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  1. #1
    Senior Member Metro's Avatar
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    What's up with FSA Cranks?

    I just purchased from a clearing house an FSA Carbon Pro Team Issue crank set. I could not afford a $300 crank set at retail. It is compatible with Octalink bottom bracket. While researching the FSA technical buletins re: installation, I happened accross a faq that said basically that FSA no longer makes Octalink-compatible cranks.

    This seems to ring true because in my discussion with other cyclists, they seem suprised that I want to try to mount FSA on an Octalink bb. They say something like "Isn't FSA ISIS compatible". or "Are you sure it will fit your bottom bracket?".

    My question this: Does anyone know what's up with FSA and Octalink (not 'perfect together' any more). Why have they divorced? Shimano has a sizable market share. It would seem to FSA's advantage to make cranks compatible with Shimano, but they have discontinued. I have obviously purcased a clearance item. Why have they stopped manufacturing it? Is there some sort of defect with compatibility here? What have I gotten myself into? Anybody have any insights?

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    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metro
    I just purchased from a clearing house an FSA Carbon Pro Team Issue crank set. I could not afford a $300 crank set at retail. It is compatible with Octalink bottom bracket. While researching the FSA technical buletins re: installation, I happened accross a faq that said basically that FSA no longer makes Octalink-compatible cranks.

    This seems to ring true because in my discussion with other cyclists, they seem suprised that I want to try to mount FSA on an Octalink bb. They say something like "Isn't FSA ISIS compatible". or "Are you sure it will fit your bottom bracket?".

    My question this: Does anyone know what's up with FSA and Octalink (not 'perfect together' any more). Why have they divorced? Shimano has a sizable market share. It would seem to FSA's advantage to make cranks compatible with Shimano, but they have discontinued. I have obviously purcased a clearance item. Why have they stopped manufacturing it? Is there some sort of defect with compatibility here? What have I gotten myself into? Anybody have any insights?
    FSA use to offer octallink cranks.Now they don't( I think).End of story.I'm sure they would rather support their isis stuff rather than shimano, as only shimano offers octalink BB.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metro

    This seems to ring true because in my discussion with other cyclists, they seem suprised that I want to try to mount FSA on an Octalink bb. They say something like "Isn't FSA ISIS compatible". or "Are you sure it will fit your bottom bracket?".
    Get in with a better crowd that isn't nose pickers.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Metro's Avatar
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    My question is why? Is there something wrong with my Octalink-compatible crank set? Does this mean they have limited the warrantee on this particular crank? I will contact FSA and ask them.

    [Why have you forsaken me??]

  5. #5
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    FSA makes more money by selling you a BB as well as a crankset.
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    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metro
    My question is why? Is there something wrong with my Octalink-compatible crank set? Does this mean they have limited the warrantee on this particular crank? I will contact FSA and ask them.

    [Why have you forsaken me??]
    You may have no warranty depending on the circumstances of how you bought it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Trogon's Avatar
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    To actually answer your question, there is no problem with the FSA/Octalink interface. There are 10000s of them on the road, among citizens and among pros. I have two of them that I use with Ultegra BBs and they work just fine.


    They're simply shifting their market share to the newer, more popular external BB design, ala Shimano 10 as well as consolidating around their ISIS standard. I imagine they don't want to be bothered building and selling Octalink cranks if they don't have to.

    As far as warranty is concerned, talk to FSA.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Metro's Avatar
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    Thanks. I feel a lot better. I sent FSA an e-mail. I believe I am covered under warrantee. I purchased via Supergo.com (please forgive me for mail order, but there's no other way I can afford quality parts - However, I do support my local bike shop). Three year warantee on original owner. Problem is, how do I redeem it, if the parts are discontinuted? I guess I can redeem it in a different crank and bb setup (Isis).

  9. #9
    pnj
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    do not feel guilty about buying parts from mail order.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member squeegy200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trogon
    To actually answer your question, there is no problem with the FSA/Octalink interface. There are 10000s of them on the road, among citizens and among pros. I have two of them that I use with Ultegra BBs and they work just fine.


    They're simply shifting their market share to the newer, more popular external BB design, ala Shimano 10 as well as consolidating around their ISIS standard. I imagine they don't want to be bothered building and selling Octalink cranks if they don't have to.

    As far as warranty is concerned, talk to FSA.

    Great observation. I think Shimano also licensed the Octalink interface. Therefore, manufacturers would have to pay fees to use the technology and build compatible components. In contrast, the ISIS interface is an "open source" standard established by a consortium of component makers which I believe included Truvativ, Race Face, and Chris King.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Metro's Avatar
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    I just read a resonse from FSA. Unlike ISIS, Shimano has a strangle-hold on the Octalink technology. FSA is not in the business of selling Shimano bottom brackets (they make their own), so they no longer support the Octalink product. My cranks are fully covered. In the event of a warrantee claim, I don't know how FSA will replace a defective Octalink-compatible crank if they no longer stock them. Perhaps they will also offer me an ISIS bb with my claim.

    Thanks for all the help. Very enlilghtening.

    Always ride safe.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gabiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeegy200
    Great observation. I think Shimano also licensed the Octalink interface. makers .
    That's exactly what happened FSA got tired of paying a fee to Shimano in order to sell a crank that would fit there bottom bracket. If you noticed FSA is also coming out with a lot of cranks with an integrated BB which is suppose to be better. I have a Pro Carbon Elite Compact for Octalink and it works great.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabiker
    That's exactly what happened FSA got tired of paying a fee to Shimano in order to sell a crank that would fit there bottom bracket. If you noticed FSA is also coming out with a lot of cranks with an integrated BB which is suppose to be better. I have a Pro Carbon Elite Compact for Octalink and it works great.

    Do you think they're paying royalties to Shimano on those?
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    gabiker got it

    gabiker nailed the issue. Shimano owns the "Octalink" patent, although they did not invent it. When they acquired it, they marketed the daylights out of the name, hence everyone's automatically associating "Octalink" with "Shimano". FSA upped the ante with ISIS (10 splines, instead of 8), but ended up putting in smaller bearings which is what accounts for ISIS BB's crapping out so much easier than the Octalink BB's do.

    In the end, the "outboard bearings" took over due to the superior (read "more durable") design.

    I'm searching for an Ultegra Octalink BB, and a decent Octalink crank, to refurb an old 9-speed D/A road bike. The Ultegra BB's were bulletproof. The D/A BBs were lighter, but the bearings aren't sealed. Just FYI.

  15. #15
    cab horn
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    Octalink? Seriously?

    What is this 2004?
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Octalink? Seriously?

    What is this 2004?
    2005 (zombie thread)

  17. #17
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metro View Post
    In the event of a warrantee claim, I don't know how FSA will replace a defective Octalink-compatible crank if they no longer stock them. Perhaps they will also offer me an ISIS bb with my claim.
    Perhaps they will.

  18. #18
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seb71 View Post
    2005 (zombie thread)
    Well as long as the OP's not reading any more (hasn't posted in 6.5 years):




    I've still got Octalink DA on my main road bike... life's too short to ride crappy cranks.
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  19. #19
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trogon View Post
    To actually answer your question, there is no problem with the FSA/Octalink interface. There are 10000s of them on the road, among citizens and among pros. I have two of them that I use with Ultegra BBs and they work just fine.


    They're simply shifting their market share to the newer, more popular external BB design, ala Shimano 10 as well as consolidating around their ISIS standard. I imagine they don't want to be bothered building and selling Octalink cranks if they don't have to.

    As far as warranty is concerned, talk to FSA.
    If I remember ISIS was developed because Shimano didn't want to play nice with licensing rights, ie they were charging too much. So, several mfg's got together and came out with their version of Octalink. It's a moot point now because it's a dead standard now that everyone went to external BB's. Personally, I'd rather have a square taper. Good luck on the installation. I'm sure you'll do fine.
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    Octalink, YES, really!!! Only crankset's I've ever owned that were problem-LESS have been Octalink ones. I just got a NEW Ultegra BB on eBay, and they are notoriously bullet-proof. Just trying to "install and forget". I'm also running 9-speed Dura-Ace on the bike, just to help you understand the retro aspect. I also have a Cervelo P4 with SRAM Red/FSA Neo-Pro, and an S2 that I'm still debating Red or Dura-Ace for. Just the 9-speed Fuji Team is just my rainy-day bike.

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