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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 10+ year old aluminum road bike (Raleigh R600) with 105 square taper cranks - I got the bike 2 months ago with essentially no use prior to me - mint condition. The cranks are172.5 length and very high gear. I've been shopping to get a compact 175 crank. Should I be shopping for a square taper crank or is there reasonable justification to use this as an opportuntiy to upgrade the bottom bracket to one of the more modern set ups? If so, which one? external? octalink? ISIS?

If it maters; This bike is my commuter in all weather conditions. I ride 100-200 miles per week and I'm a 240 pound strong rider.
 

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It's a case of price vs. wear.

Price would be new chainrings vs. compact crankset (+BB unless you can find a square taper compact) vs. you making the most of the current setup. Wear kinda explains itself.

Every current BB setup works well enough. Hollowtech II, ISIS, External...etc. My recommendation is to attempt to further "develop" with the current setup before dropping coin on something different. It can be argued that nothing new will be much of an upgrade (beyond placebo) until you can conquer your own setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not a novice rider looking for cool whistles and bells without knowing what I have. How do I further "develop" my current setup? I ride daily like there's no tomorrow and I want a new crank. I don't have to wear everything out before changing parts. I ride not only for transporation but also as a hobby. Upgrading and tweaking my ride is part of the fun of it.

I guess I should rephrase my question.

When I put on a new crank, should I go ahead and install a modern (and more versitile for future switches) bottom bracket while I'm at it? Are there any compact square taper cranks?
 

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Militant commuter
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Any crankset with the 110mm bolt circle diameter is considered a "compact". Sugino makes a couple models for square taper, as do others...you'll have to do some hunting for them, though.

I'd consider going to a modern external BB (Hollowtech II or the like) -- gives you way more options for cranksets.
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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backwards

So, when you change cranks, you'll need a bottom bracket with appropriate spindle length for your new crank, to give you the right chainline.

External-bearing BB's don't tend to last as long as the integrated, cartridge-type BB's, but they are inexpensive and easy to install.

The compact double thing is relatively new, so most of those cranks will accept external-bearing style cranksets, whether Shimano Hollowtech II, SRAM/Truvativ GXP, or others.

I'd probably steer away from ISIS standards. These were the latest deal a few years ago, but are becoming harder to find.
 

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Adventure Seeker
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Why not get a newer cassette with different gears? Easier to do, and a 175 vs. a 172.5 won't benefit you at all.
 

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Argentius said:
External-bearing BB's don't tend to last as long as the integrated, cartridge-type BB's, but they are inexpensive and easy to install.
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This really applies if you ride your bike in less than ideal weather. The water seems so find its way in much easier than other BB's. I've burned through a couple sets on my winter bike even with keeping that area drained afterwards. Since it always seems to happen 30-40 miles from home and you don't always notice it right away, I've got some nice grooves on my crank spindle. I finally sucked it up and bought a Chris King BB so I could keep pumping grease into it.
 
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