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crank upgrade..is shimano 105 better than FSA gossamers?

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crank upgrade..is shimano 105 better than FSA gossamers?

Old 12-27-12, 06:40 AM
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thehammerdog
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crank upgrade..is shimano 105 better than FSA gossamers?

I was debating getting a new pair of shimano 105 cranks for the old girl to improve shifting. Is 105 (onsale) better than the set I have. Gossamers.
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Old 12-27-12, 06:56 AM
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if you have a 105 group set, then yes. they where designed to work together.
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Old 12-27-12, 07:00 AM
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There is probably a reason why you have FSA cranks on your bike, is it BB30?
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Old 12-27-12, 07:05 AM
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For a Fred, no, it is a waste of money. FSA makes good stuff, but the glitterati in here poo poo anything that isn't at least Ultegra. I can tune the iffy-ness out of a Sora crank - buying a new crank to improve shifting is lazy. If you have tuning issues with your drivetrain, get ye over to the Mechanics forum and do some searches.

For the record, I ride FSA on all three bikes. Cost factor, but most importantly, my guads are not large enough to notice the difference.

If you have upgrade-itis, most say go with wheels.
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Old 12-27-12, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaymadd View Post
There is probably a reason why you have FSA cranks on your bike, is it BB30?
It's usually because they are very inexpensive compared to the Shimano alternatives.

My opinion -- yes, just about any current production Shimano crank will shift better than Gossamer. 105 and up definitely.
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Old 12-27-12, 07:18 AM
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"A BB30 crank is only compatible with a BB30/PF30 shell. FSA and SRAM make BB30 cranks; Shimano does not, but FSA and Wheels Manufacturing make adapters that allow a 24mm spindle to be used in a BB30 shell." http://www.roadbikeaction.com/Featur...Breakdown.html
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Old 12-27-12, 08:01 AM
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What kind of improvement are you looking for?
Are you having difficulties shifting now?
If so ... what are they exactly?
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Old 12-27-12, 08:19 AM
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I've got a Gossamer crankset on my commuter bike. It's a take-off from my cross bike. Taken off because the shifting is very inconsistent. There are times that I try to shift up to the big ring and the chain won't get on the ramps. Other times the chain gets stuck between the derailleur and the ring and the shift lever feels like it's hit a stop. On rare occasions, it's like butter.

Contrast with Ultegra 6600 or 6700 especially -- smooth, nearly effortless shifts to the big ring every single time.
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Old 12-27-12, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
I was debating getting a new pair of shimano 105 cranks for the old girl to improve shifting. Is 105 (onsale) better than the set I have. Gossamers.
I find the shifting about the same on a double and give the 105 a very slight edge on a triple.

I have FSA Gossamers in double std & compact and triple - and have shimano 105 triple & std dbl, ultegra std & triple & dura ace dbl.

I've found the Gossamer to be very fast and reliable, IF I have the front FD set up 'properly' (my DRs are all 105/ultegra/duraace). Found I gotta have the FD outside cage/plate exactly 'inline' with the outside ring and the clearance space close to the teeth as 1.5-2.5mm, much more than that and the pickup may not happen as quickly or smoothly. This is with newer Shimano FDs... can't say for any other makes ...
I think the design of the FD, and setup, has a lot to do with the crank pickup performance.

an aside - I wanna get my hands on the new SRAM RED FD, with the 'yaw' movement, this spring - wood be fun to see what datz all about...
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Old 12-27-12, 09:39 AM
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Having used both (with the rest of the groupset as 105), there isn't much between them, from experience, would expect the FSA rings to wear out before the Shimano, but would expect to pay between half to two thirds the cost of the Shimano for the FSA, so that counters out the wear.
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Old 12-27-12, 09:49 AM
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Yes, FSA sucks (at that level) and why builders use them to cut the price on their bikes.
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Old 12-27-12, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
Yes, FSA sucks (at that level) and why builders use them to cut the price on their bikes.
Unqualified statements like this are what keeps the cycling industry profitable. It is true FSA is used to save $$$ on floor builds, it does not change the fact that SRAMano is overpriced for what it is. There's a happy medium in the grey area there.

I've used bottom-line Lasco for many seasons of 3,000+ commuting and they still have lots of life left. If you're talking about wearing out cranks on our Fredly endeavors, it's just an overstatement.

EDIT: Not saying you are unqualified punkn, but the statement has no fact in it.

Last edited by RT; 12-27-12 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 12-27-12, 10:05 AM
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shifting with the FSA gossamer crank is perfectly fine. its not mind blowing and its not bad.

it is a good crankset. have it set up on my bike with Sram Force shifters and a Rival FD.
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Old 12-27-12, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by svtmike View Post
I've got a Gossamer crankset on my commuter bike. It's a take-off from my cross bike. Taken off because the shifting is very inconsistent. There are times that I try to shift up to the big ring and the chain won't get on the ramps. Other times the chain gets stuck between the derailleur and the ring and the shift lever feels like it's hit a stop. On rare occasions, it's like butter.

Contrast with Ultegra 6600 or 6700 especially -- smooth, nearly effortless shifts to the big ring every single time.
If you are relying on your ramps to complete your shift then you need to adjust your derailleur.
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Old 12-27-12, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
Unqualified statements like this are what keeps the cycling industry profitable. It is true FSA is used to save $$$ on floor builds, it does not change the fact that SRAMano is overpriced for what it is. There's a happy medium in the grey area there.

I've used bottom-line Lasco for many seasons of 3,000+ commuting and they still have lots of life left. If you're talking about wearing out cranks on our Fredly endeavors, it's just an overstatement.

EDIT: Not saying you are unqualified punkn, but the statement has no fact in it.
It was the short answer. Most of my issues with the cranks have been addressed in others statements. Here is where I list my qualifications....work in shop, worked on shifting issues with manufacturer who uses these cranks (or lesser level) on everything below the 3K level, owned a set myself that I swapped due to same.

Here is where I detail some of my subjective experience. FSA Gossamer has been plagued for years with stiffness as well as shifting quality issues which resulted in a recent re-design of the crank. They happen to be making BB30 w/o adapters, so in addition to cost saving on the crank itself, manu. can avoid putting on the additional adapters (price). Even with the redesign the shifting quality, particularly from the small to big ring has almost always been muddy, and also have to echo the statement about the common chain drop to the center of the rings.
Swapping to 105 cranks WILL improve your shifting. If nothing else, using manu. matched components in a groupset will commonly do that on it's own, but as compared to the Gossamer crank, the 105 just works better, at the cost of a bit of weight.

Will they work fine over the life of a bicycle? Yes. Do they operate "well enough"? Yes. Can you improve with a crank swap? Yes.

There, better for you?

EDIT- I would like to clarify, my work at a bike shop does not make me think I am an expert at all that is bicycle. I have a lot to learn, and a lot that I simply don't know, however this subject is something that I have had a lot of experience with due to my own situation based on what I own and what we sell.

Last edited by Juan Foote; 12-27-12 at 10:29 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 12-27-12, 10:30 AM
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You won't feel any difference. Only benefit you will notice is cosmetic
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Old 12-27-12, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
It was the short answer. Most of my issues with the cranks have been addressed in others statements. Here is where I list my qualifications....work in shop, worked on shifting issues with manufacturer who uses these cranks (or lesser level) on everything below the 3K level, owned a set myself that I swapped due to same.

Here is where I detail some of my subjective experience. FSA Gossamer has been plagued for years with stiffness as well as shifting quality issues which resulted in a recent re-design of the crank. They happen to be making BB30 w/o adapters, so in addition to cost saving on the crank itself, manu. can avoid putting on the additional adapters (price). Even with the redesign the shifting quality, particularly from the small to big ring has almost always been muddy, and also have to echo the statement about the common chain drop to the center of the rings.
Swapping to 105 cranks WILL improve your shifting. If nothing else, using manu. matched components in a groupset will commonly do that on it's own, but as compared to the Gossamer crank, the 105 just works better, at the cost of a bit of weight.

Will they work fine over the life of a bicycle? Yes. Do they operate "well enough"? Yes. Can you improve with a crank swap? Yes.

There, better for you?

EDIT- I would like to clarify, my work at a bike shop does not make me think I am an expert at all that is bicycle. I have a lot to learn, and a lot that I simply don't know, however this subject is something that I have had a lot of experience with due to my own situation based on what I own and what we sell.
Well that's certainly qualified :-) All that needs to be added is that a rudimentary knowledge of bicycle maintenance and tuning can likely improve any shifting issues before dropping a load on a new component. I suspect though that the OP simply has a case of the Holiday Upgrades.
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Old 12-27-12, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by canam73 View Post
If you are relying on your ramps to complete your shift then you need to adjust your derailleur.
I had a similar experience to Mike - no amount of FD adjustment would make it shift as quickly and easily as the crankset that replaced it.
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Old 12-27-12, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I had a similar experience to Mike - no amount of FD adjustment would make it shift as quickly and easily as the crankset that replaced it.
I'm not commenting on FSA vs. 105. What he describes is what any bike would do if the FD big ring limit wasn't set far enough out.
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Old 12-27-12, 10:45 AM
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My winter commuter/training bike came with a Gossamer crankset (it's a PF30 frame). I've worked as a mechanic in shops for many years off and on and am a fanatic for attention to detail and shifting quality. I just don't like the Gossamer. Yes, it functions, but it does not work as well as ultegra or dura ace - I think the biggest functional difference is the chainring. There is no question Shimano's hollowglide chainrings are the best in the industry. Instead of buying a new crank (which would probably save half a pound over the gossamer, but require adapters), I just bolted on a set of ultegra rings the shop had in the back as take-offs. They work so much better than the Gossamer's stock rings, both in shifting speed, power, noise, and also I haven't experienced chainsuck once since installing the ultegra rings, which I DID several times with the gossamer rings.

You can wave your hands around all you want about "it needs to be adjusted" but if the average joe gets far better ACTUAL performance from the ultegra part, it's a pretty clear sign that it's more than *just* adjustment.
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Old 12-27-12, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by RTDub View Post
Well that's certainly qualified :-) All that needs to be added is that a rudimentary knowledge of bicycle maintenance and tuning can likely improve any shifting issues before dropping a load on a new component. I suspect though that the OP simply has a case of the Holiday Upgrades.

Where I agree with you in principal....proper adjustments and operation will make it the best it CAN be, in my experience the FSA cranks that I have dealt with just didn't shift as smoothly as its Shimano counterpart. I HAVE had situations where the FSA crank did just fine, with no issue shifting and none of the aforementioned muddy/poor performance. What led to the difference in performance I cannot say.

edit- I would add that trying to talk a member out of buying bike swag subjects you to possible revocation of your forum membership.

Last edited by Juan Foote; 12-27-12 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 12-27-12, 11:18 AM
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I just asked the same question on a different forum. Nashbar has FSA Gossamers (53/39) on sale for $115 and 5600 105s (52/39) for $120. I've already got a compact Gossamer on the bike that's getting most of my miles this year - a 2011 Allez E5 frameset, built with DA 7800 shifters and RD and Force FD, and it shifts very well. I ended up ordering the 105 crankset since I liked the silver better than the black. I expect it to work fine too. I'm pulling my 2009 CAAD9 frameset out of mothballs and building it back up - it was too small until I got more limber, now I can make it work.
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Old 12-27-12, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by canam73 View Post
If you are relying on your ramps to complete your shift then you need to adjust your derailleur.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It is much much much worse with the cheap Microshift derailleur / shifters on my commuter. But it wasn't particularly good with the Ultegra FD/105 shifters on my cross bike.
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Old 12-27-12, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by canam73 View Post
I'm not commenting on FSA vs. 105. What he describes is what any bike would do if the FD big ring limit wasn't set far enough out.
Agree, it could seem that way. But I do know how to set FD limits. And the performance of Gossamer is not consistent from shift to shift like Shimano is.
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Old 12-27-12, 11:34 AM
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My commuter came with an FSA Vero Crank (Triple). About a year later, I switched to an Ultegra triple. The shifting in the front improved a lot.
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