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  1. #1
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    VP-Free Crank, BB, Guide & Chain Line (Merged Thread)

    I'm running a LRP dual ring guide on my VP Free with the new style Shimano XT cranks with outboard bearings. The cranks are awesome-- light and strong, but do not work with this setup. The chainline is all messed up due to the extra width of the BB design. What other cranks have you guys found to work well with the Free, especially those of you who are running a dual-ring guide?

    Also, if anyone has cranks that will work on this bike and wants to trade for a nice XT set, let me know! Otherwise they'll probably be for sale pretty soon.

  2. #2
    Lord of the Chainrings
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    Go with RaceFace DH

    The downside to the VP-Free setup is that you have to spend $100 for a 128mm bottom bracket from RaceFace or Truvativ, to get the chainline correct. (Rear hub is another story.)

    I use the RaceFace Evolve DH crankset on mine. It rocks!
    Last edited by Mudd; 03-14-2006 at 09:04 AM.
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  3. #3
    All Mt, DH
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    On my Free I'm running Truvativ Hussfelts with the 128mm BB.
    I think the BB may be on the way out.
    Looking at other options.... especially Diablous.. (prefer outboard bearing designs - easier to get cranks off)
    Anyone have experience with outboard bearing cranks on the Free?
    From Raceface website:
    BUILT FOR: DH & Extreme Freeride
    SIZE: 165,170, 175mm
    BB SHELL SIZE: 68/73, 83, 100mm
    WEIGHT: 1150g (175mm with 36T DH ring and BB)
    WARRANTY: Lifetime
    COLOURS: Bad Ass Black & Shiny Silver

    So If a Free needs a 73BB width then can an 83mm Diablous BB be cut 10mm (its only plastic on Shimano anyway) and have some spacer outside the driveside BB cup and between the drive crank.??? Just a thought

    I only run a 22/32/Bash setup and need to get (as close as possible) a 55mm chainline as per SC recommends...

    I did run the 68/73mm Saints and Hone but the chainline wasnt good and ghost shifted too much.

    Any recommendations appreciated
    2007 Blur 4x
    2009 Driver 8

  4. #4
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    Shimano saint M805 with 83mm BB

    BB changed to Race Face Diabolus bearings and spaced out from the frame ( 73mm BB conversion kit, plus spacers)

    Saint Front derailleur

    No chain problems but it looks a bit odd with the spacers.

  5. #5
    All Mt, DH
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    Ghostrider
    Any chance of some pics of your crank setup, particularly the Race Face BB and spacers on the drive side..

    Thanks

    Rogue
    2007 Blur 4x
    2009 Driver 8

  6. #6
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    Sure, Here they are.
    I am going to get a single custom spacer machined up to replace the three in there, this should make it look a bit better.
    You can buy the Race face fitting kit this provides a different internal spacer, or just a 73mm BB shimano one.
    You need the race face bearings as they have longer threads than the shimano ones. This means you can thread the BB in as far as a normal saint one yet still fit the bigger spacers.
    You then have two choices:
    1) Fit the Race face spacers and space the crank arms out from the BB or
    2) like on mine, fit the spacers between the frame and the BB.

    I chose this option because a) the protrusion on the non drive side b) In order to seal properly the crank arms need to fit against the bearings.

    It does add cost though as you have to buy the extra BB bearings and kit.
    I have had no chain line problems. I also changed the original XT front mech to the saint one and it seems fine. Its definatly more beefy.

    I run with an E13 chain guide as well, again no issues.
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  7. #7
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    This link helped me get it sorted:

    http://speedgoat.com/feature-vpfree.asp

  8. #8
    All Mt, DH
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    Thanks for the pics Ghostrider.. nice effort

    I did notice the Race Face bearing cups have more thread engagement than Shimano, which in theory means u could run more spacers.

    You say the Race Face kit has a different internal spacer.. I assume I buy one for a 73mm BB shell...

    Also if you are running a 2 ring setup can you measure the approx chainline (centre of seatpost to in between the two chainrings).... I'm really curious to see how it works out.

    I have seen that Speedgoat article before. (Speedgoat are great... I have bought lots of stuff from them).

    I have had the 'protusion' machined away on the non drive side...

    Interestingly the Saint cranks are quite a bit lighter than Diabolus (almost 200grams I think).. so that will come into the equation soon.
    I had M800 Saints before on my Free (an reallly liked them... just chanliine was wrong)

    Thanks for all you info so far.

    Rogue
    2007 Blur 4x
    2009 Driver 8

  9. #9
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    I got the measuring tape out and its a 55mm chainline. So spot on.

    I have also had the 'protrusion' machined away, it was done by SC themselves and they have confirmed it doesn't effect the warranty. I will also be having it done on my other VP free when it arrives.

    You need the M805 saints, I originally had the M800 but you get a poor chainline. As it was a custom build I sent it back to the shop and we sorted it out.

    This is from the SC website:
    "Raceface now offers a version of the Diabolus/ Evolve DH that will work. You need the 83mm bb shell version, which offers a 57.5mm chainline. You also need the 73mm shell adaptor kit. "

    The LBS I got the bike from gave me the original BB (saint) and also the Race Face spacer for the 83mm BB.
    So I think they used the Race face BB with the 73mm Saint spacer. They then used the BB spacers that came with the race face BB. Either that or they got the Race face BB kit and used the spacers from that.

    Happy to help, let me know if you need any more info
    Surrey Mounatin Biking (UK)
    www.guidedlines.com

  10. #10
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    Here's the link to the original pics, you can see the Saint BB that was fitted originally.

    New VP-Free
    Surrey Mounatin Biking (UK)
    www.guidedlines.com

  11. #11
    All Mt, DH
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    Thanks Ghostrider

    Usefull info.

    I will now try and obtain the M805 Saints and RF BB

    It seems there are not many choices for external BB in the wider (83mm cranks)

    Good to see your setup works well.

    Rogue
    2007 Blur 4x
    2009 Driver 8

  12. #12
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    VP-Free crank spacing (NEED HELP PLEASE)

    I am wondering how people are setting up their cranksets. I have the SPX build kit which gives you a 83mm crank with 3 silver spacers to make it fit the 73mm bottom bracket shell.
    I set the RaceFace X-type cups as instructed (two little black spacers on the drive side and one on the other), but the spindle is too long so I put two of the silver spacers on the spindle, outside the bearing cups, on the drive side and one on the other.
    My concern is the crank seams to out really far from the bike. How will this affect shifting (I'm running a duble with a clamp on XT derailer).
    Does any one have pictures of their crank set-up, or how have people been setting up the cranks for two rings up front.
    SC sent a 83mm crank for a 73mm bottom bracket shell to be used with a e13 single ring chain guide, but I know there are lots of people running dubles so I'm sure there must be a right way to set this up.
    Any help is much appeacieated
    Thanks
    Keep It Sketchy

  13. #13
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    I am running a 73mmX118mm BB with a double ring in front. For spacing I have a small 1-2mm spacer along with the thickness of my MRP LRP arm and have had no shifting issues with chain lines.
    measure your chain line, center of the BB to the halfway point between the two rings. SC recommends this to be 55-57mm.
    I have yet to measure mine but I don't see any need since I don't have any issues.
    Live Life, Taste Death

  14. #14
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    Similar to mine, see this thread for details and pics:

    VP-Free Crank, BB, Guide & Chain Line (Merged Thread)
    Surrey Mounatin Biking (UK)
    www.guidedlines.com

  15. #15
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    The BB spindle width should be 128mm. A 118mm "can" work but your feet will rub on the very wide chainstays.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnookums
    I am wondering how people are setting up their cranksets. I have the SPX build kit which gives you a 83mm crank with 3 silver spacers to make it fit the 73mm bottom bracket shell.
    I set the RaceFace X-type cups as instructed (two little black spacers on the drive side and one on the other), but the spindle is too long so I put two of the silver spacers on the spindle, outside the bearing cups, on the drive side and one on the other.
    My concern is the crank seams to out really far from the bike. How will this affect shifting (I'm running a duble with a clamp on XT derailer).
    Does any one have pictures of their crank set-up, or how have people been setting up the cranks for two rings up front.
    SC sent a 83mm crank for a 73mm bottom bracket shell to be used with a e13 single ring chain guide, but I know there are lots of people running dubles so I'm sure there must be a right way to set this up.
    Any help is much appeacieated
    Thanks
    Hey you are on the right track, I'm putting mine together next week so I don't have any pics, but you are on the right track. I ahve some pics of my friends but they don't show the spacers... in the dark with mud....

    An xt derailer will work fine on a dual ring setup, if you want to run a tripple ring then you will need a saint 805 to get that extra reach to get into the top ring. remember a VP free is designed around a 55mm chain line.

    cheers

    james

  17. #17
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    chain guide for vp-free

    Hi,
    i am a new vpfree owner.
    wich is the best chainguide for a single chainring on a vpfree?
    srs from e-13 or a system3 from mrp?
    thanks.
    Last edited by 8664; 07-17-2006 at 01:13 AM.

    ride.

  18. #18
    Freeriding Feline
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    I have the MRP Mini Me on there, but if I had the $$$ I'd try to put a DRS on so I can use it for more of an all-mountain ride. That second ring option would be nice.
    But the MRP is strong and it's taken Diablo rocks for about three years now. It was on my Bullit and now my VP Free.
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  19. #19
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    Ditto. MRP Mini-Me. Also previously on a Bullit.

  20. #20
    2 wheel drifter
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    Damn DRS and VP-free

    So when I rebuilt my VPfree, (damn replacing all those bearing is a pain in the ass), I threw on a e-13 drs. Works great until I have to ride over a big rock or log then the guide hangs too low and gets smacked up into the chainstay where it not only knocks the stay but pinches the chain, essentially immobilizing it. It seems like a lot of people are running DRS guides on there VPfree's, so whats the secret? The guys at e-13 said they didn't have any good solutions so I thought I'd look here. Any input is much appreciated.

  21. #21
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    Shave/Dremel as much material as you can off the top off the backplate, so you can rotate it as for clockwise as possible. Then tighten then system with the backplate touching the frame since when you sit on the bike the backplate/roller will move away from the frame. You should be using 2 spacer plates between the backplate & roller, and I found the roller worked better with a washer behind the roller and behind the roller cover bolt.

    Here's a pic with the bash removed...
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  22. #22
    Lord of the Chainrings
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    I use the MRP LRP with no problems.
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    Last edited by Mudd; 09-08-2006 at 12:20 PM.
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  23. #23
    2 wheel drifter
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    I was figuring I would have to do a little machining so it works well. I'll bust out the dremmel and see what I can do. Dusty, quick question: so you have the guide plate basically touching the chainstay when the suspension is fully extended? does cutting put it up high enough to be out of harms way?

    I hadn't considered the MRP product, I'm thing of swapping the drs on my hardtail, so perhaps a mrp for the VPfree. Is the mrp roller definitely high enought o avoid getting nailed?


    thanks for the responses guys

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbart
    I was figuring I would have to do a little machining so it works well. I'll bust out the dremmel and see what I can do. Dusty, quick question: so you have the guide plate basically touching the chainstay when the suspension is fully extended? does cutting put it up high enough to be out of harms way?

    I hadn't considered the MRP product, I'm thing of swapping the drs on my hardtail, so perhaps a mrp for the VPfree. Is the mrp roller definitely high enought o avoid getting nailed?


    thanks for the responses guys
    Yes, I have the backplate touching the chainstay when the bike is static. This gets the roller assembly tucked up a little further.

    The lower vpp 'drop' link behind the bb creates a unique problem with vpp frames and roller guides. No matter what brand roller you choose it will never be in optimal position. You don't want to tuck it up TOO FAR since the chain will eventually bind on the underside of the chainstay. Just tuck it up to about 8 o'clock and ride. My roller cover has not taken a direct hit since I dremeled the extra room on mine.
    Global Director of Sales: Knolly Bikes

  25. #25
    2 wheel drifter
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    Thanks dusty, sound advice. I'm looking forward to giving it a go.

  26. #26
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    So do the Diabolous BB require you shave the protrusion off as well? Looks like from the picture that you don't have to?

    I am going to be setting up some Diabolous cranks up on my free and was curious.

  27. #27
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    Front CG For VP-Free

    Anyone have any suggestions for a front guide/bash guard for an '04 VP Free?
    Mine keeps slipping (MRP Mini-Me) and is currently held in place by some ghetto zip ties. Even then it still slips back and hits the frame as the second pic shows.
    I figure anything with a "boomerang" type piece will give me the same problem.
    Any ideas would be appreciated...
    Thanks.
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  28. #28
    Some Assembly Required
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    e.13 DRS works good for me. Czech into their single ring unit. Jonas is great to work w/you on any issues you might ever have. CS @ e.13 is top notch.

    http://www.e13components.com/product_lg1.html
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  29. #29
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    Just run the bashring sandwich. It works real well. Or tighten the BB down really tight with some locktite on the threads. The good thing about having a boomerang that moves a bit is that it can take some hits and not break. You are experiencing the downfall.

  30. #30
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    I am thinking of putting on the Raceface Diabolous cranks as well. What size should I be looking to buy? Did you end up shaving a bit of the bike to put them on?
    The Santa cruz website recommends the 83 with spacers to fit the 73 BB, is this correct? I am getting back into mt. biking and all these measurements are new to me.

    Thanks, Demetre

  31. #31
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    Diabolus cranks

    You need to buy the 83mm version and then add spacers between the BB and the bearing.
    You will then get the perfect chainline.
    It should look like this:

    New VP-Free

    I see the new VP free has an 83mm BB and mountain points for the chain device.
    Surrey Mounatin Biking (UK)
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  32. #32
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    I am setting up my VP Free with the Raceface BB. I have a question, is the BB shell suppose to screw in easily or should some force be required?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by zariaman
    I am setting up my VP Free with the Raceface BB. I have a question, is the BB shell suppose to screw in easily or should some force be required?
    It should be easy, you should be able to do them up by hand. Only tigntening up towards the end. Check the threads on the BB and the cups for burs and make sure you are not cross threading it.
    If its very stiff, get your local bike shop to chase the bottom bracket through with the correct tool.
    If in doubt don't force it you could wreck your frame.
    Surrey Mounatin Biking (UK)
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  34. #34
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    New question here. VP-Free Crank, BB, Guide & Chainline (Merged Thread)

    well I ordered my frame...now I need to start buying some parts to build it up.
    What is the best match BB and crankset for the free?

    After looking at all the photos, it appears that Race Face Diablous or Truvativ Hozzfeller (sp?) is the favorite.

    Can someone tell me which BB to buy? I can't find the required specs on the SC web site.

    Also, I plan on running 2 rings with a guide (Evil, LRP...etc) just in case this makes a difference in the required BB length.

    Thanks much....

  35. #35
    Some Assembly Required
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    Saint dbl ring cranks w/e.13 DRS. Bomb proof so far. You can get th' Saints pretty cheap if you look around. E.13 ain't cheap no where, but they're worth it.
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  36. #36
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    Saints

    Quote Originally Posted by man w/ one hand
    Saint dbl ring cranks w/e.13 DRS. Bomb proof so far. You can get th' Saints pretty cheap if you look around. E.13 ain't cheap no where, but they're worth it.
    Interesting...I was thinking Saints because I saw them REAL cheap...but I read a SC tech page that said they are not good for the chain line. read below....

    HERE IS THE TEXT FROM THE SC TECH PAGE (UK VERSION I BELIEVE):

    Can I use Saint or Raceface Diabolus X-Type Cranks?
    Not if you want good chainline. So far, all of these external bearing type cranks are designed for a bike with 135mm rear hub spacing, so with the 150mm spacing on the Free, the chainrings won't be centered on the cassette. Also, because of the huge external bearing cups, the non-drive side interferes with the ridge on the frame at the lower pivot. If you really must use these cranks, chainline be damned, you can face or file the ridge to allow the cup to sit flush. This setup will work somewhat, but only with a double or a single ring- no triples.

    The main problem that you will notice is a lot of chain rub on the front derailleur under mild cross-chain situations, and possibly your chain falling off of the chainring under backpedaling. You will also lose some of that big tire clearance that we talked about earlier.

    Which BB are you using with the Saints?
    Last edited by freeriderB; 01-29-2007 at 06:39 AM.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeriderB
    Interesting...I was thinking Saints because I saw them REAL cheap...but I read a SC tech page that said they are not good for the chain line. read below....

    HERE IS THE TEXT FROM THE SC TECH PAGE (UK VERSION I BELIEVE):

    Can I use Saint or Raceface Diabolus X-Type Cranks?
    Not if you want good chainline. So far, all of these external bearing type cranks are designed for a bike with 135mm rear hub spacing, so with the 150mm spacing on the Free, the chainrings won't be centered on the cassette. Also, because of the huge external bearing cups, the non-drive side interferes with the ridge on the frame at the lower pivot. If you really must use these cranks, chainline be damned, you can face or file the ridge to allow the cup to sit flush. This setup will work somewhat, but only with a double or a single ring- no triples.

    The main problem that you will notice is a lot of chain rub on the front derailleur under mild cross-chain situations, and possibly your chain falling off of the chainring under backpedaling. You will also lose some of that big tire clearance that we talked about earlier.

    Which BB are you using with the Saints?
    I'm using the bb that came w/the Saints, no spacer on the crank side, & (1) or (2) spacers on the non-drive side to clear the ridge on the frame they're talkin' about. As for the chainline w/the Saints, mine is perfect. I've never had a better chainline to be honest.
    Here is a crappy phone pic I took of th' bb & cranks awhile back.
    Looks like (1) spacers on the non-drive side.
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  38. #38
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    BB came with the Saint Cranks?

    Quote Originally Posted by man w/ one hand
    I'm using the bb that came w/the Saints, no spacer on the crank side, & (1) or (2) spacers on the non-drive side to clear the ridge on the frame they're talkin' about. As for the chainline w/the Saints, mine is perfect. I've never had a better chainline to be honest.
    Here is a crappy phone pic I took of th' bb & cranks awhile back.
    Looks like (1) spacers on the non-drive side.
    I did not know the BB comes with the crankset.
    Do you know the size by any chance?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeriderB
    Interesting...I was thinking Saints because I saw them REAL cheap...but I read a SC tech page that said they are not good for the chain line. read below....

    HERE IS THE TEXT FROM THE SC TECH PAGE (UK VERSION I BELIEVE):

    Can I use Saint or Raceface Diabolus X-Type Cranks?
    Not if you want good chainline. So far, all of these external bearing type cranks are designed for a bike with 135mm rear hub spacing, so with the 150mm spacing on the Free, the chainrings won't be centered on the cassette. Also, because of the huge external bearing cups, the non-drive side interferes with the ridge on the frame at the lower pivot. If you really must use these cranks, chainline be damned, you can face or file the ridge to allow the cup to sit flush. This setup will work somewhat, but only with a double or a single ring- no triples.

    The main problem that you will notice is a lot of chain rub on the front derailleur under mild cross-chain situations, and possibly your chain falling off of the chainring under backpedaling. You will also lose some of that big tire clearance that we talked about earlier.

    Which BB are you using with the Saints?
    These comments by SC were likely written and posted before the advent of the Saint 150 group, which is dedicated to fitting properly on frames with 150mm spacing.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeriderB
    I did not know the BB comes with the crankset.
    Do you know the size by any chance?

    http://www.santacruzbicycles.com/vpf...?faq=1&ID=0135

    83mm
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  41. #41
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    What do you suggest I do: VP-free...*pics*

    I want to make it a single front ring and get an external BB. It's a 2006 VP Free. I posted elsewhere but apparently the cranks aren't isis even though it says so...? I opened it up and I see 10 splines which looks like isis to me.
    I have a 32T larger ring on there and I'm thinking of making that a 34 if it works with more guides.
    Please help me out and link me to some specific parts. I'm thinking e13 or MRP for the guide and truvativ for the bb. thanks.



















  42. #42
    Santa Cruz are THE BEST !
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    Hey mate,
    I'm running a 2 ring + Bashguard & Chainguide setup on my 06' VP-Free which works fantastic and still gives me a granny ring when I need it. I find my VP-Free with Rockshock Totem 2 Step Air forks climbs pretty well as I can drop the front end down to 135mm and also run a 4" GravityDropper to get my saddle upto a decent height.

    If you fancy keeping a dual ring (great on a VP-Free), then here is how I set everything up:-

    Parts:-
    ----------
    Shimano M805 Front Mech.
    Shimano M805-2 Chainset (with 36T + 24T rings) and 170mm cranks
    RaceFace Diabulos X-Type 73mm Bottom Bracket
    RaceFace 83-73mm BB Converter Kit (gets you the spacers)
    E13 ISCG05 DRS (36T) Chainguide
    E13 ISCG05 BB Adaptor Plate.

    Now here's how to set it all up :-
    ----------------------------------------------

    None Drive side
    Shimano Saint M805-2 Non Drive Crank Arm
    5mm Stainless Steel Spacer on Axle
    RaceFace Diabulos X-Type Bearing Cup (Non Drive)
    2 x 1mm Plastic Spacers (allows to tighten flush without worrying about the lower bearing seal lug.
    Frame Bottom Bracket

    Drive Side
    Frame Bottom Bracket
    E-13 ISCG05 BB Adaptor plate (flat side to Frame)
    2.5mm Plastic Spacer
    RaceFace Diabulos X-Type Bearing Cup (Drive)
    5mm Stainless Steel Spacer on Axle.
    Shimano Saint M805-2 Chainset (36T + 24T) + 36T E-13 Supercharger Ring.

    I also only ran 1x Mounting plate for the DRS Roller attached to the E-13 Back plate. Although I did also add an additional Plate to the back for extra strength. Drilled small hole to secure with a Zip Tie strap. The outer alignment lug on the E-13 Roller Assembly, aligns perfectly with the outer edge of the E-13 Supercharger Ring.

    In the end, approx 56 - 57mm chainline, Shifting good and no problems with chain derailing when back pedalling.

    Hope this helps as the job is certainly tricky and time consuming.

    You can see my rig at http://forums.mtbr.com/santa-cruz/post-pics-your-vp-free-47379-11.html#post380025

    Regards,
    Rich

  43. #43
    MTBiker
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    Wow your bike is beautiful. I'm pretty sure I want to go with a single front chainring setup overall though. Currently the outer ring is at 60mm and inner at about 50mm.

    I think I may just end up getting only a chainguide. Thanks

  44. #44
    29er Geek
    Reputation: tozovr's Avatar
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    Those are ISIS. The 8 slotted part of th eBB that screws in is exactly like nearly every ISIS setup I've touched.
    unityhandbuilt

  45. #45
    29er Geek
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    oh...is your bike locked to your bed? I do that too, except with my girlfriend.
    unityhandbuilt

  46. #46
    MTBiker
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    Yea tozovr I lock it to my bed for sure. The last thing I want it for someone to steal me preciousssssss.

    Now I just need to decide on a 34T single chainguide. MRP MiniMe? Truvativ Boxguide? E13 LG1?

  47. #47
    Some Assembly Required
    Reputation: man w/ one hand's Avatar
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    I'd go with a single ring Saint, you get a bb w/the cranks. You can find'em cheap too.
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  48. #48
    mtbr member
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    VP-Free / race face diablos / e.13 DRS

    I am looking on getting the Race Face Diablos with dual ring chain guide from e.13. My vp free is a 2005 / 2006 model, I am not sure exactly. What size should the spindle and BB be? what chain line length do I need?

  49. #49
    mtbr member
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    73E / 128mm for ISIS. Diabolus is X-type crankset, so You should look for 83mm version.

  50. #50
    mtbr member
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    Vp-free crank question?

    Does anyone know if 08 xt cranks will work with 04-05 vp-free? Is the axle any longer than the one that previos model had ( FC-M 760).

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