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A couple of new cranks

Miscellaneous 7 45

Today’s Tech News section on Cycling News is definitely worth a look. It is good to see the official pictures from Shimano of the rest of the new XTR group. I must admit that the crankset looks better than I expected. The spy pics of prototypes that have been floating around the net lately didn’t do it justice. I am glad to see that outer surface will be polished to minimize the finish problems from shoe wear that have plagued XTR cranks in the past. Also, no more pinch bolts on the left hand crank. Cool. Overall this is a great looking group.

While you are checking out Tech News, you can also read more about Campy’s Ultra Torque crank system. I still think it is an interesting system, and the weight and Q factor improvements are impressive, but that black Mirage crankset looks dated and could certainly use a facelift. If you are introducing a completely new technology, why hide it behind such an ordinary facade?


  1. Graham June 2, 2006 at 5:29 pm -  Reply

    I agree…they do look better than the early pictures showed. Can’t wait to see the XT group as I usually go for the model just under the high end.

  2. MarvinK June 4, 2006 at 9:19 am -  Reply

    You’ll likely be waiting another year if you want XT with the new XTR style–at least that’s the way it’s usually been in the past. I expect 2007 XT to look pretty similar to 2006. You can probably pick up 2006 XTR for near 2007 XT prices.

  3. sander June 16, 2006 at 4:47 am -  Reply

    Yeah, nice gears, however,

    still old fashioned “open in dirt” running geard with a very sensitive open derailleur. Evaluation of the wrong technique at the leading companies in my eyes. If you slip with your rear wheel off a rock it probably all will be destroyed so what it brings? a few grams of nothing… please comment.

  4. James June 16, 2006 at 11:52 am -  Reply

    Graham, my bike is all XTR except for an XT crankset. That is a hard part to justify the price for.

    Marvink, good point. I should start looking for an XTR crankset now, but really, the XT one works just fine

    Sander, do you prefer the use of internal gear systems for off road use? For performance oriented riding, I prefer to use conventional derailleurs that shift crisply and are lightweight. I have broken a few rear derailleurs, which can get costly. Still at this point, the benefit outweighs that cost (for cross country racing bikes at least).

    For casual recreational bikes or commuters, it is a different story. I like internally geared hubs like the Nexus and want to see them used more. Can you be more specific about your idea for an off road drive system?

  5. Sander June 21, 2006 at 3:31 am -  Reply


    I think the “rohloff” 14 gear hub for off road use is a step in the right direction, (this is a hub which shifts 2×7 all inside one hub) however I think the position of this hub (the rear wheel) is due to rotational mass not the best.

    There is a company which claims to have a 98% efficient hydraulic drivetrain (which matches the efficiency of a conventional chain drive) However they still did not bring their product to market. This would be ideal, as the four biggest advantages from a hydraulic drive are:

    – Total insensitive for dirt
    – Full variable transmission
    – Rotational independent (sometimes, this means forward & backward pedalling both can create forward movement)
    – Mostly possible to integrate hydraulic breaks.

    But, I thing the 98% is wishfull thinking. And as we all know, competitor bikers wants the best so 95% will not do. But from the other side, what efficiency does your XTR has, when the dirt flies around your ears??


  6. James June 30, 2006 at 12:14 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for elaborating Sander. I agree with you that clean, simple drivetrains are the future. As the technology evolves and becomes accepted, the efficiency should increase.

    Your last point about my xtr drivetrain is valid as well. At this point, my derailleur has a a lot of play in it and bends inward a bit. Also, the chain on my mountain bike is usually dirty and dry. I would doubt that the efficiency of my drivetrain is even 95% most of the times that I ride that bike.

  7. steven January 31, 2008 at 3:38 am -  Reply

    @ sander: could you provide some more details about this company that claims to have a hydraulic drive with 98 efficiency? I’m working myself also on something, and I’m curious if I’ll reach such a high value

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