If you’re looking for a lightweight, affordable and durable drivechain then you’ll have undoubtedly have come across the Shimano Deore range.
I’ve previously reviewed the Deore brakes, which are exceptional for the money, and so it is without any hesitation that I decided to use the (catchy name alert) Shimano Deore M615 Hollowtech II Double Crankset as a long term tester.
Because I hate all those “first ride reviews” you see on the internet, I’ve made sure I’ve taken this crankset through its paces. Here’s my review after 300 miles off-road with over 20k of climbing (how’s that for a bashing?):
Initial Review of Shimano Deore Crankset
Price. Price is everything at this range and for a penny under £50 you get a hell of a lot for your money! Not only do you get both crank arms, chainrings and the axle, you’ll also find the Deore bottom bracket packaged up in the same box – something I didn’t expect and actually bought a BB separately as a result.
Because I’m not a weight weenie I didn’t chuck this component on the scale, however it did feel relatively light to me and a quick Google search puts it at 914g with 38 and 24t chainrings – so that’s nothing to be sniffed at! Installing was very easy thanks to the Hollowtech system, everything fits together nicely with a tap and a good hard torque on the bolts on the non-drive side.
Long Term Test
The first thing I noticed was the paint fade on the crank arms – this is to be expected with use, but the rate at which it happened was pretty surprising. I think on my second or third ride I noticed large sections where it had completely worn away – no impact on performance, but it definitely effects visuals.
As a key trend setter (yeah, right!) in the 1×10 craze, I replaced both chainrings with my fancy Oval ring from AbsoluteBlack and it fitted without any problems. Well… it is very tight on the 30t section of the ring, but there’s no rub and it fits perfectly although I was worried by it at first.
So, to all you asking “Can I go 1×10 with a Shimano Deore double crankset” the answer is yes. Chuck out those old rings, put the single ring where the big one went and hey presto! Robert is your father’s brother.
In terms of performance, these cranks work brilliantly and the BB is surprisingly hard wearing – as I said 300 miles now of hard climbing, Welsh grit, mud, rain and more mud and there have been no faults with this system at all. In fact, it has performed so well that it does make me question why anyone would pay double the amount for a weight saving of just 150g.
If cheap and durable components that provide a good level of performance are up your street then you can’t go far wrong with the Shimano Deore M615 Hollowtech II double crankset. For the price there is not much around that even comes close to it, and while it may not be as light as you may hope for, the cranks are stiff and the stroke is smooth.
Anybody concerned with weight should probably opt for the XT model or splash a bit more cash on something carbon. Concern about the aesthetics due to paint rub could be prevented with a bit of helitape or by going for the silver model.
Overall, I’m happy with these cranks. They’ve performed very well over the last couple of months and I can’t see that changing anytime soon.