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XC Mountain Bike Cranks For Touring?

Old 06-20-13, 10:15 AM
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XC Mountain Bike Cranks For Touring?

I know XC stuff is supposed to be lighter use parts for smoother MTB trails, and touring people generally use the heavier duty stuff. Are XC cranks stout enough for touring duty?

The cranks in particular that I'm wondering about are Race Face Deus cranks.
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Old 06-20-13, 11:14 AM
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I am sure those cranks are more than up to the task, I remember some people put Race Face Deus XC cranks on Fat bikes and single speed 29ers (on MTBR) and I know that a rider can generate a LOT of torque on the drive train of fat bikes, especially when loaded for bikepacking.
Anyways, even light weight carbon fiber (plastic) parts are usually way over engineered for the loads it will see from ~200lb rider moving at speed; assuming a quality component and build, the part should be more than fine for even loaded touring, so if it is what you want to use then go for it!
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Old 06-20-13, 02:44 PM
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I might get called on this, but I believe that mtb XC gear is as strong or stronger than the road cranksets that a lot of folks use for touring. I have put mtb cranks on several touring bikes, and always felt that they were much stronger than the typical road cranksets. I thought I was using the "heavy duty stuff". It was also the the only way I was going to get the desired gearing.

I also believe the mtb folks are a lot harder on their cranksets than most touring cyclists.

But then again, how strong does a crankset really have to be?

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Old 06-20-13, 03:36 PM
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Doug,

You're correct; MTB components are as durable as their road counterparts, if not more so. I've always used MTB components on both my Touring and performance Road bikes with no problems at all, especially crank sets. I have old school 74/110 BCD crank sets on all of my bikes for the chain ring availability the 74/ 110 pattern offers.
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Old 06-20-13, 07:35 PM
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I rebuilt my 85 Specialized Expedition with an all Shimano XT drive train; Cranks, BB, derailuers, cassette and hubs. I have had no issues with any of it. I use it as my daily commuter, so it gets a lot of miles. Interestingly, I have 9s Dura Ace barcons that were new when I built the bike that will no longer index, so I ride in friction mode. Interesting that the high end road part failed as opposed to the mtb parts.

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Old 06-20-13, 08:13 PM
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Being old and heavy, I favor 94/58 MTB cranks on my touring bikes. I am now using a 9 spd cluster with them and Dura Ace barcons. Works well for me.
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Old 06-20-13, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed
...The cranks in particular that I'm wondering about are Race Face Deus cranks.
That is a very nice crankset, I like it. It should do just fine.

Brad

Last edited by bradtx; 06-21-13 at 03:47 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 06-20-13, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by surfjimc
I rebuilt my 85 Specialized Expedition with an all Shimano XT drive train; Cranks,BB, derailuers, cassette and hubs. I have had no issues with any of it. I use it as my daily commuter, so it gets a lot of miles. Interestingly, I have 9s Dura Ace barcons that were new when I built the bike that will no longer index, so I ride in friction mode. Interesting that the high end road part failed as opposed to the mtb parts.
That's kinda what I'm talking about. The more rugged stuff like Shimano LX and XT are what people generally tour on. The more lightly built XC MTB stuff isn't as rugged. It's built with weight in mind, and with smooth race course trails in mind. Most of that stuff specifically says not to do any "real" MTBing with it like jumps or drops. That's why I wasn't sure if the XC stuff was suitable for touring. I thought the Deus cranks would probably be just fine, though, and others seem to agree, so I think I'll go for them. Found a gently used set from last year that someone is upgrading(I assume...). I'll have to go check them out in person still.
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Old 06-21-13, 05:10 AM
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3speed, IMHO the only light weight high tier mountain or road bike group part to shy away from are the hubs. Dead weight, even if only twenty pounds takes it's toll over time.

Brad
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Old 06-21-13, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed
I know XC stuff is supposed to be lighter use parts for smoother MTB trails, and touring people generally use the heavier duty stuff. Are XC cranks stout enough for touring duty?

The cranks in particular that I'm wondering about are Race Face Deus cranks.
Quite the opposite. Mountain bikes...XC mountain bikes...need more rugged parts than road bikes because of the stress that they are subjected to. Even the lightest XC crank is going to be capable of handling a touring load. And the Race Face Deus isn't the lightest of XC cranks. It's a good crank but not all that lightweight.
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Old 06-21-13, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bradtx
3speed, IMHO the only light weight high tier mountain or road bike group part to shy away from are the hubs. Dead weight, even if only twenty pounds takes it's toll over time.

Brad
I don't agree on the hubs. These are parts that are built to take a pounding. Even the top level stuff is as strong or stronger than the lowest level road stuff. I have a few bikes equipped with XTR 36 spoke nondisc (a rarity) that I would gladly use for touring. I do use them for off-road touring and the same bike has an XTR crank. I'm not worried about either part.
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Old 06-21-13, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
I don't agree on the hubs. These are parts that are built to take a pounding. Even the top level stuff is as strong or stronger than the lowest level road stuff. I have a few bikes equipped with XTR 36 spoke nondisc (a rarity) that I would gladly use for touring. I do use them for off-road touring and the same bike has an XTR crank. I'm not worried about either part.
+1.

The set of wheels I have on my 700c gravel grinder use old school Deore DX mountain bike hubs, and they have held up over 15K miles with absolutely no problems. I also have spare wheels built up with both Deore LX and XT Parallax hubs; they're bombproof, too.

I would like to find a XTR M950 rear hub to match my front one, and some dark anodized MA-40's... that would be an awesome wheel set!
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Old 06-21-13, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
I don't agree on the hubs. These are parts that are built to take a pounding. Even the top level stuff is as strong or stronger than the lowest level road stuff. I have a few bikes equipped with XTR 36 spoke nondisc (a rarity) that I would gladly use for touring. I do use them for off-road touring and the same bike has an XTR crank. I'm not worried about either part.
I just considered the concern of some WRT the aluminum axles in the XT and XTR hubs in my reply.

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Old 06-21-13, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed
I know XC stuff is supposed to be lighter use parts for smoother MTB trails, and touring people generally use the heavier duty stuff. Are XC cranks stout enough for touring duty?

The cranks in particular that I'm wondering about are Race Face Deus cranks.
Guess I'll have to ask what I think is the obvious question: What is that 'heavier duty' stuff you think most people use for touring and where do you think it comes from?

Saint is the only stuff made by Shimano specifically aimed at downhill and freeride. XTR, XT, SLX and Deore are all designed specifically for XC race, XC marathon, trail and the SLX is also suitable for all-mountain and enduro.

The RaceFace Deus is a nice crank - I run three of them and will probably install another on the tourer.
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Old 06-22-13, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bradtx
I just considered the concern of some WRT the aluminum axles in the XT and XTR hubs in my reply.

Brad
XTR has been using aluminum axles for several years now. The ones I have have aluminum axles and haven't been a problem.
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Old 06-22-13, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
XTR has been using aluminum axles for several years now. The ones I have have aluminum axles and haven't been a problem.
I don't think I would either because one I don't expedition level tour and two I ride fairly light. Most likely if I follow up on building a downtown drop bar bomber I'd rob my T bike of it's lower tier parts and then top tier the T bike. This idea has kept my upgrade gene at bay.

Brad
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