BMX vs MTB cranks- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    BMX vs MTB cranks

    Whats the difference between the 3pc BMX cranks and MTB cranks?
    Can you adapt BMX cranks to a MTB frame and is it worthwhile?

    I keep seeing a bunch of 180 BMX cranks on ebay, yet few MTB cranks.

  2. #2
    Cubicle Fugitive
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    BMX cranks are usually designed for a BMX chainwheel, which is attached to the BB spindle and single bolted to the inside of the driveside crank arm.. Also, they are usually paired with a proprietary BB, or at least BB spindle (the third piece of the three), and are usually not compatible with square-taper, Octalink or ISIS cartridge BBs. I'm sure there are exceptions, but. . .

    I have a couple sets of BMX cranks, one tubular chromoly and the other forged AL, and IIRC they are both heavy by comparison to recent Shimano MTB cranks. Moreover, neither was particularly cheap for what they are and relative to mid-range MTB cranks.

    So compatibility is not ideal. They are not light. They are not significantly cheaper for equivalent quality. You can make them work, but why bother?

  3. #3
    Where's Toto?
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    Two things to consider:

    Bottom Bracket Shell - most BMX frames have an "American" BB shell. This requires a BB that is pressed in - it is not threaded. The diameter of the shell is considerably larger than what you find on a typical road or mountain frame which use a "European" BB shell. The Euro shell is threaded and the BB threads in. Some BMX cranks are available with a Euro style BB. Profile comes to mind.

    Spindle Compatibility - most three piece BMX cranks are splined. Cranks and BB's are not all interchangeable.

  4. #4
    kung food
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    Quote Originally Posted by czardonic
    So compatibility is not ideal. They are not light. They are not significantly cheaper for equivalent quality. You can make them work, but why bother?
    I bought my 180mm euro Profiles on ebay for $50 complete - cranks, spindle, cups, etc. I threw a ti spindle and a racing chainwheel on and the weight compares favorably to Saints. They are hands down the simplest, stiffest, cheapest, quietest, and most easily-serviced cranks I've ever owned. Plus they allow for easy chainline adjustment and accept front rings smaller than 32t (if that's your bag.) Weight be damned - from my vantage they make too much sense not to use.

  5. #5
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    True, he said eBay. I was comparing retail.

  6. #6
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    "Euro BBs"

    BMX is finally coming around to the Euro BB thing, and I noticed in a recent mag that nearly all the major crank makers offer a Euro option for their spindles.

  7. #7
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    FSA has a 48t Euro bb that i like over Profile's.

  8. #8
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    Cool. I have very limited BMX knowledge, so this is very helpful.

    I'll just keep my eyes peeled for a MTB set.

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