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Mechanical > Putting Cheaper Chainrings on XTR Cranks

When I was replacing the chainrings on my XTR cranks I didn’t want to pay the price of XTR rings. I got conflicting advice on the internet and from friends using Deore chainrings but armed with some spacers I got them to work. Here’s how I did it. Firstly, I run an E13 DRS and that added some complications for me. I’ve explained these below too for people in a similar situation. Click any of the pictures to make them bigger!
1. The middle Deore ‘ring fitted perfectly without the need for any spacers. For the inner Deore ‘ring I added 2 spacers of approximately 1.5mm between the ‘rings and the crank spider as shown in the photo.
2. Note: I tried with one spacer and it worked perfectly for shifting. The only issue was the gap between the inner ‘ring and the back plate of the DRS was perfect for the chain to fall into and snag. I’ve shown the gap with one spacer used in this photo.
3. With 2 spacers I had a problem with the chain and the DRS. The chain was too close to the white plastic part that bolts onto the backing plate. This was set up previously with 2 of the white plastic plates and worked perfectly. You can see the problem in this photo.
4. Simple solution! I removed one of the white plastic plates. It now works perfectly!
I’ve not used the new set-up enough to comment on the smoothness of shifting but I’ve used Deore ‘rings plenty and they’re great. They seem to last a lot longer too.

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