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I'm looking to buy a Sora triple crankset. Shimano make two types one has 5 arms and the other only has 4 arms. Which should I get and why would that be a better choice? I'm a slow-ish rider. I'm 50 and speed is not a priority. But I'm planning a long ride in Asia and Africa next year. Which of the two chain-ring types would be a better choice for spare parts and any other considerations? Note: the 5 arm crank has a P.C.D. of 130 compared to 110 for the four arm crank.

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    5 hole replacement chainrings are widely available and FC-R3030-CG has chainguard. Most of recent Shimano road crankarms use 4-arm design with proprietary chainrings. – Klaster_1 Feb 20 at 14:35
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    For ultimate spare parts availability in poor countries, get a MTB triple instead. Even spaced 4-arm 110mm 28-38-48 is still very common on hybrids and low end bikes. – ojs Feb 20 at 18:52
  • In road speak (I'm assuming not a triple which is 110/74PCD ~ 74 is the innermost chainring) 130 PCD is known as a standard and can only go to 39t on the smallest chainring. 110 PCD is known as a compact. And can go to 32t (maybe 31t) on the smallest chainring. If you are touring - I'd assume a decent spread of gears would be your preferred option - go with the 110 PCD. – OraNob Feb 21 at 9:15
  • Thanks for your replies. Since posting this question, I've taken another look at Sugino's XD600T triple crank. It has 48(or 46)-36-26T. It uses a JIS square taper cartridge BB (British thread 68 & 113) which uses a cromoly steel spindle (nice). It's not that cheap but I like simplicity and value, which I think is well represented by this crank. I'm not saying Shimano's 4 arm isn't good, but I would prefer to avoid "proprietory" products. And well established open standards suit my needs much better (I'm thinking about Africa here). But Sugino ship to anywhere in a matter of days so no problem. – user41329 Feb 23 at 4:44

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