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  1. #1
    jl
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    Workin' Man's Super-Bling Drive Train

    So I've been riding the same drive train for almost 4 years. I've changed the chainrings once, and the cassette twice and the chain twice. But overall the drive train is worn out, the bottom bracket is noisy. I haven't really been happy with the splined XT crank set I have--the right crank arm keeps coming loose. The rear derailleur isn't shifting like it use to--I've dropped the chain into the spokes on the last 4 rides.

    I decided it was time to 'upgrade' the drive train.

    I know the 29er board has some great setups with sawed-off-polished XTRs, Middleburns, Whirlies, WIs etc. Those are very nice but too much bling for me. So I decided on the workin' man's drive train.



    Funny thing is that the UN-54 BB I'm using spins much smoother than my wife's external XT BB. I'm not a big fan of external BBs--they seem to have a fair amount of drag, you think they would spin more freely than the old-school BBs, but they don't. I think this setup will be a as good as any of the "new" technologies available.



    I took the bike out for an initial spin last night, approximately 15 miles with 2K elevation gain. Not a problem with the shifting. As for the cranks, they felt like every other crank I've had--when you push them down, the bike moves forward.

    Shiny blue-collar drive train.


  2. #2
    Devo
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    thats pretty much the same drive train i have on The Dummy but using a Truvativ crank which has all steel rings.

    its amazing how much things can cost.
    www.AsanaCycles.com
    "Bicycle Lifestyle, realized." D.G.

  3. #3
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Quote Originally Posted by jl
    As for the cranks, they felt like every other crank I've had--when you push them down, the bike moves forward.
    ]
    Weird. My XTR's and Middleburn's do the same thing...but lighter.

  4. #4
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    The best drivetrain is the on the trail.I've had some nice components hanging in my garage in the last year.It's all about the trail!Nice build enjoy.

  5. #5
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    Nice to see there are still decent quality and reasonably priced square taper goods out there. I see no advantage at all to the ISIS/outboard business. The Dura Ace external BB on my [I]road[I]bike is dead after about 5K miles. Pretty sad.

  6. #6
    dreamer
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    Good job!

    Let's hear it for function over fashion! I bet you don't cry like p***y when you smack a rock. I have 10yr old XT cranks, SRAM X7 shifter,and X9 rear, 10yr old XT front, on a brand new El Rey. Gets me over the mountain, and through woods.

  7. #7
    anyone else smell that?
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    what's that thingy on your seatpost (not the saddle, you smart guys).
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  8. #8
    HTFU and Ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgsatl
    what's that thingy on your seatpost (not the saddle, you smart guys).
    looks like a co2?
    Winter is coming.

  9. #9
    anyone else smell that?
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    ah, gotcha.

    hey...that's blingier than a pump....
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jl
    Funny thing is that the UN-54 BB I'm using spins much smoother than my wife's external XT BB. I'm not a big fan of external BBs--they seem to have a fair amount of drag, you think they would spin more freely than the old-school BBs, but they don't. I think this setup will be a as good as any of the "new" technologies available.
    Unfortunately, spinning something when it isn't loaded has absolutely no relationship to how it will perform when, you guessed it, under load.

    Meaning: spinning a crankset without your body weight on the bearings won't tell you anything useful.

  11. #11
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    I ran Sugino cranks and started having some issues. Admittedly rode the hell of them with my single speed but they (and the square BB) didn't last long. Also that UN-54 is really heavy, you can probably shave close to even a 1/2lb by going to a simple UN-74. I use an old RaceFace bottom bracket I got for $5 at a swap, ultra light, killer. But in the end the cranks wore and the square taper is warped. I am down with supporting the cheap build but especially that crank may be a weakness, I dunno. It personally made a hell of a ride for me on a 35 miler. About half way through had to resort to duct tape. The one and only time duct tape has literally genuinely saved the situation... I used Duct Tape as... Loc Tite!

    To me these days (and it is bling) but XT is the working man bling. I don't even consider XTR. But now thinking about it, my bike is weighing in at 30.5 lbs (5" travel, big XL size). But still feels light and maneuverable and not a truck at all... My best guess only because it's a Ventana. Thought it would bother me but not at all so far...

  12. #12
    Expert Crasher
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    I like the UN54 and use it w/ my RF Turbines...

    ride on and enjoy your choices
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  13. #13
    ballbuster
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    Dunno why...

    ... everybody complains about the drag on the external bearing stuff. My outboard bearing cranks (one set of LXs, one set of XTs) spin like crazy... as much as my UN72/oldschool LX combo on my city bike, my XT/Octalink2 on my SS, or my Ritchey cranks/Ultegra Octalink1 BB combo on my touring/CX bike.

    I think a lot of folks must be going too crazy with the bearing preload or something.

    THat Lenz is sweet. THat frame is on my short list for FS29ers when I get the dough together.

    Quote Originally Posted by dieselcruiserhead
    Also that UN-54 is really heavy, you can probably shave close to even a 1/2lb by going to a simple UN-74.
    That thing is only like 310 grams. If you took half a pound off 310 grams, you would have 84 grams. THat is one light BB! The UN72 is around 260 grams, IIRC. You would actually shed like 50 grams or 0.11 pounds. There is a difference, but not that much.

  14. #14
    jl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Weird. My XTR's and Middleburn's do the same thing...but lighter.
    Padre,

    You're probably just messin' with me, but I think that "white" collar of yours is causing you some cerebral hypoxia. These my friend are blue-collar cranks...

  15. #15
    jl
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    Quote Originally Posted by coachjon
    looks like a co2?
    Workin' men don't carry CO2 .



    Everyone should ride with Ganesh.

  16. #16
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    Not sure if the numbers on those are right. Also they dumbed down (or beefed up) the UN-54, as the UN-52 it replaced was also lighter. I installed a 54 into an old stumpy of mine last year. Felt like a little gut bomb, heavy as hell. After I installed it a whole bunch of people recommended I use the 74 instead. At least the BB is nice and low to the ground. Not a big deal at all, if it really is under 1lb then all the better. I wish I had the model name on the Race Face BB I have, works great and could actually be under 100-150g I figure, awesome for a square taper...

  17. #17
    jl
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselcruiserhead
    Not sure if the numbers on those are right. Also they dumbed down (or beefed up) the UN-54, as the UN-52 it replaced was also lighter. I installed a 54 into an old stumpy of mine last year. Felt like a little gut bomb, heavy as hell. After I installed it a whole bunch of people recommended I use the 74 instead. At least the BB is nice and low to the ground. Not a big deal at all, if it really is under 1lb then all the better. I wish I had the model name on the Race Face BB I have, works great and could actually be under 100-150g I figure, awesome for a square taper...
    I guess in 2012, I'll see what's available when this one wears out .

  18. #18
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    Totally cool. My UN-52 was 2001-2007, thousands of miles. Really, only started lightly creaking...

  19. #19
    bi-winning
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    Square taper has served me well. I'm running 6 year old Deore Cranks. The Shimano BBs last forever.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  20. #20
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    Nice.

    I use Sugino 5 bolt cranks on my 2 bikes. No issues (accept I would prefer the 5th bolt not be behind the crank arm).

    Can't beat the price for the performance.

  21. #21
    DiscoCowboy
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    Nice

    What model Suginos are they?

    Quote Originally Posted by jl
    So I've been riding the same drive train for almost 4 years. I've changed the chainrings once, and the cassette twice and the chain twice. But overall the drive train is worn out, the bottom bracket is noisy. I haven't really been happy with the splined XT crank set I have--the right crank arm keeps coming loose. The rear derailleur isn't shifting like it use to--I've dropped the chain into the spokes on the last 4 rides.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jl
    Workin' men don't carry CO2 .

    http://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/500/HPIM2122.JPG

    Everyone should ride with Ganesh.
    Dude. Be careful.


  23. #23
    What the Crap?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jl
    So I've been riding the same drive train for almost 4 years. I've changed the chainrings once, and the cassette twice and the chain twice. But overall the drive train is worn out, the bottom bracket is noisy. I haven't really been happy with the splined XT crank set I have--the right crank arm keeps coming loose. The rear derailleur isn't shifting like it use to--I've dropped the chain into the spokes on the last 4 rides.

    I decided it was time to 'upgrade' the drive train.

    I know the 29er board has some great setups with sawed-off-polished XTRs, Middleburns, Whirlies, WIs etc. Those are very nice but too much bling for me. So I decided on the workin' man's drive train.
    i got a kick out of your blue collar frame - a Levithan!

  24. #24
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Quote Originally Posted by jl
    Padre,

    You're probably just messin' with me, but I think that "white" collar of yours is causing you some cerebral hypoxia. These my friend are blue-collar cranks...
    Blue collar cranks on a white collar frame...whatever works!

    I'm loving my 27lb XXL Leviathan.

    I think I get as big a kick out of that as you do about your blue-collar cranks.

  25. #25
    jl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzz541
    Dude. Be careful.
    It seems to be working for him. That 30 board rider needs a ganesh.

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