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I just bought a new Salsa Marrakesh. My main use is moderate distance touring (1000 km to 7000 km tours) although it might end up going further.

The Salsa web-page says that the bike has an Alivio FC-M4060 crankset (a 3 chainring 48-36-26T), but when I look at the bike, there's no manufacturer marked on the cranks and they don't look like Shimano. I did find TAF26 written on the back of one crank. Searching on the Internet, that seems to correspond to a Samox crankset, and looking at the photo from the Internet, it certainly looks like what I have.

Should I be concerned about this part substitution? Is a Samox crankset as durable as a Shimano Alivio crankset? Is there any danger of counterfeit parts? I'm not worried about weight; this is a steel bike.

I'm thinking of changing the chainrings, so if there would be an advantage to changing the entire crankset I would contemplate that.

Thanks!

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  • So you bought a new bike and its not as described? Have you contacted the bike shop about the substitution?
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 31 at 21:25
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    I wanted to ask around first before I talk to the shop. Besides, it's Easter, they're closed until Tuesday.
    – Habib Ross
    Commented Mar 31 at 23:13

1 Answer 1

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Cranks fail early and often. The reason generally is the pedal eye, since the pedal eye should have a countersink and the pedals should have a conical surface in that countersink.

However, there's nothing in brand that would magically make them better (unless someday one brand adopts the countersink). All of them fail. You can reduce failures by being of normal weight or less, by pedaling uphills sitting as opposed to pedaling standing and by inspecting the crank often for cracks or even doing preventative maintenance and replacing it every 20000-30000 km or so.

If some crank is cold forged, it could be better but my understanding is that Shimano cold forges only the very top end cranks and certainly not Alivio. Also heavier cranks are better since they have more material. Theoretically I guess some aluminum alloys could be better but crank manufacturers usually don't like to specify what alloy the crank is made of. Also shining polished surface is less likely to crack than hard anodized.

I'm sure your crank is practically as good as Alivio.

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  • Thanks for your reassurances. I'm touring, not racing, therefore I'm almost never out of the seat, and I'm not that fat, so maybe I'll be okay.
    – Habib Ross
    Commented Mar 31 at 23:17

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