need opinion on crankset and frame...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Jan 2004
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    need opinion on crankset and frame...

    Hello all, I want to build a custom ss, curious on your opinions.. One is do you like the chameleon frame better or the kona unit. These may be in different ballparks, but these are the brands my friend carries at the LBS. Also, has anyone used the FSA Carbon Pro BMX crankset for their SS? Is there a reason to? It looks like it may be the same as the FSA Carbon pro MTb version but with a heavy duty ring. I dig the FSA and the new XT crankset, which would you choose?
    P.S. - my other bike is a blur with king hubs, xtr... I want to build this up similar but with SS specific stuff.

    Thanks, Ben
    Nor Cal

  2. #2
    The man who fell to earth
    Reputation: Ziggy-Stardust's Avatar
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    I have the Chameleon frame and really like it. It's very sturdy and can tolerate a very serious thrashing. You'd have to be a real uber chimp to break a Chameleon. Plus its geomtery is awesome IMO...the slack top tube, relatively compact cockpit (for each respective S,ML,XL size), the short super stiff chainstays and the ability to run 4-5 inch forks are all big pluses for me. On the downside, due to its robustness the Chammy is a bit heavy for an alum bike, but certainly no pig. Its horizontal dropouts are a little short, making chain adjustability a bit more limited when compared to other SS only frames (like a DISS). Its disc tab only has unslotted holes in it for caliper mounting, instead of the slotted holes (again like on a DISS) which can be used to dial in the position of the caliper so that the pads always make full contact with the rotor...even if the wheel is slid all the way back or all the way forward in the dropouts.

    I don't know much about the Kona, but there was a pic posted recently with a Unit that had snapped at its top tube (on the weld) causing the lower tube to fold and snap too. The rider took a pretty nasty face plant. It may have been caused by abuse, but was claimed as breaking during normal riding. In any event, the Kona is not designed for freeriding as the Chammy is. You would be very unlikely to see a failure of that type with the Chameleon, especially during "normal" riding. Also, I ride with a guy who has a near new Kona XC frame he broke (at chainstays) during normal riding a while back and had it replaced with a warranty frame. From most accounts Kona makes good bikes, but I believe their reputation was primarily made from FS freeriding and downhill rides.

    As far as cranks are concerned, I would go with a good quality square taper unit along with either an XT or Phil Wood bottom bracket. I have used both the Truvativ ISIS and two of the Shimano Octalink splined systems over the past few years. Both had very poor bottom bracket durability, especially the ISIS...plus they were expensive. And there was no discernable increase in the splined systems stiffness or "pedaling efficiency" or any other such marketing hype/silliness either. Shimano does have a new external cartridge bearing system (that I haven't tried) they say is the shiznit now. But it's expensive, and the hell if I would clunk down another couple hundred bucks to find out if it's durable, especially when square taper works so well and is so reasonably priced.

    good luck
    Last edited by Ziggy-Stardust; 06-12-2005 at 05:02 PM.

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