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With 10-speed cassettes having 36 tooth big cogs, the door was opened for re-evaluation of the standard triple crankset. For many riders, some of the available gear options would be redundant and unnecessary with a 3x10 setup, not to mention some gears at the bottom or top of the range would generally be unused. And since we all quest for simplicity and lightness, 2x10 drivetrains make a lot of sense. Like their XTR Trail and Race groupsets, Shimano XT cranksets get different gearing options.

While their 3x10 option is intended for trail riders, this Shimano XT 2x10 Hollowtech II Crankset FC-785 is perfect for riders that prefer to pedal hard over slowing down to smell the flowers. Shimano's 2x10 chainring set delivers faster, easier shifts. The reason why is the elimination of the ambidextrous middle chainring. The little ring is designed exclusively to allow the chain to go to the big and vice-versa. Neither has to do double duty. And with a Shimano asymmetric chain, the system is optimized throughout.

The Hollowtech II arms have been reshaped with an asymmetric design that's different yet evokes the sophistication of XTR. The right arm is pressed together with the hollow 24mm spindle at the factory, and the splined left crankarm mates to the spindle during installation and is secured with perhaps Shimano's best detail -- two pinch bolts to secure the arm once the bearing preload is dialed in perfectly. In our experience, it's a superior design in terms of installation, performance, and durability.

The Shimano XT 2x10 Hollowtech II Crankset FC-785 is Black and has a 104/64mm bolt circle diameter. You'll choose between 40/28t or 38/26t gearing options. The big ring is ramped and pinned for easier shifting. It's available in 170-180mm lengths in 5mm increments, and the bottom bracket is included.