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  1. #1
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    XT vs Hone cranksets

    Hey guys,
    I used to have a set of XT hollowtechs (olderones without hollow BB) on my all mountain rig. I liked the cranks alot but when the chainrings needed replacement I found a great deal on a set of Hones (a friend of mine gave me a brand new set of hones with e-13 bash guard for 50 bucks).
    I love the hones, they feel so much stiffer than the XT's.

    Now that I am planning a build of a hardtail AM bike I'm looking around for some cranks.
    I still have my old XT's sitting around and I am thinking of just putting new rings on them and using them on the hardtail build. However, i would rather have the stiffness of the Hones.

    Are the new Hollowtech II XT's stiffer than the old ones I already have? How would they compare in stiffness to the Hones?

  2. #2
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    I own a set of XT and Hone HT2 cranksets... the only real difference is a bit of weight and aesthetics... I don't feel any difference in performance

  3. #3
    local trails rider
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    They way I see it:
    Hone is the same as LX, except for the color and some steel components in the 2+bash Hone.

    LX is very close to XT (the HT2 models), except the look is different and XT is slightly lighter.

  4. #4
    Five is right out
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    I'm with the other guys- if you can feel greater stiffness in the Hones, it's likely to be in the mind.

    FWIW, I have both the old and the new XTs. They feel the same. I also tried some RF Atlas cranks on the weekend. They also felt the same.

  5. #5
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    I really believe there is a difference in the stiffness of the two cranks (XT vs Hone). When I first put on the Hones it felt alot different to me, coming off of drops was alot more solid and each pedal stroke felt more efficient.

    That said, I think I'll trust you guys and just buy new rings for my old XT's and put them on the hard tail. It will save me money and if you guys really are right and it is all purely placebo affect, then the XT's will be just fine.

  6. #6
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedro_sandchez
    I really believe there is a difference in the stiffness of the two cranks (XT vs Hone). When I first put on the Hones it felt alot different to me, coming off of drops was alot more solid and each pedal stroke felt more efficient.

    That said, I think I'll trust you guys and just buy new rings for my old XT's and put them on the hard tail. It will save me money and if you guys really are right and it is all purely placebo affect, then the XT's will be just fine.
    one thing... while I agree that new chainrings could be the most cost effective above.... my comments above referred to XT HT2 cranks and Hone HT2 cranks.... both are external bearing models... I do thing they are both a bit stiffer than previous iterations (octalink, square taper)... but it is not "night and day" different...

  7. #7
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    Some of the comments in this thread disturb me (no offense) :

    "They way I see it:
    Hone is the same as LX, except for the color and some steel components in the 2+bash Hone...LX is very close to XT (the HT2 models), except the look is different and XT is slightly lighter."

    Wrong here...the Hone is totally different. The Hone has arms which resemble LX arms, but they use pressed in steel pedal inserts like the Saint group for strength. The spindle is also different...I believe the LX spindle is cromo whereas the Hone and Saint are Stainless.(again for strength)

    Hone cranks come standard with m760 rings. (that's XT level)

    "FWIW, I have both the old and the new XTs. They feel the same. I also tried some RF Atlas cranks on the weekend. They also felt the same."

    You must be a lightweight. (literally, not figuratively or offensively ) I can tell a great deal of flex in square taper, ISIS, and octalink cranksets. I'm 195lbs and when I stand up and "honk" on the pedals, I can get the chain to rub the front derailleur in outer gear ratios. If I adjust the derailleur "out" to compensate for it, then it rubs on the inside. It's all due to flex. With the outboard bearing style cranksets, the flex is greatly reduced. I still noted some flex with the LX Hollowtech II crankset, but when I switched to Saint and Hone cranksets...the flex COMPLETELY dissapeared.

    If you are a lighter rider, you won't notice this issue, but for a 195lb rider who has to have his bike working "perfectly" all the time...I definately appreciate the benefit of the stiffer spindle on the Hone vs. the LX. Now when comparing old XT to new XT...there's no comparison. New XT is much more rigid. XT Hollowtech I (3pc. with ISIS hollow BB) was fairly nice and adequate for XC'ish stuff...but the Hollowtech II is the only way to fly for an aggressive rider my size.


    Sooooooooooo...as far as I have researched, I have concluded that the Hone is it's own entity borrowing from LX, XT, and Saint.

    It has LX arms attached to a Saint spindle with Saint steel pedal inserts and XT rings. I believe the outboard bottom bracket bearings are LX. I don't know if XT bearings are any different. My main thing about the Hone's is this: I can get a crankset that is only 70g heavier than XT, yet has a stiffer spindle and steel pedal inserts for my aggressive riding style. 70g isn't worth the decrease in durability to me. I would buy a set of Hones again over LX or XT any day.

    Thanks for listening to my lengthy explanation.

  8. #8
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed

    Hone is the same as LX, except for the color and some steel components in the 2+bash Hone...LX is very close to XT (the HT2 models), except the look is different and XT is slightly lighter."



    Wrong here...the Hone is totally different. The Hone has arms which resemble LX arms, but they use pressed in steel pedal inserts like the Saint group for strength. The spindle is also different...I believe the LX spindle is cromo whereas the Hone and Saint are Stainless.(again for strength)
    I have the 3-ring Hone and it is exactly the same as the LX.... the 2-ring-bash Hone has the pedal inserts and reinforced axle...correct...


    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed
    Hone cranks come standard with m760 rings. (that's XT level)
    the 3-ring hone has the same rings as the LX (alu in the 2 bigger ones, steel in the granny), XT has 3 alu rings... minor difference though... I actually prefer to run a steel granny on my XTs

  9. #9
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed
    Hone is totally different. The Hone has arms which resemble LX arms, but they use pressed in steel pedal inserts like the Saint group for strength. The spindle is also different...I believe the LX spindle is cromo whereas the Hone and Saint are Stainless.(again for strength)
    On Shimano's web pages the 3 ring Hone is almost identical with LX. The only differences I see is color and one gram of weight. The 2+bash Hone page mentions steel axle and pedal bushings.

  10. #10
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    confused here

    Wow, that is a lot of interesting and slightly conflicting info.

    From looking at the two links, it would appear that both the 2 and 3 ring hones use a steel granny, and I seem to recall that my XT760s came that way as well.

    I checked the part numbers in the exploded view, and the chainrings are identical. The left arms are definitely different part numbers, and the "features" of the 2+bash reflects the steel spindle and steel pedal inserts.

    Kind of interesting that they don't list the right arm/spindle as one of the parts. I guess they won't sell that on its own?

    Empirically, I still think my 752 cranks felt smoother and spin more easily, but they definitely are not as stiff or as nice for maintenance as the new ones are.

    Thanks for the enlightenment, fellows, I think the 2+bash Hone is a great choice for bigger dudes like me when the time comes. Plus black is cooler for its non-XC connotations...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    On Shimano's web pages the 3 ring Hone is almost identical with LX. The only differences I see is color and one gram of weight. The 2+bash Hone page mentions steel axle and pedal bushings.
    There was a similar thread a while back and someone pointed out that the spider also has a slightly different shape on the LX vs. the Hone.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyg
    From looking at the two links, it would appear that both the 2 and 3 ring hones use a steel granny, and I seem to recall that my XT760s came that way as well.
    I actually replaced my worn alu granny on my XT 760s with the steel one from the Hones (since I run the Hones as SS)... they looked the same... but the XT one weighs a lot less than the Hone one... the steels granny lasts a lot longer, so I prefer it...

  13. #13
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    short term memory abuse

    You may be right, my XT might have come with Al but I didn't remember that.

    I destroy Al grannys in no time, so it got s-canned right off the bat. I put Ti rings on almost two years ago and they are STILL going strong and shifting beautifully. I highly recommend them- Cycle Dynamics out in BC. ($30-40 each ring, I don't think they sell big rings, but I don't use one of those).

  14. #14
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyg

    I destroy Al grannys in no time, so it got s-canned right off the bat. I put Ti rings on almost two years ago and they are STILL going strong and shifting beautifully. I highly recommend them- Cycle Dynamics out in BC. ($30-40 each ring, I don't think they sell big rings, but I don't use one of those).
    cool..that could be a nice option.. I'll check them out for sure

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by crisillo
    the 3-ring hone has the same rings as the LX (alu in the 2 bigger ones, steel in the granny), XT has 3 alu rings... minor difference though... I actually prefer to run a steel granny on my XTs
    Ahhhhhhh...now we're getting somewhere. I have the 22/32/bg.

    My LBS at one point said that the Generation #1 Hone was a "black LX".
    I wonder if it's changed.

    The picture of the Hone / LX comparison shows a different spider and pedal inserts on the 3 ring model. The spindle looks different from the outside of the drive side than mine also. My spindle looks like the Saint spindle.

  16. #16
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed

    The picture of the Hone / LX comparison shows a different spider and pedal inserts on the 3 ring model.
    that is just the recess for the pedal spindle..maybe the light in the photo plays a role in that too.. as said, I have the 3-ring Hone cranks and there is no insert on mine

    the pedal inserts look a bit more "prominent" in the 2-ring picture


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvrbob86
    There was a similar thread a while back and someone pointed out that the spider also has a slightly different shape on the LX vs. the Hone.

    See...they are different. Hmm...

  18. #18
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    I can't quite tell if the XT has a similar looking spindle (from the outside of the drive side) as the Saint and Hone-BG models...similar, but maybe even different yet.




  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed
    Some of the comments in this thread disturb me (no offense) :

    If you are a lighter rider, you won't notice this issue, but for a 195lb rider who has to have his bike working "perfectly" all the time...I definately appreciate the benefit of the stiffer spindle on the Hone vs. the LX. Now when comparing old XT to new XT...there's no comparison. New XT is much more rigid. XT Hollowtech I (3pc. with ISIS hollow BB) was fairly nice and adequate for XC'ish stuff...but the Hollowtech II is the only way to fly for an aggressive rider my size.
    Thanks for listening to my lengthy explanation.
    thanks for your comment, it has been about the most helpful so far.
    It definitely confirms that I was correct in noticing the difference since I am about your weight (180 lbs).

    I'm beginning to think that my idea of just getting new rings will not be adequate.
    hmm...after the first two or three replies I felt like I had made a pointless post, but now that things are starting to heat up, it seems I had a pretty valid question.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by crisillo
    that is just the recess for the pedal spindle..maybe the light in the photo plays a role in that too.. as said, I have the 3-ring Hone cranks and there is no insert on mine

    the pedal inserts look a bit more "prominent" in the 2-ring picture

    Good eye. No insert on the 3 ring model. It DOES appear to be a "black LX" with maybe a reverse beveled spider. I called a pretty good shop nearby to ask them...they'll lemme know this afternoon.

  21. #21
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    more questions

    The 2 ring+bash Hone shows and lists a "pedal washer", and the 3 ring does not. I'm guessing the insert is not as thick as the arm and needs the washer mainly for a "spacer"?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyg
    The 2 ring+bash Hone shows and lists a "pedal washer", and the 3 ring does not. I'm guessing the insert is not as thick as the arm and needs the washer mainly for a "spacer"?
    As I said, I have the 2 ring model and it is an actual Steel insert that the pedal screws into. It's got a washer on the pedal side and threads on the inside. I'ts designed to handle the fatigue of the All Mountain Jumping/dropping. It's really not much of a spacer b/c it's recessed into the arm a bit.

    Lemme throw you for another loop (just for fun)

  23. #23
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    hahaha

    Nice, I've checked those DXRs out as well.

    I am too much of a wimp to give up my granny, but that chrome look is pretty hawt...

  24. #24
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    WOW, those things are $400 bucks at Pricepoint. I had no idea.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed
    WOW, those things are $400 bucks at Pricepoint. I had no idea.
    It makes no sense. They're basically polished, one-ring Saints. BMX stuff is usually less expensive since the market is skewed more towards kids.

    I find it interesting that Shimano doesn't publish their weight on the website.

    If I were going to spend that kind of money on BMX cranks, it would be for these.

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