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  1. #1
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    Shimano XTR crankset m970 - product comparison

    Hi. Would just like to find out how the current XTR crankset compares with other top cranksets in a few attributes. There are three main attributes that i'm looking for in a crankset:

    - stiffness/strength
    - shifting performance
    - longevity - how long the chainrings will last, etc.

    And the other cranksets i would like to pit it up against are the, XT, SLX, and SAINT cranksets. Some rankings will be obvious, like the saint would be the obvious winner in stiffness, but others there may not be so obvious. This is so i can get an idea of how the XTR crankset stands in these areas.

    So i'm after some sort of comparison like this, ranked from best to worst (this is just an example):

    - stiffness/strength - saint, xtr, slx, xt
    - shifting performance - xtr, xt, slx, saint
    - longevity - saint, xtr, xt, slx

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    OnTheTrailAgain
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  3. #3
    Ultimated Outsider
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    Saint and XTR are made of the same aluminum series that use for Dura Ace cranks ,XT use a lower grade of aluminum that not as strong or as light as XTR/Saint but it still pretty strong, so Saint is stiffer because they are not as hallow as XTR but not by much. XTR is the best shifting perfomance of any crank on the market, but XT and Saint are pretty close behing. They all will last a long time if not abuse.
    If I disagree with you, it's because you are wrong.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundowner
    Saint and XTR are made of the same aluminum series that use for Dura Ace cranks ,XT use a lower grade of aluminum that not as strong or as light as XTR/Saint but it still pretty strong, so Saint is stiffer because they are not as hallow as XTR but not by much. XTR is the best shifting perfomance of any crank on the market, but XT and Saint are pretty close behing. They all will last a long time if not abuse.
    Thanks for that, that was a really good summary. How does SLX fit in the mix? Curious because its claimed to be 100% stronger than the XT. That's quite a stretch.

  5. #5
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    Can any one confirm the claim that the SLX crankset is 100% stronger than the XT one?

  6. #6
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    You have to read the fine print, that's the SLX dual ring All Mountain crank that's supposed to be 100% stronger (and heavier) than the XT. It has steel pedal inserts and other freeride features from the Saint/Hone line.

    One of the other features of the XTR is the fine adjustment of bearing preload that allows you to dial in the needed preload without excess drag. For some reason a lot of people seem to have issues with this, but it sure beats using shims, and the cranks spin like butter when they are set up correctly. The XTR BB is also very light at 89gms, and I have yet to kill one, even in the rainforest.
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  7. #7
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    How would everyone rate the XTR M970 cranks in the durability department. Are they durable? How long have they lasted you all? Anyone had one break/snap?

    Some people say stuff like, "XTR is just XT-Race...", "...lighter than XT thus the XTR is less durable" etc. But i suspect that that could be a misconception. The XTRs ARE durable right? And at least as durable as XT if not more?

  8. #8
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    The XTR are very durable, after all in racing to finish first, first you must finish.

    The Titanium/carbon middle ring lasts much longer than alloy chainrings, and the alloy big ring seems to be quite wear resistant as well. The shift ramps on the rings are terrific, like the world's slickest syncromesh. BUT, at the price of the rings you want to change your chain long before it wears to the point where it will begin to wear the rings, and you want to think twice about using the 44T ring as a bashring or a log crawler at $250 for the replacement ring.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    The XTR are very durable, after all in racing to finish first, first you must finish.

    The Titanium/carbon middle ring lasts much longer than alloy chainrings, and the alloy big ring seems to be quite wear resistant as well. The shift ramps on the rings are terrific, like the world's slickest syncromesh. BUT, at the price of the rings you want to change your chain long before it wears to the point where it will begin to wear the rings, and you want to think twice about using the 44T ring as a bashring or a log crawler at $250 for the replacement ring.
    Ah cool, good to hear. Haha, yeah the rings are damn pricey. How about the durability of the XTR crank arms? They are strong, no? How much abuse can they take?

  10. #10
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    It's likely important to put all these questions in context. They are an XC crank, and they can take anything you'd normally throw at them in XC riding or racing. Some DH racers run them as well. Can you break them? Likely if you try hard enough you could break anything. Do they have a reputation for having things go wrong? Nope. Otherwise you wouldn't see so many World Cup racers with them.

    But from one of your other threads, you already have a set of XTR cranks. So what's the goal of all this particular line of inquiry?
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  11. #11
    OnTheTrailAgain
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    The XTR are very durable, after all in racing to finish first, first you must finish.
    Well said...


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    It's likely important to put all these questions in context. They are an XC crank, and they can take anything you'd normally throw at them in XC riding or racing. Some DH racers run them as well. Can you break them? Likely if you try hard enough you could break anything. Do they have a reputation for having things go wrong? Nope. Otherwise you wouldn't see so many World Cup racers with them.

    But from one of your other threads, you already have a set of XTR cranks. So what's the goal of all this particular line of inquiry?
    Well i decided to get these cranks because i believe it is overall strong, durable, good shifting cranks etc. However, my mechanic questions the durability of the XTR cranks. So i just wanted to scope out some more in depth info, make sure that i made the right decision in buying them. I guess i'm probably starting to sound like an annoying prick asking all these questions, it's just in my nature to want to know as much as i can about something, apologies if all these inquiries are getting annoying.

  13. #13
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    Unless you're well into mondo clyde territory and ride more freeride than XC, the XTR are hard to beat for a light XC or even All Mountain crank. They will take a lot more impact and contact abuse than carbon cranks. The finish sure isn't durable, but that's not going to affect function.

    It would be interesting to find out where your mechanic's bias is coming from, you might ask him how he arrived at that opinion.
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  14. #14
    Meh.
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    If it is for DH and you ride lots of rockgardens and tend to snag pedals... I would not run these cranks.

    But they are a very light and durable crankset.

  15. #15
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    Thanks. Well at most i would be riding All Mountain, (mostly trail/xc, there's not much places for DH and FR here where i live in Australia). There are some rock gardens at my local trail that i do once in a while. I ride as frequently as once a week, or few times a week when i'm on a break from uni.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    It would be interesting to find out where your mechanic's bias is coming from, you might ask him how he arrived at that opinion.
    Not sure myself. He said that these cranks are for racing and racers replace these every six months or something like that, perhaps is where the bias comes from.

    Are the XTR more durable/last longer than XT? I'm still unclear whether this is a misconception or if that's true.

  16. #16
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    A sponsored racer might get a new XTR set every season, mostly because the finish wears off. I've ridden these on several bikes for a couple of years with no issues. XT are just cheaper and heavier. They're fine as well.
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  17. #17
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    I'm 260+ lbs with gear, ride what might be considered AM/light FR (some small jumps), seem to ride nothing BUT rock gardens and have had no issues with my M970 crank (175mm). I have been impressed with the weight and strength so much I have purchased more than one crank!
    Maverick Durance Ano-DUC32/C KING/XTR
    Mav ML8 Ano-DUC32/X0
    Mav ML8-DUC32/I9/XTR
    09 Spec. Demo-Totem-Ti DHX
    Norco Team DH

  18. #18
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    Mad . Yeah they seem to be a very good in each of its attributes, which is what appealed to me.

  19. #19
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    If you ride once or twice a week and dont race at all, I see no point in spending the extra cash to get the XTR. Unless you have an unlimited budget of course.
    The XT cranks are 95% as good, weight "only" 80g more, wear almost the same but the chainrings cost nothing compared to the XTR series.
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