I recently bought a Sugino XD600 48-36-26 crank to use on my as-yet-unfinished Surly Cross-Check build. I kind of spaced on it and had just assumed it would be fine with a 9 speed drivetrain, but then I found out that it is only specified as being 6-8 speed compatible. The information on Sheldon Brown's site says that older cranks generally work fine in 9 speed drivetrains, but I'm wondering if anyone has any good/bad experiences with this specific crankset? Do some chains work better than others, for example? The bike came with, I think, a Shimano HG73 chain.
Also, if anyone is running this crank on a Surly with 135mm Shimano rear hub, do you know what a good BB spindle length is? I've read that it might be 113-115mm for this situation but I can't find any authoritative data from Sugino (do they have a website?)
I'm using a Sugino TGT crank circa 1984 with a ten speed chain. It works fine for me. The 1980's Suntour derailleur also manages to shift the chain without any problems. I have a ten speed 105 12-27 cassette and a Deore rear dreailleur. My chainrings are 52/34/24.
The actual width of chainring teeth is unchanged between 5-speed and 10-speed drivetrains - the inner plate width of chains is all 3/16". What differs is the outer width of the chain, and how far apart chainrings are spaced. If you have a narrow chain on a crankset with chainrings spaced too far apart, it may be possible for the chain to get caught between the chainrings. Shimano cautions against this, but more for liability's sake. There is basically zero danger when running a 9- or 10-speed system with the Sugino XD triple cranks. I've done it myself with 9-speed and never had any shifting problems.
As for bottom bracket axle length, you should use a 113mm when pairing with a 135mm-spaced rear hub. I used a 107mm when paired with a 130mm-spaced rear hub. Shimano 107's and 113's are symmetrical, whereas 110 and 115's are asymmetrical - the non-drive-side spindle sticks out further than the drive-side. (If you're using Phil Wood or something, this doesn't apply). But the Sugino crankarms are symmetrical - they stick out the same distance from their mounting point vs. pedals on both drive- and non-drive-sides. So you want a symmetrical BB. Both 113mm and 115mm would get you proper chainline, but with the 115mm the left pedal would be 2mm further from the bike's centerline than the right pedal.
edit: I'm wrong on two counts: the 113mm BB ain't symmetrical (non-drive-side sticks out 2mm further) and the XD cranks are also designed to take an asymmetrical bottom bracket with non-drive-side spindle sticking out a bit further. So my two bits of misinformation cancel out, and the 113mm BB is still good with the Sugino XD crank.