Origin 8 2X9 Cranks: Final Review

I have been putting the Origin 8 2 X 9 cranks through their paces all summer and here are my thoughts now on this drive train option “geared” (sorry for the pun!) towards the 29″er riders out there.

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The cranks have performed flawlessly over the course of the test. Shifts have been good. Not super snappy, but not bad either. I used a SRAM X-9 shifter with the derailluer limited out to travel just far enough to allow the use of the 29T and 44T rings. I would characterize shifting performance as on par with what I had on the bike previously, which was a TruVativ Stylo crank. Pretty much standard for most trail riders.

The rings themselves have held up well, and they look great still, even after some pretty muddy sessions, what with the wet year we have had. A plus in the execution of the system for sure here. The arms with the ISIS interface is solid, and also came through looking great, but I will say that I am not one to rub crank arms with my shoes, so some folks results may vary accordingly.

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Now, as for the whole 2X9 thing, these are my thoughts and not all necessarily related to this particular product. The way you use the front rings with the rear cassette is different. I thought a bit of a closer ratio between the two front gears would be optimal. I probably would go with a 42T versus the 44T that the cranks were supplied with. This would have lent me the opportunity to shift from the outer to inner chain wheel without shifting in the rear so much to find a close cadence to where I had been before the shift. At any rate, a choice in chain wheels to match from Origin 8 is in order. Obviously, a rider in a mountainous area doesn’t need a 44T so much and a 29T definitely isn’t going to cut it for some. Maybe a 36T X 24T combo? Well, I have written this before, but it bears repeating.

Also, it should be remembered that Shimano’s 12-36T cassette is on its way. This would be a perfect compliment to this crank, allowing a rider to stay in either the big ring longer, or in the saddle longer in the smaller ring, instead of walking.

Conclusions: The Origin 8 2 X 9 crank is a winner in terms of functionality, looks, and gearing for XC/light trail work. The system needs to have options, and it needs to have a lighter weight version. The two piece crank style perhaps could be that version. At any rate, this idea is well executed and when you consider the asking price of $100.00 or so, it becomes apparent that the value of this gearing option for 29″er freaks is great. Not everyone will love it from a gear ratio/weight perspective, but hopefully Origin 8 will address this in the near future. I can recommend these to anyone curious about 2X9 and that doesn’t want to spend a fortune on the experiment, or to anyone that just likes high value/low cost with good looks, good performance, and a devil may care attitude about the weight.

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No Responses to “Origin 8 2X9 Cranks: Final Review”

  1. grannygear Says:

    24/36 with a 12/36 rear cassette would be killer. Agreed.

  2. c-g Says:

    I will chime in your call for a 2 x 9 setup with a 24/36 double ring crank. I have had very good experiences with a my 22/36 front on anything from fast rolling to steep and technical – 24 will do as well.

    The 29 / 44 teeth of this crank might be very nice for those fast race courses but might be hard on the average riders´ legs.

    Otherwise these caranks look like you can´t go wrong at that price and performance – though I am not a big fan if ISIS, but that is more a personal thing.

  3. mtnbkrphil Says:

    I just converted my xt crank to a 2×9 using blackspire chainrings. I decided to go with 36-26 rings. For the trails I ride here in East Tennessee this combo is awesome. We have a lot of very short but very steep technical climbs, very few multi mile climbs. For these short steeps the 26 is perfect, I don’t know how it would work for long extended climbs where you want to sit in and just spin. A friend took his first 29er spin on my niner Air 9 last night and was amazed at the bike, but was really stoked about the 2×9 setup. I currently run a 12-34 in the rear, not sure if I will go with the 12-36 or not.

  4. CheifRock Says:

    I don’t want to sound like to much of a roadie, but what is the Q-factor on the cranks? I have issues with skinny cranks. I’m liking my SLX double and am looking for a cheaper version for a another bike.

  5. Oderus Says:

    Cheif, have you looked at the Truvativ Stylo 2.0 cranks? It’s a double 24/36 with an aluminum bash guard. They use the GXP bottom bracket and have a good width if you want to avoid “skinny cranks”. They’ll run you about $150 retail. It’s a pretty solid crankset. I do prefer the simplicity of 2 piece crank designs and I think that the Origin 8 crank would be a smoking deal if used an external BB. It’s still a solid deal but ISIS is fading. I say good crank with room for one key upgrade.

  6. jerome Says:

    24/36 or 22/36?!?!?!

    We can build those already with what’s already available on the market.

    We need stuff that isn’t already out…give us some 42 and 40 tooth “middle” rings for 104bcd and some 27 and 28 tooth granny gears in 64bcd.

  7. SinnerSpinner Says:

    The biggest advantage of the double is the chainline!
    I’ve been running the 29-42T program on my (gasp) 26″ mtb for a number of years now and love it. The single greatest advantage of the setup is the chainline. There is no “cross-chain” position.

  8. kiatkiat Says:

    Any online store that are selling the crankset?

  9. Jimmythefly Says:

    I’ll second what SinnerSpinner said, and add that the potential for a narrow Q-factor is also a great advantage, for those who need it and have the clearance.

  10. Greenheckler Says:

    Here’s a “stock” 24/36 crankset that’s reasonably priced and working aces on my Salsa El Mar: A Truvatic Stylo OCT 2.2 GPX Crankset. I replaced the stock bashguard with a BBG unit. I really like the ratios for SoCal conditions.

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