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  1. #1
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    Crank Choice for Flash 29er Carbon?

    I have a Flash 29er 3 Carbon arriving (hopefully) in the next day or two and amongst many other upgrades, I'd like to swap out the stock FSA (Comet) crankset. Weight saving aside, it seems that this crank is pursued by chainsuck or other unidentifiable problems and I'd like to head that off while I get the chance to sell it unused (and I don't much fancy the combo of chainsuck with a carbon frame)

    I'm looking at options for a new crank and it seems to come down to 2 main options:

    1) XX 26/36 (Q166 version, as I understand it) 694g including BB30

    2) XTR M980 26/38 634g + 64g (BB30) + 53g (Adapter) = 751g

    I like the look of the XTR a bit more and I'm sure it would retain it's looks much longer than the XX. I'm probably going to go with XTR for the rest of the drivetrain / shifting. Additionally, I've read some comments about the XX rings wearing very quickly, though the shifting is meant to be superb. I don't mind the extra 50g for the XTR too much, though I do worry that at best, I'd not be taking full advantage of the BB30 stiffness and at worst, I'd be introducing new "creak points" into the system

    Does anyone have experience of these BB30 adapters? I was thinking of one like this: http://wheelsmfg.com/content/view/785/54/ rather than the type that permanently installs a theaded cylinder in the BB shell. Or do you think the XX (or some other crank) is the way to go? I don't really want to go higher than 26/39 on the rings as that seems plenty high enough on a 29er already.

    Obviously, the Hollowgrams would likely be a very good solution, but sadly, they're out of my price range.

    Thanks for any advice or opinions you guys can give on this!

  2. #2
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    If you can't afford the Hollowgrams and you're not interested in the Lightning crankset I'd get XTR. I would buy XTR and be done with it.

  3. #3
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    Stick with a BB30 crank. Forget the adaptors. BB30 is one best design attributes of your Flash Cabon frame.

    My first choice is Hollowgram. Check with your Cannondale dealer for used cranks. Maybe the mechanics have some they would cut you a deal on.

    If that doesn't work, I would go with the XX or an XO crank if you want more big climb friendly 38/24 or 36/22 chainrings.

    As far as XX chainring durability goes, mine are solid. I have been riding them since February 2010. They probably have about 500 hours of riding on them. I am on my third chain (SRAM 1091R) and the rings show very little wear. I use Rock and Roll Blue or Gold chain lube a couple of times per week. So IMO these rings are durable.

  4. #4
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    As others have stated bite the bullet and get the Hollowgrams. Then buy a Hollowgram SI Lock Ring Tool KT012 and you will then be able to run whatever you want - XX, X0, 3 ring spider etc. Ebay has the spiders and KT012 and typically has Hollowgrams. I got a brand new set for $900 last year.

  5. #5
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    If you can swing it for hollowgrams, do it. I am actually picking up my second set for the 'cross bike tomorrow. They are pricey, but the best money I have spent on my Flash. They are super light and very customizable, as someone stated with XX, X.0, or a triple.

    Speaking on behalf of the XX chainrings, I have not seen much wear that I would consider to be out of the ordinary. I am running them with a KMC x9SL (yes, 9 speed drivetrain...I love my twist shifters...don't hate).

    Speaking on behalf of the weight, 'Nuff said...

    (I know...shitty cell phone pic, sorry.)


    There are more photos in the album in my signature breaking down the overall weight of all of the parts of the crank.

    To pick from any of the other options, I would say to go with a Sram product. IMO the chainring options are much better.

  6. #6
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    i dont think the newer bikes can run an adaptor can they? im pretty sure the flash's have the lips inside the BB shell so its BB30 all the way - thereby ruling out any Shimano offerings...

    Get an X0 if you cant stretch to a hollowgram, its worth every cent. the interchangeable spider makes it so flexible (road, compact road, cross, mountain bike triple, double, etc).

  7. #7
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    If you really want to run XTR it is possible with BB bearings that have a 24 mm adapter. But do you really want to ?
    Is to be found on eBay for +/-35 USD, look for BB3024 or something (no idea about quality) as I run Hollows.

    Before committing do your homework regarding the gearing, XTR is not your best bet with a 29 certainly if you live in hilly (read mountain) area. Unless you have tighs like my chest ;-)

  8. #8
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    Thanks a lot for the advice guys. I'd be making this choice blind otherwise, so it's much appreciated!

    Re Gearing: Good point, yes I'm new to 29er's and 2x10. I've done some quick gear inch calculations and I reckon that 26/39 (with an 11-36 cassette) is as high as my legs would tolerate on the hills around here!

    Amillmtb: ok, that pic is quite convincing!

    After all the advice here I'm going to try my damndest to get hold of some Hollowgrams one way or another. Besides the low weight (which may well turn out to be the deciding factor in me getting my Flash under 20lbs) the flexibility of the spider etc. is awesome. I agree, it does make sense to make use of the excellent BB30 stiffness, rather than put an adapter and smaller axle in there.

    Thanks for the good reports on the XX chainrings too. I think I will go with those if I can get the Hollowgrams. They look really good on there too

  9. #9
    LUW
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    Unfortunately from personal experience I can say that a 210 42/28T XX does NOT fit in the Carbon Flash 3 - the Q-Factor is too narrow and the cranks barely miss the chain stays. And then there's another problem: the bigger chain ring will not work with the stock X7 front derailleur, that is too low .

    So unless you stick with smaller chain rings, so that the front derailleur is not an issue, you can't use an XX. A X0 fits perfectly - but with the 42T chain ring you'll also need a new front derailleur.
    Cheers!
    Luciano
    Brazil
    - 2011 Cannondale Flash Carbon 29er 3

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUW View Post
    Unfortunately from personal experience I can say that a 210 42/28T XX does NOT fit in the Carbon Flash 3 - the Q-Factor is too narrow and the cranks barely miss the chain stays. And then there's another problem: the bigger chain ring will not work with the stock X7 front derailleur, that is too low .

    So unless you stick with smaller chain rings, so that the front derailleur is not an issue, you can't use an XX. A X0 fits perfectly - but with the 42T chain ring you'll also need a new front derailleur.
    are you talking about q factor of the crank arms or the chainrings themselves? there are two versions of the XX crank - a 156 and 166 (?) q factor variations and the 166 fits the flash.

    the braze on derailleurs are chain ring specific. if it comes standard with 39-26 and you change to 42-28, you need a new derailleur.

    why would you want a 42-28 on a 29er anyway???

  11. #11
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    42/11 does sound quite big for a 29er - that would be 111 Gear inches...

    Here's a quick comparrison I did based on my current 26er gearing (22/32/42 with 11-32T cassette) to see whether the XX 26/39 rings would suit me on my new 29er:-

    Top End

    42/11 (on a 26er) = 99 Gear inches (I spin this out at around 35mph, usually when trying to set off traffic speed cameras)
    39/11 (29er) = 102 Gear Inches (so the top end shouldn't be noticably different)


    at the bottom end:-
    22/32 (26er) = 18 Gear Inches (current lowest gear)
    22/28 (26er) = 20 Gear Inches
    26/36 (29er) = 21 Gear Inches (so slightly higher than my current 2nd gear)

    Ideally I'd like the bottom slightly lower, either for very long rides where I'd want to take it a bit easier on the climbs or for one or two very steep short sections we have round here where I'm not sure if I'd make them with the 26/36. I'm hoping the 9lb weight difference and bigger wheels of my new bike will make up for the shortfall
    Last edited by jimification; 07-21-2011 at 01:17 AM.

  12. #12
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    Crank dilema is solved though - won a set of Hollowgrams (si's) on Ebay this morning

    I'll fit them up with the XX 26/39's as recommended. Cheers!

  13. #13
    LUW
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanbal View Post
    are you talking about q factor of the crank arms or the chainrings themselves? there are two versions of the XX crank - a 156 and 166 (?) q factor variations and the 166 fits the flash.
    The XX 42/28 175 mm for BB30 is only available with Q-Factor 156 and 164, but like I said, even the 164 barely cleared the chain stays. The nice part is that when I asked here if I would need a new derailleur more then one person said it was just a matter of swapping the crank set .

    Quote Originally Posted by nathanbal View Post
    why would you want a 42-28 on a 29er anyway???
    Speed. My three first rear cogs are always clean and shining, while the other seven are blacked with grease and dirt, since I rarely use them. I don't do technical and tight trails anymore, only dirt roads.
    Cheers!
    Luciano
    Brazil
    - 2011 Cannondale Flash Carbon 29er 3

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUW View Post
    The XX 42/28 175 mm for BB30 is only available with Q-Factor 156 and 164, but like I said, even the 164 barely cleared the chain stays.
    164 Q-Factor XX crank fits just fine on a Flash carbon frame. As do the 42-28 rings.
    Race Reports, PreRide Reports, and General Rambling:

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  15. #15
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    I'm running a 164q XX on a carbon flash 29er with no problems. I've also had the Hollowgram SL. The weight difference is 75 grams in favor of the SL. My problem with the SL is cost and they get beat up so easily. The XX seems to hold up fairly well. They both seem equally stiff. I was using a 132mm spindle with the SL and the chainline was about 1mm less than the XX. I prefer the XX chainline. The bike looks much better with the SL though.

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