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  1. #1
    Fast+Bulbous thinktubes's Avatar
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    Thinking about upgrading to an outboard bearing crankset on a vintage frame...

    I've been running a Shimano 600 Tri-color crank on my Ciocc. I love the way the 600 looks and performs, but last weekend during a century, the left arm came loose and is now trashed.

    I'm now weighing the options for replacement. I don't really want to go with another square taper crank at this point.

    Searching around I found the Shimano FC-6600 Ultegra cranks which look good to my eye.

    A few questions:

    • Can outboard bearings be mounted on a C&V frame?
    • Can I mount the chain rings from my 8-speed system on these?
    • Can I just run the narrower 10 speed rings?


    Would like to hear from anyone running outboard cranks


  2. #2
    Senior Member Der_Kruscher's Avatar
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    Yes. Yes. Probably.

  3. #3
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    but they are so ugly
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  4. #4
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Fwiw, my mech tells me he like my old super record crank because all the other modern stuff he has to install is outboard bearings: disposable and they wear out fast, in his humble opinion. I heard many similar statemnt s around the web. You win some weight loss, lose some rebuildability and longevity. And they look like ****, honestly. Not worth it imho. If I were you I'd stick to square tapers and figure out at what point during installation you made an error.
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  5. #5
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
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    Outboard bearings are one of those inventions that solve a problem that doesn't exist. I often hear people talking about how square taper spindles are soooo flexy, blah blah...

    Outboard bearings ruin the clean lines of a vintage frame in my eyes.

    Besides... if you're putting out enough torque to twist your high quality square taper spindle, then you need to be leading out for Mark Cavendish!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member VeloBrox's Avatar
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    +1 on square-tapers being good with proper installation.

    I was amazed the first time I used a torque wrench to tighten down crank bolts according to factory specifications. 40Nm is waaay tighter than I would ever dream of torquing down anything by hand. Promptly reinstalled the cranks on all my bikes the same way - some were loose enough to definitely get a failure down the line.

    I would advice against just tightening crank bolts repeatedly - a full reinstallation is needed to get the proper torque. Oh and beewax or Locktite on the threads helps
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    I works just fine.






  8. #8
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    One of the other forums has a long thread complaining about the low quality of the bearings in their outboard systems. The conclusion seems to be that if you ride in the rain once, the bearings will soon die unless you pull everything out and replace or try to regrease the cartridge bearings. Make sure that you don't continue riding on anything that comes loose. Either carry lots of tools or a cell phone.

  9. #9
    Fast+Bulbous thinktubes's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Yeah, I have some reservations about doing this. While I don't think the Shimano cranks in the OP looks too bad, the current crop of compact cranks out there look bizarre and definitely would clash with a CV bike.

    Another concern is the Q-factor. That looks pretty wide on Mike A's Gazelle (nice bike!). I definitely need a narrow Q-factor.

    Agree that square taper cranks are fine, but this failure was a real PITA. It came loose right after a big climb at mile 32. I was able to limp along to the 50-mile rest stop and called the GF to collect me.

    I suspect that the tapers may have been bad on the cranks which I bought used. I used a torque wrench when I installed them, so I don't think that was the problem.

    My main worry is getting another set of bad cranks if I stick with vintage. I hate to worry about part failures when riding.

    In the mean time, I've robbed an octalink crank off another bike so I can have another go at the a century Sept. 9th.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mparker326's Avatar
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    Just get another left crank arm in the same length & install it properly. I had this happen to me once and when I look back on it, it was probably my fault during the install.

  11. #11
    Senior Member VeloBrox's Avatar
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    It's almost always the left arm that fails. I think it has to do with the different ways the two arms transmit torque. I guess the non-drive side arm together with the BB spindle and chainring radius form a much longer arm than the distance from the drive side pedal to the "pulling" end of the chainring, if that makes sense.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member ldmataya's Avatar
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    Integrated spindle cranks do solve a problem that does exist - namely the interface between the arm and the spindle. Notice why we are even having this discussion - an arm to spindle interface failed! We've all been there with square spindle failures. A square spindle interface can fail even if you do everything right.

    I've used all of the modern cranks, campy ultra torque, FSA/SRAM (left crank threads on), and Shimano (pinch bolt). All of those interfaces have mechanical advantages to square spindle if installed correctly. I've actually had the best luck with Shimano regarding installation, bearing quality, bearing replacement cost, and ease of use.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
    Outboard bearings are one of those inventions that solve a problem that doesn't exist. I often hear people talking about how square taper spindles are soooo flexy, blah blah...


    Besides... if you're putting out enough torque to twist your high quality square taper spindle, then you need to be leading out for Mark Cavendish!
    I have mounted Campagnolo alloy ultra-torque cranks on an otherwise classic bike to get a 50/34. They are Stiffer. You can notice it. You might have to upgrade your chain or fab very thin spacers between the rings. I went with a 9 speed chain and Ultra spaced freewheel. Look out of place? Perhaps. At least its alloy. I think carbon cranks would look odd. I have another vintage hot rod project, it will get dual pivot brakes and compact carbon cranks, painted to match the frame. I can always exchange parts back for the period correct concours judges of which there are hardly any anyway, especially on the West Coast. Meanwhile I will ride it more and have fun.

  14. #14
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Angelo View Post
    I works just fine.





    I think that crankset works nicely. Doesn't look out of place like the modern shimano cranksets that look like squid babies or something.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  15. #15
    Senior Member peugeot mongrel's Avatar
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    The spider on Shimano cranks is the same thickness from 6spd to at least 10spd so the spacing is from the thickness and offset in the rings. The cranks have different chainlines.


    I have a 8spd with square taper Arabesque, a 9speed with DA 7400 square taper, a DA 7700 9speed octalink and a Ultegra 6500 octilink running 10spd, all on 80s steel. The Arobesque is the only one that feels the least bit flexy to me.

    I'd like to see a pix of that Ciocc - I just got a challenged Ciocc frame that I'm going to build with 10spd Ultegra that I have.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
    I've been running a Shimano 600 Tri-color crank on my Ciocc. I love the way the 600 looks and performs, but last weekend during a century, the left arm came loose and is now trashed.

    I'm now weighing the options for replacement. I don't really want to go with another square taper crank at this point.

    Searching around I found the Shimano FC-6600 Ultegra cranks which look good to my eye.

    A few questions:

    • Can outboard bearings be mounted on a C&V frame?
    • Can I mount the chain rings from my 8-speed system on these?
    • Can I just run the narrower 10 speed rings?


    Would like to hear from anyone running outboard cranks

    Yes, outboard bearings work fine on a C&V Frame, I have run them on an old trek and an old cannondale

    Just use the 10 Speed rings, they work fine with an 8 speed chain. The ramps and pins on the 10 speed rings will significantly improve shifting.

    Q-Factor for the FC6400 crank you have now is 145mm. Q-Factor for the FC-6600 is 146mm.

  17. #17
    Fast+Bulbous thinktubes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peugeot mongrel View Post

    I'd like to see a pix of that Ciocc - I just got a challenged Ciocc frame that I'm going to build with 10spd Ultegra that I have.
    Here ya go - finish and decals are very rough, SLX, ride like a dream.


  18. #18
    Senior Member peugeot mongrel's Avatar
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    Very Nice! I like that red! I can't wait to see how mine rides! mm
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  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    I'm rebuilding an RB-1 with 6700. Outboard might be ugly to purists but I don't have much of a choice. It's unlikely I'll spend that much time staring at the cups while I ride

    I'm going with silver components and crank, with nitto handlebars and silver rims, so at least it'll look good if you squint.

  20. #20
    Fast+Bulbous thinktubes's Avatar
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    Update: Went for a quick 30-miler tonight to check out the Octalink cranks pirated from the Battaglin. Worked great!!!!! Noticed more stiffness, and still looks somewhat vintage.

    I think I'll just leave the octalinks on the Ciocc and bide my time until I find a left Tri-color crank for the Battaglin.

    Thanks for all the replies!

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