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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 09-17-09, 01:10 AM   #1
H3llM4rine
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So, my old cranks are fallin' apart...

I have some 170mm that are falling apart. I thought I'd try some 165mm because pedal-clipping is so scary, and expensive; last time it happened I broke my cell phone.

Anyway, I want something strong (I'm a heavy guy), under $50, and it needs to use a square-taper BB. What's my best option?

I've been looking on eBay and I found some Shimano Ultegra SL, Orgin 8/Bulletproof, generic cranks, and some Sugino RD2 (though, these are 170mm, but I here they're good).

Anyway, I also want to know if I should worry about the BCD. (I have a 52t chainring.) I think it's supposed to be as minimal as possible but is something as high as 144 all right?

Thanks!
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Old 09-17-09, 01:03 PM   #2
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Also, does anyone have any experience with the BB that comes with that Ultegra. The seller calls it an "English" BB and it looks like it's attached to the right arm.
Another question: Does the BCD have anything to do with the Q-factor of a set of pedals?
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Old 09-17-09, 01:15 PM   #3
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I'm a heavy guy, too. I settled with the Sugino Messenger set. You can find them used and cheap with the matching bottom bracket (68x103mm) and they're a pretty good set at the mid level range. If you want to spend a little more and go with a different BB, get omniums.

Anyways, as far as your price range, Pake's and Origin 8's are decent. RD's have chainline issues, but I'd go with Sugino over them.
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Old 09-17-09, 01:24 PM   #4
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Thanks! Another questions, though...

What's the leeway on bottom bracket sizes? I wasn't looking to buy a new one, but I think that I'm at (--x108mm) or (--x113mm). That's kind of a bull number because I'm just trying to remember it off hand. The shop ordered it for me just saying it would work.

Also, should I be worrying about the BCD and does that add to Q-factor.
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Old 09-17-09, 01:40 PM   #5
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BCD and Q-factor are entirely different things. BCD is bolt circle diameter, which is the diameter of the circle around which the bolts that attach the chainring to the spider are on. Most track cranks are 144, most single speed and many road standard cranks are 130, Campagnolo road are 135, and compact and touring cranks are 110 (all in millimeters). Decent 1/8" chainrings can be bought most easily for 144mm bcd, with fewer options for 135 and 130.

Q factor is the length apart that the cranks place your pedals.

The Ultegra crank you linked to uses an external-bearing bottom bracket. It's a good crankset - modern, hollow spindle, very different (and very noncompatible) with the older standard of square-tapered BB/crank interfaces, which are what most of your other options you linked to are. "English" means it's English threaded, which is what most modern bikes are; other options are "Italian" and "French." It refers to the size and threading of the bottom bracket.

A lot of the midrange square-tapered cranks are basic, no-frills (/no-frills-necessary) cranks that will suit recreational purposes.
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Old 09-17-09, 01:46 PM   #6
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Just an FYI... that Ultegra crank you listed is starting at $25 and has 6 days left. It will sell for well above your price range, so you can rule those out.

As for what you SHOULD be looking at... I currently run Sugino XDs and they're just dandy. 165mm is easy to find, and they handle my size with no problems (I'm 6'2 180). They're also pretty cheap and can be had un-used in your price range.
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Old 09-17-09, 03:57 PM   #7
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queerpunk: Wow! I didn't even consider the BCD being that. For some reason I thought it had something to do with the width of the pedals, but I understand now. Thanks.

Anyway, does that mean that I may need to get a new chainring? Can someone help me find my current BCD? Right now I'm using a pair of Shimano cranksets -- FC-A050. When I look that up online I just find a .pdf in Japanese, so I'm not sure if it lists the BCD or not.

dsh: I checked out some XDs earlier and I am considering them, I just forgot to list them here. Thanks for the personal opinion. Also, I'm a bit bigger than that, at 235lbs. That really won't be too much of a problem though, right? (I'm sure most modern cranks will support my weight.)
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Old 09-18-09, 08:14 AM   #8
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Measure the distance from the center of one bolt to the center of an adjacent bolt, and multiply that by 1.7 - that is your BCD in millimeters. You'll need to get a new chainring if you buy a crank with a different BCD.
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Old 09-18-09, 02:53 PM   #9
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Perhaps you guys can help me out again.

I found the BCD size: it's 130mm. Any suggests for a good crank at that size *other* than the RD2? Most of everything else has been 110mm.

Thanks for everything.
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Old 09-18-09, 06:54 PM   #10
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130 is the norm.
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Old 09-18-09, 09:37 PM   #11
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I also use the Sugino XDs and like them. You can get them new with a chainring (46t for me) and in 165 for right around $50. I think I paid $55 shipped for mine. Now I'm using a Shimano Un54 BB 68x107 and my chainline is acceptable but not perfect. If you're infact running a 113 it might not be an acceptable chainline... with any of those cranks.
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Old 09-18-09, 09:42 PM   #12
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130 is the norm.
For road.
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Old 09-18-09, 09:42 PM   #13
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I also use the Sugino XDs and like them. You can get them new with a chainring (46t for me) and in 165 for right around $50. I think I paid $55 shipped for mine. Now I'm using a Shimano Un54 BB 68x107 and my chainline is acceptable but not perfect. If you're infact running a 113 it might not be an acceptable chainline... with any of those cranks.
Xds bah. 107mm is too long for a regular fixed chainline and shimano does not make a shorter one anymore.
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Old 09-21-09, 01:16 AM   #14
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I just lost an auction on RD2s. :(

I was bidding for some RD2s on eBay, but I ended up losing that auction--so I'm still taking suggestions for 165mm cranks with 130mm BCD.

What do you guys think about Pake Track cranks in comparison to Sugino RD Messengers?. I found some at what I think is a pretty good price ($55 and $50 respectively). I won't have to buy a new chainring (I'm too cheap for it right now), as they have 130 BCD. The 46t chainrings aren't attractive to me because I'm currently riding a 52t that I love.

Also, I'm not sure what my BB size is (I just know it's a UN54), but I took it off and this is the information I found:
BB-UN54
68
BC1.37 X 24
L <- D-H -> R

Last edited by H3llM4rine; 09-21-09 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 09-21-09, 07:22 PM   #15
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Old 09-21-09, 08:46 PM   #16
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Any forged 165mm crank will work, even if it doesn't say it's track specific (although with the way Ebay is, all cranks say 'track')

The BCD doesn't really matter, there is no real reason to limit yourself to 130. There are a lot of old sugino triples out there in 110 that make just dandy fixed gear cranksets once you remove two of the chainrings..
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Old 09-21-09, 09:19 PM   #17
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There are a lot of old sugino triples out there in 110 that make just dandy fixed gear cranksets once you remove two of the chainrings..
Thanks Fuzz2050. I'm actually using an old Shimano thriple; I just thought I might ask what the best 130 out there was so I could keep one chainring.
Does it not really matter that I try to keep with a crankset which has been marketed for fixed-gear bikes, or do they not really make them any more specialized, they just try to make an extra buck?
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Old 09-21-09, 09:31 PM   #18
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Also, I'm not sure what my BB size is (I just know it's a UN54), but I took it off and this is the information I found:
BB-UN54
68
BC1.37 X 24
L <- D-H -> R
One piece of info appears to be missing and that is your spindle width, measured in mm.

BTW I've had FMF (Flying Machine Factory) cranks on my fixed's for some years now with zero problems, and I s'pose zero street cred, and I weigh in at 270 lbs (yes, I do actually ride a fair bit).

Just my $.02
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