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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all I was wondering if someone could recommend some decent cranks to go on my 09 Hardrock. The rather, how shall we say, minimalistic (ie cheap) stock cranks are wearing down quick and obviously the riveted chain rings aren't an ideal way to go.

I'm still a little unclear what kind of cranks I can run. It's still a seven speed config and I just want to make sure I find something that will integrate good with what I have now. (LX rear and stock C-050 front) Chain has been recently replaced and I believe it is of the Alivio line. I'd love to find a reasonably priced good performer. I'm looking to keep the current bottom bracket (stock FSA square taper, I believe) if I'm able.

Currently looking at an Alivio crank set or perhaps a Nashbar mtb one...any recommendations are appreciated. I'd like to keep it topped out at about 50-60 bucks.

Thanks for the help!!
 

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sock puppet
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I am happy when I can buy my granny ring for that price. Middle ring is usually twice that price and big ring... let's just not talk about the big ring...

I didn't know that you can buy the whole crank for $50. Sorry...

aikendrum said:
Hey all I was wondering if someone could recommend some decent cranks to go on my 09 Hardrock. The rather, how shall we say, minimalistic (ie cheap) stock cranks are wearing down quick and obviously the riveted chain rings aren't an ideal way to go.

I'm still a little unclear what kind of cranks I can run. It's still a seven speed config and I just want to make sure I find something that will integrate good with what I have now. (LX rear and stock C-050 front) Chain has been recently replaced and I believe it is of the Alivio line. I'd love to find a reasonably priced good performer. I'm looking to keep the current bottom bracket (stock FSA square taper, I believe) if I'm able.

Currently looking at an Alivio crank set or perhaps a Nashbar mtb one...any recommendations are appreciated. I'd like to keep it topped out at about 50-60 bucks.

Thanks for the help!!
 

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cougarbait
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you can get a complete five-piece crankset and external cup-style BB for $70. obviously he isn't shooting for Clavicula or Hollowgram or something

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/CR308A02-Race+Face+Ride+Xc+X-Type+Crank+Wbb.aspx
or maybe
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/CR289A00-Shimano+Deore+Fcm-442+Crankset+Oe.aspx
+ some cheapo octalink BB

Square taper aren't really popular anymore.

I'd step up your budget a little and get something decent that doesn't weigh a sack of bricks:
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/CR302A04-Race+Face+Evolve+Xc+X-Type+Crankset+08.aspx

though to be honest, I am not sure how well these would work with a 7speed setup as I have never used such archaic technology
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Those Jenson cranks look like a pretty good deal.

I went with a Shimano SLX crankset on mine. Mine actually spec'ed with Alivio iirc, but I found that I couldn't find a Shimano chainring to fit it easily when I wore out my middle ring.

A big reason I went with a Shimano crankset when I upgraded was that Shimano's forged aluminum chainrings are reputed to last longer than competitors' machined ones. SLX 44/32/22 cranks actually use a steel small ring and steel teeth on a composite body for the middle ring, though, so it's even less of an issue. If your wear pattern is like mine, you'll be putting the most friction and wear on the steel parts, which are much much harder than aluminum.

It helped that I could make it one of my big team purchases for the year and get a discount, though - they're certainly more expensive than comparable RaceFace, FSA, etc. I do think that switching brands between Shimano and others when replacing rings is a bad idea - Shimano frequently has funny-shaped rings that may have fit and spacing issues on other brands' cranks.

As far as compatibility with a 7-speed setup, I wouldn't worry about it. The chainring spacing hasn't been changed, and that's the only thing that would screw up your ability to substitute the new crank into the old drivetrain.

OP, do you do your own work on your bike? If money is the biggest concern, you can probably get a lot of mileage out of a used crankset that accepts a common chainring standard. You'll need a crank puller to do the swap yourself, but they're worth having if you ride a lot because you also won't need to pay someone else to replace your chainrings when it comes up.

Also call around to some local mountain bike shops and ask about new bike take-offs. People often buy a bike with a triple crank and immediately switch to a 1- or 2-ring +bash configuration, or just something more expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks fellows! Lambdamaster is correct...I'm not after a mucho-grande expensivo crankset.... something at least decent (I realize a relative term) and something befitting a modest Hardrock. I've already spent way too much on my rig upgrading things...but I guess it has been fun. Bars and stem now Easton (now a 100mm stem on 19inch frame--I'm 5'10) RD now a Deore LX after a 'tiny' fall killed the very pedestrian Altus. The V-brakes have been shed for some BB7's and the fork was swapped before the new year to a Manitou Drake. Shifters are now Alivio 7 speed. Yes, yes, I realize I should have kept the Hardrock for greenway duties and stepped up (I so want a 29er!) to something a bit more plush.

But, back to the crank question. I totally appreciate the replies-thanks. I'm glad AndrewSwtch mentioned about the seven speed compatibly with these 8-9 speed intended cranks...that was my big worry. I know I'm living in the stone age with this old drivetrain LOL

The Deore OE's from Jenson that Lambda mentioned may be the ticket for me... I know he said they were heavy... but I also equate heavy with beefy...which I guess is a good thing. LOL Although I'm going to research a bit more and look at the FSA's he mentioned.

I'm semi handy with the wrench..but undecided if I'll do the switch myself.. I don't have any BB tools and I venture it would be cheaper to just have it installed by a pro then for me to purchase BB tools. We shall see.

Thanks again for the replies... I think the biggest X factor for me is having this stupid 7 speed setup...oh, if I'd have only known....lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually those Race Face Ride XC cranks are looking pretty good... another question if I dare ask... what do you think about the 170mm vs 175mm crank lengths? Is the extra five millimeters a big deal? Danke.
 

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cougarbait
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How tall are you??
a lot of people who switched between 175/170 on their freeride bikes say they didn't notice a difference, though I am sure there are a lot of people who did but neglected to say so. It also probably makes a bigger difference on a XC bike like the hardrock. Obviously if you are taller you will benefit more from longer cranks.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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aikendrum said:
Actually those Race Face Ride XC cranks are looking pretty good... another question if I dare ask... what do you think about the 170mm vs 175mm crank lengths? Is the extra five millimeters a big deal? Danke.
Now you really are opening a can of worms.

If you imagine having the cranks 30cm long, you can imagine that you'd have a lot of leverage and be able to transfer a ton of force to the rear wheel, but they might also be difficult to use. If you imagine cranks 10cm long, you might be able to spin them around faster (debatable) but you certainly couldn't generate as much torque. So there must be an ideal length somewhere in between those extremes. That ideal crank length varies by rider and a strong argument can be made that it's at least somewhat proportional to the length of the rider's legs. Some people claim that 170mm is really only good for someone about 173cm tall; like Lambdamaster says, a lot of people can't tell the difference.

Do a search for "crank length calculator" and you'll find a million opinions. I own multiple bikes. My opinion is that it would cost too much to switch them all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Lambdamaster, I'm 5'10 here on a 19" bike... I teetered on weather to get the 17 or 19 inch hardrock... I have maybe an inch between my privies and the top tube...but I actually like the fit of the bike, otherwise. (I think an 18inch might be right for me...but I know every manufacturer is different) I'm leaning towards the 175mm cranks.

**oops, just saw AndrwSwitch's post*** perhaps the 170mm is just fine. lol
 

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cougarbait
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I think 170mm might suffice. I'm about 5'9 or so and I ride a 17" rockhopper and a 52cm roubaix which comes with 170mm cranks, but it's a totally different riding style on a road bike. You probably won't notice if you don't think about it, but who knows until you try.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Come to think of it, a while ago I bumped into a test you can do with your current bike.

If you switched to 175mm cranks, you'd have to lower your saddle half a centimeter to keep the same leg extension at the bottom of your stroke. Presumably, you already have your saddle as high as is comfortable and doesn't screw up the bottom part of the stroke.

The test is to lower your saddle a full centimeter. Now the distance from the top of the stroke to the saddle is what it would be if you had those 175mm cranks. If your cadence is still nice and fast and you don't feel like your leg is getting too folded up at the top of the stroke, you should be fine on 175mm cranks. If it's weird and uncomfortable at the top, you're probably better on 170mm cranks.

I'm curious about shorter cranks, but have never considered 175mm cranks. So I've never tried this test. But some people swear by it, and it makes some logical sense to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I thought I'd give you fellows an update on the cranks. I was able to find some take off cranks from a Pivot bike from an LBS. They are Shimano M542 cranks; 175mm length. Rain has kept me off the trails this weekend but first impression rides around the neighborhood are good. Frank (the mechanic) said they are around SLX quality...which I suppose I can buy into. They are definitely more swanky than cranks I had been looking at and it's even hallowtech II external BB which I'm excited about.

I'm attaching some pics so you can take a gander. Thanks again for your guys' help.

One question though...should there be a dust cap on the ends of the BB? it's weird looking straight through them LOL


 

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Those are great cranks..... deffinately not slx level though those are straight deore level cranks, which just means they are not hollow arms, just solid arms.... I just picked up a new crankset from ebay for 65$ shipped with BB it is the deore lx level which has the hollow arms. Just waiting for them to come in the mail now.
 
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