Poor man's Jeff Jones singlespeed chainset...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Poor man's Jeff Jones singlespeed chainset...

    [had a fair bit of interest on this when posted on the UK STW forum - may be of interest to those wishing to have a go...?]

    Always fancied the idea of these but not too keen on butchering (and possibly ****ing up) an XTR chainset.

    So, a couple of hours in the shed makes the humble old M532 chainset a little prettier if not quite as 'flowy' as JJ's...

    Before:



    After:





    They are silly cheap to do if you take the time out of the equation...

    Buy the chainset from Merlin (in the UK that is) for 40 delivered - sell the BB (if you have one already) and rings for 30 and the arms cost 10 effectively.

    Only thing is I machined a little too much off the tabs - I think they will be alright but may sell this and do another.

    Polished on a bench top grinder with various buffing wheels.

    Here are a few how-to's:

    Ignore the drill pic - drill a pilot 2mm through from the inside then gradually open it up to 7mm from the outside. The inner ring thread can still be used then. Chamfer with a 'Dremel'. Soften the edge where the centre of the chainset meets the tabs. Use a chainring bolt and washer to scribe a line. I removed the material with hand files, then abrasive paper. Then let the polishing begin...

    ...after removing the paint - that's another story and was not included in the two hours to be honest. Safe to say unless you know someone who does specialist media blasting it's a b*****d job. It appears to be powdercoated and unless you are prepared to spend hours with Nitromors, various toxic thinners and an endless supply of brushes, wire wool, Scotchbrite, etc, etc forget it.

    Much easier to buy one of the anodized chainsets - 30 secs in caustic soda, a quick wash and it's ready to polish.












    Final pic here is of the chainset mounted - as you can see I am actually using it as a 1x8 but this being the first time I have put gears on for three years I think I will soon be back to SS. As all the chainring tabs remain though so you can run the chainset with 1, 2 or all 3 rings.

    Last edited by felixdale; 04-25-2008 at 02:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    Wow, nice job. I think you are right about taking maybe a little too much off but who cares they were cheap right.

  3. #3
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    pretty cool!

  4. #4
    Harrumph
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    Very nice!
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  5. #5
    awesome
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    awesome!

  6. #6
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    I'm sorry... I'm not extremely knowledgeable about bicycles but I read these forums and occasionally ask questions (I'm sorry - I do a lot of reading but still am working on figuring everything out). I try not to ask unnecessary questions, but I'm extremely intrigued by this post but have no idea what it is describing. What is this? Taking some cheapass Deore crankarms and shaving them down with some files and polishing them up? If that's the case, it might make them look pretty but they'd probably be pretty weak, right? They're cheap metal - they need to be that thick originally to be strong enough to ride, right? Am I missing something? If quality crankarms can be produced by the same alloy that Deores are made of, but with less material and therefore less weight (less mass) and could potentially be strong and stiff, why would the bulky Deores be produced?

    They do look great, though.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbryant2
    What is this? Taking some cheapass Deore crankarms and shaving them down with some files and polishing them up? If that's the case, it might make them look pretty but they'd probably be pretty weak, right? They're cheap metal - they need to be that thick originally to be strong enough to ride, right?
    Other than at the ring bolts, he's not really taking off much material. Mostly all he did was take off the paint and polish them. That shouldn't affect the strength of the crank really. It will just remain to be seen if he's taken off too much material at the bolts.

    I'd ride 'em until they break, instead of starting over right now.

  8. #8
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    As the man said - only material removed was the angles off the chainring tabs and the holes to mimic older XTR. These Deore cranks underneath the plain paint are superb quality and ridiculous value. They are not hollow but heavily scalloped (forged) on the underside.

    I should imagine the actual grade of aluminium used throughout the main range of Shimano cranks is much the same (excepting XTR or Dura Ace) etc. Forging, finish and design changes, but all are more than up to the job. For the weenies - the weight of the Deore/Salsa above set up (BB, arms, ring, bolts) is 800g.

  9. #9
    Squalor
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    Why drill out the inner ring bolts?

    Is it just for looks?

    Nice job.

    LP

  10. #10
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    Yep, just makes it a little more detailed and lightens the look rather than the weight...

    The threads are left intact though so an inner ring can still be used.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanpope
    Why drill out the inner ring bolts?

    Is it just for looks?
    I was wondering the same thing. Whatever the reason, the end result is HAWT. Me likey.

  12. #12
    one chain loop
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    so it will give you the XTR look



    courtesy of Jeff Jones.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  13. #13
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by felixdale
    As the man said - only material removed was the angles off the chainring tabs and the holes to mimic older XTR. These Deore cranks underneath the plain paint are superb quality and ridiculous value. They are not hollow but heavily scalloped (forged) on the underside.

    I should imagine the actual grade of aluminium used throughout the main range of Shimano cranks is much the same (excepting XTR or Dura Ace) etc. Forging, finish and design changes, but all are more than up to the job. For the weenies - the weight of the Deore/Salsa above set up (BB, arms, ring, bolts) is 800g.
    Totally agree..the "extra weight" and lower cost on the deores mostly comes from the 3 steel rings and the thick straight gauge axle... but as you said the arms alone and light rings are not much heavier than the higher level cranks...

  14. #14
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    freakin awsome...

    I think that i've found my next project.

  15. #15
    Out spokin'
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    Pesonally, I wouldn't drill the granny bolt holes. Why try to make these look like XTR when they could look even better (in this regard)?

    --Sparty
    disciplesofdirt.org

    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  16. #16
    No longer 26
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    Looks great. Did you happen to weigh the arms after you were done? Just curious. You got me thinking that I should do this to my spare Bontrager Race crank arms for grins.

    G
    You can't depend on honest answers from dependant hands...

  17. #17
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    No, but allowing for the BB, ring and bolts I would think no more than 600 to 650g for the arms/BB axle.

  18. #18
    enjoying the kool-aid
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    Looks great! I love your comment of "Only thing is I machined a little too much off the tabs - I think they will be alright but may sell this and do another."

    I hope you don't think these are weaker now and then try to sell them to some poor sap.

  19. #19
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    You might have convinced me to buy a Deore crankset... Is the price difference to XT or Stylo really worthy?

  20. #20
    one chain loop
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    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  21. #21
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    I wonder if there's a similar sheering issue with the Deore that the LX crankset has - see this recent thread: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=406604

    I like the project as I spent a bunch of time working on a pair of M960 XTR cranks... which I love - light & stiff.
    Just curious...
    S
    "You know how they make aluminum bike frames? They take steel and suck out all the soul..."

  22. #22
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    Soptted that too.

    Guys - thanks for all the comments.

    However, I am unlikely to keep them anyway - been a SS'er for a few years and got these cranks to set up a 1 x 8 drivetrain (just got a tag-a-long) for rides with my 5 year old and needed some lower gears.

    However, really worried about the stresses (read of problems with tags' and seat tube junction weld areas) this will cause on my elderly (1998) Chameleon so may well go back to SS on the Cham' and stick the tag-a-long on my old Orange Clockwork.

    Also, tbh as much as I was pleased with the project I still prefer the look of my old Campag set-up much more:




  23. #23
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    That's a sharp lookin' Chameleon! The Campy crank is perfect for that. I like the mullet (business/disc in the front, party/v-brake in the back), and especially the Pipedream fork... how does it handle? it looks like there's very little fork offset...

    S
    "You know how they make aluminum bike frames? They take steel and suck out all the soul..."

  24. #24
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    Cheers, might just be the angle of the photo - there is a regular offset built into the fork - in addition it gives a head angle around 69 deg. Handles great!

    I would stick a disc out back (rim brakes are a pain in the muddy UK) if only I could find a Santa Cruz disc adpater at a decent price here in the UK. If anyone wishes to buy me one from http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.a...DSC%20BRK%20MT and post it on with me paying you via Paypal that would be great?!
    Last edited by felixdale; 04-29-2008 at 07:07 AM.

  25. #25
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    Looks great, but how do you keep them looking like that?

    The cranks look great! I did a similar treatment to a old set of M952 XTR cranks, but more of a brushed look instead of the polished. They look great at first, but after a few rides they start to look like crap and have to be re-polished. Anyone have any ideas on someway to keep them looking good longer?

    Thanks,
    Mark

  26. #26
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    I think the only way to keep cranks looking like that is to hang the bike up on the wall and never ride it... ;-)
    S
    "You know how they make aluminum bike frames? They take steel and suck out all the soul..."

  27. #27
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    Yep, there is no way you can stop scuff marks but a quick polish by hand now and again should keep them looking acceptable. I use Belgom Alu for final polishing, it contains waxes (as well as abrasives) to keep the shine longer.

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