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Hi there, does anyone have any experience with Shimano's compact crank? As far as performance grade, are these cranks in line with D/A, Ultegra, or 105???

I am thinking about going compact on my ride, but most of the reviews I've seen are related to FSA's. My bike was initially set with an FSA compact, but I was never able to get it to shift properly, so ended with regular Ultegra crank. I still want to go compact, but don't want to have to deal with any compatibility problems.

My bike's set: 2005 Litespeed Teramo, Full Ultegra 10 drive train (currently with the Ultegra crank also.
 

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That is going to be an Ultegra level crank as stated in Bicycling Magazine, April 2006 pg. 114. The article also states that it works with traditional (non-compact) front derailleurs.

Regards

jparman
 

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compact crank great product

I bought one of these to replace the durace 10 speed crankset. It fits in without any other modifications and takes about 15 -30 minutes. It is heavier then the durace but works very well.
It is 34-50, I just trimmed the front deraiuller adjustment screw slightly.
 

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I just took my second ride with my new FC-R700 crank and couldn't be happier. I'm running an Ultegra 9 spd rear (12/26), 50/34 front, a front derailleur, chain, and bottom bracket from the Ultegra 10 spd group. Don't know whether it's the upgrade to the new front derailleur or the chainrings on the crank setup, but it shifts remarkably quick and smooth. Instantaneous! And the only thing that would make the hills any easier would be a triple or a motor. The reviews are filled with people who say they have problems with shifting, dropped chains, etc. so I went with Shimano because I didn't want any hassles. And, I got exactly what I hoped for. I recommend it highly.
 

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What are the advantages, if any, of using a compact crank? My wife just upgraded my entire bike, including new paint job from Trek, new wheels...the works. She got me an Ultegra Compact Crank set and I want to know if I am going to lose any top-end speed.
 

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Still loving my compact

If you could push your biggest gear combination and max out your cadence before, then yes, you could have a decrease in top speed. I was running a 53/12 and even down a big hill have a little left rpm wise. So for me, the 50/12 combination has been just fine, the closer gear ratios have been great, and having a 34/26 low combination has been wonderful for those really steep hills we have here in Missouri. My only complaint is that I find that I have to shift between the small and large chainrings a lot more often due to the lower maximum speed resulting from the switch from a 39 to a 34 small ring up front. But, the setup shift so incredibly fast, it's really not an issue. I just have to remember the some of the speed I used to ride in my small chainring now requires a shirt to the big one.
 

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Gain at both ends with compact crank.

If your cassette is 11-23, you can gain both easier and harder peddling with a compact crank. :)
To see the numbers, go to the gears computer at sheldonbrown.com/gears. To understand why, just know that dropping from 53 to 50 on the large chain ring is more than compensated for by dropping from 12 to 11 on the cassette. Meanwhile, a 34 T chainring paired with a 23T cassette is still easier to peddle than a 39T chainring and a 25T cassette. You can gain on both ends. The risk is that some compact cranks don't work as well and the chain slips off due to the bigger change from 50 to 34 teeth when compared to the smaller change from 53 to 39.
 

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I have the FC R700 and like the other posters said, it shifts wonderful. I run a 25-12 and run out of gears on some of the downhills but never close on the flats. I was just in CO for the Bicycle Tour of CO and I ran out of gears just about everytime I went down, so I just jumped on a big guys wheel.
I am a stronger climber than most of the people I ride with and I enjoyed having a 25 on the rear for the CO ride, I needed no more gears. If the hills around your area are not and long, you maybe fine with a 23-11. Whole reason to have a compact is improve climbing ability so I personally will leave the 25 on.
The neg about this crank: if your into weight, most FSA carbon compacts are lighter.
Just one guys opinion, I have had the crank on for 4 months.
 

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I've put about 1000k on my set in the past two months and absolutely love it. The shifting is SUPER crisp compared to my old FSA setup - as Roadkill said it's instantaneous. Never missed a shift or dropped a chain and it doesn't complain even shifting on hills. Well worth the extra weight over the FSA IMHO.

g
 

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My old setup was Gossamer standard 53/39 x 27/12. In making the switch to the FC-R700 I now run 50/34 x 23/11. Gives me a higher high and lower low. Great spread - the only gears I'm missing vs. a standard spread are smack in the middle - I honestly don't notice any loss.

I'm sorry, I don't have any experience on FSA's compact cranks, but the quality of shfting in changing over to Shimano is huge! From what I hear Shimano can't be beat for shifting performance and based on my experience so far I'd whole heartedly agree.

Some things you buy for chache and less for the performance. The R700's are all about performance. I can honestly say they are worth every penny. Don't buy them for the looks (there are better looking cranks) or the weight (they're heavier than most by a few grams). If you're looking for a true upgrade in shifting performance and want a wider range without going triple, these are your ticket. I'd pay an extra $100 to hold on to the set I have.
 

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I just read the Velownew's (?) article on the Ultegra FC-700 review. It was glowing. I mean this is a real sleeper setup. They said it shifted flawlessly with 9 or 10-speed. Plus it weighs the same as a DA crank at 740 grams and is priced around $270 list to boot. It's a way cheaper compact setup compared to Campy.
 

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Warm Up 39 vs 34

I like to spin on warm up and recovery rides. It seems to me the 34 would limit this. Is that true? I ride an Ultegra Crank 39/53 now on a Tarmac Expert. I have visions of some mountain riding next year and think this crank and set up would be the perfect gearing...
 

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If I understand the question correctly the answer is - you would spin at a higher cadence with the compact during your warm up and recovery ride c/w the standard setup. Thus not hendering spinning.

My big draw to the compact has been the fact that I do not have to shift into the 34 very often.

I was in CO earlier this year doing the Bicycle Tour of CO. The compact in my opinion made it a lot easier.

Todd
 

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steel fan said:
I'm thinking of a compact Ultegra crankset on a new frame build-up. Any other feedback on this crank?

I think it sounds like a good compromise between a 53/39 and a triple.
I thought about going this route for the new bike I'm building, either the FSA SL-K compact or the Shimano compact crank, but I've decided to just go with a 12-27 rear cassette for now. In "Dura Ace" flavor, the 12-27 is only 27 grams heavier than the 11-23 so I don't feel like I am paying a significant weight penalty. I guess I will see about the slightly wider spacing amongst the gears when I get it built and actually get some riding time in.

On the subject of gearing, I found this article to be interesting and informative:

Bradley
 

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MisterAngular said:
I thought about going this route for the new bike I'm building, either the FSA SL-K compact or the Shimano compact crank, but I've decided to just go with a 12-27 rear cassette for now. In "Dura Ace" flavor, the 12-27 is only 27 grams heavier than the 11-23 so I don't feel like I am paying a significant weight penalty. I guess I will see about the slightly wider spacing amongst the gears when I get it built and actually get some riding time in.

On the subject of gearing, I found this article to be interesting and informative:

Bradley
27 grams = 0.95239692 oz.
 

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Holy significant digits, Batman!

DaveT said:
27 grams = 0.95239692 oz.
It's more like 0.952396973 ounces, but hey... who's counting? :p Then again it isn't meaningful to impute more significant digits (precision) than you started out with, so would be more appropriate to say 0.95 ounces. To me, a single ounce is not significant and many compact cranks weigh more than the Dura Ace 53/39T (when you take into account the weight of the corresponding BB), so in that scenario using the 11-23 cassette wouldn't even save weight.

Bradley
 

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MisterAngular said:
It's more like 0.952396973 ounces, but hey... who's counting? :p Then again it isn't meaningful to impute more significant digits (precision) than you started out with, so would be more appropriate to say 0.95 ounces. To me, a single ounce is not significant and many compact cranks weigh more than the Dura Ace 53/39T (when you take into account the weight of the corresponding BB), so in that scenario using the 11-23 cassette wouldn't even save weight.

Bradley
I was just making fun of weightweenieism, not that I don't practice it myself on occasions.
 
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