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New Crankset - Tiagra/105/Ultegra?

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New Crankset - Tiagra/105/Ultegra?

Old 09-29-08, 07:14 PM
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liquefied
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New Crankset - Tiagra/105/Ultegra?

I've decided to upgrade the crankset on my Felt Z70. It came stock with a 50/39/30 FSA Vero crankset that is complete garbage - tons of flex and the BB is slowly destroying itself. I rarely use the 30t ring but I'd like to have lower the gear because I live in SF and occasionally I need the range. I'm thinking a 50/34 compact would be best. What I'd like to know is if there's a significant difference between the Tiagra, 105 and Ultegra versions of the crankset. The Tiagra is a lot cheaper and from photos looks like it's pretty high quality - not much worse than the 105 or Ultegra. I don't care much about weight, just build quality. I'd be getting a DA BB with it.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:17 PM
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From experience with other shimano parts, I would recommend going with the 105, they tend to be of much higher quality than Tiagara, in general.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:22 PM
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I have the Shimano R700. It isn't denoted as being 105 or Ultegra but it is an awesome crankset. I can't imagine you being unhappy with it.
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Old 09-29-08, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by shams42 View Post
I have the Shimano R700. It isn't denoted as being 105 or Ultegra but it is an awesome crankset. I can't imagine you being unhappy with it.
The R700 is the compact version of Ultegra. R600 is the compact version of 105. I'm not sure if they're using that same nomenclature for the 2009 equipment. I'm sure plenty of other members here do know, though.
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Old 09-29-08, 08:41 PM
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Get a SRAM Rival crankset; they are cheap, stiff, work great and are lighter than their Shimano equivalents.
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Old 09-29-08, 08:51 PM
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I have a r 700 set I bought on e bay for the wifes bike 170 arms and 42, 53, rings definatley not compact. I must say go with at least 105 or better.
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Old 09-29-08, 08:51 PM
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The SRAM looks enticing - pretty cheap on eBay too. I've also found some R600's for sale which would go well to complete my 105 group. Looks like I'm stuck between these two now.
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Old 09-29-08, 08:52 PM
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Also, am I going to notice much a difference between crank lengths? I have 172.5 right now, would a 175 be a big change?
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Old 09-29-08, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by liquefied View Post
The Tiagra is a lot cheaper and from photos looks like it's pretty high quality - not much worse than the 105 or Ultegra.
Here's the thing I noticed about my Tiagra triple: I can't tell the difference between it and my Ultegra SL crank based on the way it shifts. The finish isn't as good on the Tiagra, which means it scratches more easily. If you want a dirt-cheap 175mm Tiagra triple, I'll sell you mine for a song. It only has a few hundred miles on it; I bought it to keep me on the road while I was trying to find a good eBay deal on an Ultegra SL. I live on the peninsula, FWIW.
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Old 09-29-08, 11:30 PM
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Thanks for the offer. I'm not interested in another triple though. I suppose I may go to a few bike shops tomorrow and take a look at the different cranks to get a better idea of their quality.
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Old 09-29-08, 11:36 PM
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the only difference you're going to see between tiagra, 105, ultegra, R600, R700 is the finish quality.

they all have similar shifting performance.

finish quality lowest to highest...
tiagra
R600
105
R700
Ultegra

tiagra will do you just as good as ultegra, but the ultegra does look nicer.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:07 AM
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Tiagra is pretty good. Don't hesitate to buy it if $ is an issue.

A crankset is a primitive beast after all. Pretty hard to f*** it up (though FSA seems willing to try). There's little relative benefit to a DA BB, especially with a triple (the 7703 is sealed like the other BBs). A 105 BB is essentially the same thing and should last forever.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:15 AM
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I found a cheap new bike take-off Tiagra on craigslist so I have one last question. The Shimano website says the Tiagra is compatible with a 9-speed cassette, is it going to have any problem working with my 10-speed 105 group?
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Old 09-30-08, 12:18 AM
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According to the crank stiffness test the Ultegra crank is the stiffest crank from Shimano (yes, even stiffer than the dura-ace).
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Old 09-30-08, 12:26 AM
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While we're talking about cranks & BB's --

Is there enough of a jump from Tiagra BB to 105 (or better) to warrant the upgrade?

I recently got an R600 and Tiagra BB for a bike, and already have a 105 crank and Ultegra BB on another. The bike with the Tiagra BB will see a lot more wet weather than the other -- should I be concerned at all?
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Old 09-30-08, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by liquefied View Post
I found a cheap new bike take-off Tiagra on craigslist so I have one last question. The Shimano website says the Tiagra is compatible with a 9-speed cassette, is it going to have any problem working with my 10-speed 105 group?
Nope. (the only issue might be with a 10-speed FD, but try it and see.)


Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
Is there enough of a jump from Tiagra BB to 105 (or better) to warrant the upgrade?
Nope.


Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
The bike with the Tiagra BB will see a lot more wet weather than the other -- should I be concerned at all?
Nope.
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Old 09-30-08, 02:22 AM
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Not sure as to the future of R600 and R700. They were "non-groupset" components, to the best of my knowledge, R600 did not use Hollow crank arms, but I might be wrong.

Shimano now makes 5650 and 6650 cranks (105 and Ultegra respectively) which are the compact crank variatons of the 5600 and 6600. Most retailers seem to be out of stock of the R700, i'm not sure if this is due to a shortage, or it it's slated to be discontinued.

PBK had the Ultegra cranks for under $150 a while back. Chainlove also gets the R700 every now and then, but like anything else on Chainlove it's hit and miss, the last few times sizes may have been limited.

My guess is weight might be the biggest difference. I'd guess that Tiagra perhaps isn't using Hollow crank arms (just a guess), I believe that 105 and Ultegra are quite similar, but I couldn't find an easily available source for the 105 versions that was priced well.
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Old 09-30-08, 03:24 AM
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I've got 105 compact and Tiagra BB on my Felt - both the Shimano components are significantly lighter than the FSA stuff. Can't recall the actual figures (this is from me actually weighing the stuff, not manufacturer quoted).
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Old 09-30-08, 08:06 AM
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I swapped to the SRAM Rival grouppo a month ago from a 105/Ultegra mix and love it. I use the 50/36 compact with a 11-25 cassette. I prefer the 50/36 over the 50/34 compact for smoother chainring shifting (changing from 50 to 34 is too drastic and requires you to use your drivetrain as two seperate 10 speeds, whereas the 50 to 36 allows you to shift more fluidly through all 20 gears)...I have really fallen in love with it for rides with lots of climbing.

The 11-25 cassette still gives you a sub 40'' bailout gear. If you need more you can always do a 12-27.
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Old 09-30-08, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by liquefied View Post
I've decided to upgrade the crankset on my Felt Z70. It came stock with a 50/39/30 FSA Vero crankset that is complete garbage - tons of flex and the BB is slowly destroying itself. I rarely use the 30t ring but I'd like to have lower the gear because I live in SF and occasionally I need the range. I'm thinking a 50/34 compact would be best. What I'd like to know is if there's a significant difference between the Tiagra, 105 and Ultegra versions of the crankset. The Tiagra is a lot cheaper and from photos looks like it's pretty high quality - not much worse than the 105 or Ultegra. I don't care much about weight, just build quality. I'd be getting a DA BB with it.
For it to work optimally switching from triple to compact double is going to take more than just a crank swap out. You will most likely need a new front derailleur, the long cage rear will probably work ok but probably not as efficiently as a double.
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Old 09-30-08, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by intence View Post
My guess is weight might be the biggest difference. I'd guess that Tiagra perhaps isn't using Hollow crank arms (just a guess), I believe that 105 and Ultegra are quite similar, but I couldn't find an easily available source for the 105 versions that was priced well.
You're right: the Tiagra is heavier than the Ultegra crank. Don't know that you'd actually be able to feel a difference when pedaling, however. I certainly didn't notice any differences in function between the Tiagra crank + Tiagra BB and the Ultegra SL crank + Ultegra SL BB.
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Old 09-30-08, 11:01 AM
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I replaced on my Allez with the Tiagra compact. I love it...
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Old 09-30-08, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by markyore View Post
For it to work optimally switching from triple to compact double is going to take more than just a crank swap out. You will most likely need a new front derailleur, the long cage rear will probably work ok but probably not as efficiently as a double.
Yeah I understand that. I'll probably be picking up a 105 double front derailleur once I get the crankset.
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Old 10-04-08, 04:22 PM
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Update:

I spent a week shopping around on craigslist and eBay for the parts I needed. I ended up getting a Tiagra FC-4550 Compact Crankset (new bike take-off) w/ 4500 BB for $65, an Ultegra SL double FD for $50 (new) and installation for $30 so it came out to $145 total.

And wow. I just went for a 5-mile test ride and my bike shifts so much better than with the old FSA triple I can't believe it. I thought the big tooth gap of the compact might pose a problem but it works perfectly. I can use all 20 gears with no chain rub. I don't think I had more than 15 rub-free gears with my old setup.
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Old 10-04-08, 04:25 PM
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I think you over paid for the FD, but I'm glad to hear it's working out for you.
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