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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I just recently picked up an older (pre disk break mount) aluminum redline frame that I am building up for next year's cross season.

So far I've been grabbing parts bit by bit as they turn up on e-bay for a good price but I also have access to QBP through a college bicycle co-operative that I volunteer for.

I've got a pretty good idea of what parts I want to dress her up in, but I'm having a hard time choosing a crankset. I'm pretty sure that I want to go with a compact bolt pattern to allow for a wider range of gearing choices and I also like the idea of the new external bottom brackets, since it seems like having that huge spindle would really increase the stiffness. I'm a pretty big guy, 6'4", 180-190 lbs, so this is important for me.

So far I'm trying to decide between the new Shimano R700 compact, the FSA SLK carbon compact, and the FSA Gossamer. The gossamer is much cheaper and not a lot heavier so I'm leaning that direction since my budget is pretty much non-existant. I guess I'm just wondering if I'll be giving up a lot of stifness relative to the other two by going this route. Also what do folks think about the effects of crashing and scratches on a carbon crank?

Any imput or insights on this would be much appreaciated.

Thanks, David (excited about not racing a 27 lbs, 5" inch travel MTB next season :D )
 

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Lupine said:
Hi all,

I just recently picked up an older (pre disk break mount) aluminum redline frame that I am building up for next year's cross season.

So far I've been grabbing parts bit by bit as they turn up on e-bay for a good price but I also have access to QBP through a college bicycle co-operative that I volunteer for.

I've got a pretty good idea of what parts I want to dress her up in, but I'm having a hard time choosing a crankset. I'm pretty sure that I want to go with a compact bolt pattern to allow for a wider range of gearing choices and I also like the idea of the new external bottom brackets, since it seems like having that huge spindle would really increase the stiffness. I'm a pretty big guy, 6'4", 180-190 lbs, so this is important for me.

So far I'm trying to decide between the new Shimano R700 compact, the FSA SLK carbon compact, and the FSA Gossamer. The gossamer is much cheaper and not a lot heavier so I'm leaning that direction since my budget is pretty much non-existant. I guess I'm just wondering if I'll be giving up a lot of stifness relative to the other two by going this route. Also what do folks think about the effects of crashing and scratches on a carbon crank?

Any imput or insights on this would be much appreaciated.

Thanks, David (excited about not racing a 27 lbs, 5" inch travel MTB next season :D )
I highly recomend an outboard bearing crank, especially at your size. I put on some Dura Ace cranks toward the end of last season & was very impressed on how much stiffer they were. I previously had FSA Team issue carbons w/ ti bb & the DA were much better. Oh yeah, i had two full seasons on the carbons & they held up well, scratched up but totally functional. I actually have them on my RR bike now.

As for compact cranks, I personally dont care for them for cross racing. Too low of gears in the front. I know you can run a smaller cassette in the rear but for me a 38/46 with a 12-26 or 27 in the back works best. Just my opinion though. :). Good luck!!

DP
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input on the external bearing setup. Logically it seems like it should be stiffer, but it is nice to hear someone confirm that, although I don't think that I'll quite be getting dura ace level peformance with the amount I can spend ;)

DPCX said:
I
As for compact cranks, I personally dont care for them for cross racing. Too low of gears in the front. I know you can run a smaller cassette in the rear but for me a 38/46 with a 12-26 or 27 in the back works best. Just my opinion though. :). Good luck!!

DP
My background is entirely from mountain biking and I may be missing something here but...

My impression was the smallest ring you could use on a standard 130mm BCD was a 39. I also don't understand why I couldn't run 46/38 on a compact (I've seen compact BCD rings all the way up to a 52). If anyone could enlighten me it would be much appreciated.

David
 

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i recently switched from a phil wood square taper bb and TA zephyr light compact crank to an fsa gossamer (34/50) on my cross bike and the difference was noticable. i've been really pleased with the gossamer. i did have to replace the bearings after a few months of hard use in bad weather - but from what i've heard neither the fsa or shimano outboard bearing cranksets have great seals on their bearings.

i can't compare them to the two other compact cranksets you're considering but my opinion is that the outboard bearing setup is awesome.

if you're doing cross racing the 34/50 is probably not ideal but you can get the cross version of the gossamer which comes with 38/48 rings. if you're doing all kinds of riding - from trails to road to cross racing, the 34/50 will give you the greatest range.
 

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duh...
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saw these last night, don't know anything about them (specifically, although Sugino been good to me in the past), but looked interesting if you want a square taper. they even got the old logo
<img src="http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-3773699254952_1891_1477536">
http://store.somafab.com/suswcrdocr.html
 

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I put a set of those on a Bianchi RC 'crosser, and they are sweet. Stiff, good shifting and pretty swank, too. Best part? They only cost $138, with tax and shipping. If you can't get 'em from Soma, try American Cyclery in Frisco (the store on Stanyan, not the other one).
 

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weather said:
lupine is correct. 46/38 is no problem with "compact", because that's what MTBers have been running for years on the mountain standard 110mm bcd.
Your right, i guess you can run a 38 w/ a 110 bcd. For some reason I always thought they only went up to 36, at least thats how most of them are spec'd (or a 34). However, you can also run a 38 on a 130 too so it kind of defeats the purpose of running compact in the first place. Nevertheles, if you desire a 38/? on the front your have many choices.
cheers,
DP
 

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weather said:
well, most mountain standard cranks were spec'd with 46/36/26 or 46/34/24, and less commonly 48/38/28
Oh yeah, I remember those days. I used to have 1990 XT's w/ 28/38/48 & a 12-28 cassette. Then came XC Pro micro drive with a 20/32/42 & a 11-26. I put on a shimano 13-30 & could climb anything as long as i could keep my balance. :)
 
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