David Millar turns to hybrid MTB drivetrain

What’s that? A 11-36t cassette and SRAM XX rear mech
Race leader Alberto Contador was one of the riders to run SRAM Apex

David Millar has gone all mountain bike on us. Pictured left is the machine the British rider used to tackle the Dolomites during the Giro d’Italia.

This year’s Giro is particularly tough, with seven summit finishes and a succession of super-steep climbs that left even the pros needing a helping hand.

And so two-time world time trial silver medallist Millar opted to run a hybrid drivetrain – made up of both road and mounain bike components – on his Cervelo S3.

The Garmin-Cervelo rider wanted to stick with his 52×42 chainring setup and so while some riders were able to go with SRAM’s Apex rear mech, unveiled in February 2010, and an 11-32t cassette – Millar was forced to look elsewhere to achieve the same ratios.

SRAM XX, the first 2×10 setup available in mountain biking, meant Millar’s mechanic was able to fit a huge XX 11-36t cassette on the back, far larger than the sprockets (maximum 28 teeth) a standard SRAM RED rear mech would be able to cope with.

Now, it’s not just time trialler Millar who’s ‘caved in’. Even race leader Alberto Contador (along with his SaxoBank-SunGuard team, Astana and some of Millar’s team-mates) is running a SRAM Apex rear mech and cassette to accompany his standard double chainrings.

Images © The Road Diaries

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