Which cranks & hubs for AC9 build?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Which cranks & hubs for AC9 build?

    This is a cross-post from the Niner forum but I would like to get more input:

    Fate has smiled upon me and will soon be riding a Niner A9C! I have decided on most components, but would like some recommendations on cranks and hubs. I'll be running the A9C as a single speed but would like the option w/ the components of going 1x9 or 1x10 someday. Likely will be going w/ stan's crest rims so would need hubs that work well w/ them. I like light weight, but durability is quite important too. Ideas?

  2. #2
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    I recently built up a set of crest rims on DT Swiss 240s hubs. They are fantastic!!! Really light and with the 36 t upgrade in the rear it has fantastic engagement. Very simple to maintain as well. As to the crank, if you are possibly going to switch to 1X gearing in the future as I do from time to time ( I ride a Lynskey), the main thing you may want to consider is some type of chain watcher like an MRP. You will want to have this installed when the cranks are installed as it goes on the inboard side of the chainring. I run an XTR crank but have also had a Tru Vativ stylio in the past. Both were great. I run SS and have a Q ring by rotor and have the MRP bracket installed and do not run the actual chain guide unless I have gears on my ride. Hope this helps.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatSlide
    I recently built up a set of crest rims on DT Swiss 240s hubs. They are fantastic!!! Really light and with the 36 t upgrade in the rear it has fantastic engagement. Very simple to maintain as well. As to the crank, if you are possibly going to switch to 1X gearing in the future as I do from time to time ( I ride a Lynskey), the main thing you may want to consider is some type of chain watcher like an MRP. You will want to have this installed when the cranks are installed as it goes on the inboard side of the chainring. I run an XTR crank but have also had a Tru Vativ stylio in the past. Both were great. I run SS and have a Q ring by rotor and have the MRP bracket installed and do not run the actual chain guide unless I have gears on my ride. Hope this helps.
    Sounds like a plan to me. Thanks for the advice.

  4. #4
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    DT Swiss hubs are where it's at. They're light, they're durable, They're awesome. I have a bolt on 240 SS hub on one bike and it performs flawlessly. I rode it all season last year and it's still working great.

    I built up a 190 hub for my geared bike and that's a nice option too.

    Both of my hubs have the 36T upgrade, which is a necessity. There is not a noticable difference with drag, the engagement is well worth the upgrade, and i have read that they're slightly lighter. They're both Centerlock as well.

    The only downsides I've seen for the DT swiss hubs are 1) price, and if you're building up an Air9 carbon - this seems to be somewhat irrelevant to this discussion. and 2) the Bolts for the SS hub. First, the there needs to be more "non-threaded" part of the bolt. They make it difficult to run a tensioner, if that's your thing. Also would be tough if your dropouts are thicker than normal. The other thing that i dislike about these bolts is that they're not stainless and they rust. For a $500 hub, that isht shouldnt be coming with cromo bolts.

    The bolts are a small price to pay for a top class hub though.

  5. #5
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    Also, I like XTR cranks. They're pretty light and are no fuss. I've got a couple sets of M960's modded to be SS only. I love those cranks... the pinch bolt on the non-drive side is the great. The only downside is the proprietary bolt pattern, but there are a couple aftermarket ring makers... home brewed components and Blackspire get the nod. I've got a set of M970's for 1x9 duty and they work well, though I dont like the way the cranks go together as much. I have a set of Race Face cranks on one bike, but I'm not a huge fan of those.

    The new M980 cranks look like the best yet... standard bolt pattern and pinch bolts.

  6. #6
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    Thanks BShow, good info.

  7. #7
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    I've run King, I9 and 240 hubs on all variety of rims. My fav are I9 followed by King. DT's engagement, even with the 36 upgrade, is noticeably slower. The 240 is a good hub, just not in the same arena as King or I9 when it comes to engagement. I ride alot of tech so the engagement is key for me.

    I also like the XTR 970 cranks for SS use. Looks better than the 980 when paired with a SS chainring.
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  8. #8
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    I'm also running DT240s with 36T upgrade, SS-specific, and Crest rims with CX-Ray spokes. The Crests have taken some decent abuse, but I'd hesitate to call them durable for anything other than standard XC or race day wheels. Ymmv. They did build up fairly stiff, though. They've gotten a few very small rock dings from running ~20psi on some rocky courses. BTW, I'm 160lbs, fairly light in the saddle and race Open SS. For cranks, I've been digging the eThirteens I have a lot. Light, stiff, reasonable price.

    Edit: I have to agree mostly with azjon about the engagement thing with 240s vs. Kings et al. My Kings are much smoother when ratcheting through difficult rock gardens or over ledges and stuff. I don't notice it really at race pace, though, as I'm usually running close to flat out everywhere I can mange. For all-around use, Kings are my favorite. Never run I9s, but always hear good reviews of them, too. For race wheels, 100 grams is 100 grams, but the hub is as good a place as any to spend a little extra weight budget.
    Last edited by direneed; 04-22-2011 at 10:18 AM.

  9. #9
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    At different times I have owned SS wheel sets with Hope Pro 2's, King's and now Hadley. The Hadley is by far is my favorite. Super smooth, quiet (enough) and super fast engagement, and priced much better than the King's or DT's. I have never owned DT's but have some time on them and I believe you can get as good or better quality at a lower price with the Hadley SS hub.

    On the cranks, check out the e thirteen SS cranks. I have these and the XTR 975's and prefer the e thirteens. Simple, light, stiff and more bang for the buck than XTR's.

  10. #10
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    Take a look at the Rotor 3D mountain bike cranks. I have run many generations of XTR's and the White Industries cranks. The Rotor cranks are stiff, light and simple.

    https://www.rotorbikeusa.com/images/..._rings_web.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BShow

    Both of my hubs have the 36T upgrade, which is a necessity.
    Necessity? I've been riding and racing a DT240 SS hub for 3 years with the 16 pt engagement and never once thought about quickness of engagement or lack there of.


    Quote Originally Posted by BShow
    The only downsides I've seen for the DT swiss hubs are 1) price, and if you're building up an Air9 carbon - this seems to be somewhat irrelevant to this discussion. and 2) the Bolts for the SS hub.
    The bolts are a small price to pay for a top class hub though.
    You can get the DT240 SS as a QR

  12. #12
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    I'm running I9 hubs w/flows on my A9C, BUT there are some issues with the post mount rear brake spacing. It seems that the I9 hubs and the post mount are at opposite ends of the ISO tolerance. Using most brakes (I've tried nearly every Avid, Ashima, and Hygia) it is necessary to shim out the brake rotor on the hub a pretty good amount. I had to use nearly two packages of the Syntace rotor shims, so somewhere just over 2mm. As long as you're not using aluminum bolts I don't think it's really a safety concern. Right now I have Hope Race X2 on there, and no shimming is needed. They are also some pretty f'in sweet brakes!
    As for cranks, I've been running XTR 970's with no problem. I have some e thirteen on the way, and depending on how I like them will put them on the A9C or my 1x9 spare bike.

  13. #13
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    The e Thirteen cranks are looking pretty good, but I have a question about those. Is it necessary to use their bottom bracket or are there other bb's that also work w/ this crank?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    Necessity? I've been riding and racing a DT240 SS hub for 3 years with the 16 pt engagement and never once thought about quickness of engagement or lack there of.
    Ignorance is bliss.

    The 36T ratchets improve performance and they weigh less. They carry a retail cost of like 40 bucks, which is negligible on a $4-500 hub. While I agree that its not literally a necessity, it's certainly an upgrade that should be very strongly considered.

    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    You can get the DT240 SS as a QR
    True, but I wanted to run a bolt on hub for use with track drops.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by azjonboy
    I've run King, I9 and 240 hubs on all variety of rims. My fav are I9 followed by King. DT's engagement, even with the 36 upgrade, is noticeably slower. The 240 is a good hub, just not in the same arena as King or I9 when it comes to engagement. I ride alot of tech so the engagement is key for me.

    I also like the XTR 970 cranks for SS use. Looks better than the 980 when paired with a SS chainring.

    I agree with your comments. I've never used I9's, but I do have a set of Kings in addition to my DT's. I built up the 240s as a singlspeed race wheelset... basically for the weight savings. There was no way that I was going to run 16pts of engagement. That slow of engagement is intolerable, especially on technical trails. The 36T was a nice compromise, but I do prefer the better engagement on my Kings and would assume the same for I9.

    My major gripe with the King hubs are the complexity and cost of maintenance. King suggests multiple hub services each year. A proper rebuild on a king hub is time consuming and can be costly at the LBS. If I neglect my hubs and fail to service them frequently enough, they dont work properly - i.e. they don't always engage properly. A rear hub that engages sporadically is worse than having slow engagement. That said, when properly maintained, they are awesome.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmxer
    I had to use nearly two packages of the Syntace rotor shims, so somewhere just over 2mm.

    That's annoying. I briefly had a White Brothers Suspension fork and I had a similar problem. My rotor was actually contacting my fork leg ever so slightly - just enough to scratch the anodizing and make a slight scrape sound. White Brothers told me to shim the dropout so as to move the fork leg out a millimeter or so. I didn't like that idea at all, so I ditched the fork.

    That sucks that there is an IS range or whatever and that you need to run shims on your rotors. What happens if you're running centerlock hubs/rotors? I dont think those can be shimmed and obviously your post mount caliper has nowhere to go. Are you SOL?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle71
    The e Thirteen cranks are looking pretty good, but I have a question about those. Is it necessary to use their bottom bracket or are there other bb's that also work w/ this crank?
    I run e13's (formerly know as The Hive) cranks and they are pretty awesome (stiff and light). That said, you have to use their proprietary BB but they are much better than standard external BBs due to the larger bearing diameter.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by D1PHAM
    I run e13's (formerly know as The Hive) cranks and they are pretty awesome (stiff and light). That said, you have to use their proprietary BB but they are much better than standard external BBs due to the larger bearing diameter.
    Thought that may be the case. Thanks.

  19. #19
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    You may want to double check but I believe the bottom bracket comes with the cranks....mine did.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BShow
    Ignorance is bliss.
    Maybe so, but I have WI freewheels too which I believe are also 36pt and have never come off a ride saying "wow that's so much quicker" or conversely "boy, I really could have used quicker engagement rounding that rocky outcrop switchback".

    I'm really not trying to give you a hard, I just don't see maximum points of enagement as some kind of Holy Grail.

    If I was riding trials, I'm sure I'd feel differently.

    Quote Originally Posted by BShow
    True, but I wanted to run a bolt on hub for use with track drops.
    I just wanted to point out it was available in qr because you listed being bolt-on as a downside. You can get different end caps to switch it from qr to bolt on.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    Maybe so, but I have WI freewheels too which I believe are also 36pt and have never come off a ride saying "wow that's so much quicker" or conversely "boy, I really could have used quicker engagement rounding that rocky outcrop switchback".

    I'm really not trying to give you a hard, I just don't see maximum points of enagement as some kind of Holy Grail...
    Of course it's not a holy grail... there is no way that a rear hub could offer you everlasting life. That's just preposterous.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BShow
    Of course it's not a holy grail... there is no way that a rear hub could offer you everlasting life. That's just preposterous.
    LOL!

  23. #23
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    Money no object I would be looking at the Cannondale Hollowgram Cranks.

    XTR hubs +1. cup and cone is the superior technology.

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