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Old 10-09-11, 07:23 PM
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Only the big ring on Deore crank is aluminum; the other two are steel. While I cannot speak for other's, I almost never use my big ring. In fact over 95% of my riding is done on the middle ring so if anything I'll wear that out before anything else regardless if it's steel or aluminum. Even the SLX crank is steel small and middle rings, but the middle one has composite arms.

For the crank, the biggest difference going from Alivio to Deore will probably be external bottom bracket vs square taper on the Alvio part.
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