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Need crankset recommendations around $100

Old 01-25-13, 05:52 PM
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Paul Ebert
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Need crankset recommendations around $100

The chain on my commuter (a rather old Nishiki touring bike) skips pretty badly, so I'm planning to replace the crankset, cassette and chain. First up, a new triple crankset. I've got a maximum of around $100 to spend, preferably including the BB. I'm considering these:

FSA Gossamer MegaExo

Shimano Tiagra FC-4603

Any thoughts or advice? I've also done a bit of searching on Ebay, but so far nothing there has jumped out at me except, perhaps, for a Campy Mirage. The Campy would probably be over budget especially since it would not include a BB.
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Old 01-25-13, 05:58 PM
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I'd go with the FSA, personally. This is only because I think the newer Shimano cranks are ugly, so take my input with a grain of salt.
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Old 01-25-13, 06:03 PM
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Another question: can cranksets and cassettes be mixed and matched across manufacturers? Any problem using the Campy with a Shimano or SRAM cassette (for example)? For that matter, would I need a Campy BB to go with the Mirage or could I use a Shimano UN55?
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Old 01-25-13, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Ebert View Post
Another question: can cranksets and cassettes be mixed and matched across manufacturers? Any problem using the Campy with a Shimano or SRAM cassette (for example)? For that matter, would I need a Campy BB to go with the Mirage or could I use a Shimano UN55?
It shouldn't be an issue for the crankset, assuming you stay within a given chain width, i.e. 8/9 speed or 10 speed, depending on your current configuration.
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Old 01-25-13, 06:09 PM
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As it happens, I've got both of those. They're both good cranksets. You're not going to install it before replacing the chain though, right?

The Gossamer is better looking and probably a bit lighter (if either of those things matter to you). The Tiagra shifts better. The bearings on the FSA bottom bracket wear out quicker than I'd like, but you can replace them with a 7900 Dura-Ace bottom bracket for around $25. I believe with the Tiagra crankset you need to purchase the bottom bracket separately.

If you aren't hung up on buying from a US vendor, you can get the Tiagra crankset dirt cheap here:

https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/roa...et/shimchar765
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Old 01-25-13, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Ebert View Post
Another question: can cranksets and cassettes be mixed and matched across manufacturers? Any problem using the Campy with a Shimano or SRAM cassette (for example)? For that matter, would I need a Campy BB to go with the Mirage or could I use a Shimano UN55?
For a new Campy crankset, you definitely need a Campy bottom bracket. For vintage (square taper) as long as you have the right square taper standard (ISO/JIS) and spindle length (crankset dependent) you should be OK. I'm not sure, but I think it's possible that Campy uses different spacing than SRAM/Shimano so it might give you some shifting trouble. SRAM and Shimano cranksets and cassettes are interchangeable, but SRAM doesn't make a triple road crankset, do they? Maybe under the TruVativ name.
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Old 01-25-13, 06:23 PM
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I will install all three components at the same time. I'm not real hung up on weight or looks, though I like the looks of the Campy considerably better than the other two.

Does the tiagra shift considerably better in your experience? That is something that would be important to me.
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Old 01-25-13, 06:54 PM
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I never noticed the Gossamer crankset shifting badly, but I definitely do notice the Tiagra crankset shifting extremely well. The Gossamer usually makes the shift (unless I haven't moved the lever far enough), but sometimes it skates along the ramps for a revolution or two before it goes into gear. The Tiagra shifts very cleanly in most circumstances.

FWIW, I use the Gossamer with an FD-5603 (105) front derailleur and Ultegra 6603 shifters. I use the Tiagra with 4603 (Tiagra) front derailleur and shifters.
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Old 01-25-13, 07:27 PM
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I'd replace chain and cassette first and see if that fixes the problem. Usually they will fix a skipping chain. What bike and crank do you have?
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Old 01-25-13, 07:51 PM
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My bike is a Nishiki Ambush I got at a rummage sale for $50. The frame and wheels are in good shape and it fits me well. The current crank is a Shimano 100GS with very worn chainrings. I plan to replace most of the parts over time. Once I've proved to myself that I'm going to stick with bike commuting, I will pursue buying a new and better bike. At that point this one will either be given to my son or used as my bad weather bike.
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Old 01-25-13, 09:01 PM
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Why is there such a lack of detail in this thread? Do you currently have a double or triple front derailleur? From my understanding, a triple can be used with a double crankset but not the other way around. (Can't convert a double into a triple.) What is your largest chainring size? If it's 52T, then you likely can choose a crankset with a 52T chainring. If it's 48T, there may or may not be some difficulties in getting it to shift right with a 52/42/30 crankset.

For the fun of it, though, I found some Shimano CX50 cranks:
(46/36T and 10 speeds)
https://www.bike24.com/p226181.html

Sora FC-3503 with chainguard
(50/39/30T and 9 speed, could be used with 8 speeds)
https://www.bike24.com/p238699.html

Sora FC-3550 with chainguard
(50/34T and 9 speed)
https://www.bike24.com/p238663.html

(There are others in the crankset category: https://www.bike24.com/manufacturers/Shimano.html

Some people use Shimano cranks, Shimano bottom brackets, a SRAM cassette and KMC chain. I don't know how many speeds you have but I suppose a change in speeds could require new shifters. (Maybe I'm just too tired to see the info in this thread. Anyway...)

Last edited by hybridbkrdr; 01-25-13 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 01-25-13, 09:12 PM
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I suggest a Sugino XD-350 for about $84 minus 15% at
https://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...oducts_id=8654

Lovely square taper triple crank. Middle and small ring is steel. You can spend an extra $20 and get the alloy middle... but why bother?
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Old 01-25-13, 09:45 PM
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I'm far from convinced you need a crankset. Chainrings take a long time to wear out. Most riders never have a worn out chainring. And if you did, you would probably be fine replacing the chainring, not the whole crankset. This is not a normal response to a worn chain and cassette. Unless you've left something out.

If you do need a crankset, well, if I were choosing between those two, I would get the FSA. I would be embarrassed to ride a bike with that Tiagra crank. What are these people thinking? I'm sure it works fine, but even I have aesthetic standards.
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Old 01-25-13, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I suggest a Sugino XD-350 for about $84 minus 15% at
https://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...oducts_id=8654

Lovely square taper triple crank. Middle and small ring is steel. You can spend an extra $20 and get the alloy middle... but why bother?
What do you mean lovely? Have you tried it yet? I have mine in a box, uninstalled. I intend to complete a project next winter. lol it's weird owning like 3/4 of a bike without the rest. I still have to buy forks, wheels, tires, tubes, chain, cassette, rim strips etc. before it's done. I'm going to call it a "sport tourer", a mountain bike with upright riding position, backrack and panniers.
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Old 01-26-13, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I'm far from convinced you need a crankset. Chainrings take a long time to wear out. Most riders never have a worn out chainring. And if you did, you would probably be fine replacing the chainring, not the whole crankset. This is not a normal response to a worn chain and cassette. Unless you've left something out.
I agree with noglider. But, if you decide to buy a crankset I would prefer a sugino xd600 over the megaexo or tiagra

Last edited by mtb123; 01-26-13 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 01-26-13, 03:00 AM
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+1 with @noglider, I ended up changing the chain which had stretched and everything's working smoothly now. But if you do have to change the crankset, change the chain and cassette as well since anything that's worn out will seriously decrease the life of the other components.
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Old 01-26-13, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Telly View Post
+1 with @noglider, I ended up changing the chain which had stretched and everything's working smoothly now. But if you do have to change the crankset, change the chain and cassette as well since anything that's worn out will seriously decrease the life of the other components.
Oh someone from Greece. I think people will be praying for your country this year.
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Old 01-27-13, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
What do you mean lovely? Have you tried it yet? I have mine in a box, uninstalled. I intend to complete a project next winter. lol it's weird owning like 3/4 of a bike without the rest. I still have to buy forks, wheels, tires, tubes, chain, cassette, rim strips etc. before it's done. I'm going to call it a "sport tourer", a mountain bike with upright riding position, backrack and panniers.
I have Sugino cranks on most of my bikes. They are a good quality crankset. What I also like about them is that you can use a square taper bottom bracket.
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Old 01-27-13, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
Oh someone from Greece. I think people will be praying for your country this year.
I'm an ex-pat from the states with Greek roots and I too will be praying that people here will wake up and see what's happening around us; but that's another story for another thread!
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Old 01-28-13, 06:11 AM
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You may well be correct that a new crank isn't needed. I'm rather new to all of this. Some of the teeth appear rather scraped up to the point where they seem shorter than they should be and are a bit deformed. These teeth are located together in a rather small area of the chainrings and the largest ring is most effected. Perhaps an accident? It appears that the chainrings are riveted on, so changing them looks to not be an option.

Anyway, part of my goal is to generally upgrade the bike. From this perspective, it seems to me that the crankset could definitely use replacement.

The Sugino does look appealing.
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Old 01-28-13, 06:48 AM
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Sugino makes nice cranks for the price.
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Old 01-28-13, 07:41 AM
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I have a brand new chrome FSA Omega compact double (BB included) I'm tired of staring at in my garage. Ordered form Nashbar, was never installed. I like FSA stuff, but really don't have any bikes that can use a chrome crank. My 10 speed has the black version of the compact Omega, and it has a couple thousand miles on it without issue.

Addressing the Shimano shifts better crowd - this is folly. I have used Sora to Ultegra cranks and the FSA shifts just as well. It all comes down to tuning, and in fact I really like my Sora compact. Too bad it is also silver and sitting unused -_-

I'll stick it in the for trade thread when I get home this evening if you have anything you might want to trade for it.
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Old 01-28-13, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
Addressing the Shimano shifts better crowd - this is folly. I have used Sora to Ultegra cranks and the FSA shifts just as well.
With a triple? Anything shifts great with a double. Triples are more finicky.

Again, I'm not saying the FSA doesn't shift well. I'm just claiming that the Tiagra shifts better. Granted, my Tiagra setup does have inline barrel adjusters, so getting the cable tension just right is easier, but I've spent a lot of time with the FSA setup getting it tuned as well as I could and it's never been quite as smooth as the Tiagra.
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Old 01-28-13, 02:47 PM
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Depends on user involvement.. I run a 50 40 24t on 3 bikes a 52 42 26 on a 4th..
3 are <C>race triples with 3rd chainring swaps.

though I come from the Pre Klick Shift expectations generation..
and note where I am headed ,
change gear before it will have difficulty changing, being inthe Middle of the Hill..

A tourist triple, 16t drop down, from middle adds a few more potential climbing ratios

below the Middle to Lowest cog on the rear.. (smaller the difference , more ratio overlap)
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Old 01-28-13, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
With a triple? Anything shifts great with a double. Triples are more finicky.

Again, I'm not saying the FSA doesn't shift well. I'm just claiming that the Tiagra shifts better. Granted, my Tiagra setup does have inline barrel adjusters, so getting the cable tension just right is easier, but I've spent a lot of time with the FSA setup getting it tuned as well as I could and it's never been quite as smooth as the Tiagra.
I'm simply stating that there is more to tuning a drivetrain than the components themselves. Hell, I have a Lasco triple and a Sunrace 8 speed RD doing 9 speeds (9 sp chain and cassette) and it shifts like a dream. I build a lot of take-off bikes and learned that it's not all about matching or a name. I think the FSA Omega/Gossamer cranks are made for 9/10 speed, which makes the measurements a tiny bit different, but tuning can make it an invisible difference.

Triples take a lot of tuning anyway, you're right, but once you hit the sweet spot, it is truly sweet.
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