Pulling my crank

The local bikeshop recommended I get some shimano lx cranks online for my mountain bike to replace the ones that have finally (sort of) fallen off. Said they’d be a lot cheaper than the shop. While I scratch my head a little about that particular business process, I let the google thing tell me what my options for “shimano lx” cranks are. for those of you “in the know” – ie, nobody – I have a 9-speed cassette. About the only three numbers I care about when it comes to cranks are: 1) 9 speed, 2) teeth on the rings (please lord let me have a small little ring for the hills) and 3) price. Ought to be simple right? Ha ha ha. What followed was a crash course in product lines gone wild. Here are the options that come up when you google “shimano lx crankset” –

FC-M590

FC-T661

SLX M660

SLX M6601

FC-M570

FC-MC572

FC MC-M780

FC-M785

FC-M675

RACEFACE “Ride”

Do those letters mean anything to you? Me neither. Each one of those is, apparently, a viable product option. A member of the industry’s crankset product line. yeah, ok. so have fun getting the price, figuring out which ones are 9 speed and which are 10 speed, good luck finding the crank length you want. keep clicking, find info on the number of teeth on the rings. go for a cookie and cup of coffee to unwind. have a good cry. keep trying. lose your place, throw it all out, start over. begin a wiki. correlate with amazon, and ebay. have another good cry. try to figure out which will look nice. grow a beard. call in sick to work. get a pHd in Bike Cranks. Wonder if any of your 3 bottom bracket tools will work on any of these guys. Try to remember what “octalink” means. Have a good laugh over the $600 options. Enjoy reading the rich history from Shimano as it tries to explain the difference between “Deore”, “Lx”, “XT”, and “SLX” and the ways some of these sets of letters have splintered into other sets of letters. Try to care. Try to follow along. Hang your head in shame at the human race, pondering why you ever gave up the exciting sport of “Walking” and got involved in something as bizarre as this. Feel guilt over buying from faceless online megabike store then remind self that it was the local bike shop that sent you here to begin with. Find the cheapest ones. Smile. Order.

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