Steel vs. Al Alloy crankset chainrings
What are the do's and don'ts?
Can I use steel 22T & 44T and al-alloy 32T
or vice versa?
actually it is pretty standard on factory cranks to have a steel granny and AL mid and big ring ... you probably wouldnt want an AL granny as it would wear out pretty quickly
Thanks, other than a weight weenie response, I was thinking of getting a steel big ring. Both are the same price.
Mine came with steel granny and middle, and aluminum large.
I'm thinking there would be a significant weight difference between a steel and aluminum 42. Do you really use the large ring all that much? Also, the wear is distributed over a lot of teeth, so it may outlast your steel middle and small.
I converted to 2x using a Raceface Turbine 24/36 set, both aluminum. I have only put about 500 miles on them, but so far they look like new.
1) What Drivetrain do you have?
Originally Posted by DennisF
2) I use the 44T fairly well since its teeth are starting to look like shark fins, so will a steel 44T stretch a aluminum CN-7701 or should I get a steel chain and cassette (im not a weight weenie, but I also suspect my freehub should be steel in this case also)
It came from the factory with a non-series Shimano crank -- I have been told it is roughly XT grade -- it has Hollowtech II written on it.
FD was 3-speed SLX and is now 2-speed XTR.
The rear derailleur was XT Shadow non-plus and the cassette was SLX. I now have a Shadow plus RD and an XT cassette.
The chain is KMC.
I haven't been at this too long, but wasn't aware that there are aluminum chains or cassettes. I think some of the high-end cassettes use titanium on some or all of their cogs.
KMC makes a chain with hollow pins and slots cut in the side plates, but the weight savings is surprisingly small -- about an ounce. However, I got their best 10-speed chain direct from Taiwan for about $35 delivered so went for it -- it supposedly lasts longer. I have about 1100 miles and at .25% wear. I use a dry lube, but worry more about keeping it clean than how well it is lubed.
FYI My 36-tooth al ring weighs exactly the same as the 32-tooth steel 63 grams. However the Raceface ring is beefier and has several actual ramps -- not just pins -- to help it shift. The steel 24-tooth was 44 grams. The al one is 22. My al 42 weighs 77 grams.
Anyway, if you use your big ring a lot, I don't see how you could go wrong with steel. Hopefully someone with more experience will comment on how steel vs aluminum rings wear. I am interested too.
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