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  1. #1
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    Why go 30mm spindle?

    Hi,

    Is there any real advantage in going to the 30mm spindle? I have to buy a new crankset for 73mm threaded and am debating on the eternal question if just go with XT or something else. I hate that Shimano cranks scuff so easily and after 2 months they look like a mess. RF Turbine is nice, but the 30mm spindle will leave very little room for BB bearings. X01/XTR/Next are also on the list, but only if found with a hefty sale. Would the X01 GPX with 24mm be the best option?

    Does anyone have experience with both 24mm and 30mm and can tell me if the BB bearings have a significant difference in lifetime? For 24mm you can get fairly reliable BBs for next to nothing. I've heard the RF Cinch BB is utter shit, so for 30mm you should probably go with Hope or similar, which in turn add to the cost significantly.
    Don't be mad, I'm totally n00b-ish.

  2. #2
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    I have run both 24mm (SLX) and 30mm (RF and Hope).

    I wouldn't say that I have noticed a real difference between the 24mm spindle (Shimano BB, Shimano BB with Enduro bearings, and Hope BB) and the 30mm spindle (RF BB and Hope BB) in terms of bearing life.

    Having said that I live in Arizona where it is mostly dry but ultimately I think a good BB is going to be more important than just going 30mm vs 24mm.

    I wasn't a fan of the RF BB or the Cinch system. Seemed fiddly to keep bearing preload and the RF BB was just OK - definitely not as long lasting as a Shimano or Hope BB.

    I would say that crank choice is key and then pair that with a good solid BB for the spindle size.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by niplo View Post
    I hate that Shimano cranks scuff so easily and after 2 months they look like a mess. ..
    Would clear protector film help?
    Do the math.

  4. #4
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    Do you have a BB30 bb or similar? If not, you won't be able to use a crank with a 30mm spindle. Most all cranks on the market are 24mm, with some have a 30mm spindle option. Your typical threaded bottom bracket is for a bb with a 24mm spindle.
    EXODUX Jeff

  5. #5
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    I've been on RF cranks for 4yrs now. No complaints from the cranks or their BBs. My longest running BB has lasted 3yrs of 7 months/year riding. Can't say I noticed a stiffness difference, but I love how light their Next SL cranks are.
    Safe riding,

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  6. #6
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    Really too many factors to make a definitive statement. 30mm is better strength/stiffness to weight for the cranks obviously, but there are a lot of bearing choices depending on the bike and setup.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Would clear protector film help?
    I guess it would, but I'd rather do that whole "vote with your wallet" thingy and see Shimano make a proper product - let's call it principle. I really don't understand how they have had this issue for so many years now and not do anything about it. All reviews you read about Shimano groupsets show a scuffed crank, can't be very good marketing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    Do you have a BB30 bb or similar? If not, you won't be able to use a crank with a 30mm spindle. Most all cranks on the market are 24mm, with some have a 30mm spindle option. Your typical threaded bottom bracket is for a bb with a 24mm spindle.
    Obviously I will buy the appropriate bb to go with the crankset. Thay make 30mm bbs for threaded, but what I've heard is you have to really pay for quality bearings when they squeeze them into such a small space. With 24mm spindle there is plenty of room for the bearings so you can get away with cheaper components (sloppier tolerances).

    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I've been on RF cranks for 4yrs now. No complaints from the cranks or their BBs. My longest running BB has lasted 3yrs of 7 months/year riding. Can't say I noticed a stiffness difference, but I love how light their Next SL cranks are.
    And by RF you mean their 30mm Cinch cranks? This was more of a 24mm vs 30mm shoutout from the point-of-view of the longetivity of bb bearings. Is there any point in going 30mm to save 50g and be forced to change bottom brackets every 3 months (same price range bb)?

    If you use a high quality 30mm bb (Hope or similar), then you have to consider it's cost (>100€) and factor it to the system cost. This would make the Next SL system cost >600€ - A bit ridiculous to save 100g if you ask me. Besides, that Hope bb is an anchor, so you will be losing some of that weight difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Really too many factors to make a definitive statement. 30mm is better strength/stiffness to weight for the cranks obviously, but there are a lot of bearing choices depending on the bike and setup.
    Have you ever broken a 24mm spindle? I haven't. How much more strength do you need? I get that you get from physics stand point a better ratio, but from the same physics point you also take all space away from the bearings. Is it worth the 50g savings to compromise the bearings? I guess it doesn't matter as long as "MY CRANKS ARE THE LIGHTEST ON THE PLANET!!!!!11!!"
    Don't be mad, I'm totally n00b-ish.

  8. #8
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    You do know that RF also does 24mm spindle cranks, right?? If all you're really concerned about is that the Shimano's scuff up/off too easily and like the RF, then the AFFECT cranks offer this, it's the simple solution, alternately, you could clean and polish the Shimano cranks

    Race Face Aeffect Cinch Cranks > Components > Drivetrain > Cranksets | Jenson USA
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    You do know that RF also does 24mm spindle cranks, right??
    Yes, sure. Affect is RF lower middle class range and sure, it's works well, but I would still like to stay generally in the upper middle class with AM riding in mind. Somewhere between 300-400e for a system is fine if you get solid and reliable products that are reasonably light.

    This thread was just about finding out peoples opinions if there is any real world benefit to the 30mm spindles or is it just a marketing gimmick. I am interested in if people who are riding the larger diameter spindle have had problems with the theoretically weaker bearings. Reading product reviews in online shops doesn't paint a very good picture about the durability of the 30mm bbs.

    There are plenty of crank options, but I wanted to take the discussion beyond the weight weenie gram counting and focus more on the durability point. Is the 30mm anything else than yet another marketing trick to sell new stuff at the expense of durability? Something always has to give.

    Also, if you have to compare the system, then at least compare apples to apples and consider similar components for both diameters. There isn't really a 30mm equivalent to the RF Aeffect range.
    Don't be mad, I'm totally n00b-ish.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by niplo View Post
    And by RF you mean their 30mm Cinch cranks? This was more of a 24mm vs 30mm shoutout from the point-of-view of the longetivity of bb bearings. Is there any point in going 30mm to save 50g and be forced to change bottom brackets every 3 months (same price range bb)?

    If you use a high quality 30mm bb (Hope or similar), then you have to consider it's cost (>100€) and factor it to the system cost. This would make the Next SL system cost >600€ - A bit ridiculous to save 100g if you ask me. Besides, that Hope bb is an anchor, so you will be losing some of that weight difference.
    I used Next SL cranks they are 30mm and I use RF BB's which are $50 and my oldest one is 3yrs old riding 7 months a year. I don't buy Next SLs because they are cheap though. The BBs have no durability issues for me.
    Safe riding,

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I used Next SL cranks they are 30mm and I use RF BB's which are $50 and my oldest one is 3yrs old riding 7 months a year. I don't buy Next SLs because they are cheap though. The BBs have no durability issues for me.
    That's actually pretty good. Thanks for sharing! What kind of terrain do you ride in?
    Don't be mad, I'm totally n00b-ish.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by niplo View Post
    That's actually pretty good. Thanks for sharing! What kind of terrain do you ride in?
    Coastal BC steep rocky rooty. I'm 195lbs geared up. Bike was ridden in wet during spring and fall. Summers are typically dusty. Same bike would get taken on winter road trips to the desert. I checked the BB a couple times a year and would have replaced it without a second thought if it was anything, but smooth.

    Built up a new bike and bought another set of Next SLs for it and another RF BB. Although not cheap I have always managed to get them on sale so I didn't get hit with full MSRP.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  13. #13
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    Absolutely no reason to go 30mm we service and sell both. I have way more problems from BB30 or PF30. Honestly the Sram BB30 holds up as good as anything and they are dirt cheap.

  14. #14
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    Is there a reason why Shimano is still using a 24mm spindle?

  15. #15
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    A 73mm threaded (BSA) bottom bracket for a Raceface 30mm (Cinch) crankset DOES NOT have tiny bearings limited by some external dimension. It uses a bigger cup (and bigger cup wrench) than 24mm bottom brackets. You're thinking of Raceface's Cinch BB92 bottom bracket that fits the bearings inside the frame. I expect less life from these but mine isna year old and still feels new. I have 2, 3, and 4 year old Raceface Cinch BSA bottom brackets that spin fine and are silent, though I repack the bearings every year or two.

    The advantages of Raceface's Cinch system and 30mm spindle are light weight, stiffness, adjustable chainline, adjustable bearing preload, and infinite chainring options.
    Keep the Country country.

  16. #16
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    The oldest RF BB I have [3yrs old] is a PF92 setup. My GF had the same one and no issues there either.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt View Post
    A 73mm threaded (BSA) bottom bracket for a Raceface 30mm (Cinch) crankset DOES NOT have tiny bearings limited by some external dimension. It uses a bigger cup (and bigger cup wrench) than 24mm bottom brackets. You're thinking of Raceface's Cinch BB92 bottom bracket that fits the bearings inside the frame. I expect less life from these but mine isna year old and still feels new. I have 2, 3, and 4 year old Raceface Cinch BSA bottom brackets that spin fine and are silent, though I repack the bearings every year or two.

    The advantages of Raceface's Cinch system and 30mm spindle are light weight, stiffness, adjustable chainline, adjustable bearing preload, and infinite chainring options.
    Thanks for your message. In this case the Cinch system is back on the list without the big minus in the column.
    Don't be mad, I'm totally n00b-ish.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by niplo View Post
    Yes, sure. Affect is RF lower middle class range and sure, it's works well, but I would still like to stay generally in the upper middle class with AM riding in mind.
    Pivot Cycles would disagree with you:

    https://nsmb.com/articles/race-face-...-their-weight/

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Bone View Post
    Pivot Cycles would disagree with you:

    https://nsmb.com/articles/race-face-...-their-weight/
    The "solution" to the bearing issue also happens to be a very low cost crank so the motivation for the spec may not be entirely "solving" the bearing issue.
    Safe riding,

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Bone View Post
    Pivot Cycles would disagree with you:

    https://nsmb.com/articles/race-face-...-their-weight/
    Of course they do, so they can spec them on $7400 bikes and act as if it's not because of making more money

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    The "solution" to the bearing issue also happens to be a very low cost crank so the motivation for the spec may not be entirely "solving" the bearing issue.
    Not sure about bearing issues as I was responding to the OP's view that the Aefects are low rent cranks...... The RF Aeffect is lighter than an XT 8000 crank and undoubtedly just as stiff or stiffer. Plus they use the cool cinch system which allows for a ton of ring options.

    I'm 225lbs and I can't tell any difference between 30mm aluminum and 24mm steel spindles. I purposely only buy threaded BB frames, and I like 24s because it allows me to use Shimano's awesome 'disposable' XT BB..... When, but more accurately 'if' it fails, I throw down another $20 for a new one.

    I love Shimano's brilliant crank mounting/pre-load design, and the RF Aeffects (I have both) are just as good, and maybe even better, as you simply tighten the driveside arm to 45ftlbs and the crank simply pre-loads itself perfectly.

    So to simply answer the OP's question of "Is there any real advantage in going to the 30mm spindle on a threaded BB frame?", for me it's a very, very simple NO.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    Is there a reason why Shimano is still using a 24mm spindle?
    It's superior. Shimano has the manufacturing scale to mitigate the cost of the more expensive axle.
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  23. #23
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    24mm bb's tend to last longer because the balls are bigger. Snicker if you must, but bigger balls in a BB will outlast smaller ones.

    You might enjoy this BB comparison test if you haven't already read it. After reading this, and after owning high end BB's of multiple standards, I prefer 24mm XT bb's for 20 bucks.

    Friction Facts: measuring bottom bracket drag - BikeRadar USA

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    Is there a reason why Shimano is still using a 24mm spindle?
    It works?
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by niplo View Post
    Hi,

    I hate that Shimano cranks scuff so easily and after 2 months they look like a mess.
    Quote Originally Posted by niplo View Post
    I guess it would, but I'd rather do that whole "vote with your wallet" thingy and see Shimano make a proper product - let's call it principle. I really don't understand how they have had this issue for so many years now and not do anything about it. All reviews you read about Shimano groupsets show a scuffed crank, can't be very good marketing.
    If you ride with your heels turned in, any crank is going to show rubs marks, not sure how this is a Shimano only issue.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    If you ride with your heels turned in, any crank is going to show rubs marks, not sure how this is a Shimano only issue.
    Are you serious? It's a we'll known issue. Take a look at any review, good chance they have this very thing listed as a major concern.

    Shimano XT 8000 crankset review - BikeRadar

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by niplo View Post
    Are you serious? It's a we'll known issue. Take a look at any review, good chance they have this very thing listed as a major concern.

    Shimano XT 8000 crankset review - BikeRadar
    Known 'issue'- maybe. Functionally irrelevant- absolutely. Put an anti-scuff guard on there if vanity demands it.
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  28. #28
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    Scuffing feels like the absolute last reason to make a decision on a crank pro or con

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Known 'issue'- maybe. Functionally irrelevant- absolutely. Put an anti-scuff guard on there if vanity demands it.
    Ah, the "I don't care about aesthetics at all" guy. Call me vain, but why pay for a product that will look very bad in two months? And the clear protection was discussed earlier.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Procter View Post
    Scuffing feels like the absolute last reason to make a decision on a crank pro or con
    It's certainly not at the top of the list.

  31. #31
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    5 reasons why Shimano is still using 24mm.

    1) It's smaller. This gives room for other things, like bigger pivots and chainstays (and larger balls in the cartridge bearings)

    2) Less drag in the BB bearings. Larger bearings have larger seals with more surface contact.

    3) Steel threads are far more durable than threads cut into aluminum, for purpose of attaching the other crank arm onto the spindle.

    4) Greater stiffness, in that more compact space. (click on the crank pics to see stiffness details in this link)

    5) More plentiful high grade material, that is generally attractively priced


    5 reasons why some go 30mm:

    1) more experience working with aluminum, having pre-existing tooling to manipulate it

    2) less costly to machine (ex. splines and threads), as aluminum is a softer material and doesn't dull cutting bits as quickly nor requires extra large machinery to forge

    3) ride the marketing wave, and subsequent customer demand, in which others have spent some marketing dollars to extol the "benefits" of BB30 (lighter weight, new standard that supposedly replaces the "outdated" 24mm)

    4) built-to-fail. Aluminum has limited fatigue life. It is better for business if people buy cranks more frequently.

    5) China produces a sh*t ton of aluminum, and it subsidizes the production of it. Businesses can take advantage of this, at least until the Chinese gov't pulls the plug
    We're all on the same ship, and it's sinking.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by niplo View Post
    Are you serious? It's a we'll known issue. Take a look at any review, good chance they have this very thing listed as a major concern.

    Shimano XT 8000 crankset review - BikeRadar

    Lol hard to take any review with this amount of BS seriously "But continued skinny-axle-only limitations"
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    5 reasons why Shimano is still using 24mm.

    1) It's smaller. This gives room for other things, like bigger pivots and chainstays (and larger balls in the cartridge bearings)

    2) Less drag in the BB bearings. Larger bearings have larger seals with more surface contact.

    3) Steel threads are far more durable than threads cut into aluminum, for purpose of attaching the other crank arm onto the spindle.

    4) Greater stiffness, in that more compact space. (click on the crank pics to see stiffness details in this link)

    5) More plentiful high grade material, that is generally attractively priced


    5 reasons why some go 30mm:

    1) more experience working with aluminum, having pre-existing tooling to manipulate it

    2) less costly to machine (ex. splines and threads), as aluminum is a softer material and doesn't dull cutting bits as quickly nor requires extra large machinery to forge

    3) ride the marketing wave, and subsequent customer demand, in which others have spent some marketing dollars to extol the "benefits" of BB30 (lighter weight, new standard that supposedly replaces the "outdated" 24mm)

    4) built-to-fail. Aluminum has limited fatigue life. It is better for business if people buy cranks more frequently.

    5) China produces a sh*t ton of aluminum, and it subsidizes the production of it. Businesses can take advantage of this, at least until the Chinese gov't pulls the plug
    You forgot "lighter" and "stiffer" in the aluminum column.
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  34. #34
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    Anyone who's worried about BB bearing life or durability, just go with a Wheels Manufacturing angular contact BB. They make them for 24 or 30mm spindles, in many forms.

    Wheels Manufacturing Bottom Brackets

    IMO Sram and RF BB's are not great. I'll killed many of both in months, not years. The WM bearings are super durable and super smooth.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt View Post
    You forgot "lighter" and "stiffer" in the aluminum column.
    Except it isn't. If you work out the math, a 30mm aluminum spindle isn't really stiffer or stronger than a 24mm steel spindle assuming weights are kept equal (steel has a far higher modulus of elasticity).
    And when taken together as a system, Shimano's XT and XTR cranks are way stiffer than their BB30 competition as shown in the linked article.

  36. #36
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    I like Shimano's cranks in general, but I stopped buying them when I bought a fatbike. Shimano makes a total of zero cranks with spindles long enough.

    I bought Turbine CINCH cranks for my fatbike, and they just work. The Aeffect didn't exist when I bought them, though. So I had to use one of the compromise compatibility bb's for the BB121 (just a wider version of BB92). I burned through a less expensive RF one in about 500mi, but I've got 1600mi on an Enduro one (bigger balls and double row of them in each bearing) and no sign of it wearing out yet.

    My wife's new Juliana has an Aeffect crank on it, and it's every bit as good, with the benefit of being able to use less expensive bb's (her frame has threaded cups, too, which makes that even better). The arms are pretty much the same as the Turbines. I really do like direct mount chainrings, too. No, it's not as fancy as a NextSL, but frankly I wouldn't buy a superlight carbon crank with the way I like to ride. Too many problems with alu inserts (pedal inserts, spindle interface inserts) loosening, and aggressive riders breaking arms. I like bike parts I can install and aside from periodic inspections when I clean/maintain my stuff, can more or less forget about because they continue to work.

    So when it comes down to it, I don't really care if it's a 30mm spindle or a 24mm spindle, as long as the system is reliable.

  37. #37
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    Well I found the Turbine Cinch cranks for 89,99€ so I pulled the trigger on those. Can't argue with that price.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by niplo View Post
    Well I found the Turbine Cinch cranks for 89,99€ so I pulled the trigger on those. Can't argue with that price.
    Looks like you answered your own question.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    Do you have a BB30 bb or similar? If not, you won't be able to use a crank with a 30mm spindle. Most all cranks on the market are 24mm, with some have a 30mm spindle option. Your typical threaded bottom bracket is for a bb with a 24mm spindle.
    I have raceface 30mm spindle on 2 of 3 mtn bikes. Both using threaded BB style and the raceface BB. (one Next SL cranks, one Turbine, both cinch) My 3rd bike has 24mm shimano BB and 24mm spindle with 970 XTR cranks.
    Joe
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Procter View Post
    Scuffing feels like the absolute last reason to make a decision on a crank pro or con
    I agree.. My XTR cranks have one side with XTR logo scuffed off, but the otherside is still on. My older 950 XTR cranks came on my used bike and had been repainted a few times before I bought it. The only reason I changed out those 950 XTR cranks was that getting the right bottom bracket for it was getting hard since nobody makes one and shimano is not doing it. The only way to get lighter cranks was to go with carbon. So that is what I did. The 970 XTR cranks use a more modern bottom bracket and are on my "heavy" bike.

    I have the turbine Cinch on my Steel Single speed. That bike is reasonably light 23.5lbs , but is not a superlight build like I did with my geared Carbon HT (21.5) . So the Alum Turbines are perfect for that as i am not sure I want carbon cranks on steel single speed. I love having hardware compatibility for at least two bikes. Since both use the same BB I need only one spare for both bikes.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5",Vassago Verhauen SS 29" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    By ferros in forum Drivetrain - shifters, derailleurs, cranks
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