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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For context, I am currently involved in upgrading my existing racing bike. I currently ride a CAAD5 frame with a mix of shimano 105 components, tiagra, truvativ, and some other misc. parts. I was originally planning on doing a complete overhaul, and reusing the existing components on a restored steel frame (maybe a Surly or Fuji) to get a nice touring bike out of the process. Meanwhile, I intended on building the CAAD5 frame up from the ground meeting my specs. It quickly became apparent that the cost of doing so was not completely justified. The aluminum frame is a 60cm frame (slightly large for me) and worn, and I realized throwing a lot of money into it may not be the best idea. I quickly realized that I could just purchase an off-the-shelf bike with a carbon frame and the essential groupset for the same (even less cost) than my original direction.

So after some research I ordered the Cannondale Six Carbon 3 through my lbs (not yet delivered). The frame is carbon with an ultegra sl/durace component mix, and mavic wheels. A nice setup, definitely expensive though. While I have been waiting for the delivery I was doing some more research about the crankset. I had been getting mixed information for several sources about whether the crankset was BB30 or not. Finally I found out that, due to a production shortage, all of these carbon frames built for BB30 are being fitted with the BB30 adapter, and a non-BB30 crankset used. This adapter cannot be removed ever! (or at least recommended not be removed to avoid potential damage to the frame). I fully recognize the potential benefits of using a BB30 setup, but ultimately do not have a preference whether I ride with a 24mm spindle vs a 30mm spindle. 24mm bottom brackets will never be fully replaced and there are always high end options from either side of the picture that I can upgrade to in the future.

What bothers me is the principle behind using this adapter. First, I am unsure if this adapter is 100% reliable. More importantly, I am throwing a lot of money into this new bike, and after a lengthy process have decided to take it to the next level and go carbon. However, by adding this adapter I am effectively increasing the weight of the frame (from what I understand, it weighs more with the adapter than a carbon frame that is originally designed for a 24mm bottom bracket) but still paying an arm and a leg. Should I be concerned about putting all of this money towards a bike that is setup this way? Please offer any advice/comments regarding this setup, bb30, and adapters.
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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From your concern, I'd cancel the order or ask for no crankset and no adapter.

The sooner the better. I don't think the weight should be the reason you're worried, but a production shortage is never a good reason to modify something against your will.

Ask your LBS and see if the rumors you've read are true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree. I don't like the notion that the setup has changed because of a production issue.

On the flip side, based on my understanding of the adapter, I don't believe it was created for this very reason. When BB30 frames first went into production nobody was really on board with the technology, so the adapter was implemented to allow standard cranksets to be used on these new frames (this was years ago). So, I could be wrong, but it doesn't seem to be a case where Cannondale is just trying to cover there butts by creating a random part to avoid having an oversupply of frames. This part was definitely made years ago, I'm just not sure of how reliable it is. That's why I am also concerned about how this impacts the overall bike, such as weight.

I spoke with my LBS and they talked with the C'Dale Rep who confirmed that this is a less than ideal situation where a bb30 crankset was originally specified.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, do you think asking them to just provide the bike without the crankset/adapter would be possible since this is an off-the-shelf bike? I'm not really sure how the process of building the bikes works, and how receptive they would be to making small changes like that.
 

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+1 on Canceling the order

I agree that you should cancel the order. Cannondale will argue that their bike specifications can change any time without warning. Most major manufactures have this sort of fine print on their websites and in their marketing materials. However, IMHO, it is simply not right to be pushing a new standard (like C'dale is with BB30) and then sell you a jury-rigged bike. I see this as nothing more than bait and switch. You are paying top dollar for a top shelf product. They have an obligation to deliver the product as speced.
 

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If you don't want the bike, try to cancel the order. I'm not saying do that, but you should feel comfortable making that kind of investment.

I am not in bike industry, but Cdale US website is confusing here. Specs clearly list crank for Six Carbon 3 as "FSA Gossamer non-BB30", but then lists the BB as "FSA BB30" and the frame as "Six carbon BB30". At least one of those specs seems incorrect. If everything is BB30, then crank will not be BB30, while if an adapter is used the BB will not be BB30 but "regular" MegaExo to match the nonBB30 Gossamer.

I have run an FSA Gossamer (MegaExo- non-BB30) on one of my bikes for over 8k trouble-free miles. However that is on a (non-BB30 adapter) CAAD5 frame.

Personally, I would have no trouble if the Six Carbon came with a BB30 adapter because of Cdale support (warranty & frame exchange program). Also it's MUCH easier right now to find a cost-effective crank upgrade for the nonBB30 Gossamer. I would not worry about the frame/BB/crank weight & think more about getting lighter race wheels than the Askiums (~1900g real weight). Ask the LBS if they might work a deal to trade up.
 

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You can, in fact, push the adapter out of the BB. I've installed them and removed them.
Installation and removal both require a skilled mechanic and the proper tools. The recommended tool is a Park Headset press.
The adapter is lock-tited in, nothing more. Pressing it out is a simple process and the adapter comes with the correct fittings for installation and removal.

That beeing said, I wouldn't worry about which crank the bike came with. If it comes with the adapter, remove it and by a BB30 cranks on Ebay. Or, as the OP said, just buy a 24mm spindle crank and rock it. I've had C'dales setup both ways and noticed zero difference in bottom end stiffness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah the C'Dale Website is definitely confusing. I am looking at their 2009 catalog now which only provides spec'd information for the crankset which it identifies as the Gossamer BB30. At some point in the production line they obviously changed this spec and it was too late to tie up all of their promotional information regarding the bike. I have checked the FSA Website and it appears that the production shortage is on their end. They don't even list the standard Gossamer for BB30 (even though they do make it)..the only BB30 option for the Gossamer is the compact version. So it seems like they ran out! I definitely agree that cost purposes it is easy to find a nice crankset for a good price at the 24mm level (bb30 is still new and very expensive).

One option I had considered to offset the adapter weight (you advise lighter wheelset) was to immediately upgrade to the ultegra sl crankset which is 100 grams lighter than the gossamer and stiffer. I also have Bontrager Race lites as a second wheelset which are lighter than the mavics. There are definitely options to help offset the weight increase, but do you think to invest in a carbon frame at all knowing this immediate disadvantage is worth it? We are talking 3 grand here...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have heard that you can do that. But I have also heard that it voids your warranty with Cannondale. Have you done this tricky task with carbon frames? Have you ever encountered any types of frame issues after? I would be a bit worried about trying this on a new frame for fear of causing it to crack...and then I would have spent a huge amount of money on a new frame that I can't claim a warranty on....that's a scary thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update

:mad2: Everyones points have been good. This is definitely a tricky situation. When I first began this process I had limitations (i.e. reusing my existing CAAD5 frame). But not that I have decided to fully upgrade, I have a clean slate that I can do anything with. I am not concerned as much about as the components that I get, as I am about the fact that I am putting money towards a carbon frame with adapter that ultimately makes the frame weigh more than if I just found a frame that was originally designed to fit a 24mm bottom bracket. It doesn't seem logical to spend more money (that I am not obligated to spend) on a setup that should be better and no more expensive. Please continue to offer any advise!! It will be greatly appreciated. For the short term, here is what I am going to do. I have an appointment set up with my LBS tomorrow and will go in to look at the following possibilities and confirm the following conditions:

1) Which adapter sleeve is currently used? How much does it weigh? How does it perform? If I were to go with this setup and simply upgrade the Gossamer to an Ultegra SL crankset would the weight difference be nullified. (I believe it would not. The Ultegra SL crankset only weighs 100 grams less than the Gossamer and I believe the adapter weighs 200...could be wrong though. If anyone knows otherwise please let me know)

2) Is there a way that Cannondale can ship a separate Six Carbon frame without the adapter to my LBS, and they would just swap out all of the parts, and I would be responsible for paying the difference in cost from the Gossamer non-BB30 crankset and whatever BB30 crankset I want to invest in?

3) If I choose to go with this bike, would my LBS be able to remove the adapter or not down the road if I want to upgrade and lose the extra weight (to review, Cannondale says never to remove it and will void the warranty if it is removed)?

4) Worst case scenario and I am unpleased with the arrangement, I begin to look at other possibilities for carbon frame bikes
 

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The adapter pushes out cleanly. I cleaned the BB shell with Clean Streak and it was as clean as the day the frame was built. The tools prevent the shell from being damaged. It's not like you're banging it out with a hammer and chisel. Many times, if you're just buying a frameset, the adapter isn't installed anyway. They include it in the box.
As for the weight of the adapter, it's pretty inconsequential. You can easily save that weight elsewhere without trying too hard.
You worrying for the sake of worrying.
 

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well, i'll be the *******.

you're making a seemingly big deal about nothing. possibly because you don't have much experience with, or knowledge about, the adapter. the adapter is fine, and the weight gain is negligible. put it this way...i've had to warranty and work on a lot of Cannondale frames, and not once has it been because the adapter was an issue.

BB30 is Cannondale. the idea of a higher end Cannondale not having a BB30 crank is sad to me.

if anything, I would see if your shop could get you some credit towards another BB30 crank (...SI...).

the adapter can be pressed out. Cannondale says otherwise because they don't want the consumer to go at it with a punch and a hammer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update

The bike came in this morning and I went over to my LBS and talked with them. Here is what I am going to do given the advise that I got from everyone and what they told me.

1. In regards to the adapter, they said that Cannondale says not to remove the adapter, which means if down the road I decide to remove it the warranty would be void. However, my LBS said if I really decide to do that they would remove it and provide me with some guarantee in the event something went wrong.

While I don't like the whole notion of bait and switch, the adapter move is not as permanent as I originally thought. There is definitely flexibility down the road, and there are plenty of options to offset this weight.

SO, I am going to go with the bike :) and immediately upgrading from the Gossamer to the Ultegra SL crankset, which weight 100 grams less and is stiffer. Can't wait to ride it next week!! Thanks for all of your advise
 

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vtrider said:
SO, I am going to go with the bike :) and immediately upgrading from the Gossamer to the Ultegra SL crankset, which weight 100 grams less and is stiffer. Can't wait to ride it next week!! Thanks for all of your advise
First- Congrats on your new ride!
HOWEVER- unless the LBS is giving you a killer deal on an immediate upgrade, consider riding the bike for a while with the stock Gossamer. While the Gossamer is not a high bling crank, it has been very solid for me. I also have other higher-end cranks (Shimano R700, FSA SLK Light) & seriously doubt if I could tell the difference between any of them on the road. Must admit, though, that the Ultegra crank looks much nicer than the Gossamer.
 

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wheel manufacturing makes a bb30 shim that utilizes the bb30 bearings and just adjusts the diameter to that of a hollowtech II crankset. I've been emailing back and forth with them and it sounds good.
 

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I recommend you ask your c'dale rep through your LBS. My rep stated that it can be done contrary to the warning in the manual, though it should be done by the shop with proper tools, and not more than once. Perhaps the LBS is leaving the door open to selling me hollowgram SL (high mark-up item) at a later date.

Happy with BB24/Dura-Ace 7800 for now.
 

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in a carbon shell, the adaptor can be removed, but yes...the proper tools are needed. Cannondale says no because they did not want the consumer to even attempt this.
 
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