and found this: chainreactioncycles.com/… - only thing is the chainrings come to about £90 together! Guess that's normal but seems wild when I can buy almost an entire crankset for that cash. – Tom H May 12 at 10:10
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    Yes, chainrings are expensive. You could try finding a used 46t chainring. The 33t are quite rare. Apparently there are even rarer 32t chainrings for 4 arm 110mm BCD. – Michael May 12 at 10:13
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    @TomH: Yes but new compatible BBs are not that expensive. – Michael May 12 at 11:19
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    Happy to report that I bought a 33 tooth small chainring & am running it with a 52 tooth big ring on latest 105 (11-34 cassette) with no issues (except a slight loss of chain tension in the 'small/small' setting - but you don't really ride that because of the crosschain). – Tom H 2 days ago
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A 46-teeth ring is also available as a big ring for cyclocross. It is usually combined to a 36 but it works with a 34 as well, though Shimano doesn't endorse the combination. That way you'll just have to get the chainrings (and second chain) The 46 ring is a simple inexpensive flat ring with 4 plastic bolt covers on the spider.

The problem with going smaller may reside in the possible lack of clearance between rings and chainstay.

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  • Thanks! That's interesting to know but for my needs the size of the little ring is more important. If I was going for 34 I'd just pop a 50/34 on there I think. – Tom H May 12 at 9:48
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    @TomH: On my 2 road bikes I run throughout a 52/34 11-speed combination. A combination that is not endorsed by Shimano. One bike is on a last gen. 105 and the other an Ultegra Di2. (winter/summer bikes). Before major changes, just swap your 36-ring for a 34. Best of both worlds, 52 for speed, 34 for climb. – Carel May 12 at 9:55
  • good shout! Will try that first :) – Tom H May 12 at 9:58
  • that advice was great. I went one further and bought the 33T ring that Michael suggested and I'm running it with the 52T big ring - no probs at all (tension a bit low on small/small but that's not something I ride very often...) – Tom H 2 days ago

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