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You can use a 9 speed crankset with an 8 speed drivetrain, it's just a matter of matching up the bottom bracket type or replacing your BB to match the new cranks.

There were a bunch of square taper 9 speed Deore series Hollowtech cranks available online for a while. They weighed less than the old square taper 8 speed LX cranks.

The current Alivio 8 speed cranks are pretty much the same as the original compact 8 speed LX cranks, and are dirt cheap.
 

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I've got a set of new old stock LX square taper 5 bolt 110 bcd (46x36x24). They have a little shop wear but otherwise they're new. PM me an offer if interested. Thanks.

 
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