Shimano's Hone groupset hasn't been a massive success, but we reckon the chainset is well worth a look for harder than average XC riders. It's essentially the same as LX, but in a different colour and with reinforced steel inserts for the pedals to thread into. This is no bad thing though, because that adds a bit of toughness to an already stiff and sturdy chainset. Add the double chainring and polycarbonate bash guard option that we've been running - triple also available - and you've got a very tidy looking and thoroughly durable 'A ll Mountain' chainset.
The steel inner ring comes into its own for surviving the granny gear grind of dragging big bikes up long hills, and Shimano's twin pinch bolt-on offside arm fitting system for the integrated axle distinguishes itself with stress-free fitting, too. Keep checking the bolts and take the cap tool with you on rides just in case, though. Both 170 and 175mm sizes are available to suit most riders, and we reckon it's a great little tough nut for the price.