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I have one of those cheap Shimano Altus cranksets where all 3 chainrings are riveted together, and I need to know what is the easiest least expensive way to replace it with a single 36t in the middle and be able to have a bash on the outer. I have a 3x8 and I am yearning to go 1x9, I know all the other components I will need such as the cassette and chain and shifter, and I assumed i could just throw on a single 36t up front but when I inspected the chainrings I found that its the cheapo riveted style.

Ive found single speed cranksets online that I guess I could use with an MRP chain retention thingamadoo, but kinda throws the bashguard option out the window, is running a SS crankset on a 1x9 a bad idea? if so what are some cheap 3x bolted cranksets I could use? And could I just buy a spider by itself and use my old crank arms with a new unramped 36t ring?

Please help I am having trouble finding info on this matter.
 

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Shimano SLX offer the best bang for your buck. Same quality as XT, a little bit heavier and they look good too. Want something cheaper, Race Face Ride or Evolve. Truvativ makes some cheap ones, but I'm not sure what ones as I've only ridden with Race Face or Shimano cranks. Check http://www.sram.com/ to see them.
 
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