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Your Thoughts on Black Cranksets

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Your Thoughts on Black Cranksets

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Old 12-06-18, 08:21 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
This may be a shock to the new generation of cyclists but there were no fully black groupsets in the vintage days. Black accents yes, blacked out, no. Almost none at least. IIRC Galli made one, but that's it. Let's say vintage means 1987 or earlier. Crankarms were left silver. The reason is that toes straps would wear off any black anodizing and make the crankarms look terrible in short order. Pretty much everyone had some wear marks from the the straps rubbing the crankarms. If the cranks are silver anodized or polished, it was NBD.....
Galli's Criterium group with a completely black crankset (also red, green, blue and gold) goes back to at least 1984. In the very early 1980s, some Sugino and SR cranksets solved the crank rub issue by being anodized black and then polishing off the black finish only on the drive side surfaces, leaving the sides, back and any recessed surfaces an anodized black. There are even earlier precedents. BMX components, including cranksets,were anodized in a wide variety of colours,starting in the very late 1970s. Also, war era bicycles often had steel cranksets that were darkened and dulled via a number of different chemical processes, to reduce light reflection and preserve copper, nickel and chromium for the war effort. Some budget late 19th century bicycles had blackened (or blued) steel cranksets, as opposed to more expensive nickel plating.

There is a solution for black finishes that wear off. It's called carbon fibre. It will show wear but it will still be black.

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Old 12-06-18, 08:48 AM
  #27  
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Don't like em. But not above using black components, especially if the price is right. Same reason I used a Miche headset and some nearly new wheels that didn't match seller's new bike. Once upon a time, N.O.S. black Cinelli stems were very cheap too. Don
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Old 12-06-18, 09:37 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
all this talk about attractive black cranksets, but still no photos of attractive black cranksets. :sigh:
+1
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Old 12-06-18, 09:44 AM
  #29  
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SHARPIE!!
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Old 12-06-18, 10:09 AM
  #30  
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There are some interesting photos on Brian Chapman's flickr pages....
Rest In Peace, Jon Williams by Brian Chapman, on Flickr

Black anodized Rene Herse cranks and chain rings. They got their first dose of use this past mild weather weekend. We're looking at another 50 day tomorrow. Weirdest January ever. #renehersecrank #chapmancycles by Brian Chapman, on Flickr

I'm not really into drillium, but I think that's a pretty cool looking crank. I think it goes to show that what makes most black cranks ugly is that they are ugly cranks that happen to be black.
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Old 12-06-18, 12:41 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
SHARPIE!!
Most anyone who has worked at an LBS will tell you this. Back in the 80's we had several different types of Sharpies - it turns out that the coloring is slightly different in some of them. Most of us learned which black anodization pen to use on what part for best results.

Can't tell you how many times I had a customer tell me they wanted a discount due to some scratch on a black anodized part - enough to hate black ano to this day.
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Old 12-06-18, 12:52 PM
  #32  
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Looks like I'm not the only one with some reservations. It kind of goes hand in hand with the anodized wheelsets. I never really understood why those became so popular.
Any type of "dressing" can help bring back shine from fading, but overall the PIA factor is pretty high IMO
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Old 12-06-18, 01:05 PM
  #33  
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Opinion alert!

Black is just ugly to my eye. There is just so much that can be done, highlights, accents, paint the insets & recesses the same color as the frame, etc...I can't decide if manufacturers just have to hide workmanship of questionable quality or pinch pennies on labor cost behind a thick layer of black paint. But either way it mostly over done and detracts from an otherwise beautiful bike.

That being said, I'm not a hater. On some bikes it *can* look good provided the rest of the hardware is coordinated.. Like on a Yellow, Orange, or Red frame, for example. But on most bikes it doesn't well at all.

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Old 12-06-18, 05:00 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
I checked those out, but the big ring only goes up to 49T, IIRC....
Buzzkill...

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Old 12-06-18, 05:34 PM
  #35  
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Everything in moderation... Neither the pic nor bike are mine (they come from BF member @pcb ), but I love this shot of pcb's Bruce Gordon with just a black outer chainring and wheels. I guess there is also the rear mech cage. So much so that I just ordered an FSA Super outer chainring to add to the existing Sakae CX on my blue Univega.


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Old 12-06-18, 05:56 PM
  #36  
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This Black crankset came on a 3rensho Specialized Allez, I'm not crazy about the color scheme but will probobly restore it with the same group and see how it turns out. FWIW the cranks are probably in better cosmetic shape than any of the other anodized components.

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Old 12-06-18, 06:36 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by brandonk View Post
This Black crankset came on a 3rensho Specialized Allez, I'm not crazy about the color scheme but will probobly restore it with the same group and see how it turns out. FWIW the cranks are probably in better cosmetic shape than any of the other anodized components.

My uneducated guess is that Campy crank is somewhat rare in black. I haven't seen to many myself.
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Old 12-06-18, 07:07 PM
  #38  
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I am reasonably certain that Campy NR/SR cranks never came in black. I could of course be wrong. However, it was fairly common in the 80s for people to get their parts custom anodized. I recall dragging a customer's gruppo (80's-speak for groupset) to the anodizing shop more than once. Certainly the Italian bike companies customized components as they saw fit. Milled, drilled, painted, pantographed, anodized, etc. Did Specialized ever get some Campy cranks anodized for a limited edition? I don't remember.

Back to vintage black cranks. I am pretty sure that Galli was it. There were rumors that Galli cranks were made in the same factory as Campy cranks. They did look identical. I suppose it's possible, but I don't know. They go back earlier than 1984. I remember my cousin had this stuff on his bike in 1980.

Vintage Gazelle Formula Frame NEW OLD STOCK




AFA the other vintage black cranks, I forgot about the Sugino Mighty with black rings. Those were pretty common. Here's the remaining ones I mentioned, pilfered from the web.

Zeus:


Gipiemme


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Old 12-06-18, 07:36 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Opinion alert!

Black is just ugly to my eye. There is just so much that can be done, highlights, accents, paint the insets & recesses the same color as the frame, etc...I can't decide if manufacturers just have to hide workmanship of questionable quality or pinch pennies on labor cost behind a thick layer of black paint. But either way it mostly over done and detracts from an otherwise beautiful bike.

That being said, I'm not a hater. On some bikes it *can* look good provided the rest of the hardware is coordinated.. Like on a Yellow, Orange, or Red frame, for example. But on most bikes it doesn't well at all.
++ Absolutely correct. Either use black in moderation, or be super-consistent and perfect... and it's nigh-on-impossible to be perfect with black.
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Old 12-06-18, 07:49 PM
  #40  
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I got these at a good deal , I didn't necessarily want black but now I like it especially with the blue . Holding up well .



Mix it up .


IMG_0121 by mark westi, on Flickr
DSCF2579 by mark westi, on Flickr
DSCF2583 by mark westi, on Flickr

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Old 12-06-18, 08:12 PM
  #41  
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OK , this bike looks good .
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Old 12-07-18, 02:50 AM
  #42  
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Chainrings can also be made black with a bit of Carbon Fibre......
As Stronglight did for their Delta Crankset as the "carbone" option for the big ring....


I think it works for C&V CF bikes.....
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Old 12-07-18, 04:04 AM
  #43  
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I like to stir it up sometimes and see what happens.

72 Le Champion black with red panels.
Red Brooks, black bar wrap
Vittoria XN Cross pro's in black wall, grey tread

and
Stronglight crank with black drillium rings


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Old 12-07-18, 12:44 PM
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This is a timely thread for me because I have two projects in the works that will use all-black components.

The first is a 1948 Raleigh Clubman on which I have done a clear-coat patina preservation. I want the black components to steer the eye to the fantastic patina on the frameset.

The second is a Bianchi Sport SX in Celeste. It looks fairly conventional with polished alloy parts, but the all-black groupset will really set it apart.

So as not to overdo it, I will be using brown leather saddles and grips with all of this black hardware. I guess we shall see if reality is as good as my imagination...



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Old 12-07-18, 01:51 PM
  #45  
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I was looking to upgrade my wifes Fondriest, and the only campagnolo silver components are lower grade. then i put my old Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels on, and liked how the black rims looked. now i am thinking that it will look killer in all black, against the powder blue to gold fade paint!

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Old 12-07-18, 07:37 PM
  #46  
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I think that an attractive spider on a crank loses something in black, de-emphasized in the overall look. I think black chainrings look OK but not my preference. I've got stock black brakes, rims and headset on my red Trek 460 and it works - they make the Cyclone derailleurs and Ofmega Mistral crank really stand out.
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Old 12-07-18, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
Everything in moderation... Neither the pic nor bike are mine (they come from BF member @pcb ), but I love this shot of pcb's Bruce Gordon with just a black outer chainring and wheels. I guess there is also the rear mech cage. So much so that I just ordered an FSA Super outer chainring to add to the existing Sakae CX on my blue Univega.

That particular frame combined with @pcb 's excellent photo skills would be hard to make it look bad, certainly agree that a mix of black on it looks excellent.

PS, I have that frame now, built up with mostly silver and honey, looks pretty good this way too.

Pics to follow.
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Old 12-07-18, 07:59 PM
  #48  
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I have one of these:


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Old 12-10-18, 12:48 PM
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Custom Anodizing?

Personally I think black parts are blah and I'd rather have silver (my understanding is that black components became standard because it saves the manufacturer the expense of hiring an extra worker to polish each piece and the "color" can be treated as going with anything), but since you are talking about color ways in general, maybe you want to look into taking a bunch of components to an anodizing shop and get 'em all done in black (or some color that's actually fun).

Just a few days ago I saw some inspiring custom anodized pics (think cyan, think marbled) on a Facebook group for BMX race bikes for the smaller kids (you know, the ones on skinny tires) and was on the verge of asking for shop recommendations, prep work required and approximate costs...
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Old 12-10-18, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
Timely thread. I just bought this velo orange crankset. Its beautiful IMHO. It will be going on my black Pogliaghi.





That is one of the nicest looking cranks out there period.
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