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Shimano Deore XT Cranks

Product Reviews - Bikeman's Product Testing

Bikeman's Product Testing
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Tester: Erik Osborn, Team Bikeman.com Rider, Certified Bikeman Product Tester
Conditions: Roots and rocks of New England.

ImageAs the folks I ride with will tell you, I don’t tend to upgrade my gear until I absolutely have to. I finally reached that point with the cranks on my mountain bike: my decade-old Coda never worked well with my new frame, and my old spline cartridge BB had about ¼ inch of play in it. So I figured it was time I joined the 21st century and step up to external bearing setup.

I’m a big fan of 2x9 for mountain biking (see previous article), especially here in the relatively flat Maine coastal plain. So I took a hard look at the Surly Mr. Whirly. But I decided to go the tried and true Shimano route. I’m a fan of the XT line. In my experience it is generally a big step up from LX in terms of lightness, precision, and durability, and approaches the quality of XTR for about ½ the cost.

One of the selling features for me was the steel/composite middle ring. The teeth of the middle ring are steel, so this highest-wear gear should last much longer. The ramped part is composite, helping to counteract the slight weight penalty of the steel. Bicycle over-engineering at is best.

ImageCheck out the photo to see the middle ring up close. I took a pic of the right side so you can see what they look like from that angle, since all the other images you’ll find of the web are of the flashier left side.

Setup was easy. Being an amateur mechanic who has, at least once, threaded a left-side BB cup into the right-side of the frame (ouch), I appreciated that the bearings were moron-proofed with labels for “left” and “right” and arrows showing which way to “tighten.”

You’ll need a 5mm Allen key and one of these tools (I borrowed one from a friend). The plastic gizmo on the end of the tool allows you to thread in the caps with minimal leverage to prevent over-torquing. The Park website has excellent instructions. Note: I was able to skip the “frame preparation” step, though if you encounter any issues with installing the axle you should probably take the frame to your LBS for their assistance.

Shifts are perfect, as you’d expect from XT, even with my hodgepodge of equipment: XT cranks, Sram chain, XT derailleur, Sram X9 shifter. The bottom bracket is, as expected, incredibly stiff, but given the lousy condition of my previous BB it’s hard to give . I’ve got no complaints after several rides. I’ll give Shimano’s XT cranks a five Bikeman head rating.

P.S. don’t forget to check the length before you order this or any crank. 175 mm is pretty standard, but you can go longer if you want more leverage. If you are short, a shorter crank might help prevent knee problems.

Rated:
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Shimano Deore XT M770 Crankset
 $314.99


Salsa Shimano Deore XT M770 Crankset: 165mm, 4arm, 22-32-44, w/ BB. HOLLOWTECH ll Crankset. Steel/carbon composite construction and mi...
Shimano Deore XT M770 Crankset
 $314.99


Salsa Shimano Deore XT M770 Crankset: 170mm, 4arm, 22-32-44, w/ BB. HOLLOWTECH ll Crankset. Steel/carbon composite construction and mi...
Shimano Deore XT M770 Crankset
 $314.99


Salsa Shimano Deore XT M770 Crankset: 175mm, 4arm, 22-32-44, w/ BB. HOLLOWTECH ll Crankset. Steel/carbon composite construction and mi...
Shimano Deore XT M770 Crankset
 $314.99


Salsa Shimano Deore XT M770 Crankset: 180mm, 4arm, 22-32-44, w/ BB. HOLLOWTECH ll Crankset. Steel/carbon composite construction and mi...

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