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Shimano Zee cranks... good bang for the buck?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by EastCoaster, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. EastCoaster New Member

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    Starting a new DH build and am unable to swap a lot of stuff over. Old bike 73mm and 135.... New 83 and 150.
    Trying to save $ but don't want to have it be a total budget build.

    Anyone have any experience with the Zee since they were released?

    Couldn't find much on published weights vs Saints.

    Or, should I just save the dough and go with Saint M815s? They're going for a pretty good price over on Chain Reaction with free shipping.
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  2. daisycutter Active Member

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    I went through the same issue. I am sticking with saint 9 speed(810-815) on my build because the parts are so much cheaper.
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  3. norbar Active Member

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    Arent they just rebadged deore cranks?
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  4. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    Man, if you can afford them, saint 810s are great cranks. I got comments from multiple people on how stiff my cranks were on an 8" travel sunday. Never had any problem with them except for the ano wearing off. The big fat tabs take some patience on setup, but once you're in...
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  5. EastCoaster New Member

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    Yeah... am edging toward the M815s (need 83mm BB). Been still beating on sets of Hones on both the trail and DH bikes for a WHILE with zero issues.
    To tell you the truth, the "cheap" look of the Zee model is putting me off. Hadn't heard that they were rebadged Deores before but then again, I don't think that I ever bothered to take even a quick glance at a Deore crank. Could very well be.
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  6. kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    Buy whatever is NOT 6000 series aluminum. That makes a bigger difference than however shimano wants to brand their stuff.
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  7. bizutch Delicate CUSTOM flower

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    My only input (cause I can) is the Shimano rep himself said he'd build his rig up with all Zee, except cranks. But his only reason was the weight of the Zee's was massive.
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  8. banj Member

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    From what I have read and can see the zee cranks seem to be deore with pedal inserts and steel axle. No idea whether they use the same material for the crank arms or not. The shape looks very similar.
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  9. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    there's got to be a joke about dorados and no skidmarks in there somewhere.
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  10. kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    There are jokes about dorados and no skidmarks everywhere.

    Don't limit yourself.
    #10
  11. EastCoaster New Member

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    Which is kindof like my Hones were/are anyway.... And I've had no issues with them on either bike. The Zees definitely look chintzy compared to the Saints.... but with the $ saved.... I could buy the cassette, etc....
    Those weight photos kind of have me convinced. I expected the Zee to be a boat anchor compared to the Saints... If I trash the Zees... So what?
    #11
  12. RayB Member

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    Made in Malaysia (and not Japan)... :(

    edit: but for the price, you can't complain.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
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  13. ZoRo Active Member

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    And it's a shimano crank. No worries about it exploding halfway down the mountain. Peace of mind for sure.
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  14. kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    Should I mention how many pairs of shimano cranks I've bent?
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  15. Jim Mac Active Member

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    Is that a cue for us to ask?
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  16. kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    Nah.

    the answer is "all of them that were ever made from 6000 series aluminum" and "a pair of XTs I ran on a dh bike"
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  17. daisycutter Active Member

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    Saint cranks are made from the same aluminum as XTR and Dura ace cranks are Duralumin. I am guessing a 7000 series aluminum?
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  18. kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    Most of their high end ones are some variant (or not) of one of the common 7ks.




    "duralumin" :rofl:
    #18
  19. Zark Hey little girl, do you want some candy?

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    The zee cranks use 6000 series alloy, non hollowtech construction and a pedal insert. My experience has been much like kidwoo's, 6k cranks bend more easily than 7k. Cranks are a key item and no place to skimp if you ride hard, jump and deal with techy rock gardens (and the tight spots you get in). I would rather pay more initially and never have to worry again about my cranks. Get saint cranks and be done with it. If you are light, smooth and are lucky I would give zee cranks a 2 to 3 season lifespan with regular dh use.
    #19
  20. norbar Active Member

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    If you are light and smooth why not just get a lighter descendant?
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  21. b.utters Member

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    Descendants flex..............a lot. I never noticed it on my old frame but on the new one I have to have 3 bb spacers on the non drive side to stop the crank gouging into the frame.
    #21
  22. HAB Chelsea from Seattle

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    The only Shimano crank I ever bent was an OG Saint. Go figure.
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  23. norbar Active Member

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    Are you light? If not the Zee is also not a great option. Also you have new gravity lights from 7050 alu which are stiffer than the old ones. You also have e13's. Hell even SLX is lighter than zee.
    #23
  24. sethimus Active Member

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    there is a 83mm slx?
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  25. norbar Active Member

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    Forgot that. XT. They can be converted to 83mm and I've seen people do it. Though I'm not sure if they are as stiff as XTRs. Never tried it.
    #25
  26. banj Member

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    SLX crank arms are marginally heavier than XT. It's the rings that make up most of the weight difference. I had no problems with my SLX. They're basically the same weight as XT, supposedly 100% stiffer (they made that claim a couple of years ago when they came out with them) and much cheaper. No 83mm though so not much help here.
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  27. norbar Active Member

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    Still XT's can be made into 83mm so there is something here ;) Never felt the lack of stiffness on my old xc bike but I'm light.
    #27