Considering crankset upgrade: SRAM Apex to Force

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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bluerider
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:51 am
Location: Washington, DC

by bluerider

I am considering an upgrade on my Blue Norcross EX by swapping out the 48-34 SRAM Apex crank for a 50-34 SRAM Force crankset. If I do it, I will upgrade the bottom bracket to a BB30 as well since the frame is BB30 ready. I noticed one of the GXP BB bearings appears to be loosening a bit so I need to take it in for service anyway (500 miles on the bike). Is this upgrade worth it or a waste of money? The weight savings would be about 0.5 lbs. However, performance and stiffness wise is it worth the cost? Will the Force be more trouble free?

Thanks in advance.
2012 Blue Norcross EX, Size: ML

availpunk9
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:15 am

by availpunk9

My A bike has BB30 & B had BB30/w GXP adapter. Both had Force cranks and the frames were like yours, Norcross Exs. I really couldn't tell the difference, stiffness wise, between them; this is probably due to riding w/33mm low pressure tubs. The apparent difference was the different Q factor, w/BB30 being a narrower stance. I ended up setting both bike up w/BB30; found a deal I couldn't refuse.

I've had more trouble w/BB30 bearings than GXP. I think the GXP has much better sealing & end up lasting longer. During cross season I go through ~3-4 BBs on each of the bikes bikes... This might be due to pressure washing at races, but never had to change BBs, this much, w/shimano or GXP threaded cups.

by Weenie


bluerider
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:51 am
Location: Washington, DC

by bluerider

Thanks availpunk,
I am starting to feel like its not worth it in terms of trouble free operation and the cost per gram sense especially if I stay with a GXP BB. Leaning toward using the Apex until it wears out or fails, then consider lighter, high end parts.
2012 Blue Norcross EX, Size: ML

Doctor Who
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:57 pm

by Doctor Who

The Apex is a good crankset –– not quite the lightest, but maybe that's a decent thing in CX. If you're feeling like a hustler, I would just leapfrog Force and go to Red if I were in your shoes. All the SRAM factory guys in Chicago, where I used to live, were using Red cranks on their personal bikes.

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