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  1. #1
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    New Shimano Compact crank and BB?

    Can anyone help me here? I want to change my 9speed Ultegra 53/39 crank to the new new Shimano compact crank. Can I use the same bottom bracket and/or cups or do I need something different? If so, what do I need?
    Thanks,
    Tom

  2. #2
    Senior Member juicemouse's Avatar
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    That would require a new bottom bracket. The new compact crank uses an external bottom bracket design that Shimano calls Hollowtech II. The crank reportedly does not ship with the bottom bracket; you have to buy them separately. FSA MegaExo bottom brackets (and possibly other brands) work too.
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    Shimano Compact for 9sd??

    I have been thinking of doing the same thing having just bought a bike that came with new 9spd ultegra. However the shimano website lists the new compacts compatability as 10spd only. I emailed Shimano in Australia and was told that indeed the cranks could not be used with 9spd. I was told that a 9spd specific crankset was on the drawing board for 2007 (due later this year). The disapointing aspect of this was that it was planned, at this stage, to be Tiagra quality rather than Ultegra. Though the person who replied to my question felt that with the oversize axle and the externalbottom bracket system it would still be an upgrade over 9spd Ultegra in his opinion. I don't know about that.

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    Did they say why won't it work with 9-speed? AFAIK, the spacing between the chainrings of 10-speed and 9-speed cranks is almost identical.

    At worst, you would have to use a 10-speed chain which will also work with your 9-speed cassette.

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    Just put one on my 9 speed Ultegra last week and so far problems. Just changed out the bb and crank and lowered the front derailleur and I was good to go

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by snow1
    I have been thinking of doing the same thing having just bought a bike that came with new 9spd ultegra. However the shimano website lists the new compacts compatability as 10spd only. I emailed Shimano in Australia and was told that indeed the cranks could not be used with 9spd. I was told that a 9spd specific crankset was on the drawing board for 2007 (due later this year). The disapointing aspect of this was that it was planned, at this stage, to be Tiagra quality rather than Ultegra. Though the person who replied to my question felt that with the oversize axle and the externalbottom bracket system it would still be an upgrade over 9spd Ultegra in his opinion. I don't know about that.
    Sounds like BS to me. There's no reason why the current R700/Ultegra compact wouldn't work with 9s (or even 8s, etc.) provided it is installed and adjusted properly.
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    "Hillrider" - asked "Did they say why won't it work with 9-speed? AFAIK, the spacing between the chainrings of 10-speed and 9-speed cranks is almost identical.

    At worst, you would have to use a 10-speed chain which will also work with your 9-speed cassette."

    Know the only information they gave was what I've pasted below. Novices like me tend to listen to the manufacturers. What I can't understand is why they would tell people certain non specific system combinations won't work properly if it can be clearly demonstrated that they do in practice?

    "Thanks for your inquiry.

    Both of the cranksets from the Ultegra 10-speed group (FC-6600
    Conventional and FC-R700 Compact) are 10-speed specific. The chainrings
    on these cranks not suitable for use with 9-speed chains or drivetrains.

    There is a 9-speed specific compact road crank in the pipeline, but
    this is a 2007 model year product which isn't expected until late this
    year..."
    Last edited by snow1; 04-16-06 at 06:58 PM.

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    "Mattlikesbikes" said - "Just put one on my 9 speed Ultegra last week and so far problems. Just changed out the bb and crank and lowered the front derailleur and I was good to go"

    That sounds great. Is there any chain rubbing? I noticed that Shimano warn of this possiblity. Did you consider any other possibilities like Ritchey WCS 110V?
    Last edited by snow1; 04-16-06 at 06:54 PM.

  9. #9
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    The manufacturer is always going to say they make components to work specifically together and you deviate at your peril. First they want to sell new stuff. Second, they want to cover the contingency that someone will really screw up the mix-and-match and blame them.

    As I said, if you use a 10-speed chain, it is guaranteed to work with the crank and will work with a 9-speed cassette.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by snow1
    What I can't understand is why they would tell people certain non specific system combinations won't work properly if it can be clearly demonstrated that they do in practice?
    I will give you one guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZachS
    I will give you one guess.
    Yeah, but what is the point denying reality? Either it works or it doesn't. I did notice that Ritchey make their compact which fits 9spd under license form Shimano ...? The advantage of theirs is you don't need to change the bottom bracket when fitting to Shimano 9 spd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snow1
    Yeah, but what is the point denying reality? Either it works or it doesn't. I did notice that Ritchey make their compact which fits 9spd under license form Shimano ...? The advantage of theirs is you don't need to change the bottom bracket when fitting to Shimano 9 spd.
    Well yeah - but 8 speed cassettes, friction shifting, fender clearance, steel frames, leather saddles, conventional wheels, cup and cone hub and bottom bracket bearings, etc. 'work' perfectly well. It's all hype.

    Of course, there's nothing wrong with having or wanting fancy new components, they are very nice, but don't fool yourself into thinking that they're groundbreakingly different than anything else from the last 40 (and some would say 100) years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 'nother
    Sounds like BS to me. There's no reason why the current R700/Ultegra compact wouldn't work with 9s (or even 8s, etc.) provided it is installed and adjusted properly.
    I can't tell if this is still focused on the 9 sp BB with the new compact crank or if it's looking at the R700 compatibililty with the entire 9sp group. I'm in the middle of putting on the new compact crank and it absolutely will not work with a 9sp BB because the spindle is intergrated into the crank requiring the external bearing cups. Which I suppose if your spending $200+ on a new crank another $30 isn't going to break you. Besides the BB everyone I've spoken to has said that it should work fine with 9sp components.

    If your doing the job yourself your going to have to buy a new tool to install the BB and crank.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZachS
    Well yeah - but 8 speed cassettes, friction shifting, fender clearance, steel frames, leather saddles, conventional wheels, cup and cone hub and bottom bracket bearings, etc. 'work' perfectly well. It's all hype.

    Of course, there's nothing wrong with having or wanting fancy new components, they are very nice, but don't fool yourself into thinking that they're groundbreakingly different than anything else from the last 40 (and some would say 100) years.
    while i agree with everything you said in your first statement, i would have to disagree with your second statement. the DA 10 speed hollowtech 2 crankset/bb is vastly stiffer and lighter than an old cup and cone square taper bb. hop on one and sprint up a couple hills and tell me it's not. STI/or dual control shifters did not exist 40 years ago, they most definitely ARE groundbreakingly different than downtube or bar end shifters. shifters on the brake levers have made cycling much more enjoyable and rewarding for many more people.

    i'm just as much a retro grouch as anyone else, i love my bar end shifters, steel frames, cup and cone hubs, and conventional wheels because they just plain work. but to say that modern cycling components offer no advantages over the components available 40 years ago is akin to an ostrich sticking it's head in the sand.

    true, not everyone NEEDS the lightest, stiffest fanciest parts out there, but honestly, as a professional mechanic, new stuff works better, feels smoother, and is lighter.

    as far as a compact crank is concerned, in my opinion, they are for people who need a triple, but are too vain to put one on their bike. ride the bike that suits your needs and means.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneTinSloth
    while i agree with everything you said in your first statement, i would have to disagree with your second statement. the DA 10 speed hollowtech 2 crankset/bb is vastly stiffer and lighter than an old cup and cone square taper bb. hop on one and sprint up a couple hills and tell me it's not. STI/or dual control shifters did not exist 40 years ago, they most definitely ARE groundbreakingly different than downtube or bar end shifters. shifters on the brake levers have made cycling much more enjoyable and rewarding for many more people.
    Which is to say 'they are very nice,' which I agree with. But the lack of stiffness (and are they really lacking anything but a stiff feeling? I wonder how many degrees from 180 even the most noodly traditional bb lets the cranks deflect...) in traditional BB's didn't keep anybody off their bikes or prevent them from setting speed records which still stand today. and do you really think that a hollowtech 2 BB 'works better' than a phil?

    maybe our definitions of 'groundbreaking' are different, but i'd still put brifters in the 'nice and convenient' category.

    and using downtube or barcon shifters may seem unenjoyable to the uninitiated, it certainly seemed that way to me when I was younger, but you and I both know that 99% of the enjoyment of riding a bicycle comes from having components that do what they're supposed to do when they're supposed to do it thereby allowing you to have a nice ride.

    I have no idea what the actual numbers are, but I'll bet that the % of the population who got into cycling during the 70's boom isn't too different than the % of the people who are today... and I'll bet that the distance/frequency/long-term viability of riding isn't substantially different between then and now.

    And what exactly do you mean by 'rewarding'?....

    Anyway, I don't have any problem with technological development and the early adopters who buy into it hook, line, and sinker... without them, there would be no development at all and our fixed gears wouldn't even have aluminium rims or clincher tires. Today's real advances will eventually trickle down into the used market and realistic price ranges, and I'll have no problem using them. And the market will likewise provide alternatives to technologies of more amgibuous benefit - I don't have any use for brifters myself, and there is nothing that forces me to use them. Grant Petersen didn't set Rivendell up as a charity, after all. And if I want a nice lugged steel frame, I have scores of options.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneTinSloth
    as far as a compact crank is concerned, in my opinion, they are for people who need a triple, but are too vain to put one on their bike. ride the bike that suits your needs and means.
    I swear people who say things like this are the same people who give others the impressions roadies are snobs.

    Why would someone put on a triple crank, change the front and rear derailleurs, shifters and new chain when just changing the crank will give them the 2 extra gears they want? It's a lot more cost effective than adding an additional ring and a bunch of gears they'll never use. I think it's a smart decision for most vs. "vainity".

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    I posed the question of compatibility (Shimano compact with 9spd) to Sheldon Brown and he has responded that the compact cranks could probably be used with a 9 speed chain and certainly with a 10 speed. But he suggested considering a customised cassette that Harris Cyclery make. 13,14,15,17,19,21,24,27,30 to achieve the gear advantages with less cost than replacing the cranks and bottom bracket.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by snow1
    "Mattlikesbikes" said - "Just put one on my 9 speed Ultegra last week and so far problems. Just changed out the bb and crank and lowered the front derailleur and I was good to go"

    That sounds great. Is there any chain rubbing? I noticed that Shimano warn of this possiblity. Did you consider any other possibilities like Ritchey WCS 110V?
    I only put a few hundred miles on it so far but I have not noticed any chain rubbing but then again I was not really paying too much attention to it. But I will say it has been shifting very smoothly

    The reason I went with the Shimano over the other brands is I read they work better (less dropped chains) and I like the way it looks

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by azwhelan
    I swear people who say things like this are the same people who give others the impressions roadies are snobs.

    Why would someone put on a triple crank, change the front and rear derailleurs, shifters and new chain when just changing the crank will give them the 2 extra gears they want? It's a lot more cost effective than adding an additional ring and a bunch of gears they'll never use. I think it's a smart decision for most vs. "vainity".
    my statement is based on talking to customers in my shop about it when they're buying a new bike that has a triple on it and they want to put on a compact. most of the time it's something along the lines of "i don't want people to think i'm a wuss." and then i point out that 80%+ of the riders around here are riding triples, and the other 20% probably won't care. case in point: i have an older customer who has taken his stock bike with a standard double, put on a compact crank, MTB RD and an 11-34 cassette to avoid getting a triple. when we suggested that maybe he should get a triple, he balked at that. i've got another guy who's swapped his standard double out for a compact, and in the span of two months has bought two new DA cassettes, 12-25, and 12-27. when he came in for the 12-27, i was going to suggest getting a compact, only to find he already had it, both of these guys should be on triples. i'm not going to get in anyone's face about their choice of crankset, but when it's obvious people are choosing a compact over a triple for reasons of vanity/weight weeniness instead of practicality, that's when i'm going to make the suggestion that they seriously consider putting their vanity aside and doing what's best for them.

    when you put on a compact crank, you will, in most cases, have to also change the front derailleur as well, and even after that, it may not work very well the jump from a 50t ring down to a 34t is also enough to create the need for a longer cage RD, so that usually gets changed as well and if you're putting it on a bike that's already a triple 10 speed setup, you will have to change that front shifter as well.

    a triple will almost always shift more reliably than a compact. i don't see any reason for changing the chain, when putting a triple crank on a bike, you only have to change one shifter with the new shimano 10 speed groups, and with 9, you only had to change the RD, BB, FD and crank. if the chain needs to be shorter, you make it shorter, if it needs to be longer, you make it longer same with a compact.

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