Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a closeout at the LBS for a 2009 FSA SL-K Carbon Crankset (53/39). However, when I did a quick internet search for reviews, I found that many users had dismal experiences. But I’m wondering if a lot of the problems were due to installation error or just dumb luck. I don’t understand how cranks that retail for over $400 can have such crappy reviews. I tend to trust RBR advice over disgruntled rants, so please chime in on your experiences.

I’d like to buy the crankset, but I don’t want to have to deal with a bunch of problems later on.

Note: I searched “FSA SL-K Carbon Crankset” to look for reviews. The review ratings seem to vary greatly from compact to standard, and light, and BB30. Are all the variations of the FSA SL-K crankset that different?


Below are some excerpts from various reviewers:

1. This unit requires real care during when doing tuneups or quick adjustments or you may find chain resting between the gears and getting you nowhere. In some cases the wavy washer makes noise when it loses its shape.

2. After 3hr riding the pedal piece got totally off the right arm. And there is a movement at te bottom of the left arm.

3. The cranks vary in weight by as much as 40-50 grams per set. Often spiders and rings were not true.(however after sampling a a group of the SL-K Light, that does seem to be vastly improved). Rings also could use some improvement in their shifting quality and a reduction in q-factor would be nice.

4. after first 6 months cranks were great after that notice alot of creaking lbs took them apart cleaned re-lubed still did the samething 2 months later while riding left crank arm split and pedal came out…

5. After about 2500 mls, I noticed friction in the crank. Took it to a LBS. The left bearing was about to freeze, the right was very gritty…3 wks ago the cranks started to make noise when standing and mashing hard. At home I noticed the spring wavy washer wasn't there any more on the left side.

6. Everything comes loose. Within miles. And with loctite.

7. chain slip with downshifting - basically if you cannot downshift safely the product is worthless

8. …Short life span.

9. These cranks should be recalled. No question about it. Terrible equipment. I couldn't get any cadence, and every effort seemed like it was restricted. Like riding on a wind trainer with the resistance on full.

10. Don't get this crank unless you want to get a new crank every two years.



http://www.bicycling.com/gear/detail/0,7989,s1-17-107-607-0,00.html
http://fairwheelbikes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=77&t=5991
http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/drivetrain/cranksets/fsa/PRD_335458_2491crx.aspx
 

· classiquesklassieker
Joined
·
3,113 Posts
I think that all FSA reviews can be summarized by the following points:
1. Lots of them are sold online and user-installed.
2. Their alu bolts are really loose, you should either use loctite or switch to a steel bolt.
3. User-installed parts are often not torqued up to spec.
4. You get what you pay for: FSA is not the highest-quality stuff hence it is cheap.
5. But to their credit, FSA customer service is excellent.

FWIW, I ran an FSA Carbon Pro for 15,000+ miles without any problems except for the alu vs. steel bolt, which they sent to me very promptly. And I have several bikes with MegaExo BBs without any problems.

Think of FSA as the Ikea of cranksets. You buy it cheap, you install it yourself, so there's a chance you'll screw it up. However, the price point is right for many customers. And both companies are very good and quite generous with customer service.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses! I am currently running FSA Gossamer Mega Exo cranks. If they are at the same level of quality, I will be happy. I was concerned b/c the cranks I mentioned are significantly more expensive, but had worse reviews.

What are the symptoms of the aluminum bolts coming loose? Will the chain ring wiggle?

Can I just pick up new steel bolts at Home Depot?

Thanks!
 

· classiquesklassieker
Joined
·
3,113 Posts
Rhino4Five said:
Thanks for the responses! I am currently running FSA Gossamer Mega Exo cranks. If they are at the same level of quality, I will be happy. I was concerned b/c the cranks I mentioned are significantly more expensive, but had worse reviews.

What are the symptoms of the aluminum bolts coming loose? Will the chain ring wiggle?

Can I just pick up new steel bolts at Home Depot?

Thanks!
The crank(s) along with the chain ring will wiggle, and possibly come off. I think that the bolts are standard, but you should measure and make sure that this is the case. I also recommend the loctite solution.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,509 Posts
orange_julius said:
The crank(s) along with the chain ring will wiggle, and possibly come off. I think that the bolts are standard, but you should measure and make sure that this is the case. I also recommend the loctite solution.
Please do not take ANY of this advice!

Like I said, get the FSA steel bolt. Your LBS can get it for you, or you can call FSA to get one. Most of the new FSA carbon cranks come with the steel bolt anyway, so it will likely be a non-issue.
The cranks, if new, should come with the blue, teflon crush washers. If they don't you can get them from your shop or FSA. They take up the slack and prevent overtightening when installing.

When installing, lube everything with grease. Loctite is not needed. Torque everything to proper specs and you will not have any issues.
If you have any doubts, let your shop do the install.

Again, I ran mine w/the aforementioned steel bolt and crush washers for two years and NEVER had any issues.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey, just wanted to give an update and ask another question.

I ordered the crankset and got it installed at performance bike. It came with an aluminum bolt. When I asked the mechanic about switching to steel, he said the aluminum was there to protect over torquing and stripping the treads on the crank arm. With the aluminum bolt, over torquing will strip the aluminum threads -a cheaper replacement by comparison. Is he on base? He sounded legit. Do you think the aluminum bolt provides insufficient torque?

Also, I have some higher frequency vibrations when I'm on the smaller chainring and on rougher terrain. It could be my crankset, FD, or chain (they didn't shorten it when installing). I've learned that bike sounds are seldom what I first expect. Any suggestions on places to start looking?

Thanks!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
frdfandc said:
He is partially correct. But if the bolt is torqued to proper specs, IE: use a torque wrench, then there should be zero issue with stripping the bolts.
I'm assuming you mean no issue if the steel bolt is torqued to proper spec. If both the steel and aluminum bolt are torqued to spec, what is the advantage of the steel bolt? I'm assuming there is an advantage, but I just want to know for sure before I order the steel bolt.

Thanks in advance!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
backinthesaddle said:
The alu bolts tend to work themselves loose for some reason. They also don't like to be installed, removed and re-installed.
Just order the steel bolt and remove any possibility of a headache.
http://webstore.fullspeedahead.com/fly.aspx?taxid=245&layout=estoreproduct
Thanks again for some good advice. Your answer makes a lot of sense. Is the "Crank Bolt Hollow Carbon" the right bolt on the page you linked? It doesn't mention steel, but the color looks right. I called FSA but they werent very useful.

Thanks!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
backinthesaddle said:
If a GOOD shop is close, go see if they have a QBP book! CR3795 is the correct steel bolt for the MegaExo SLK-Light crankset. It's @ $11 at retail
Thanks! I'll put in the order. So far I haven't found a shop that I would consider consistently good.

Do I need any special tools to remove this bolt? Is it self extracting or do I need those plier looking things?
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top