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  1. #1
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    Single Speed XC Crankset/BB Recommendations?

    you guys have made some excellent recommendations so far, so i am seeking one more from you single speed XC (and endurance XC) riders. My flight monocog BB is starting to wear out already so i figured i would take the opportunity to upgrade the entire crankset and BB. The bike will always be SS so i need a build-out that supports the rigors of SS climbing and constant pedal mashing. please provide both the "if money were no object" and "i have $500 to spend" options.

    TIA!!!
    Last edited by mayonayze; 08-13-2012 at 06:55 AM.

  2. #2
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    please keep in mind that the flight BB is a non-standard spindle and that i am not looking for anything that alters the chain line even remotely.

    OEM BB specs: FSA ISIS 68mm x 108mm
    OEM Crank specs: FSA Maximus 32T W Guard

  3. #3
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    Shimano SLX, XT or XTR.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    Shimano SLX, XT or XTR.
    got two xt cranks with no complaints. However I am using Chris king bottom brackets on them (personal upgrade choice I never had a problem with the original BB but then again I never used them for an extended amount of time before the upgrades)

  5. #5
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    Chances are pretty good that your chainline will be tweaked slightly no matter what you go with. I'm not sure what you're running, but you can adjust the chainline on your typical cassette style hub by spacing the cog one way or another. You can space the chanring a little bit and sometimes you can move your EBB left or right. All depends upon your setup.

    I would stick with SLX cranks. They're basically the same arms as XT's but they're significantly cheaper. You can pick up a SS ring with the money you save.

  6. #6
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    +1 for slx close to the same weight as xt cheaper and they look better too. Buy a triple you can sell the chain rings and get a nice single ring.

  7. #7
    transmitter~receiver
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    Hard to go wrong with a SRAM + MRP spiderless set-up.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  8. #8
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    Single Speed XC Crankset/BB Recommendations?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1344994030.135533.jpg

    modified XTR 960s. the bad thing is the dorky 102 BCD. as long as you can source chainrings you'll be alright.

  9. #9
    aka "SirLurkAlot"
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    You might want to try the SS forum. It's very active with some really experienced riders.

    That said, I prefer old school Race Face Turbine LP's in square taper. They're hard to find in good condition but they rock. They're aesthetically beautiful, functional and relatively light.

    They made them in other interfaces but the square taper have never failed me over thousands of miles.

  10. #10
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    I love Race Face Turbine line up. Being 220 lb on rigid, I want the assurance of 7000's aluminum in my components without too much weight penalty.
    Ghisallo Wheels

    I'm really good looking.

  11. #11
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    don't like my middleburns, I like my SLX.

  12. #12
    nothing to see here
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    Don't like my SLX, so went to Middleburns. Haven't worn out a BB since the switch. No external BB lasted more than a few months with me.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by minh View Post
    modified XTR 960s. the bad thing is the dorky 102 BCD. as long as you can source chainrings you'll be alright.
    I love the M960's too, but it's time to let them go. It's becoming harder and more costly to source chainrings for these things as time passes. They're sexy, but they're obsolete. The current SLX and XT offerings have a more standard bcd and have the same overall design as the M960's, they're just not quite as light or as good looking in my opinion.

    If you're looking to build up a workhorse SS, you don't want any proprietary isht like SRAM spiderless or obsolete 102 bolt patterns. Get something with a standard 4x104 and choose any one of the many SS rings that are available. That's my two cents.

    If you happen to have an old 960 crankset laying around though, by all means, hack it up and order a ring from somewhere.

  14. #14
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    This is my XT bottom bracket. It lasted 3 years and was installed in 4 different bikes.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rocket View Post
    This is my XT bottom bracket. It lasted 3 years and was installed in 4 different bikes.
    How in the he11...

  16. #16
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    Red Rocket - Were they over-tightened?? How did they shear off like that? I've never seen something like that before.

    Either way, 3 years is pretty good. I usually get a new one or rebuild every 2 years or so.

  17. #17
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    I don't think it was over tightened. I was going down a rooty hill and heard a pop then it started creaking. I didn't think much of it at the time and thought the pop was a stick or rock hitting the bike and the creaking was just loose chain ring bolts but when I got home that is what I discovered.

  18. #18
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    Don't like my SLX, so went to Middleburns. Haven't worn out a BB since the switch. No external BB lasted more than a few months with me.
    I haven't tried the xtype middleburns. Mainly as the only thing I like about them is the heel clearance on the ST and ISIS. Both of those however have had weak and stretchy interfaces. ST is OK just because there is more room to stretch. I still have to tighten after every ride...finally it is stopping after nearly a year of use. The ISIS are just loose beyond using now.

  19. #19
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    Xtr m980
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Single Speed XC Crankset/BB Recommendations?-single.jpg  


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BShow View Post
    I love the M960's too, but it's time to let them go. It's becoming harder and more costly to source chainrings for these things as time passes. They're sexy, but they're obsolete. The current SLX and XT offerings have a more standard bcd and have the same overall design as the M960's, they're just not quite as light or as good looking in my opinion.

    If you're looking to build up a workhorse SS, you don't want any proprietary isht like SRAM spiderless or obsolete 102 bolt patterns. Get something with a standard 4x104 and choose any one of the many SS rings that are available. That's my two cents.

    If you happen to have an old 960 crankset laying around though, by all means, hack it up and order a ring from somewhere.
    after reading your post I'm going to agree and will have to un-recommend the M960... but as long as you are aware of the caveat (the irritating 102 BCD that's hard to get) it can be a great crank- light, looks nice (if you hack it up right), cheap and strong.

  21. #21
    nothing to see here
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    Quote Originally Posted by finch2 View Post
    I haven't tried the xtype middleburns. Mainly as the only thing I like about them is the heel clearance on the ST and ISIS. Both of those however have had weak and stretchy interfaces. ST is OK just because there is more room to stretch. I still have to tighten after every ride...finally it is stopping after nearly a year of use. The ISIS are just loose beyond using now.
    mine are square taper, isis sux. I tighten every two or three rides, just to be sure. I don't understand how heel clearance is an issue though. Maybe if the spindle was too long.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    mine are square taper, isis sux. I tighten every two or three rides, just to be sure. I don't understand how heel clearance is an issue though. Maybe if the spindle was too long.
    I have size 47s and heel clearance can be an issue depending upon the stays and my crank/pedal setup.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsxrawd View Post
    Xtr m980
    I sure do like the look of those. Nice clean setup. But man, they're prohibitively expensive and you don't save much weight on a single ring setup.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by minh View Post
    after reading your post I'm going to agree and will have to un-recommend the M960... but as long as you are aware of the caveat (the irritating 102 BCD that's hard to get) it can be a great crank- light, looks nice (if you hack it up right), cheap and strong.
    i would still recommend the M960s. for the price you can get them for and the looks and weight they are tough to beat. the rings are easy to find... the lead-time in getting them is the issue.

    just order a few at a time (and before you need them if you can) or get a Ti ring. i will be running my M960s as long as i have a frame that will take them and will be buying another set when I see a good price.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkonbobo View Post
    i would still recommend the M960s. for the price you can get them for and the looks and weight they are tough to beat. the rings are easy to find... the lead-time in getting them is the issue.

    just order a few at a time (and before you need them if you can) or get a Ti ring. i will be running my M960s as long as i have a frame that will take them and will be buying another set when I see a good price.
    I disagree... Blackspire is the only mainstream company I know of that actually manufactures a 4x102 ring. Shimano doesn't even support that bolt pattern anymore. 4x102 rings are becoming harder and harder to get these days because there simply isnt a demand for them. They blackspires are also $50-60 each for a simple aluminum ring and they're getting harder and harder to find.

    Your other options are custom rings from small time one man shop type of places. Tomicog (Steel), HBC (aluminum and Ti) and I think there's a new one coming soon (Crazy8 on here - aluminum, ti and maybe steel?). Those are the only three that I know of. Tomicog does one offs, HBC will likely go out of business sooner rather than later and only time will tell how Crazy8's business progresses. Any of the one off guys are going to be quality rings, but with lead times and a comparatively high price tag.

    Conversely, pretty much every ring manufacturer makes a 4x104 singlespeed ring and you can get any one of them for about half the price of a blackspire ring. They're available in just about any tooth count that you would want. You can get them from any bike shop or online vendor and have instant gratification - or more importantly - a working bicycle.

    I have two XTR M960 ss cranks, and yes... they're light, strong, and look great - they're my favorite singlespeed crankset, by far. A couple years ago I did recommend them to anyone that was in the market for an SS crank and up until a year ago, I would still have done the same. These days though, I cannot make that same recommendation.

  26. #26
    Tulsa
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    another vote for race face turbine

    old compact 5 arm, with sks or phil wood and your choice of ring
    wherever you go, there you are

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BShow View Post
    I disagree... Blackspire is the only mainstream company I know of that actually manufactures a 4x102 ring. Shimano doesn't even support that bolt pattern anymore. 4x102 rings are becoming harder and harder to get these days because there simply isnt a demand for them. They blackspires are also $50-60 each for a simple aluminum ring and they're getting harder and harder to find.

    Your other options are custom rings from small time one man shop type of places. Tomicog (Steel), HBC (aluminum and Ti) and I think there's a new one coming soon (Crazy8 on here - aluminum, ti and maybe steel?). Those are the only three that I know of. Tomicog does one offs, HBC will likely go out of business sooner rather than later and only time will tell how Crazy8's business progresses. Any of the one off guys are going to be quality rings, but with lead times and a comparatively high price tag.

    Conversely, pretty much every ring manufacturer makes a 4x104 singlespeed ring and you can get any one of them for about half the price of a blackspire ring. They're available in just about any tooth count that you would want. You can get them from any bike shop or online vendor and have instant gratification - or more importantly - a working bicycle.

    I have two XTR M960 ss cranks, and yes... they're light, strong, and look great - they're my favorite singlespeed crankset, by far. A couple years ago I did recommend them to anyone that was in the market for an SS crank and up until a year ago, I would still have done the same. These days though, I cannot make that same recommendation.

    we can agree to disagree on this one. i certainly would not try and say that 104BCD does not have more options because it flat out does... by a long shot. that doesnt make the M960s a bad idea though.

    HBC rings really arent that much more expensive ($35) than any other rings and my unscientific observations say they last longer than the others i have tried. if you are worried about lead time or them going out of business just do like i said and buy a few rings at once or Ti and your "obsolete" cranks will continue to perform great for years and still be lighter and look better than most "not obsolete" cranks are today. the OP said he has $500 to spend so buying a few spares shouldnt be a problem.

    just like many other riders who put on alot of miles do, i have a small inventory of wear parts like chains, cassettes, chainrings, bearings, brake pads, tires etc in my shop drawer so wearing something out doesnt mean not riding. when i put on my last cassette or ring or whatever i order more. i find i actually save time and get better deals that way. if planning ahead isnt your style and you want to just walk into your LBS and get another one at a moments notice then these cranks probably arent for you. i guess it hinges around how you manage these things.

    by the way if either or both of your m960s are 180mm i would take them off your hands since i am looking for another set. cheers.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkonbobo View Post
    we can agree to disagree on this one...
    K.

    Two sides to every coin and it's good to have access to both in one place like this thread. OP (and others) can make a better decision for their needs because of it.

    One other potential downside to the M960's is the fact that you need to modify the crankset yourself or pay someone to do it for you. Well... you don't have to, but it looses a lot of it's appeal if you don't. It's not overly difficult to do, but it's time consuming and tedious work if you want to get them just right. Modifying/modified parts don't appeal to everyone.

    Both my 960s are 175's, otherwise I'd take you up on your offer.

  29. #29
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    I'm currently rocking the 5 bolt ISIS cranks w/ HBC ring. I like them a lot, but just picked up a nice set of the XTR m960s, again with an HBC ring (comes with the set, no waiting :P). So I guess I'm late to the XTR party. I'll probably go ahead and order 2 more HBC rings.

  30. #30
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    I think they're awesome and they are my favorite crankset to for SS and 1x9/10 but I'm aware of the issues with the 102 BCD and can deal with that so for me they're about as good as it gets. I still wouldn't recommend them for others unless they're ok with the 102 BCD. mine are 175mm!

  31. #31
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    mine are square taper, isis sux. I tighten every two or three rides, just to be sure. I don't understand how heel clearance is an issue though. Maybe if the spindle was too long.
    Funny, we kind of have the same experience. Heel clearance is just a personal thing, for my duck feet. The xtype cranks look like they are much flatter...the interface is more outboard to make room for the bearings. One reason I didn't go with them...ST hopefully willl be more robust than ISIS, and I love the BB choices with a Phil BB.

  32. #32
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    E*13 end of topic

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by blum585 View Post
    E*13 end of topic
    Those E13 SS cranksets look pretty sweet. I wonder about the bottom bracket though. How's that work on a standard english threaded shell?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by BShow View Post
    Those E13 SS cranksets look pretty sweet. I wonder about the bottom bracket though. How's that work on a standard english threaded shell?
    The bottom bracket is meant for a standard english threaded shell...

  35. #35
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    ok, so lots of great suggestions here and when i synthesize all of the feedback from here, my LBS, and local riders i have decided to roll with a Truvativ Stylo OCT w/ BB. I understand the older Truvativ offerings were suspect, but the latest crop seems to be holding up well on our local trails and the LBS says he hasnt seen a fail on the kit yet.

    i will report back after i get a few hundred miles on them. which shouldnt take long as i have the SMT100 in 2 weeks

    thanks again for the feedback and discussion!!!

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