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  1. #1
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    Need a new drivetrain- XPost

    Would like to pick your collective brains. Not literally…
    I’m rebuilding my XC race bike and would like some sugestions. It’s an Independent Fabs Deluxe hardtail. I found out the hard way that my frame was intended to use a drivetrain with a 48mm chainline. I used Shimano (50mm) for a few years and kept having ghost shift issues when using the middle ring up front and the 2 larger cogs in back (call it 2/1 and 2/2). Lots of chainsuck resulting in some chainstay damage.

    I have plenty of experience tuning and building my own bikes, but finally took it in to my trusted LBS. They informed me it was a chainline issue. I called IF and they concur. The bike is at IF getting the chainstay fixed up and the frame repainted.

    So here’s the $64K question:
    If you wanted to use the best race oriented drivetrain, what non-Shimano setup would go with, and why?
    Crankset, cassette, chain, and BB.

    BTW, I weigh 185 with all my gear on. I am used to descending aggressively (used to DH) and I like to hammer up technical climbs.

    I’ve been seriously considering the FSA K-FORCE MEGAEXO or the TEAM ISSUE MEGAEXO carbon crankset with the external BB, or the TEAM ISSUE ATB with ISIS BB.
    What’s the difference between the K-Force and the Team Issue MEGAEXO?
    Anyone with feedback on external BB vs conventional?
    I've read too many reviews about the unreliability with Race Face XC race oriented cranksets and BB's, so I'm a little wary of using a RF drivetrain.

    I guess I should mention I am a SRAM man, so I already have the XO rear derailleur and shifters. I am going to stick with the Shimano XTR front derailleur since it is still the best FD on the market, IMO.
    Fat fanatic.

    "Where the Fox Hat?" Endurance Team
    SoCal Colavita Road/MTB club

  2. #2
    MK_
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    I think that FSA is the only one which gets 48mm chainline with outboard bearings. All others are 50 or greater. K-Force is a stronger crank, stiffer. You'll have to see which one is heavier. Cassette, it is hard to beat the XT for its performance at much lower price than XTR. SRAM cassettes are catching on, but they are still heavier and they don't shift as good. Rear derailleur, go with either X9 or X0, X9 is 30g heavier and about $100 cheaper, they both work equally well. XO triggers are the ultimate bling item for a bike, but at $250, they're in the league with King bits.

    _MK
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  3. #3
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    I have an FSA MEGAEXO and an XT octolink1, and the MEGAEXO is noticiably stiffer (though it may be the bike too). Anyway, it shifts well and the high end ones are pretty light, so i can't see how could could go far wrong with an FSA.

    Ditto the XT cassette, too. Its the exact same cassette as XTR, minus ti. I don't have $100 for ti, but you might. Shifts like butter too. The same can actually be said of the chain, the nickel coating on Dura Ace doesn't increase performance or wear, but its only 10 bucks there, so its not as big a deal.

  4. #4
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    If you want the hands down best shifting set-up it would be Shimano XTR m960. You can easily acheive a 47.5mm chainline by putting the 2.5mm BB spacer that is on the drive side over on the non-drive side. And maybe cheat with a RF 1mm spacer on the drive side spindle and achieve a 48.5mm chainline. This is what i did with my RF Deus and it worked like a charm.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbiker3111
    I have an FSA MEGAEXO and an XT octolink1, and the MEGAEXO is noticiably stiffer (though it may be the bike too). Anyway, it shifts well and the high end ones are pretty light, so i can't see how could could go far wrong with an FSA.

    Ditto the XT cassette, too. Its the exact same cassette as XTR, minus ti. I don't have $100 for ti, but you might. Shifts like butter too. The same can actually be said of the chain, the nickel coating on Dura Ace doesn't increase performance or wear, but its only 10 bucks there, so its not as big a deal.
    Thanks for the feedback. I agree with you regarding the cassette and chain. XT vs XTR just isn't worth the extra $$.
    Fat fanatic.

    "Where the Fox Hat?" Endurance Team
    SoCal Colavita Road/MTB club

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratt
    If you want the hands down best shifting set-up it would be Shimano XTR m960. You can easily acheive a 47.5mm chainline by putting the 2.5mm BB spacer that is on the drive side over on the non-drive side. And maybe cheat with a RF 1mm spacer on the drive side spindle and achieve a 48.5mm chainline. This is what i did with my RF Deus and it worked like a charm.
    Thanks for the response, Ratt. I actually did have the spacer no the non-drive side and had shifting issues. Shimano website and literature states 50mm chainline. Wouldn't they have mentioned you can adjust the chainline if it was possible? (no sarcasm intended)
    Fat fanatic.

    "Where the Fox Hat?" Endurance Team
    SoCal Colavita Road/MTB club

  7. #7
    MK_
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    One thing pertaining chains, I would strongly advise against Shimano chains. I have broken them within hours of installation, every single one, and I tried several of varying grouppo. Sram chains are hands down the best I have tried (in reasonable price range). They last extremely long (vs Shimano) and the power link is sheer brilliance.

    _MK
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Upchuck
    ... Shimano website and literature states 50mm chainline...
    Ya a few years back Shimano said optimum shifting could only be achieved with a 47.5-50mm chainline, not sure where this only 50mm law came from.
    Quote Originally Posted by Upchuck
    ...Wouldn't they have mentioned you can adjust the chainline if it was possible? (no sarcasm intended)...
    Well, there are a couple of problems with what i am doing. You can't use a E-type derailleur with a 73mm shell. The Q factor is shifted to the left, not bothersome to me but i know roadies who are Q sensitive and would complain. The crank arm comes really close to the chainstay on the right side, could be a problem with certain frames.

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