Singlespeed & Fixed Gear - Are all Dura Ace cranks made the same?
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Just curious if every Dura Ace crankset ever made was cold-forged. In other words, on the basis of strength and rigidity, are NOS D/A cranks the same quality as new school ones? (well, maybe not the newest ones, but you get the idea).
01-30-07, 07:49 PM
You should avoid the green ones; they flex a LOT.
OK, forget about the green ones. Any opinions?
No. The current ones use a much more sophisticated multi-step forging process and are significantly stiffer than even the 7600 (square taper drive) ones. Plus, Shimano has improved dramatically the handling of stress risers so the breakage rate has gone down practically to zero. Old Dura Ace and Sugino were like old Campy Nuovo Record -- they tended to break a lot (and I'm talking about crank arms snapping at the spider or at the pedal threads). I can't think of a current DA track crankset I've ever seen, regardless of the crash, that was even bent, much less broken. The 10-pitch Dura Ace were an interesting experiment in forging technologies and improved alloys and were actually stiffer than cranksets that preceded and followed it, but then you have to deal with a component group where every part is incompatible with any currently available equipment.
Short version: If you want reliability and stiffness, go with the current version. Nothing compares, especially older Dura Ace. At each point in time, Dura Ace had some of the best stuff out there, but computer-enhanced design, better alloys, better forging methods, and a greater sensitivity to component failures has improved everyone's equipment. Dura Ace was, and still is, the stifffest and most reliable equipment at the track. Go to a World Cup event and count the DA cranksets -- probably 90+% of the national and pro teams use Dura Ace and that isn't a sponsorship thing.
I've been itching to toss a new generation DA road crank (hollowtech, external BB) on a FG. That thing looks ridiculously stiff, light, and has the OS outboard bearings. Probably have to run my ring on the inside. The horror!
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