Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Bay Area, CA
Bikes: Well, there's 9 of them
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I'm no expert on this topic but have done a little bit of research and here's what I've learned:
o cross cranks seems to come in two varieties: 110 and 130 (or 135) BCD . BCD stands for "bolt circle diameter". With 130 or 135 BCD cranks you can use a 38 tooth as the smallest ring. A popular setup seems to be 38/48.
o With 110 BCD crankarms you can use a 34 tooth as your smallest chain ring. 34/46 ring combinations seem to be common.
o 110 BCD cranks are rare: TA Zephyr, FSA carbon compact, and older Ritchey Logics are some of the choices. However they are expensive (~ $200 - $300).
o The FSA Gossamer Cross, Truvativ Elita Cross, and Ritchey Cross V have nothing unique about them as cross cranks other than the chainrings. They generally have smaller than typical sized road rings (i.e. 38/48 vs 39/53). So you can easily convert a standard road crank to cross by swapping the rings if you're okay with a 38 tooth ring as your smallest. Otherwise opt for a 110 BCD crank.
BTW, Ritchey will have a new 110V (110 BCD) crankset out in early 2004. It should be less expensive than the gorgeous TA Zephyr or FSA carbon. IMHO those two are just too expensive to thrash in cross racing.