Last updated on March 19, 2013
I recently came across a great deal on a 2011 SRAM X0 2×10 crankset; something which should be a drop-in replacement for the X7 crankset that’s slated to come on the bike that I’ve got on order. Being carbon fiber and looking very nice I want to keep them in great shape, so I decided to apply some protective tape to cut down on heel rub† and some plastic caps to keep then ends from chipping when hitting rocks.
Race Face’s Crank Boots took care of the end of the crank arms, but for heel rub I turned to my favorite rub protection material, UHMW polyethylene tape. After a few minutes with some masking tape, a marker, and some drawing software I’d made this template which was easily transfered to the tape. As I used some thin (.0045″) tape it was a bit of a hassle to get in place, but hopefully my cleaning routine (glass cleaner followed up with isopropyl alcohol) got the cranks clean enough that the tape won’t begin peeling before I want to remove it.
The applied tape looks a bit milky, but I think that once in place on a bike it’ll be fine. The photo above is worst-case for appearance, as the angled lighting shows all of the slight surface imperfections in the tape. Just as when used for cable rub protection I feel that this super-slippery, strong tape will do a better job of preserving the cranks than the crystal clear polyurethane films that are normally used.
With the peel-off backing still in place the tape only weighed 1g, and with the Crank Boots coming in at 15g for the pair this bit of extra protection won’t add much to the overall weight of the bike. This photo shows the boots and pedals installed, and I’m pretty happy with how it all looks.
Since this crankset is a pretty common style and SRAM doesn’t appear to have changed the molds for their carbon fiber cranksets much recently I hope that quite a few others find this PDF template useful: SRAM XO Crank Arm Protector Template, Designed for 175mm 2011 2×10 X0 GXP Crankset, part number 00.6115.422.070.
† Heel rub is when one’s shoe rubs against a bike’s crank arm, wearing off the finish.