bobknh
While out bumping around on some beautiful NH dirt roads yesterday, I met a fellow NH GG cyclist riding a Ti Salsa with this crankset: http://www.whiteind.com/road-crank 
I was intrigued by her drive train setup. Unfortunately she wasn't a gear head like me, and could tell me very little about it. I went to the White Industries website to learn more. Wow -- almost any 2x chainring combo you want, as long as there are at least 10 teeth difference between small and large. The downside is you need a frame with a standard threaded road bb shell; you have to go retro with square taper bb's; and because of the narrow g factor, your frame geometry may not give you sufficient chain stay clearance. I'm still intrigued -- love the retro look. Has anyone used these? Can you give me any more info. or advice?
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BluesDawg
I'm running the White VBC crank with 46/30 chainrings on my steel any road bike. Works great and looks great. Square taper bottom brackets work very well now just as they have for decades. If your frame has a different shell dimension and if you don't want to use a square taper BB, rumor has it that WI will be releasing a new version of the VBC crank with external bearings and adapters to work with a variety of shell standards.

ready for the first ride by Benny Watson, on Flickr
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bobknh
BluesDawg wrote:
I'm running the White VBC crank with 46/30 chainrings on my steel any road bike. Works great and looks great. Square taper bottom brackets work very well now just as they have for decades. If your frame has a different shell dimension and if you don't want to use a square taper BB, rumor has it that WI will be releasing a new version of the VBC crank with external bearings and adapters to work with a variety of shell standards.

ready for the first ride by Benny Watson, on Flickr

Thanks for the feedback. Your bike looks great. I'd love to hang one of these on my Lemond Washoe steel road bike. Unfortunately, the Washoe frame uses PF30 shell. I don't really like it, and I've been having creaking issues with the stock Wheels Mfg PF30 External bottom bracket. Hope the rumor about WI coming out with new version of the VBC prove correct.
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shiggy
I have been using the WI VBC crank since last September, around 3500 miles. No issues. At all.

As said above, square taper BBs work very well. I have a mid level Shimano in there and it spins as new.

As for chainstay clearance, there are two options. The "road" arms for narrow stays, and the "mtb" (ENO) arms for wide stays.
I have the ENO arms (180mm) with 44/30 rings on a 108mm spindle BB, which gives me a perfect chainline (NOT the current too wide CL). Plenty of chainstay clearance, and my (self made) frame will fit a 700x50 tire with mud clearance.
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bobknh
shiggy wrote:
I have been using the WI VBC crank since last September, around 3500 miles. No issues. At all. As said above, square taper BBs work very well. I have a mid level Shimano in there and it spins as new. As for chainstay clearance, there are two options. The "road" arms for narrow stays, and the "mtb" (ENO) arms for wide stays. I have the ENO arms (180mm) with 44/30 rings on a 108mm spindle BB, which gives me a perfect chainline (NOT the current too wide CL). Plenty of chainstay clearance, and my (self made) frame will fit a 700x50 tire with mud clearance.

Shiggy - thanks for the info. and advice. Like your bike as well. Unfortunately, my Lemond Washoe has a PF30 shell. I have nothing against square taper though. In fact I still have some different size crank pullers from back in the day. The only real concern with square taper is wear and tear on the cranks if you frequently remove them for service or to change cranksets. Of course with the VBC you can probably change your chainrings without removing the cranks; and you wont need multiple crank sets!
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shiggy
bobknh wrote:

Shiggy - thanks for the info. and advice. Like your bike as well. Unfortunately, my Lemond Washoe has a PF30 shell. I have nothing against square taper though. In fact I still have some different size crank pullers from back in the day. The only real concern with square taper is wear and tear on the cranks if you frequently remove them for service or to change cranksets. Of course with the VBC you can probably change your chainrings without removing the cranks; and you wont need multiple crank sets!

Need to pull the crank to change rings.

I have a 30 year old ST crank on another bike and still going strong. Likely the 5 th or 6th bike it has been on.
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bobknh
shiggy wrote:
Need to pull the crank to change rings. I have a 30 year old ST crank on another bike and still going strong. Likely the 5 th or 6th bike it has been on.

Shiggy - you are probably a better - or at least a more careful - mechanic than me. I've managed to crack a square taper arm. I've also seen a few cracked. Whenever you press soft aluminum alloy over harder steel, there can be an issue. I also remember the great debates about exactly how much grease to use -- from none, to just a hint. But that being said, I agree with you -- I liked square taper bb's -- much fewer "standards", great reliability and durability, less likelihood of creaking, very simple installation. While I like some of the advances in bb tech. over the years - especially octalink, Isis, hollow tech, the current crop of press fit drives me crazy. While it is true, that frames can now be made with beefier bb shells for stiffness, I think that unless you are a pro racer, most of us can't tell the difference.
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lentamentalisk
I have a set on my Seven Evergreen. I absolutely LOVE  the wide range it gives me. There is no hill too steep for me to climb (and believe me, I've tried). My only complaint is about the square taper. Yes, it has worked for ages, but you've got to have it cranked down super tight or it will loosen up. 250 miles of gravel, double track, single track, xc trails, downhill trails, and stream beds has a way of loosening things up...

evergreen.jpg
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bobknh
lentamentalisk wrote:
I have a set on my Seven Evergreen. I absolutely LOVE  the wide range it gives me. There is no hill too steep for me to climb (and believe me, I've tried). My only complaint is about the square taper. Yes, it has worked for ages, but you've got to have it cranked down super tight or it will loosen up. 250 miles of gravel, double track, single track, xc trails, downhill trails, and stream beds has a way of loosening things up...

evergreen.jpg

Thanks for the pic. and feedback. Surprised that your VBC loosen on long hard rides. They really shouldn't. Perhaps they are already worn -- steel vs. aluminum -- steel wins. There is also the thing about greasing the the BB tapered axel. Lots of arguments about that back in the day I used to ride these. A light coat is OK -- dry, or too much-- probably not good. If you haven't already, I suggest you contact WI. Your cranks may no longer be safe. WI might give you a deal on a replacement. Like I said earlier, I've seen sq. tapered cranks crack from wear or improper installation.
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lentamentalisk
Good comments. The symptoms were a slight creaking under heavy cranking up hills that popped up after the aforementioned 250 miles. We tightened it down, and it came back after another 500 miles of touring. We took it apart and put it back together, really tightening it down, and so far it has held. 

I had a problem more like what you mentioned with my GF's commuter. The crank kept loosening up and sliding around, which wore down the square taper, to the point that it would only hold for a few miles between needing a wrench put to it. Replaced the cranks and haven't had a problem since.
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shiggy
lentamentalisk wrote:
I have a set on my Seven Evergreen. I absolutely LOVE  the wide range it gives me. There is no hill too steep for me to climb (and believe me, I've tried). My only complaint is about the square taper. Yes, it has worked for ages, but you've got to have it cranked down super tight or it will loosen up. 250 miles of gravel, double track, single track, xc trails, downhill trails, and stream beds has a way of loosening things up...

evergreen.jpg


Does not need to be, and should not be, "super tight." Tighten to spec and all is good. Put 3500 rough miles on mine without touching a thing. Still tight and solid when I removed them for a full frame check/cleaning. Still that way 750 miles later.
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