Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: South Bend, IN (U.S.A.)
Bikes: Surly LHT; Surly CC (as fixed-gear commuter); Hunter CX; Dahon Mu Uno
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Now that these are installed I thought I'd make a final post to this thread, just in case someone winds up here on a search. If you aren't here on a search, you'll likely be bored to tears if you continue reading:
Most importantly: The 118 spindle lenght did turn out to produce a perfect (as far as I can tell visually) chainline. Perhaps this is a well-known rule, but in my limited experience it seems that the outer chainring position on a standard road double crankset gives very good chainline with a 135 Surly New Hub when coupled with a bottom bracket designed for a road triple. What I hear more often is that the New Hub works well with the outer position on a mountain crankset, but I prefer the aesthetic of road doubles.
The only issue I ran into was dealing with a chainring. I typically ride 42x16 and didn't want to use either of the included chainrings (39 and 53). I initially got a Rocket Ring from Harris Cylcery, but even though it was the correct BCD, it didn't even come close to fitting. I've heard of others filing them down to work, but I decided to return it and go with something different. I ended up going with a Salsa ring, and it looks, fits and works great.
One odd thing about these cranks is that they use the crank arm as one of the contact points for the chainring (still a total of 5 contact points). This isn't a big deal for me, but it means that the antijam pin on the big ring is not in the same position as it would be on standard five spider arm cranks, and this could be a minor issue for future chainring needs. I'm going to sell the chainrings on eBay and suspect I won't get much, even though these look to be great rings, due to the weird antijam position.
Overall the cranks seem fine in terms of stiffness and appearance, and I ended up doing everything: cranks, chainring of choice and bottom bracket, for less than $100 (maybe as low as $80 depending on how much I get for the Ritchey rings).