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  1. #1
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    Fat Bike Crank Options?

    Hi there,

    I'm looking for crankset suggestions for a future bike build.
    177 rear end, (65mm chainline) 100mm threaded BB shell.
    1x drive

    I am specifically Prefferential, to slotted crank arms. -Like what Shimano does, with a preload cap, then pinch bolts to clamp the arm to the spindle. This system seems very elegant.

    I am Against, taper compression arms. - where the arm wedges onto the spindle from a fixing bolt. In theory, this kind of system will wear out and widen from repeated re-installations; just like an old fashion Square Taper 3 piece crankset will go deeper each time you re-tighten it.

    So, what options does that leave me?
    So far, the only fat cranksets I see that use the slotted arm, is Surly, but those are kinda heavy....
    Shimano themselves don't seem to make a fat crank...

    all the other brands seem to be the taper spindle, that I specifically don't like mechanically....

    any ideas?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I have a Surly OD on my bike which is almost exactly like a Shimano with the slotted arm, pinch bolts and preload cap. Only goof factor is the 94 bcd. Surly and Wolftooth both make rings for it though.

    I've also built a few bikes with Raceface Aeffects. Excellent cranks, especially if you want to run a single.
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  3. #3
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    I was debating the Aeffects as a low expense, low risk option.
    Still not super excited about the abovementioned taper interface concept; need for an extractor to take them off, etc.
    How do you preload the bearings with them? raceface's online manual was just some uninformative diagrams with flowchart style arrows....


    and this confirms? that the only one to copy Shimano's system is the Surly cranks?

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    AFAIK, the Surly's are it for Shimano style cranks, but have a relatively uncommon BCD which kills their appeal for me.

    Aeffects are okay but needing a crank extractor in this day and age is also kind of rediculous in my opinion. Pick your poison I guess.

    There's no preload setting that I recall besides tightening the crank to the spindle.

    I'm not well versed in fat cranks but would probably see if SRAM has something to offer since their GXP cranks have a self extractor.

  5. #5
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    I know it doesn't meet the tapered interface criteria but I just put a set of Next SL cranks on my Suzi Q with a 177 rear. I think that is one of the lowest q factors you can get. It is 10mm less than the turbines. Just food for thought if Q factor matters.

    I ride the bike as a dual purpose fat bike and 29+ and the reasonable Q factor was important for me.

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    Shimano's design strikes me as being inelegant with the way it side-loads the bearings. As much as I prefer Shimano over SRAM, I have to give it to SRAM for a slick design in their GXP type cranks. There's no taper, the left crank tightens down on straight splines until the left bearing inner race is captured. The only issue I've seen with them is the right side "top hat" spacer can pop out, but an o-ring or slice of an old grip slid over the crank spindle before installation solves that.

  7. #7
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    The fat bike Aeffects don't have a preload adjustment. You just set up the spacers correctly and tighten em down. I forgot they need a tool for removal. None of the bikes I've built with them have come back for service yet.
    Last edited by NYrr496; 05-29-2017 at 04:34 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjbiker View Post
    Shimano's design strikes me as being inelegant with the way it side-loads the bearings. As much as I prefer Shimano over SRAM, I have to give it to SRAM for a slick design in their GXP type cranks. There's no taper, the left crank tightens down on straight splines until the left bearing inner race is captured. The only issue I've seen with them is the right side "top hat" spacer can pop out, but an o-ring or slice of an old grip slid over the crank spindle before installation solves that.
    The Shimano's aren't meant to side load the bearings, the preloader is supposed to be finger tight only; just enough to remove any play.

    Watching GXP install videos....
    yeah, that's what I'd consider a 'taper' or 'interference' fit. Basically what I mean is, the interface staying tight relies on compression of the materials -the spindle is very slightly larger than the hole. Has to be pressed in/out
    I prefer a slotted type arm, where the compression is controlled externally from the pinch bolts; in theory would have less wear.

    now, in practice you may not remove/reinstall the cranks often enough for an interference fitting to wear down... but its the design principle that bothers me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
    The Shimano's aren't meant to side load the bearings, the preloader is supposed to be finger tight only; just enough to remove any play.

    Watching GXP install videos....
    yeah, that's what I'd consider a 'taper' or 'interference' fit. Basically what I mean is, the interface staying tight relies on compression of the materials -the spindle is very slightly larger than the hole. Has to be pressed in/out
    I prefer a slotted type arm, where the compression is controlled externally from the pinch bolts; in theory would have less wear.

    now, in practice you may not remove/reinstall the cranks often enough for an interference fitting to wear down... but its the design principle that bothers me.
    The GXP crank splines are a slight interference fit, nothing like a taper. The crank bolts tight against the bearing, with the step in the spindle clamping the other side of the bearing. There's no compression or deformation involved. It's a proven design. As is the Shimano/Surly design. Take your pick.

  10. #10
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    Biggest thing I like about the Shimano design is that there aren't any insane torques required to keep things on. I've got a RF Turbine CINCH crank on my Bucksaw and that crank bolt has to go to 50Nm. Need a big torque wrench to ensure I get it tight enough or it will loosen, and need to absolutely wail on it to get it off. Love the cranks otherwise.

    For a 1x, I do insist on having a direct mount option, though. I like being able to use a spider, too, for multi-chainring setups. I do not like weird/uncommon bcds on crank spiders, either.

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    I don't mean to hijack, but I'm in somewhat of the same boat. Rather than start a new thread, I'd thought I'd piggyback, if that's ok. I'm comparing budget build crank setups and I'm considering the Aeffects, but the Race Face Ride and the SRAM GX 1000/1400 all seem to fall within range of each other.

    The GX 1000 w/additionally purchased GXP BB seems to have decent reviews for reliability, but the 94 BCD doesn't seem as popular for 1x setups.

    The RF Rides come with everything but the chainring, are barely a little more, but I've read that there are issues with the included BB not being reliable.

    The GX 1400 is the next step up, but admittedly I haven't done much research with DM chainrings. Ditto the Aeffect as I'm not sure I'd use the interchangeability/transferability of the aeffects.

    Are the aeffects that much of a step up from Rides in terms of weight/reliability? Is there anything I'm not taking into account?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

  12. #12
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    If you want 1x, and are considering new cranks, direct mount is worthwhile. Whether it's SRAM's system, RaceFace's, or someone else's, it's not as important. Just so long as that particular system has lots of chainring options (and both SRAM and RF have a lot of options). It's true that RF's bb's aren't the best. but there are lots of bb's out there (especially for the 24mm spindle Aeffects) that will be an improvement.

    The primary advantage of direct mount for a 1x is that the whole crank is built with 1x in mind so you have advantages to weight, chainline, etc. With direct mount, chainring minimum sizes aren't an issue. With a spider, they are. And in fact, max sizes are an issue, too. Depending on which chainring size you want, you might have to bolt it to a different position on the crank. Direct mount is just easier. Buy a ring that gives you the chainline you want (each brand will be just a little different) and install onto the splined interface on the crank.

    The Aeffects boost the flexibility by allowing you to use a spider if you eventually want to run a 2x or 3x drivetrain.

  13. #13
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    I buy the Aeffects plain, as in only the crank arms. 110-119 bucks. They're light.
    I use either a Shimano or Chris King or whatever bottom bracket the bike owner wants and usually a Wolftooth ring. I really like the Cinch mounting system.

    I wish they came in 180mm length so I could use em myself.
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  14. #14
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    So from watching install videos
    the RaceFace Aeffects use an elastomer for preload (taking up slack so no play), its a rubber spacer hidden in the base of the left arm.

    while the higher grade RaceFace Turbines, Next, etc, have a threaded preload nut/spacer instead, however it's made of plastic and people are always having it break on them.

    ...Kinda bad either way.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the responses. With the Shimano BB, are you discarding the tube between the cups? Is that hard or easy to do and is it an issue for longevity? I assume that sleeve is there to protect the spindle.

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    I haven't had the tube on any of my bikes for years. Haven't had any problems.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
    while the higher grade RaceFace Turbines, Next, etc, have a threaded preload nut/spacer instead, however it's made of plastic and people are always having it break on them.

    ...Kinda bad either way.
    My turbines have an alu preload ring. Yay for being an early adopter! Not sure why RF changed it.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  18. #18
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    Well, plastic is cheaper than aluminum.
    How are the bottom bracket bearings holding up?
    assuming an english threaded shell, I'd assume a 30mm spindle would mean not much space for bearings -small bearings = shorter lifespan

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    Which Shimano BBs do you use NYrr? Does the plastic sleeve come right off or do you have to cut it out? I think I may go this route. I would have to get a BSA BB, so I'm looking at the following from Universal:

    https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...Shimano&order=

    I noticed that the Aeffect description has that only some Shimano BBs work.

  20. #20
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    Shimano XT BB-MT800 Bottom Bracket > Components > Drivetrain > Threaded | Jenson USA

    This one. The sleeve comes right off. No cutting required. 24mm spindle.
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  21. #21
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    Thanks NYrr. When deciding on spacer location, is it frame dependant? Or do fat bikes typically have a set number of spacers on each side?

  22. #22
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    I have the Sram GX 1400 cranks and i like them. The interface is smooth both going on and coming off. No tool required. 66.5mm CL and 203.5 Q

    I have felt the same way about square taper but never ran in to a problem. I still have Square Taper crank arms on my CX and 26'r hardtail. Square taper does work but is far more clunky in comparison.

    Sram is a very nice interface. I was pleasently surprised and i am too particular for my own good.

    They are hollow forged and just as light as the higher end Al 24mm spindle crank arms. I removed the spider and run DM CR from Wolftooth or Sram.

    From my recollection, i required no spacers (on 24mm spindle) for a proper install. I did use one 2.5mm spacer on each side of the BB shell behind the cups.

    I used the GX BB just to get the sleeve and a spare set of cups. I like the sleeve that protects the inside of the bearings from water and any debris that may enter the frame through the seat tube. Why are folks omitting it?

    If you are talking about the stupid plastic spacers that go inside the inner race of the bearings, those suck. I run the enduro bearings which are larger because there is no spacer to take the space where a larger ball should go. When running these larger bearings in external cups they have proven to be very reliable. And i can rebuild them myself.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
    Well, plastic is cheaper than aluminum.
    How are the bottom bracket bearings holding up?
    assuming an english threaded shell, I'd assume a 30mm spindle would mean not much space for bearings -small bearings = shorter lifespan
    ^^ This is why I went w the 24mm spindle and the larger enduro bearings in stock cups from RWC

  24. #24
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    Frame and drivetrain dependent. I set the spacers up to get the best chain line.
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    Thanks to both the replies. Kirkerik, I was writing about sleeve between the cups protecting the spindle. It appears that some do that, although I would think that would be counter-intuitive. After reading NYrr496's posts, I looked at my BB Shell and it appears no holes go from the frame into the shell, so unless water/dirt comes in from the cups, I should be good...as long as I pay attention to servicing every so often. I have to say, I'm leaning towards the Aeffects at this point as the whole system would be cheaper than a GX1400 setup...at least from Universal Cycles.

    NYrr, any recommendations on where to read up on spacer placement or is it more trial by error?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pack66 View Post
    NYrr, any recommendations on where to read up on spacer placement or is it more trial by error?
    It's more or less trial-and-error. You can do it without that trial-and-error if you are diligent with calipers during the install.

    RaceFace includes a guide for installation and might include a few spacers, though probably not for the Aeffect. Spacers are a vital component of the 30mm CINCH spindle system, but the 24mm Aeffects install differently and are less reliant on them. The Aeffects, rather, rely on a fairly standardized bb shell width (for each spindle length) and just having a fairly precise fit.

    On 24mm cranks, bb spacers are probably the best way to go (good luck finding 24mm spindle spacers), but these are really only good for BSA bb's, not pressfit.

  27. #27
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    If this helps at all, I put an Aeffect for a 190mm rear on a 190mm 907 with a 1x11 drivetrain and I had to put three spacers on the drive side and none on the non drive side.

    On a 170mm bike, I used the 170mm Aeffect and two spacers on the drive side and one on the non drive side, also with a 1x11 drivetrain.

    the 190 bike has Big Fat Larrys on Marge Lites. The 170 is 4.6" tires on Rolling Darryls.
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    Helps a bunch NYrr, thanks! Now for a call to the LBS about spacers, just in case. Time to order too.

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    I used the Race Face Aeffect on an aluminum Salsa Beargrease with a 170 rear end. I used two 1mm spindle spacers on the drive side and two 1mm and one .5mm spindle spacers on the non drive side. It really is trial and error and can be a pain but once it is set up it is a reliable and lightweight crank! By the way, I used the Surly Enduro press fit bottom bracket...

    PS...I ordered the spacers from Real World Cycling and Wheels Manufacturing.

    BOTTOM BRACKET SPACERS FROM RWC

    Wheels Mfg Cranks Spindle Spacers 10-Pack

  30. #30
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    Good info on the RF Aeffect cranks:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/any...ks-993315.html

    I've always been a fan of RF. I remember when they first started their co years ago w the Turbine. We all bought a set from the rep at a great price.

    I like the modular design of their new cranks w the replaceable axle so you can run them on any bike provided u kick down for the new axle. I was in the market for some RF fat cranks but found a smokin deal on the Sram GX 1400 for $62. Couldn't pass it up.

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    $62? Wow. So far I've seen them for $150ish around the webs. That was a smoking deal!
    Thanks for the link, I'll check out the threads and thanks mohrgan for the spacer links, I'll check them out too.

  32. #32
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    in this thread http://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/100...l#post13192948 from post 29, I posted some FatBike crank options from RaceFace, it appears they have 3 Fat cranks now.

    Hope mine gets here soon
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    Please post up when you get it. I'm pretty sure I'll just go with an Aeffect/Shimano BB and some type of chainring...but I almost pulled the trigger on the Ride. I just like to have options, although I doubt I'll mess with the chainring much.

  34. #34
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    I ordered the ride because l already have a NW RaceFace chainring mounted, with the Aeffect l wouldve needed a spider or a new chainring.
    If l dont get it tomorrow it should be Tuesday (Monday is a holiday here), problem is on Tuesday evening l fly to Korea for 2 weeks (at least). So hopefully l can give a little more info, if not, then we have to wait
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  35. #35
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    so it didnt come on Saturday

    Today is a public holiday, so it aint coming today

    and the missus informs me that DHL usually deliver to us after lunch , by that stage Ill be on a plane

    so I wont be able to give any info for 2 weeks, sorry.
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    No worries, post up when you can. I've had to delay my purchase, so I'm interested in your thoughts either way. Thanks for the update!

  37. #37
    cmg
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    Well it got here, but I have no time to mount it.

    The crank will fit the 120 BSA BB , the BB will fit (as they are BSA) but the plastic cover wont (too short).



    Everything that comes in the box



    Weight of the cranks alone, 691grm, not that Im that interested as it is going on a Fatty that currently has an ~800grm crank fitted



    For the price (134 CHF) Im absolutely stoked
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  38. #38
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    Looks sweet, thanks for posting. Interested to hear your thoughts on BB once installed. Thanks!

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    Sweet!

    120bsa, eh? What frame is that going on?

    A 100mm BB then, 10mm diff each side, does the inner race line up with the machined section on the axle when cups are spread to 120? I suppose it does if it's designed to fit. Looks like it might from the pic.

    Not a big deal but if you were to take the plastic sleeve, cut it in half, then add on some more tube in the middle to extend it. Probably not worth the time, but just a thought.
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  40. #40
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    Head back to post 32 an follow the link for more bike info, and why l chose the Ride over the Aeffect or Turbine.

    I currently use Shimano BBs without the sleeve, they are cheap (l bought 3 on special a while ago at 10 bucks each​), although extending that sleeve by 20mm is an option.

    Regarding RaceFace BBs, my fully currently has a pressfit RaceFace 24mm BB fitted (running Shimano SLX Hollowtech cranks), for about 2 yrs now, no complaints with it. I wont fit the BB I got with the crank until later, because I only just mounted a new Shimano BB about 2 months ago.
    Last edited by cmg; 06-07-2017 at 02:27 AM.
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  41. #41
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    Rather than try and extend the sleeve, I managed to fit one into the BB shell:

    I found that 1 1/4" bathroom waste pipe will fit inside a PF41 BB shell with a perfectly sized gap to hold a couple of O-rings tightly between the pipe and the shell - sealing off the crank spindle while still allowing the frame to drain around the outside. I just cut the pipe to suit the space between the inner faces of the bearing holders with a couple of mm slack. The O-rings came from a big box that Lidl did a while ago. A little bit of grease, and it should be watertight.


    Fat Bike Crank Options?-dsc05269_zpszwm5cijz.jpg


    Fat Bike Crank Options?-dsc05270_zpsgyd15bnp.jpg

  42. #42
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    I actually have a piece of very thin Aluminium pipe at home cut to size with the same intention as what youve done, but then I opened a beer and it all got too hard. So I mounted the BB & cranks without it.
    Might look at both options when I get around to mounting the new RaceFace cranks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I wish they came in 180mm length so I could use em myself.
    @NYrr496

    What type of 180mm cranks and bottom bracket do you use?

    My inseam is 91,5cm (bare feet) and I'd prefer longer cranks too.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Cycles View Post
    @NYrr496

    What type of 180mm cranks and bottom bracket do you use?

    My inseam is 91,5cm (bare feet) and I'd prefer longer cranks too.
    The Surly OD's are available in 180mm. I have a couple of them. You have to use their bottom bracket if you don't want to use a thousand spacers.
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