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  1. #1
    One Less Car.
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    Crankset? Does it matter?

    I'm currently building my first fixie and fishing around for some deals. About the cranksets, does it really matter? I've seen sugino 75s on some people's bikes, and they cost around $200+, whereas the 'Bulletproof' crank cost around $40 (w/o Chainring). As a newbie, I don't think I want to drop that much money on something like the Sugino 75. And if it really does make a difference, then I might even consider Sugino RD. I am not going to compete in any races, I'm just building for road use (commuting).

    ...same thing with seatpost. They're just seatpost! I know carbon shaves the weight a bit and dampens the bumps, but honest, that's what the saddle is for.

  2. #2
    De-Couriered
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    Highly recommend the bulletproof crankset. Really good value for the money. You should do great with those.
    ~If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.~

  3. #3
    shoot up or shut up. isotopesope's Avatar
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    it's your bike and your wallet. it only matters to you.

  4. #4
    Radio Bemba 00.0 EnLaCalle's Avatar
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    I hear you. It's frustrating to have to spend so much money on your parts, but the truth is (overpriced or not) that there is a difference in quality (most of the time...)
    It's like comparing a BMW to a Hyundai. Both will get you to where you're going, both can reach the same speed. The controls work the same. But there is definitely a difference in quality, durability, workmanship, efficiency, etc.

    PS- sorry about the car analogy, just the first thing that came to mind

  5. #5
    Gone, but not forgotten Shiznaz's Avatar
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    My cheap cranks exploded and almost got me killed. I buy quality from now on, end up being cheaper in the long run.
    I'm biking across North America on the Internet!
    http://thedoublecross.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    . monkey's Avatar
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    I've been running the Sugino RD's on my beater fixie for a while. They're solid, and not too expensive.

  7. #7
    roll'em high shants's Avatar
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    just a note: in my experience, compared to the sugino 75s, the sugino rds have a /lot/ of flex. i notice it a lot when doing trackstands, backwards circles, etc.

  8. #8
    One Less Car.
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    i heard that 'bulletproof' were solid cranks, like really solid. Anyone with an indepth testimonials with these cranks? I already feel like I should buy everything cheap before I try out the fancy stuff just because newbies should try out the low-end stuff just to get a feel for everything.

    Now I need to search for some wheels, chain, lockring, pedals. $$$

  9. #9
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    I think the IRO crank is around $80.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  10. #10
    BIG RING Bikeophile's Avatar
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    Its true, you can go either route..The budget route or the high end route...personally I have done the budget way and now that I can afford it, I don't skimp...

    BUT if there is a place where I would look for quality even on a budget its the drivetrain. Wheels roll...better wheels roll smoother...as long as the frame is solid...its a frame...some are stiffer, more comfy, more responsive...but still a frame...

    But a drivetrain...its the soul of the fixie in my opinion...Especially with a fixie (and double if brakeless) you need to make sure your drivetrain is solid...I am super careful/paranoid with mine...the last thing you need is something to fail on your crank or cog on a descent with no brakes..

    I don't know much about the bulletproof ones...but for $40 I would be a little skeptical about its longevity..

    I have heard decent things about the IRO cranks for a middle of the range type deal. We ordered one in recently to test it for ourselves before we start selling them. NOTE. The IRO Cranksets are 3/32" not the typical 1/8" of true track cranks.

    Miche and Sugino75's are excellent mid range, durable cranksets. You can't go wrong with them really, and in my opinion worth the money...

    Although lovely you don't need to hit the Campy or the Dura Ace type range to get good quality...Mind you, these are the shiznitz!

  11. #11
    King of the Hipsters
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    Cheap - Light - Strong

    Pick two.

    Reportedly, a pound on the bike equals seven pounds on the rider's body.

    How much does it cost to take a pound off of a bike?

    $500?
    $750?
    $1000?

    That pound and the dollars get spread out all over the machine.

    The weight comes off incrementally, some from the frame, some from the respective components.

    A Shimano Dura Ace crankset costs $150 more than a Sugino 75.
    That $150 buys a lighter crankset, possibly more stiff and at least as strong.

    I presently ride a Bianchi Pista with a Sugino RD crankset.
    I don't notice the flex.
    I do notice the money I saved and continue to save because I feel OK about putting cheap chainrings on a cheap crank.

    When it comes time to build my dream machine, probably around a Mercian frame, I will buy the best and lightest crankset I can afford, probably a Dura Ace.

  12. #12
    roll'em high shants's Avatar
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    thank god that it's finally been determined that dura ace is the "shiznitz!" haha... i cannot wait until the groupo that i picked up on a GT track bike comes in so that i can put it on the keirin frame that's in transit.. this bike is going to be so outrageous.

  13. #13
    Play all day
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    I've been using bulletproof 165 cranks on my fixie since February and have ridden a few hundred miles on them. I've had no problems with them at all. I like the 110 BCD of the bulletproof's too, because i can use NOS bmx chainrings that sell for under $15 on ebay. they're super stiff, which makes sense since they look so beefy. What I didn't like was the bold bulletproof logo running down the length of the arm, so I took some of my wife's nail polish remover and the logos wiped off like cleaning my kitchen counter. I'm glad I didn't put the money down for some track specific cranks, since I'm riding only commuting on the bike and riding around town.

  14. #14
    jack of one or two trades Aeroplane's Avatar
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    My spiderless (probably el cheapo) Suginos got ruined by a poorly installed pedal, so I just ordered some new Sugino AC130's for $20 from www.chucksbikes.com. I'll report on how well they do when they arrive. They've got Shimano 105's and Ultegra's for under $100 too, though, and those are quality goods.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Irwin Goldstein
    Men should never ride bicycles. Riding should be banned and outlawed. It is
    the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion.

  15. #15
    SuperstitiousHyperrealist jinx_removing's Avatar
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    If you are going the budget route I would not go with any off-the-shelf cranks at all. I would look for a set of used Shimano 600 or Ultegra road doubles on eBay. They usually go for around $40(the price of the Bulletproofs) and you get something that was at one point, top of the line.

    IMO the Sugino RD's and the IRO crankset are a ripoff in comparison and you get two rings out of the deal in most cases when you buy the road double. I'm sure they are all decent products but why spend the extra money?

    BTW, Shimano road doubles mate pretty well with a 107mm Shimano UN-53 bottom bracket for that elusive track chainline.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    You can pass Campy down to the grandchildren or resell them for as much as you paid 20 years from now. In some cases Campy components become collectors' items.

  17. #17
    dc pirate, 4evah. chimblysweep's Avatar
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    i actually initially built my surly with whatever-i-could-afford parts-- crappy used stuff mostly. My chainline was laughable. My cranks were nasty used Deore mtb cranks. My front wheel was probably meant for a hybrid. Hey, it rolled.

    Then I fell in love with the bike, and returned the love. The switch to Sugino 75's was definetely a worthwhile investment-- improved handling, smoother pedalstroke, overall just nice. Switching wheelsets was worth it, too.

  18. #18
    Senior Member the pope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cox
    ... Reportedly, a pound on the bike equals seven pounds on the rider's body...
    Where did you get that mojo?

  19. #19
    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shants
    thank god that it's finally been determined that dura ace is the "shiznitz!" haha... i cannot wait until the groupo that i picked up on a GT track bike comes in so that i can put it on the keirin frame that's in transit.. this bike is going to be so outrageous.
    did you "win" that GT pulse on ebay yesterday? the one with the high flange DA hubs, and the Zipp disc?
    if so, what's your plan for the frame?

  20. #20
    One Less Car.
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    I think I'm going to go through the budget way. One of the reasons is that I want to know what low-end components feel like. How would I know how Dura-Ace feels like if I never had anything else to compare it with? I think I made my decision with the 'Bulletproof' cranks because from what I hear they're bad-ass and solid (hence the name). When I feel hungry for more speed, I'll look for upgrades.

    About the wheels, I was thinking about buying a rear wheel made for fixed gear (track wheels) and the front wheels be road wheels (bought from performancebike or something). You think I should do that or just buy the damn wheelset?

  21. #21
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    I'm perfectly happy with el cheapo bmx cranks.

  22. #22
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    Please. I think the performance differences between a $40 and a $200 crankset are negligible.

    If I were building a semi-budget bike like you are Mr. ChinIro, I would spend the least on the front wheel, headset, crankset and ring. There isn't much difference between a $20 alu seatopst and a $200 carbon one; they both hold your seat.

    I wouldn't skimp on a rear wheel or cog though.

  23. #23
    Senior Member brunning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woof
    You can pass Campy down to the grandchildren or resell them for as much as you paid 20 years from now. In some cases Campy components become collectors' items.
    this is true.

    factoring in inflation, you can probably end up selling them as much as you paid for them in ten years, even quite used (assuming the demand is still there, of course). 70s and 80s campy track cranks on ebay go for $175-225.

    assuming you can get them close enough together with a narrow bottom bracket, cheap ones will probably work fine. personally, i like nice cranks. i have a set of dotek cranks on my SS bike and the high tread ("Q") factor of this crankset really makes itself evident when comparing it with my sugino 75-equipped fixie.

  24. #24
    Drunken Harmonica Band votedean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeroplane
    My spiderless (probably el cheapo) Suginos got ruined by a poorly installed pedal, so I just ordered some new Sugino AC130's for $20 from www.chucksbikes.com. I'll report on how well they do when they arrive. They've got Shimano 105's and Ultegra's for under $100 too, though, and those are quality goods.
    I have those AC130's, and seriously, they rule for 20 bucks. Don't let that price fool you...I've been rockin them for at least a month now, with zero complaints. The driveside crank and pedal took the business end of a wreck the other day and they're unphased.

  25. #25
    King of the Hipsters
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    Shants wrote:

    "...thank god that it's finally been determined that dura ace is the 'shiznitz!'..."

    I don't know that anyone has in fact determined that.

    I do know only Campagnolo and Shimano publish the weights of their respective track components on line.
    This tells me they each have a lot of confidence that the Record and the Dura Ace line of track components represent the lightest available.
    Campagnolo, however, publishes a caveat against using their track components on the street and Shimano does not.
    What does that mean?
    I don't know.
    For me, though, it means that Shimano produces track components as light as those produced by Campagnolo (and lighter), and Shimano publishes no warnings about using Dura Ace Track components on the street.
    Let the reader interpret that for himself.

    My Pista weighs a hair over 18 pounds with Sugino RD cranks.
    I get a kick out of seeing people's faces when they pick it up, and then again when they find out how much I paid for it.
    I love my Pista.
    I love my Pista's Sugino RD cranks.
    I love having three chain rings for my Sugino RD cranks and still having money in my pocket.
    I figure it would cost me at least $1000 to take another pound off my Pista: $62.50 per ounce, the price of two Sugino chain rings.
    I imagine with $1000 I could buy two Pistas.

    Emotionally, though, I would love to have a custom Mercian with all Campy components.
    Mercian, on its web site, clearly prefers Campy components.
    If Mercian would endorse Campy track components on the street, I'd save up the extra nickels and dimes to do it, even though it would double the price of the bike.
    Of course, this assumes I even live another year to my 60th birthday, and that my wife and I both have jobs and creek don't rise.
    In this life, I won't have another opportunity to build and buy a bike like this.

    I could get into a Nagasawa with Hatta and Dura Ace components, but I don't have that kind of money.
    I wonder how much difference I would see and feel between a $2000 Mercian, a $3500 Nagasawa, and a $550 Bianchi Pista.

    Like I said, I love my Pista (as I know I would an IRO).
    How could it get any better?

    Regarding the comment about one pound on the bike equaling seven pounds on the body, my son has several coaches who competed in the Olympics, not as bicyclists but as runners who cross-trained on bicycles.
    He got it from them and I got it from him.

    Incidentally, it would not surprise me to learn that here in Bend we have the highest percentage of Olympic athletes of any community in America or the world.
    So many professional and Olympic athletes live, work and retire here, it boggles the mind.
    Last edited by Ken Cox; 06-08-05 at 03:31 PM. Reason: spelling

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