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Giro tech: Millar goes all MTB

Garmin-Cervélo rider uses SRAM's mountain bike kit

Britain’s David Millar used a SRAM hybrid drivetrain to tackle the Dolomites in the Giro d’Italia last week – a mix of road bike and mountain bike components.

The Team Garmin-Cervélo rider wanted to use 52 and 42 tooth chainrings on his Cervélo S3. Other riders running SRAM, including race leader Alberto Contador, used a wide-ranging (11-32T) SRAM WiFLi cassette to get low ratios for the climbs.

In order for Millar to get similarly low ratios with a 42 tooth chainring, he needed to use a cassette with even larger sprockets. He went for an 11 to… wait for it… 36 tooth SRAM XX cassette. That inner sprocket is huge. He had to have an XX rear mech cope with the size of it.

SRAM’s XX groupset is 10-speed but rather than the usual mountain biking triple chainset, it’s designed for a double.


Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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