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Picking a Crankset/Bottom Bracket Combo

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Picking a Crankset/Bottom Bracket Combo

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Old 07-29-04, 04:38 PM
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Picking a Crankset/Bottom Bracket Combo

I need some advice on picking out a crankset and bottom bracket. I am purchasing a Seven Verve and my LBS has basically told me that it's much cheaper for me to buy my own components since they'll never be able to get the same prices I can on the web. I'm going to be doing mostly XC riding on firetrails and easy singletracks. In fact, I'm going to be riding the entire C&O Canal Towpath in Sept over 2 days. I'm a big guy (270lbs and 6'2"). I have strong leg and I like to go fast as I can, but when I'm cruising, I really try to just spin a gear that allows me to spin at about 90 rpm. But there are times that I stand and hammer, especially on short, steep hills.

I have an old (circa early 90's) mountain bike (GT Outpost) that weights a ton, but gets me by up til now. Unfortunately, the 44/32/22 crankset on there is not enough for me. It's only a 7 speed, but I believe it still has a 11 or 12T cog in the back. On flat pavement, I basically spin out in the 44x11 gear. And going downhill basically means I can't pedal at all. And this bike will be much lighter, so I'm looking to get a crankset that is 24/34/46 or possibly a 26/36/48. I'm finding that there aren't many options to meet these requirements.

1) Shimano XT FC-M761 Integrated Crankset - 48/36/26T - 175mm.

This is my first choice, unfortunately I haven't been able to find it at all, nor has my LBS.

2) Raceface Turbine LP Standard Crankset - Black - 175mm - 24/34/46 - square taper
Raceface Taperlock Bottom Bracket

3) Raceface Turbine LP Standard Crankset - Black - 175mm - 24/34/46 - square taper
Phil Wood SS Spindle BB

4) Raceface Turbine LP ISIS Standard Cranks, Black, 175mm, 24/34/46
Raceface Signature XS ISIS Bottom Bracket

5) Raceface Turbine LP ISIS Standard Cranks, Black, 175mm, 24/34/46
FSA Platinum Pro ISIS Bottom Bracket - OR - Truvativ Gigapipe Team SL Bottom Bracket - OR - Some other ISIS bottom bracket


When I talked to a mechanic at the LBS he said my best bet if I can't get the XT Integrated Crankset, was an ISIS crankset/bottom bracket. But I've been reading a lot of reviews on the web and it sounds like the ISIS is hit or miss. Whereas the square taper seems to get pretty much good reviews, especially with a Phil Wood BB. But the mechanic at the LBS said to stay away from square taper, but didn't say why.

So given the type of riding I'm doing and my size, which do you think is the better option (ISIS or square taper)? The other goal I have is to keep the combo under $300.

Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 07-29-04, 07:31 PM
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One of RaceFace's new cranks, they actually put shimano to shame with their own design.
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Old 07-30-04, 01:32 AM
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There isn't much out there as far as square taper cranks that will do justice to a Seven any more. Personally I'm about your size (two inches taller and 10 lbs lighter) and I'd suggest option #5 with a GigaPipe Team DH. Personally I run the Gigapipe Team DH with a Truvativ Hussefelt triple crankset on my Trail bike. The four bearings of the Team DH give me a lot of confidence in this bottom bracket as the usual lack of bearing surface due to the larger spindle is mitigated by the fact that there are four races of bearings supporting the load.
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Old 07-30-04, 08:44 AM
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I'm 6'0" and I like Raiyn am running a Gigapipe BB. The durability is the key for me.

I'm running a set of TruVative Hussefelts (double with a bash guard) and the Gigapipe DH bb.

However, for a lighterweight SEVEN, I'd go with one of the new RaceFace cranks. A DH crank would be overkill for that bike.

Now, to further add confusion. Do you have a long inseam? Have you considered switching to 180mm cranks. 175 is the standard and most readibly available, but for people of your height, you may be better off with a longer crank arm.

L8R
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Old 07-30-04, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
I'm 6'0" and I like Raiyn am running a Gigapipe BB. The durability is the key for me.

I'm running a set of TruVative Hussefelts (double with a bash guard) and the Gigapipe DH bb.

However, for a lighterweight SEVEN, I'd go with one of the new RaceFace cranks. A DH crank would be overkill for that bike.

Now, to further add confusion. Do you have a long inseam? Have you considered switching to 180mm cranks. 175 is the standard and most readibly available, but for people of your height, you may be better off with a longer crank arm.

L8R
Yeah, I'm thinking a DH BB and Crankset would be overkill for me. I did think about it, but I don't like the gear ratios that I was seeing. My main concern is to get higher gear options, but not lose durability and performance. I love option #1, but for some reason that part seems to be impossible to get. Get figure. I do have a couple of feelers out, so hopefully they come thru for me.

I was kinda digging the idea of having a Phil Wood BB, but not sure if a square taper is the way to go for me.

So, I think in the end, by default, I might just be ending up with a raceface crank, and ISIS raceface BB (a la option #4), unless someone knows of a better ISIS BB.

I actually have a short inseam for my height I think. Although, I'm going by the pants I buy, which are usually 31 inseam. However, I'm looking at the sheet where I had all my measurements done and it says 89.14 cm for my inseam, which is almost right on a 35 inch inseam. I'm not sure if that warrents a 180 mm crankarm or not. That's definitely something I can run by my LBS too.
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Old 07-30-04, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by P. B. Walker
Yeah, I'm thinking a DH BB and Crankset would be overkill for me. I did think about it, but I don't like the gear ratios that I was seeing. My main concern is to get higher gear options, but not lose durability and performance. I love option #1, but for some reason that part seems to be impossible to get. Get figure. I do have a couple of feelers out, so hopefully they come thru for me.

I was kinda digging the idea of having a Phil Wood BB, but not sure if a square taper is the way to go for me.

So, I think in the end, by default, I might just be ending up with a raceface crank, and ISIS raceface BB (a la option #4), unless someone knows of a better ISIS BB.

I actually have a short inseam for my height I think. Although, I'm going by the pants I buy, which are usually 31 inseam. However, I'm looking at the sheet where I had all my measurements done and it says 89.14 cm for my inseam, which is almost right on a 35 inch inseam. I'm not sure if that warrents a 180 mm crankarm or not. That's definitely something I can run by my LBS too.
I'm going to reiterate I feel that the GigaPipe Team DH is the best standard interface ISIS BB out there regardless of the bikes intended use. I ride primarily XC with my setup not DH. I chose the BB I did simply do to durability issues.
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Old 07-30-04, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
I'm going to reiterate I feel that the GigaPipe Team DH is the best standard interface ISIS BB out there regardless of the bikes intended use. I ride primarily XC with my setup not DH. I chose the BB I did simply do to durability issues.
Good deal. I'm going to add that to my list of possibles and do some research on it. Doesn't hurt to at least look at different options. I'm really hoping my feelers come back positive on option #1, since that seems like the best route to take.
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Old 07-30-04, 01:12 PM
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Agreed, you sacrifice some weight, but a durable BB is critical.

I would stay away from square taper. It's old technology. It'd be like buying a 386 computer. Sure it'll work, but why not get the latest and greatest.

L8R
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Old 07-30-04, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
Agreed, you sacrifice some weight, but a durable BB is critical.

I would stay away from square taper. It's old technology. It'd be like buying a 386 computer. Sure it'll work, but why not get the latest and greatest.

L8R
How would you compare the ISIS BB's (Raceface, Truvativ GigaPipe, FSA Platinum Pro) against the Shimano Integrated Crankset/BB combo, or even the Raceface X-Type Crankset/BB combo?
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Old 07-30-04, 01:45 PM
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Truvativ has the best standard interface design due to the way that the BB is installed into the frame it doesn't use the standard BB tool that inserts into the side of the BB but instead uses a tool that engages the exterior if the BB allowing the bearings ti occupy the space that the traditional tool interface would use. It's the same tool that Shimano and Race Face use to attach their external bearing BB's to the frame. External BB's are sound in their theory and from what I've read the Race Face external BB really hands it to Shimano in terms of better sealing. Personally I haven't tried the external type of BB as I tend to let a technology get established and let the bugs get ironed out for a few years before I form an opinion. The one thing that bothers me in the whole deal is that they are the only ones producing this style of BB Crankset interface, perhaps if there was more of a selection I could form a more informed decision.
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Old 07-30-04, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
Truvativ has the best standard interface design due to the way that the BB is installed into the frame it doesn't use the standard BB tool that inserts into the side of the BB but instead uses a tool that engages the exterior if the BB allowing the bearings ti occupy the space that the traditional tool interface would use. It's the same tool that Shimano and Race Face use to attach their external bearing BB's to the frame. External BB's are sound in their theory and from what I've read the Race Face external BB really hands it to Shimano in terms of better sealing. Personally I haven't tried the external type of BB as I tend to let a technology get established and let the bugs get ironed out for a few years before I form an opinion. The one thing that bothers me in the whole deal is that they are the only ones producing this style of BB Crankset interface, perhaps if there was more of a selection I could form a more informed decision.

Yeah, that is one thing that bothers me too. Shimano only works with Shimano. The X-type only works with the X-type. It seems that the ISIS is the only one that is being produced by more than one company. The downsides I've read about:

Shimano: tends to creak a lot. But is very stiff.

Raceface: ISIS BB's are basically crap, although it seems that some people don't have any problems with them. Seems hit or miss to me. Their square taper BB does appear to have some good reviews, but I think I will avoid going with square taper since the LBS guys said to avoid it and one person here also said to avoid it. Even the X-type combo seems to get some good reviews and quite a few bad reviews... and several that said it was "ok" but didn't knock their socks off.

FSA: The reviews I've found aren't for the products I currently see being sold. So not sure about them, but I have seem a recommendation for a FSA Platinum Pro BB.

Truvativ GigaPipe Team. The XC version got very mixed reviews... either people loved it or hated it. The DH version got mostly good reviews.. one or two bads. The Titanium version got rave reviews... from only 2 posters... and that was last year, so not sure I can go by that.

Phil Wood: Rave reviews.. but square taper.


Hope: got some good reviews... might have to check them out.


There really doesn't seem to be any real "go to" crankset/BB in the industry (i.e., one that you can definitely rely on and will come thru for you no matter what... or in other words, a Chris King for Headsets).
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Old 07-30-04, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by P. B. Walker
Yeah, that is one thing that bothers me too. Shimano only works with Shimano. The X-type only works with the X-type. It seems that the ISIS is the only one that is being produced by more than one company.
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The X type Bearings will work with the Shimano crankset
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Old 07-30-04, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
The X type Bearings will work with the Shimano crankset

Interesting that you mentioned that. In a review of the X-type Crankset/BB combo, one guy said he kept his X-type cranks but put in a XTR BB (not sure if he meant the integrated BB or the regular XTR BB, but I'm guessing he meant the integrated one) and it worked great. So I guess it works both ways. Mmmm...

Looks like I can buy each side of the XTR BB for $30 each... $60 total. Unfortunately, can't get the X-type cranks separately... not to mention all the X-type cranks that I see are 44/32/22, which doesn't solve my problem.
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