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Thread: XT or LX Cranks??

  1. #1
    MoJo Brewer Cornell's Avatar
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    XT or LX Cranks??

    Need some quick opinions--weight being pretty much the same and having to also spring for a new bottom bracket, would you buy the LX Hollowtech or plunk down the extra 40-50 bones for the XT? I've seen plenty of reviews out there saying the LX is plenty good, but I need some advice from my Mojo friends.

  2. #2
    Just another day in MoJo land! Greg's Avatar
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    Talking

    Just put on the XT's and absolutely love them
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    either would be nice but.......

    what precentage of the time do you mash and spin?

    if you get either crank, try to get them in a 5 arm pattern. the sales guy will tell you that the 5 is heavier and that they'd have to order it. the reason is, hardly any shop ever stocks Shimano rings (5 or 4 arm). so if you have a ride on saturday, you bend the ring on friday, and you have a 5 arm, you can walk into most shops and get a Race Face, Real, Ringle, Syncros (the old ones), or anyother aftermarket ring and you're rolling again. if you have 4 arms, you'll HAVE to get Shimano cause no one currently makes a 4 arm after market ring in a compact drive. usually if the shop can find one they won't have it in stock.

    then again, nothing shifts quite crisply as an all shimano drivetrain. many come very, very close though. after market rings may cause a short delay and/or funny scraping noises during shifts. the reason is the entry and exit ramps, those grooves cut into the inner side of the middle and big ring. they're little pockets for the pins and outter plate of the chain to settle into and assist in shifting. also, pins, sometimes a little piece of riveted on metal on the inner side of the middle and big ring, these actually catch on the plates and cause the chain to derail up or down. many aftermarket rings have, neither, one or the other, or both, ramps and pins. this will directly affect how it shifts.

    the cool thing about XTs though is that the rings are a thicker that the LX. my brother has bent two LX rings, even though we've got two more backups sitting in the tool box, its a drag for him to swap them out everytime it happens. also, since he's got 4 arm he can't get into a set of Reals (nice for the big guys, he's 189 and 5'8"). i've ordered a set of XTs and they weren't cheap. hell the XTR 46t is $100! i could MAKE on out of a giant drink coaster for less that that.

    anyway, i'd say get and XT set and if they don't have 5 arm and you don't want to wait it shouldn't be a big deal since the rings are thicker. maybe have them place an order for an extra middle just in case. than agian, i'm a nut about having backup parts so maybe that's just me.

    arm length, if you like the way the current set then stick with it. probably a set of 180mm on there now. they make 175mm too.

    crossthreading pedals sucks, so make sure ya got the right one for the right arm (get it? right and right?).

    and finally, make sure to seat the arm BEFORE you start tightening the bolt. i've see many splined cranks ruined because they couldn't see the splines behind the bolt, tightened them, and criushed the splines.

    confusion? kvestions? comments?


  4. #4
    MoJo Brewer Cornell's Avatar
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    Crank Removal/Installation

    Thanks Greg and Carlos--I was leaning toward XT and you pushed me over the edge. Now, a couple more questions:

    1. I've got 175 mm cranks now. I understand the power and leverage advantages of a 180, but what's the downside? I've got bad knees and don't want to mash all the time. What's the general size-guide for going with a 180 versus a 175? I'm right at 6' with 33.5 inseam.
    2. I want to do the install myself, but don't have the tools. Could we get a Carlos lesson on crank removal and installation? Remember, I've got to remove an Acera, install an XT with the ES70 BB. What are the basic tools and steps?

    Again, thanks for the help!

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    175mm will allow for a nice smoth spin. better clearance.

    180mm, believe it or not, give you lots more leverage. less clearance. of course, you should never coast with one crank down anyway, so if you hit a root or rock its your fault. hehehe

    by the way, what does the Fisher have now? 180s or 175s?

    list 'o tools.

    -bottom bracket tool. same for splined/square.
    -crank arm extractor. none needed for spline since they come with self extrating crank bolts.
    -8mm hex wrench. its best if this is the single type (better leverage)as opposed to one from a milti tool.
    -grease. the kind in a tube. no Crisco please. bacon grease ok, too.
    -pedal wrench! unless you plan to tap your shoes to the cranks.
    -15mm socket wrench. to find out if you need this or not, pull the plastic cap off the current crank bolts and take a peek.
    -something like windex or a degreaser to clean the bb shell threads.

    that's it. if ya wanna do it let me know and i'll post up the how to.

    before you buy the cranks call TREK at 1-920-478-4678 and tell them the brand, model, and size of Fisher and ask then what the BB shell width is and how long a spinle you'll need. to double check call Shimano at 1-800-423-2420 and ask them the same thing.

    install is pretty easy and if you take your time and do it right it'll take about 30 minutes to an hour depending on how detail oriented you are.



  6. #6
    MoJo Brewer Cornell's Avatar
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    Carlos,

    I've got 175s on the Fisher right now. An extra 5 mm for a 180 doesn't sound like a lot, but the laws of physics do dictate more power. Just how much do you lose in terms of an easy spin?? I guess that's the last thing I need to resolve before I take the plunge and buy the thing.

    I've got a 73-113 bottom bracket--I'll probably try to do the install, but will let you know if I get gun-shy and decide to run it by the shop. I stocked up on bacon grease today, so I think I'm ready!

  7. #7
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    its really more of a leverage thing. do you feel as though you need a longer crank? if you have time you might want to consider bringing the current bike by the shop or the Bike World on Broadway and talk to Mike Heights (ask for him). at bike show i can put you on the trainer and see where you line up in relation to the bike and its various parts. that's really the only way to know for sure. i'd say that if you haven't had any problems as far as how your spin feels, though, you might want to stick with a set of 175s.

    the thing about BBs is this. anytime you change a frame or crank, you usually need to change BB. in the case of the BB shell width, its not "always" but every company is different. also, the cranks, every single type and brand of crank's chainrings sit in a different place in relation to the arm itself. a change in chain line may mean shifting problems up front. frame wise, they're all different. the chainstays are different widths, BB shells sit in different places, on and on. the standard Shimano chainline for the cranks is measured from the centerline of the seat tube out the middle chainring. it has to be between 47.6 and 50mm. more than 50 and the front der won't be able to get you into your middle ring, less than 47.6 and the front der will hit the seat tube before it can derail the chain from middle to smallest ring. in the case of hollow techs the Q factor is different. Q factor is the width of the cranks, installed, from center to center where the pedal threads in. this also affects BB width.

    anyway, i'l be at the shop on wed, thurs, and sat. if you have questions or concerns. 10-7

    bring it on by. if you want, and have some time, you can take a hands on approach to the install if you'd like.

    what year, make, and model frame do you have?

  8. #8
    700 Acres Pusher
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    Originally posted by Cornell
    Carlos,

    I've got 175s on the Fisher right now. An extra 5 mm for a 180 doesn't sound like a lot, but the laws of physics do dictate more power. Just how much do you lose in terms of an easy spin?? I guess that's the last thing I need to resolve before I take the plunge and buy the thing.
    I have 180's that I picked up by mistake..... and i love them! That extra 5mm is very noticible. When I ride my #2 bike (w/175 mm cranks) I feel like I am on a kids bike, just spinning away.

    I feel that I have a good spin with the longer cranks. I probably cannot reach peak rpms. The major disadvantage is pedal clearance on each side and clearance when cornering! It is amazing what trouble that extra 5 mm can get you into. You must at all times know where your feet are. And I have become adept at the 1/4 crank in tight areas where pedal clearance is a problem (Jimmy's ranch for example). You pedal 1/4 revolution and then backpedal and crank again. By doing this you avoid bottoming out your pedal stroke and can get through narrow areas. Also I think that short bursts (like powering up over a ledge) are easier as I have more leverage.

    If you are comfortable with the 175's that is probably good. As I said i got mine by mistake. And the 180's are probably tougher on your knees(?) as you may be grinding more, rather than spinning.

    All this rambling coming from someone who is 5'6" and should be riding 172.5 mm cranks (according to some charts that I have seen).

    Carlos? thoughts? additions?
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    nope. you got it.


  10. #10
    MoJo Brewer Cornell's Avatar
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    Something I forgot to ask about--compatibility issues. I have an 8-speed setup--will the XT Hollowtech play? What about the chain? Shimano lists some issues in their FAQs, but I figure that's just "The Man" trying to force me to a 9-speed.

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    you may be abkle to get away with it. the worst problem would be that when in the middle and largest or smallest cog, you might get some chain rub.


  12. #12
    Just another day in MoJo land! Greg's Avatar
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    I'm using the XT Hollowtech cranks with an 8 speed Sachs chain and a 8 speed XTR 12-32 cassette with no problems. In fact, it's the smoothest setup I've ever run.
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  13. #13
    Avatar Farmer Big T's Avatar
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    Forgot to check this site. Cornell, I am 6'3" and ride 180s and would ride 185s if I could get them from Shimano. I almost always know where my feet and pedals are and rarely hit them. When I do I rip my shoe in half, knock my Time pedal senseless and generally get in trouble. Its worth it though.

    I have never had knee pains (until the MojoQue and my two endos) but the 180s definitely caused me to start having knee strain pain. Not much and it wouldn't stop me from riding them. I didn't have knee problems to begin with though.

    Personally, I think 180 blows 175 away if you are taller than about 5'8". At least that is what the pro BMX racers I knew in the early 80s used to say. It might be different nowadays.

    Its cool that you like them so much Alan. It makes me want 185s even more. They should custom make frames for crank clearance as well as fork length. Bottom bracket heights should be a choice (in a fantasy world).

    XTs on my ride and I have had them 8 months and they rule over anything I ever had and I can mash those pedals buddy. Carlos is 100% correct about getting a 2nd ring as an extra. That is the one that usually blows. I am going to take his advice on that as soon as I can. Sometimes Carlos knows a little too much and it scares me. Dr. Car-vorkian.
    What is Danny doing?????? That's my girl!

  14. #14
    MoJo Mother Superior Chris aka Killer's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Greg
    I'm using the XT Hollowtech cranks with an 8 speed Sachs chain and a 8 speed XTR 12-32 cassette with no problems. In fact, it's the smoothest setup I've ever run.
    I ran with an 8 speed cog and XTR rings designed for 9-speed upfront from last fall till I cracked the frame on the bike in May.

    When I got the cranks I checked shimano's website. They said to run a 9-speed chain in this situation.
    So, I ran a 9-speed sachs chain and had no problems.

    I also think holding out for the 5 arm is a great idea. I had the 4-arm and tore up my big ring twice and small ring once. Replacements are expensive and had to be ordered, but I'm a Masher.

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    Happy birthday Chris!

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    "Sometimes Carlos knows a little too much and it scares me. Dr. Car-vorkian."


    terry, that's been one of the best things about working at a shop. i get to see what fails, in what conditions, and applications. the trendy stuff as well as the time tested, all eventually reach their useage limit.

    Dr. Car-vorkian? only on Huffys.

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by Chris aka Killer

    ... but I'm a Masher.
    I'm a masher too, it wasn't the same after Colonel Blake left the show. Where is Larry Linville today?

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    Originally posted by joetoeclips


    I'm a masher too, it wasn't the same after Colonel Blake left the show. Where is Larry Linville today?


    Ummmm, he's busy pushing up daisys.

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