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  1. #1
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    Best touring crank

    Guys I was shopping for a touring crank and was wondering what would be best, 5-bolt 110+74mm? I know 110mm was the standard for years and I may go with the Nashbar Trekking crankset but also found a Sugino Impel at Edina with 104+64 x 4 bolt for like $30. Your input appreciated.
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  2. #2
    George Krpan
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    110/74 is a very flexible arrangement. You can run MTB size chainrings or roadbike size chainrings.

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoKrpan
    110/74 is a very flexible arrangement. You can run MTB size chainrings or roadbike size chainrings.
    My current favorite is the Shimano (Damn you Shimano!) XT trekking. They also make an LX version. I just got the XT for my commuter bike from Nashbar for $90. The LX is $65. The XT is a little better since you can get it in 165 to 185mm. The bolt circle is 104/64 which means that you can go all the way down to a 22 tooth inner.

    Alternatively, if you have a 4 arm mountain bike crank with a 104/64 bolt circle, Bike Man sells the 48 tooth and 36 tooth chainrings.
    Stuart Black
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  4. #4
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    I just noticed that the Nashbar crank as well as the Shimano Trekking crank uses the splined BB. I suppose I will need to budget a BB into my build as well. Crapola, more unforeseen costs. Thanks for the input.
    Santana Fusion Enduro
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  5. #5
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    Lots of peolpe like the Sugino XD600 cranks.

  6. #6
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    My current favorite is the Shimano (Damn you Shimano!) XT trekking. They also make an LX version. I just got the XT for my commuter bike from Nashbar for $90. The LX is $65. The XT is a little better since you can get it in 165 to 185mm. The bolt circle is 104/64 which means that you can go all the way down to a 22 tooth inner...
    I used the LX version when I built my sister's Long Haul Trucker and was quite impressed. Light and strong.
    How long have you been using the XT's?

  7. #7
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    I think you should decide on you BB first, which will then dictate your crank choices.

    Sq tapers are still alive but becoming rare. I have used isis bb + cranks for years now and I like them. They are stronger, more positive engagement, less chance I'm gonna ruin a crankarm by improper torque than with the old sq. taper. You can mount and unmount isis multiple times. Doesn't always work that way on sq. tapers - hole gets wore out from this process no matter how careful you are. Also, every sq taper crank I've used recently was creaky (seperate spider?).

    Even Sugino is moving away from sq taper - they went to Shimano octalink a few years ago on their premium road products - now they're hollowtech.

    The un73 is a fine, great value bb. So if you can find a good crank for her then super, i'm not married to a bb type, I use whatever works and is a good value.

    Many mtb cranks are 104/64mm, I try to stick to this size so I'll always have rings. Rings can cost as much as a whole crankset. I have bought cranks off ebay cheap just for the rings. Cheap deore sq. taper cranks rings fit a truvativ/bontrager/ritchey isis crank just fine, as long as 104/64 bcd.

    Cyccommute mentioned crank arm lengths. Hardly anyone discusses this, much less experiments with it, but you should look into it, can make a significant difference for your riding efficiency/comfort.

    The sugino xd600 comes in 165 170 175 lengths, which is part of the reason it's popular. Plus it looks nice.

    BTW, if you get the xd300, and a big ring in Al, you'll end up with a better xd600 (steel small & middle rings) at slightly less cost plus a spare steel ring.

    http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30...and=397&type=T

    http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30...ils&sku=CR1164

    http://www.suginoltd.co.jp/sugino_top02_e.html

  8. #8
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    The Sugino XD seems to be the standard to judge others by. Campagnolo sort of locks you into their chainring choices because of the odd position of the taps on the chainring, not evenly spaced. Stronglight is a Sugino clone. Shimano Ultegra Triple is good as well, but I am unsure whether you can go as low as a 46-48t on the outside; I believe not. Specialties TA is a favorite boutique brand with a wide chainring choice, but not as popular as Sugino and more expensive. If you want to go with another boutique brand, RaceFace makes a good touring triple.

  9. #9
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    crankster

    I like the XD600 but the less expensive XD300 has steel rings and they last longer. For touring you want reliability and durability over the slight weight penalty. Square taper cranks are fine, you just have to keep them tight, especially when new, until they take a good "seat". In over 2500 miles my XD has been absolutely reliable. All of my past bikes have had square taper BB axles in the last 35 years with no problems.

  10. #10
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    I find the square ones take about 500 miles to develop a creak, and then if greased and tightened hard are fine from then on. I wouldn't mind trying something that was easier to take off for packing or roadside maintenance.

    Spicer was selling the XD without the rings which makes it a little cheaper to build up to correct chainrings if you have a non-typical preference.

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose
    I used the LX version when I built my sister's Long Haul Trucker and was quite impressed. Light and strong.
    How long have you been using the XT's?
    About a week. I replaced an Ultegra 52/40/30 on my commuter with it. Although I like speed, even I was beginning to think that a +130" was too high The 48 tooth outer brought me back down to a merely dumb high gear instead of a stupidly high gear. I like the closer gear ratios on a crank anyway. And I could get it in a 170mm arm length. I mountain bike and I like 175s there but I've always like 170mm arms on a road bike a bit better.

    One thing to note is that the 104/65 BCD chainrings are available in 48 teeth so you could retro fit a 4 arm mountain bike crank with these rings, if you already have the crank.

    If I had my choice, I rather use a Raceface Turbine...which is what I have on my touring bike but those are hard to find now and the Shimano trekking cranksets are very nice...damn you Shimano
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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  12. #12
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333
    Many mtb cranks are 104/64mm, I try to stick to this size so I'll always have rings. Rings can cost as much as a whole crankset. I have bought cranks off ebay cheap just for the rings. Cheap deore sq. taper cranks rings fit a truvativ/bontrager/ritchey isis crank just fine, as long as 104/64 bcd.

    Cyccommute mentioned crank arm lengths. Hardly anyone discusses this, much less experiments with it, but you should look into it, can make a significant difference for your riding efficiency/comfort.
    Bikeman is selling the 104/64mm BCD 48 tooth rings which is a nice size for touring.

    The reason I mention arm length is because my wife is only 5' tall and we have fought the battle of the crank arm for ages. She really needs a 155 or 160 but those are very hard to come by. It's nice to see that Shimano is actually making a crank in at least a 165 for those people who are smaller than the norm.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  13. #13
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    There are lots of great old cranks out there, but if you are talking about current products, the XD600 is my favorite. I agree with the recommendations on the durability of the steel 'rings, but that really only comes into play on long tours. Also, I'm not too concerned with the availability of square taper BBs. I've had more problems with all of the newer BB iterations than a plain old cartridge-type square taper BB. Plus, you can just put in a Phil Wood and forget about it. That's what I have on my personal Heron: Sugino XD600 with Phil Wood BB.

  14. #14
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    Truvativ

    I've been finding some very nice truvativ cranks on ebay.
    I recently purchased a nice triple butted Univega Gran Touring off NYC craigslist for $100.
    I changed some of the original components, including the biopace crankset. I found a Truvative Elita GXP triple (the type with the outboard bearings) on ebay. Can't remember how much I paid, but it was pretty cheap. It had a standard 52-42-30 triple setup (2 smaller rings were steel). I replace the 2 inner rings with alu ones, including a 24 or 26 for the small ring. The largest ring I replaced with a 46 that was laying around the house.

    My Nashbar touring bike also has a Truvativ Elita setup, but with an ISIS bottom bracket (ISIS has a much longer spline interface than Shimano's octalink). I kept that one with its 50 - 39 -, but replaced the 30 with a 26.

    My tandem also uses an Elita (ISIS) crankset I bought from Nashbar (who sold them only for a very short time).

    So far I've been very happy with all these Truvativ cranksets. But you won't find them on Truvativ's website. I've only been finding them on ebay. Probably some unsold stock, or stock from parted out frames.

    Rich

  15. #15
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    That sugino sure is purdy for ~$75 (XD600). UPS just dropped mine off today

  16. #16
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    Phil BB and Sugino XD600. Over 4000 miles on that exact set-up. wonderful

    Richard

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