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Stronglight ST55 single chainset



Good choice for budget builds and singlespeed town hacks

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Stronglight’s ST 55 is one of those components that does exactly what is says on the tin, sure it’s the workhorse of the range but a great choice for moderately geared town hacks and budget fixer/singlespeed conversions so long as you’re the lighter side of 80 kilos. Non detachable rings, old fashioned square tapers and bog standard 170mm arms won’t set anyone’s Lycra ablaze and the arguably limited ring choices demand a more creative approach to gearing. However, this keeps costs low and there’s a lot to smile about, if only the knowledge you’re saving a more expensive crankset from a spanking.

Emerging from the box, the lightweight polished arms and CNC machined anodised ring belie their modest price tag. Sure, flip them over and the finish is a little more workmanlike but there’s something very satisfying about a purely functional component that can be cheerfully run into the ground at nominal expense. However, Dural’s a relatively cheap alloy chosen for its low weight and this shows-especially climbing out of the saddle and dancing on the pedals/sprinting for the lights - you can feel the flex.

Curiously, Stronglight recommend a bottom bracket length of 119mm- ample for an mtb frameset with snake-stays but 107mm axles are more realistic for an accurate chainline on most fixer/singlespeeds irrespective of whether they are purpose built or road conversion.

Similarly, while the ring is anodised, past experience suggests the arms are prone to corrosion but having amassed huge mileages on an identical model, periodic hard paste waxing keeps Joe rot and his friend the salt monster firmly at bay. The slightly restrictive choice ring choice (38 to 46 in two-tooth increments) is adequate for small-wheeled folders and possibly for juniors turning moderate winter gears in hillier regions but a broader range of say, 34 to 52 teeth would offer greater versatility and broaden the appeal.


Good choice for budget builds and town hacks test report

Make and model: Stronglight ST55 single chainset

Size tested: 42t

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

" The 55 series is the workhorse of the Stronglight range of chainsets and represents excellent value". A fair statement and one I would agree with.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

CNC machined, anodized alloy ring 38-46 teeth (46 as tested), square taper fit, 170mm Dural alloy arms.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Generally not bad, just lacks refinement in places.

Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:

Experience suggests it's better than might be expected but remember I'm 70 kilos and once the ring's worn, it's time for a new crank. However, this is reflected in the price and you should recoup the investment many times over.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:


Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Cheap but cheerful is the way I'd describe Stronglight's 55. It looks quite pretty and polishes up pretty well. However,there's some discernable flex when powering up the climbs-especially riding out of the saddle. That said in many respects it's ideal for town hacks and fixer conversions, although modest ring sizes might rquire some creativity when it comes to gearing.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Quite pretty for the asking price but cheap enough so you won't worry about it.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing given the price but wider choice of rings would broaden the appeal.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, perfect for a working bike

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

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