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Crank stiffness

Old 06-30-05, 05:56 AM
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Crank stiffness

Ok so I got a new crank set this week and yesterday I got to take my first shakedown spin. Not a lot of time but enough to notice a significant difference in the feel of the cranks. The cranks I got are the Ritchey WCS compact cranks in 172.5 mm which replaced Ultegra 6503 cranks. The BB is different only in that I got a double bb for the Ritchey but they are both Ultegra 6500 bbs with Octalink splines. Are the Ultegra 6500 cranks flexy? Are the Ritchey WCS cranks really stiff?

Other things I noticed in this swap are the narrower Q factor of the double, the ability to trim the derailleur when on the inside ring (but not the big ring). The shifting in the front using the Ultegra 6500 triple FD is just fine. I lowered it and properly adjusted the stops and cable tension and it shifts just great, no problems at all. In the small ring I can use 7 of the 9 gears in the back with no rub on the big ring but in the big ring I can only use about the top half of the cassette (probably 5 gears) due to derailleur rub/chain angle (chain angle on the front wasn't too bad in any of the gears I used). That is it for now.
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Old 06-30-05, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
........... the ability to trim the derailleur when on the inside ring (but not the big ring).
You should have trim on both rings if set up right.
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Old 06-30-05, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by sydney
You should have trim on both rings if set up right.
Well if I am on the larger cogs I can make a click on the front that wont drop the chain to the small ring but the top right corner of the FD rubs the chain as it comes off the ring. Maybe add a little tension to the cable? Maybe I can get a photo of it later and post. And really the only time I would need to use trim on the front the chain is at a pretty severe angle and I probably shouldn't cross chain it like that anyway.
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Old 06-30-05, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
Not a lot of time but enough to notice a significant difference in the feel of the cranks. The cranks I got are the Ritchey WCS compact cranks in 172.5 mm which replaced Ultegra 6503 cranks. The BB is different only in that I got a double bb for the Ritchey but they are both Ultegra 6500 bbs with Octalink splines. Are the Ultegra 6500 cranks flexy? Are the Ritchey WCS cranks really stiff?

Sooo, you're saying the Ritcheys felt stiffer?
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Old 06-30-05, 06:54 AM
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Yes, there is a significant difference in the feel and the Ritcheys feel stiffer.
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Old 06-30-05, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
Well if I am on the larger cogs I can make a click on the front that wont drop the chain to the small ring but the top right corner of the FD rubs the chain as it comes off the ring. Maybe add a little tension to the cable? Maybe I can get a photo of it later and post. And really the only time I would need to use trim on the front the chain is at a pretty severe angle and I probably shouldn't cross chain it like that anyway.
Yes, I'd tighten the cable a little and see if that helped.
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Old 06-30-05, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
Well if I am on the larger cogs I can make a click on the front that wont drop the chain to the small ring but the top right corner of the FD rubs the chain as it comes off the ring. Maybe add a little tension to the cable? Maybe I can get a photo of it later and post. And really the only time I would need to use trim on the front the chain is at a pretty severe angle and I probably shouldn't cross chain it like that anyway.
There is a little magic and intuition to adjusting for the compact. I run FSA compacts (Carbon Pro and Energy) on both my bikes and they took a while to dial in. What I found works best is to make certain that you have very smooth easy shifting for small in front to large in back 6-7 cogs and big front, small back 5-6 cogs, because from a practical standpoint anything else isn't needed. Did that make any sense?

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Old 06-30-05, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by zensuit
There is a little magic and intuition to adjusting for the compact. I run FSA compacts (Carbon Pro and Energy) on both my bikes and they took a while to dial in. What I found works best is to make certain that you have very smooth easy shifting for small in front to large in back 6-7 cogs and big front, small back 5-6 cogs, because from a practical standpoint anything else isn't needed. Did that make any sense?

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Yea I think it is adjusted pretty well realy. I will be doing 20 miles tonight on the new setup so we will have a little better shake down.

Oh and BTW I think you were on to something with that ice cream thing...I was 217 when I got on the scale last night.
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Old 06-30-05, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by superdex
Sooo, you're saying the Ritcheys felt stiffer?

There was a crank test done a few years ago, the Dura Ace 9 Speed and the Ritcheys tested to be the stiffest, however, the total amount of deflection between all the cranks tested was pretty small, the carbon ones were the flexiest I remember. Is flexiest a word?
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Old 06-30-05, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Smoothie104
There was a crank test done a few years ago, the Dura Ace 9 Speed and the Ritcheys tested to be the stiffest, however, the total amount of deflection between all the cranks tested was pretty small, the carbon ones were the flexiest I remember. Is flexiest a word?
It is now. I am not trying to say here that when I stood on the Ultegras I could feel them bend or anything but when you start pedaling or get up and hammer on the Ritcheys you can feel a difference and they do feel stiffer.
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Old 06-30-05, 08:44 AM
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Anyone have any info on the FSA Gossamer Compact Mega Exo in terms of feel? Mine should be here and on the bike tomorrow. Good thread for tips on compact cranks and gearing. Grasschopper--do you find yourself often "between" the gear ranges--I read some people saying (when using compact cranksets) they felt like they were using the little ring with the small cogs a lot, and the big ring with the large cogs a lot (cross chaining really)--do you find this to be the case for you, or were you in "reasonable" gears the whole time and comfortable? Did you find that you shifted more often, less often, the same?
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Old 06-30-05, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Smoothie104
There was a crank test done a few years ago, the Dura Ace 9 Speed and the Ritcheys tested to be the stiffest, however, the total amount of deflection between all the cranks tested was pretty small, the carbon ones were the flexiest I remember. Is flexiest a word?

Hey Smoothie, I actually came across and read that study last week, and yeah, they all deflected what is in reality a negligible amount. But having Ultegra 9 on one bike right now and considering the Ritcheys on the new build, I'm curious about 'Chopper's feel. That and it's a slow day at work
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Old 06-30-05, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by martin_j001
Grasschopper--do you find yourself often "between" the gear ranges--I read some people saying (when using compact cranksets) they felt like they were using the little ring with the small cogs a lot, and the big ring with the large cogs a lot (cross chaining really)--do you find this to be the case for you, or were you in "reasonable" gears the whole time and comfortable? Did you find that you shifted more often, less often, the same?
How about I let you know next week? I only have about 2 miles on the bike with the compact crank on there. The stifness was instantly noticed so I figured I would post something. Tonight will be the first real shakedown and next week the litmus test as I am shooting for 400 miles (in July) by the 10th as I don't work next week and my wife does.
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Old 06-30-05, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
Yea I think it is adjusted pretty well realy. I will be doing 20 miles tonight on the new setup so we will have a little better shake down.

Oh and BTW I think you were on to something with that ice cream thing...I was 217 when I got on the scale last night.
I just had my "every 8 years or so when I get tired of being nagged" physical and I got below 175 for the first time in years! My BP is down below 120 over 75, even with white coat fever and the Doctor (a lady, I may point out) said "nice lungs" while listening to my breathing.

And I thought I just rode to look good in spandex!

Hey, did you see my post to you at Bikejournal? Confused some folks, lol.

I like the compacts, what you will find yourself doing soon is keeping it in the big ring on rollers and actually riding smoother and faster by powering over small rises. I tend to climb in the middle range with the 34 unless I need a bailout. The real secret is to slap an 11-23 on the back unless you are climbing the kinds of mountains that us larger guys can't spin up like the evil hummingbird punks!

Keep me posted on how this works out for you...I am a huge compact fan.

Z
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Old 06-30-05, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by superdex
Hey Smoothie, I actually came across and read that study last week, and yeah, they all deflected what is in reality a negligible amount. But having Ultegra 9 on one bike right now and considering the Ritcheys on the new build, I'm curious about 'Chopper's feel. That and it's a slow day at work
A little sideways, but FSA makes very stiff cranks, both in Carbon and the alloy stuff...I noticed the difference and I am not a racer anymore...they are terrific and the Q factor on most of their stuff suits me..
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Old 06-30-05, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by zensuit
Hey, did you see my post to you at Bikejournal? Confused some folks, lol.
No I don't read the forum over there...I will look for it.
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Old 06-30-05, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
It is now. I am not trying to say here that when I stood on the Ultegras I could feel them bend or anything but when you start pedaling or get up and hammer on the Ritcheys you can feel a difference and they do feel stiffer.
I went from a 105 double to the Ritchey WCS compact a couple of months back. Ritchey's are way stiffer...

Like zensuit said, you'll find yourself crusing rollers a lot more in the 50 and just powering over the rises. I run a 12-27 for the climbs and a 12-23 for most of the flat riding around Denver. I really don't feel the need for a 50-11... on downhills it might get me a mile or two faster, but I don't see that as a big deal.
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Old 06-30-05, 10:05 AM
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Yea I am running a 12-27 as there is no such thing as flat here...only climbs and bigger climbs...of course nothing quite as big as you have but some pretty good grades.
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Old 06-30-05, 10:30 AM
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I'll be using a 12/25 for the most part (at least right now) with a 12/27 if I head up to the mountains. There isn't much flat around here either though.
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Old 06-30-05, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by martin_j001
I'll be using a 12/25 for the most part (at least right now) with a 12/27 if I head up to the mountains. There isn't much flat around here either though.
Yea I still have a 12-25 and there is always the SRAM 12-26 if I find 27 is too little gear but 25 is too much.
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Old 06-30-05, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Stubacca
I went from a 105 double to the Ritchey WCS compact a couple of months back. Ritchey's are way stiffer...

Like zensuit said, you'll find yourself crusing rollers a lot more in the 50 and just powering over the rises. I run a 12-27 for the climbs and a 12-23 for most of the flat riding around Denver. I really don't feel the need for a 50-11... on downhills it might get me a mile or two faster, but I don't see that as a big deal.
Unless you race, you won't find much use for the 50-11, but it is absolutely needed if you want to run a compact and still train occasionally with the fast kids who will pace at 32 or so on the false flats...otherwise you look like a crazed hamster on the wheel!
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Old 06-30-05, 01:07 PM
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Hey Z I finally saw your post. LOL BTW you need to join the Bikeforums.net team over there...we need your miles.
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Old 06-30-05, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
Hey Z I finally saw your post. LOL BTW you need to join the Bikeforums.net team over there...we need your miles.
I will have joined and brought my 1900 miles with me by end of day
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Old 06-30-05, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by zensuit
Unless you race, you won't find much use for the 50-11, but it is absolutely needed if you want to run a compact and still train occasionally with the fast kids who will pace at 32 or so on the false flats...otherwise you look like a crazed hamster on the wheel!
hehe... not gonna happen! 50-12 will do just fine...
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Old 07-01-05, 12:20 AM
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OK, so for the people who think they can notice a difference in the stiffness of different cranks, how much power are you producing? How much does it take to be able to notice anything?

I am an old, low-power output cyclist always interested in learning.
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