Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: XCProphet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    332

    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?

  2. #2
    What could go wrong ...
    Reputation: Zoke2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,954
    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
    I used to ride to Win ... Now I ride to Grin

    While my guitar gently weeps, my bike sits there mocking me

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: XCProphet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    332
    Thanks, other than a weight weenie response, I was thinking of getting a steel big ring. Both are the same price.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,120
    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.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: XCProphet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    332
    Quote Originally Posted by DennisF View Post
    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?
    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)

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,120
    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.

Similar Threads

  1. Shimano steel chainrings
    By noassatall29 in forum Drivetrain - shifters, derailleurs, cranks
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 10-02-2012, 10:44 AM
  2. Looking for dead steel frames, chainrings, and Cassettes
    By Smoothinto2nd in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-12-2012, 12:16 PM
  3. Steel vs. Alloy Freehubs
    By BH2006 in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-28-2011, 07:58 PM
  4. Your thoughts Steel vs Aluminum chainrings
    By cbrock450 in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 11-10-2011, 08:41 PM
  5. Steel chainrings = more wear on chain?
    By fenrisulfur in forum Drivetrain - shifters, derailleurs, cranks
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-21-2011, 09:54 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •