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Old 12-10-06, 04:24 PM   #1
indygreg
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New crank help

All,
I am new to road biking. I have a new bike - it was a very good deal . . . but I want to make a change. It is full DA, including crank. It is too much crank for me - I want to go with a compact.
This post is not seeking advice on if I should do this or not. It is not seeking any advice telling me that compacts are fads, not needed, or that anyone should be able to ride a full size double. I respect all that information but do not care.

I am looking at compacts. I plan on buying one and selling my DA to recoup some or all of my costs. I am looking at some FSA carbon or shimano Ultegra.

#1 any advice on cranks I am looking at or what I should be looking at

#2 what all will I need to get and how much to change it out. I am okay with some stuff so far (have done my own derailer adjustments, brakes, cable routing, etc - but this is probably more than I want to do. Should I get a new BB and sell my DA complete? I think as long as crank is shimano 10 speed compatible I should be okay as far as my derailers, etc.
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Old 12-10-06, 09:36 PM   #2
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I'm pretty happy with my Nashbar compact, although the chainrings that came with it are crap, so after about 1000 miles I'm spending the money I saved on new chainrings anyway, so FSA might be a better choice for only $60-70 more.

As for installing it yourself, it's not all that hard. You'll need a crank puller and the right size allen wrench (I think 6mm but not sure). You might need to shorten the chain but try it out first (if the rear derailleur doesn't bind up, you're probably fine).

If the new crank is a different type than your old one (square drive, ISIS, etc.) you will need a new bottom bracket, which means you'll also need the correct bottom bracket tool(s) and a large crescent wrench. I also recommend a torque wrench to avoid putting the bb on too loose or too tight. But ff they're the same drive, I would just keep the original bottom bracket to make the switch easier.

last and finally (I know you didn't really want this), I didn't get as much extra gearing out of my compact as I had hoped, so be prepared to look for a larger cassette too if you want to climb. Man or mouse, my knees can't handle the 34/23 up these hills! I will find out next week if a 29 fits on my derailleur.
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Old 12-10-06, 11:22 PM   #3
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It's potentially a lot cheaper and more effective to change the cassette than the crankset/BB.

Or do it right and go to a triple.
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Old 12-10-06, 11:26 PM   #4
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Going to a compact from the newer Dura Ace crank is easy. If you stick with Shimano Ultegra, you can use your existing derailleur. FSA recommends using their compact specific front derailleur with their compact crank. The Shimano compact works with a standard Shimano road derailleur. You also won't need a new bottom bracket if you stick with either FSA or Shimano, as they both use Hollowtech II bottom brackets. Personally, I think Shimano cranks are outstanding and would go with an Ultegra, as it is not a noticeable downgrade from Dura Ace and would save you a front derailleur.
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Old 12-11-06, 12:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMF
It's potentially a lot cheaper and more effective to change the cassette than the crankset/BB.

Or do it right and go to a triple.
The only problem with a triple is you need a new brifter, front derailleur, bottom bracket, and sometimes even a long cage rear derailleur. Too expensive, which is why I haven't switched. But I understand your opinion, as I would get a triple if I could go back in time and purchase my bike over again.
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Old 12-11-06, 07:18 AM   #6
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Triple is not an option. Not becuase I am against them or having one - I am just not about to replace that much DA equipment to get there.
Sounds like Ultegra is the way to go . . . keep most of my stuff and keep it simple. I will still look a little at FSA and how much a front D would cost me.
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Old 12-11-06, 09:33 AM   #7
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I doubt you'll need a new FD with the FSA. I ran compacts as a junior because of gear restrictions and never thought the change the FD. Same with my current compact which is similar to the FSA. But the Ultegra is nice stuff as well.
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Old 12-11-06, 10:30 AM   #8
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As someone already said, changing the cassette might be an easier option. You can get a 12-27 cassette, which would give you gearing almost as low as a compact.

The FC-R700 (ultegra-level compact) is a pretty good deal at about $200 on eBay. It weighs a bit more than the Dura Ace, but should be a pretty good crank.
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Old 12-11-06, 11:49 AM   #9
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I have a 12-27 cassette. Before you laugh, let me explain. I am a n00b and know I will get stonger (I am a runner and a swimmer, just not in bike shape yet). On my rides so far, which included some uphill into wind miles late on a ride this weekend when I was about totally spent) I have been okay with the bottom gears . . . but I used the 25 and 27 cogs with the little ring on the front. I have only gone into my big ring 'just to do it' at this point. My thought is that I am using my lowest gears now and not getting close to my tops . . . shouldn't I look to something more in the middle? In other words - I would rather not use my lowest gear on a ride. I know I am a long ways away from not having enough on the top end . . . just do not see me getting to that point - My focus is Triathlon.
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Old 12-11-06, 12:55 PM   #10
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No shame in what gearing you choose. I used to compete nationally, and have now been back on the bike for 8 months, and I am about to add a 13-29 cassette to my compact 50/34. I am going with these gears because I have started doing a lot of climbing, and sustained climbs at steep grades are murder on the knees unless you can keep the cadence up.

Anybody who argues your choice of gearing without knowing your strength, the grades of the hills you climb, your personal goals, etc. is a macho fool.
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Old 12-11-06, 01:19 PM   #11
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I bought a new Shimano R700 compact crank on craig's list and installed it on my cross bike. It replaced a CODA 53/39 crankset. I installed new cables and housings, and I moved the front derailleur (105 9x2) down to compensate. No problems with shifting at all, and I'm happy with the gearing.
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Old 12-11-06, 03:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indygreg
In other words - I would rather not use my lowest gear on a ride. I know I am a long ways away from not having enough on the top end . . . just do not see me getting to that point - My focus is Triathlon.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't most triathlon courses pretty flat? For tri, then, you'd want tall gearing, even if you're not there now. Why not look at a compact now and keep the DA crank for later?

You can get a Ritchey for $70 on eBay, but it needs an Octalink BB ($30-60 or so). All your other options seem to be in the $200 range.
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Old 12-11-06, 03:35 PM   #13
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whats the difference between a compact double and a regular double?
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Old 12-11-06, 03:42 PM   #14
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Good point on keeping the DA crank if I get a compact.

The difference is 5 teeth on the small ring (5 teeth smaller) and like 2 on the big. The info is out there, I am just not able to grab it at this second
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Old 12-11-06, 04:32 PM   #15
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53/39 std versus 50/34 R700.

I wouldn't sell the spare parts, especially DA stuff.
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