When it comes to bang for the buck, Shimano's Zee components — like this 83mm bottom bracket-compatible Zee FC-M645 Crankset — are hard to beat. Thick-walled aluminum construction with a reinforced steel axle ensures flex and failure are absent from gravity-fueled runs.
These two-piece cranks are 10-speed only and come with a 36t chainring. For added durability, Shimano gives the Zee cranks steel pedal inserts. The drive-side arm has a 104mm BCD, and it uses alloy chainring bolts. Shimano's Zee FC-M645 does not include a bottom bracket, and it comes in three lengths: 165, 170, and 175mm.
- Q & A
Bombproof on a budget
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I love Saint and Zee components. They are a gold standard for downhill and freeride mountain biking. This crankset is strong, affordable, and easy to install. It even comes with an 83mm English threaded bottom bracket. Most cranksets these days don't include the bottom bracket. The 36t chainring in the picture is included as well.
*This does include an 83mm English Threaded BB*
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Durable, reinforced crankset and a great price.
What level is ZEE in comparison to SLX, XT, and XTR?
I'd compare it to SLX. In terms of price, it's actually just a tiny bit cheaper than SLX. Essentially, it is Shimano's answer to an affordable version of their Saint DH group. Performance wise, it can take some major abuse and keep on kickin'