Brakes & Gears Etc


Shimano’s top tier flagship groupset, XTR, has always been very high on the wish list for the ultimate trail bike build. The chainset is the very heart of the transmission and the XTR crank has appeared in every one of the Dirt 100 listings, from 2009 to this latest 2017 selection.

There has been plenty of competition and with the evolution of single chainring transmissions you could easily point a finger at Shimano for being a touch late with this development.

XTR is an an iconic brand name and has gained huge respect over the years, with steady developments,Shimano sticking to their guns and staying away from carbon crank arms. We’re fine with this approach, these cranks may well be a big investment but they have staying power as well as a good looks and high performance.

‘As a lightweight crank for a custom build, look no further’

The lightweight HollowTech II crank arms are constructed from cold forged Duralumin. Their hollow design keeps weight low but the rigidity and stiffness that these top end cranks are renowned for remains high. Shimano use a specific bolt pattern (as they do with XT and their latest chainsets) but there are plenty of aftermarket brands (such as Gamut) making rings to suit.

The chainset we featured is the 2X variety (Nico Lau uses a double chainset), but Shimano also supply this as a single ring crankset with the chainring available separately. Our pick is the Trail version but there is a lighter duty Race spec for the ultimate lightweight build.


With a silky smooth sealed bearing bottom bracket, an amazing finish and the choice for a 53.4mm chainline model to suit 148mm Boost frames, XTR has been kept bang up to date for trail bikes as well as pure XC machines. We may well be picking Zee and Saint on harder hitting gravity bikes and Deore XT for all round value, but XTR and in particular these cranks still have a huge pull for us. As a lightweight crank for a custom build, look no further.

PRICE: £329.99 (1X, no ring), £369.99 (2X with rings)



Selected for Dirt 100 2017

View the full 100
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