Gear Combo Guru
Join Date: May 2007
Bikes: road, commuter/tourer, hardtail MTB, touring tandem, cargo, folder
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Shimano releasing two new tandem cranksets and wider-range road cassette
Amongst the recent release of new 10-speed Tiagra and Deore groupsets, Shimano had various other things to show. The UK-based road.cc
website included the following comment in their report:
"Tandeming gets some love too ... with two new chainsets - we'll post some more details on them asap."
I'm eagerly awaiting those details. I can only assume that this means they will finally release a tandem crankset (chainset for the Brits) that uses an external bearing BB, and so give FSA some competition. The two different models could mean one with hollow cranks (like 105 and above; stiffer and lighter) and one without (like Tiagra and below, and like the FSA Gossamers), or it could mean different lengths of the integrated axle to achieve different chain-lines (especially because Shimano have always worked closely with Santana, and so may want to have a version that will work with their non-standard 160mm rear hubs). I'm almost certain that neither model will have carbon cranks, they will all be alloy (but there's nothing wrong with that). I really hope that they don't release anything that has special chainring designs like the new Ultegra 6700 or Dura Ace 7900 single cranks - those make using customized chainring combinations ugly and/or complicated. However, if they make a set with a captain crank that is less than 172.5mm then I'll probably be making another purchase - that is my only problem with our FSA Gossamers, but it is something that really bugs me (170 front and 165 rear would be ideal for us).
Anyone else want to play the guessing game, or seen more info in other places?
In other news, the new 4600 Tiagra groupset seems to offer some responses to SRAM's Apex group. Specifically, they're offering a 12-30 cassette (cog sizes appear to be 12,13,14,15,17,19,21,24,27,30), which has far better gear spacing than the SRAM Apex 11-32 cassettes (or other MTB 10-speed 11-32 cassettes). I'm guessing that means that the new Tiagra rear derailleurs will now officially handle a 30 tooth large cog, but I also expect that most other road derailleurs on most frames will also be able to handle it, so it could be a great extra option. Given that it's Tiagra level, it might be a bit heavier than the higher-end cassettes, but will cost much less, and because it's Shimano you can be pretty certain that it will shift quite well. Apparently it should be available in June or July.
Last edited by Chris_W; 03-02-11 at 05:03 AM.