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Best crank for all-purpose CX bike...(12 posts)

Best crank for all-purpose CX bike...Colin_S
Oct 10, 2002 7:27 PM

Well, I've decided togo ahead and build the CX/road/trail bike . I have all the pats sorted except for which cranks to run. The bike will mostly see singletrack and shorter road rides. Should I run: a road double (105 w/ 48-39), road triple (105, 52-42-30), or a mountain triple (LX, 44-32-22).

I know I've asked this previosly, but I want to make sure I have everything right, so i don't run into problems. If it matters, I'll be using 8 spd. Ultegra barcons and most likely a 11-28/11-30 cassette.

Thanks for the advice,

Colin S.
re: Best crank for all-purpose CX bike...jrm
Oct 11, 2002 6:55 AM
I dont race CX. i do alot of road riding and trail riding on my multi purpose CX bike. I ran a 39/46 ultegra double with a 12/27 cassette on a previous CX. The 39/27 combo wasnt low enough for spinning up climbs.

Chris Kelly built my knobby Cross using LX front and rear deraillers, 22/32/44 crankset, ultegra 9 speed 12/27 cassette and kelly take off shifters. With slicks i still get a tall enough gear on the road. On the road and in the dirt i can get up almost anything. Im sold on using a MTB triple.
re: LX hollowtech doublerichpierce
Oct 11, 2002 8:16 AM
I think the LX hollowtech wins hands down as a double using 44/32 rings. I remove the inner ring and fill the holes with caulk to keep mud out of the threads. Don't need the 22. 32/28 combo is good enough or you should run it.

Weight: **** (lighter than 2002 XTR)
Stiffness: **** (can't feel any flex)
Cost: **** (2002 model $49 right now)
Chainrings: **

Then if you get an old school 8 speed XT 11-28 cassette you have a real excellent setup. These cassettes are pretty light.
re: LX hollowtech doubleatpjunkie
Oct 11, 2002 9:39 AM
The LX sounds good. I personally use XTR and an AC (XTR compatible) Forged. I like running a 48 as my big ring for road / commuting and such. A 44 doesn't give me enouh gear for certain road mashing. As far as ring cassettes Bike 1 is XTR 48-36 with a 26 I can throw on for Trail riding. Cassette is Ultegra 9sp 12-27 and this bike gives me all the gearing I need. I rarely need the 26 unless I'm on long steep climbs. Use 9 sp barcons on this rig. Bike 2 is AC which I'm setting up either 48-36 or 42 single. Cassette is XT 8 sp 11-30 with 8 sp barcons. Only reason I like the XTRish stuff is for a bigger chainring. If you can run a 48 or 46 on LX I'd go for it. I lean to MTB parts as I'm a Clydesdale and like the strength and stiffness.
Follow-up question...Colin_S
Oct 11, 2002 10:02 AM

Will I still be able to run a short-cage rear derailleur with a 44-32-22 crank and 11-28/30 cassette?

Thanks again,
Colin S.
Honestly....I dont know.. can someone charify?jrm
Oct 11, 2002 2:16 PM
I dont know if a triple crankset affects the rear derailler cage. Im under the impression that cage size is only dependent on the size of the cassette. Sorry...
Oct 11, 2002 3:25 PM
You may need a med cage to absorb the extra chain. Normally with a double set up it wouldn't matter and derailleur would relate to cassette size but with a granny ring you may need the longer cage to absorb the slack. I agree with the one poster about triples and trails, it's why I have a 26 when I need it on my training, commuter, adventure -all rounder back-up race bike. Then again I climb some pretty technical single track in 36-27 and I'm 230. I'll have a 36 or 38 -30 on my race bike and I'll let ya know about what a knee buster it is.
re: Best crank for all-purpose CX bike...marcmarc
Oct 11, 2002 8:10 AM
My cross bike is used for road riding & some cx racing, but not off-road trails. I have been using a 48/36 with 12-27 cassette which works well for my riding. The 36x27 allows me to handle almost any road climb seated with the hills and mtns around here. RaceFace crank & rings, Xt&Lx setup.

if this helps any,
for what you want do do with it ...GlowBoy
Oct 11, 2002 1:42 PM
With all due respect to the guys suggesting you don't need a granny gear and you "should run it" if you need lower, that's inappropriate advice. Good advice for 'cross racing and road riding, but the original poster specifically said he wanted to use the bike for singletrack trail riding.

Definitely go triple if you plan to do a lot of singletrack with it. Whether you go mountain or road triple depends on whether you plan on doing steep and/or technical singletrack very much (which you CAN do with a 'cross bike!). If so, get the mountain triple, otherwise the road triple. All this depends on your riding style, fitness level and terrain, but I think that's a good rule of thumb.

BTW, if you're running a triple chainring with a mountain cassette get the long-cage derailleur. You could get away with a mid cage if you were very careful about your shifting, but the setup you're describing is what long-cage derailleurs were designed for.

- Dan
Oct 13, 2002 7:22 PM
I wa planning on getting the OPs, but they are no longer on sale, so i may just go with the Suns.

Thanks for the help.

Colin S.
Standard BCDbk19
Oct 16, 2002 7:32 AM
The one option you missed was using a crank with a standard bolt circle diameter (110/74 vs 94/58 for compact mtn). Using a standard BCD crank you can run a big ring as big as any road ring and as low as 46, and a small ring as low as 24 for a triple. How about a 48-36-24 triple set up? 48 is big enough for most road riding and not too big for CX, and the 24 should be small enough to survive some off-road climbing.
Standard BCDatpjunkie
Oct 18, 2002 2:28 PM
would work. 48 36 26 with a 12-27 is perfect for an all rounder IMHO