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Iam specing out a SS and need help with my cranks. I got a set of xtr 960s off craigslist and I know that people modify these for SS. I have seen that there are aluminum and steel rings(which do you recommend?) but the cranks still shift fine. I also have a set of the new xt cranks with the carbon fiber steel middle ring that looks like it would work for ss. If you have used either of these can you help me out
 

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The XTR 960s have a 102bcd so you have to be sure to get that size after you cut the ears off for a clean look. I wouldn't use the ramped and pinned ring on the XTs regardless of it's material make up. Personally, I like aluminum rings for most things. Stiff, strong, last long enough if you maintain your drivetrain.
 

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steel rings will last longer (as far as tooth wear) than most aluminum rings, but are a lot easier to bend out of shape if they get hit. Avoid shifting (pinned/ramped) rings for single speed use.

Surly makes popular steel rings, and I like Blackspire for aluminum rings. These, however, are both 104bcd and will only work on the XT cranks.
 
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