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Thread: Crankset Advice

  1. #1
    "A black kid on a bike?"
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    Crankset Advice

    Looking to upgrade the crankset on my Jekyll 800. It's currently equipped with a TruVatiV FireX A1, 22/32/44. Is this a good crank? Can anyone recommend a decently priced replacement? I was thinking one of these three:

    1. Race Face Evolve XC Crankset

    2. Shimano XT M752 or 760 Crankset

    3. FSA MTB Afterburner Crank

    Thanks in advance for all input and advice.

  2. #2
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    Depends on your definition of decent. The Shimano LX continues to be my standby for best bang for the buck. At only 60g heavier than last generations XT 752 (due mostly to the heavier ES51 bottom bracket) and actually stiffer than the XT (German Bike Magazine crank stiffness test results), these are difficult to ignore with a $50 price tag attached.

    Some folks have trouble choking down the lack of cache the 'LX' name brings with it, and others don't like the color, but perhaps the most valid criticism of these (and the XT) cranks is that the smooth shifting chainring wear a bit fast compared to other brands. But the LX at least comes with a durable steel granny, for whatever that's worth.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speed?e
    Depends on your definition of decent. The Shimano LX continues to be my standby for best bang for the buck. At only 60g heavier than last generations XT 752 (due mostly to the heavier ES51 bottom bracket) and actually stiffer than the XT (German Bike Magazine crank stiffness test results), these are difficult to ignore with a $50 price tag attached.

    Some folks have trouble choking down the lack of cache the 'LX' name brings with it, and others don't like the color, but perhaps the most valid criticism of these (and the XT) cranks is that the smooth shifting chainring wear a bit fast compared to other brands. But the LX at least comes with a durable steel granny, for whatever that's worth.

    I have trouble with the LX recommendation, at least from my experience with the older 571 that came stock on my bike. First, the teeth on the outer ring are weak and crumbly.First ride and I chipped a few teeth to the point that shifting was affected.Was able to file them back into shape where shifting was ok and then mounted a bash ring to the big ring and had no trouble since, but fail to see why I should have to do this for moderate XC use that never bothered big rings on other cranksets. Second, the Octalink interface is finicky and very prone to squeaking and clicking. Interface must be greased and crankbolts torqued and locktited, otherwise the crankbolts loosen just enough allow interface to squeak. Third, the hollow spindle bottom bracket life is a year at best before noticeable decrease in smoothness, UN 72 square taper BB's would last me 2-3 yrs. I'm not alone in my dislike for LX, the reviews here (statistically significant 200+) are pretty poor. On the upside the cranks are light, stiff,cheap and rings shift well when new. And compared to the current ISIS crank/BB offerings, BB life might be as good as it gets for hollow spindle.

  4. #4
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    I got a good 2 years out of my LX rings before converting to a SS setup. Never needed Loctite, but yeah, grease and proper torque are essential to keep any squeeks at bay. My 571 LX crank is now 4 years old, installed on its 3rd bike, and each time, after initial install, I don't need to touch it. I've had to change bottom brackets due to size differences between frames, but the ES70 I use now has been in use for over two years and is spinning smooth.

  5. #5
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    I doubt the RaceFace Evolve will be a step up. Probably more of a step sideways. I saw some back and forth between Truvativ and RaceFace about the stiffness of their cranks but they're pretty similar in their intermediate "enthusiast" lines, if I recall correctly. I haven't ridden the Shimano cranks so I won't comment on them. Same for the FSA.

    I have the Truvativ FireX Team SL cranks on my Santa Cruz Heckler. They were cheap and at the time I didn't think a 150 lb guy could ever wreck or bend a crankset. Well they eventually did bend after I came down really hard off a 2-1/2' drop. I should note that I spent another two days downhilling some nasty stuff at Bromont with the FireXs and they didn't bend any more so they can take some abuse. I can't comment on hucking (> 4'). I think they're reasonably stiff in the direction of rotation but weaker in the direction perpendicular to rotation. It's a compromise Truvativ made to save weight using a heavier Al alloy. If you don't think you'll land hard somewhat sideways, you're not into hucking, and you're not a clydesdale then you should be alright. There's nothing really wrong with them for light to moderate XC use. It's a little questionable on the aggressive XC / all-mountain stuff. Definitely not for freeride. I upgraded my cranks to Holzfellers but I haven't formed a legitimate opinion yet.

    I hope I could give you some useful insight on the FireX cranks.

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