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Ultegra 6800 Crankset Question

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Ultegra 6800 Crankset Question

Old 08-08-13, 06:19 PM
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GoodOmens83
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Ultegra 6800 Crankset Question

So it seems not a lot of the chainring options are available yet.

I'm looking at ordering the 34/50 compact set. I read that the chainrings are replaceable on this crank. Is it possible to at a later date "upgrade" the 50T gear to a 52/53T in case I feel it's not high enough? It seems no one as of yet is stocking just the chainrings and I'm curious if they intend to when more stock will be available.

I also assume it's a fairly easy job to replace just the chain rings? Or would I have to remove the crank itself first.

Thanks!
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Old 08-08-13, 06:54 PM
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As the new crankset uses the same BCD for standard and compact, I would guess that mixing and matching is very very easy. 52 should be easily upgradable. But not necessarily recommended. That's a very large jump from 34 to 53 and the shifting will be affected.
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Old 08-08-13, 07:06 PM
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I would agree with justkeeppedaling, that's a big jump. Technically yes, you can change the bigger chain-ring to what you want now that they all use a 110 bcd. I haven't worked with the new cranksets, so I can't say if you can change rings without removing the crank arm but overall, it's a pretty simple process typically.

All that being said, I would recommend sticking with Shimano's chain-ring pairing though.
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Old 08-08-13, 07:32 PM
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52/36 might be the way to go, but if you need that 34, I'd stick with 50/34
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Old 08-08-13, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by justkeepedaling View Post
52/36 might be the way to go, but if you need that 34, I'd stick with 50/34
Yea I think the ideal would be 52/36 but I don't think they are available yet as I can't find anyone selling a set with that option. It just seems people are either selling the 50/34 or 53/39. Ribbles has the 34/50 for $800 - I guess even if at a later date I decide to switch to 52/36 it will still be a good deal.
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Old 08-09-13, 05:15 AM
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No brother. Don't consider this. If you want to learn about gearing...learn some basic math skills how to calculate gear inches...will help with determining what gears you need. The 'vast' majority of the cycling public will never need more than 50-11...ever. I ride 50-12 for example and never need more. So don't even consider a 52 or 53t unless you have an 11t rear cog and if you do, I would have to ask you why this gearing isn't enough. If not enough, work on your pedal stroke and cadence.
For most, 50-34 even isn't the most pleasant gearing. A 16 tooth difference is a lot and a big hole in gearing for the average guy...especially for flat riding. So if you need the 34t climbing chainring in front....I prefer a 36 or 38 to get more use out of the small ring, then stick with the 50t. A 18t difference in front would be even more awful.
I hope that makes sense. If you do some basic gear inch calculations, you get more bang for buck changing cassette gearing then you do chainrings in front.
Last issue is chainrings for Ultegra which I don't think you need unless you change the small ring. The big ring is hollow and what gives Ultegra and DA its special shift quality. It is very stiff. It is therefore a proprietary ring. I suppose its possible to put a single thickness outer ring on there with proper spacing but it would also destroy the aesthetic. Now for the inner ring, you are in luck. Many change the inner ring on Ultegra and DA. Both are a single thickness standard ring...Ultegra has a 110 BCD.
HTH.
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Old 08-09-13, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by GoodOmens83 View Post
Yea I think the ideal would be 52/36 but I don't think they are available yet as I can't find anyone selling a set with that option. It just seems people are either selling the 50/34 or 53/39. Ribbles has the 34/50 for $800 - I guess even if at a later date I decide to switch to 52/36 it will still be a good deal.
$800 is more expensive than the 9000 series must be some mistake. You can get it for under $300 at competitive cyclist
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Old 08-09-13, 05:46 AM
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Friend bought a new R3 recently, think it game with a mid-compacy 52/36, shop converted it to 52/34 for him for better mountain climbing but still have plenty of mash for sprints. Doesn't seem to have any issues shifting. I think it's rotor branded though, not Shimano. But shouldn't matter.
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Old 08-09-13, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by robbyville View Post
$800 is more expensive than the 9000 series must be some mistake. You can get it for under $300 at competitive cyclist
No $800 for the entire group-set, not just the crankset. I apologize if that wasn't clear. I can't find anyone selling the 52/36 crankset as part of a group-set for a reasonable price.

Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
Last issue is chainrings for Ultegra which I don't think you need unless you change the small ring. The big ring is hollow and what gives Ultegra and DA its special shift quality. It is very stiff. It is therefore a proprietary ring. I suppose its possible to put a single thickness outer ring on there with proper spacing but it would also destroy the aesthetic. Now for the inner ring, you are in luck. Many change the inner ring on Ultegra and DA. Both are a single thickness standard ring...Ultegra has a 110 BCD.
HTH.
If I replaced the chainrings I'd replace with ultegra only. Unless some aftermarket makes things better. Which circles back to my original question - can you buy individual chainrings (ultegra) and are they user replaceable on the 6800. No one is selling just the chainrings now and I'm assuming because there's just no stock. Plenty of articles mention you can replace them but I'm just curious if at some point in the next year retailers will be carrying just the 6800 chainrings.

Yea I doubt I'd be in 50-11 much so just replacing the inner at a later date might make sense. While the terrain around DC is mostly flat - when there are hills they are extremely steep and I've been struggling on them.

Last edited by GoodOmens83; 08-09-13 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 08-09-13, 06:33 AM
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Gotcha much better! They certainly will be available, I just looked them up with one of our suppliers and while not currently in stock the individual rings are listed. It was like that for my DA 9000 as well took a while to see rings separately.

not that you would want to but if in a hurry you could put 9000 rings on as the bolt circle is the same but much more money than its worth.
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Old 08-09-13, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by GoodOmens83 View Post
No $800 for the entire group-set, not just the crankset. I apologize if that wasn't clear. I can't find anyone selling the 52/36 crankset as part of a group-set for a reasonable price.



If I replaced the chainrings I'd replace with ultegra only. Unless some aftermarket makes things better. Which circles back to my original question - can you buy individual chainrings (ultegra) and are they user replaceable on the 6800. No one is selling just the chainrings now and I'm assuming because there's just no stock. Plenty of articles mention you can replace them but I'm just curious if at some point in the next year retailers will be carrying just the 6800 chainrings.

Yea I doubt I'd be in 50-11 much so just replacing the inner at a later date might make sense. While the terrain around DC is mostly flat - when there are hills they are extremely steep and I've been struggling on them.
If you are struggling on the hills then a compact makes sense and you likely will want a 34t inner ring. So just get a 50/34t. A tip is...even though the new 6800 groupset is a fantastic improvement over 6700, there is little difference between the cranksets. FWIW all 10s cranks will shift a 11s bike just fine including Campy. So if you want to save some money, just get a 6700 compact crank, if running 10 or 11s. Ultegra cranks...in particular for threaded BB bikes are about as good as it gets price to dollar.
As to changing chain rings, as I explained, yes, it would make sense to go with the proprietary outer ring for either DA or Ultegra. But not the inner ring. It is generic with no pins or ramps. In fact a generic inner ring works fine for all doubles on the market. They are simple flat chainrings. FSA makes a good one. Even on Campy. Now Campy is tricky about trying to sell only their replacement inner ring for their compact. They have a proprietary bolt circle for 'one' bolt of 112mm. This is easy surmountable with a dremel with no affect to ring runnout or retention. I run a non Campy inner ring on my Campy compact. You won't need more than 50-11 so don't change the big ring on the compact either.
Consider a bigger cassette in back...something like a 30-11 will work or close. 34-30 is a creeper gear that will get you up anything with a spin.
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Old 08-09-13, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
If you are struggling on the hills then a compact makes sense and you likely will want a 34t inner ring. So just get a 50/34t. A tip is...even though the new 6800 groupset is a fantastic improvement over 6700, there is little difference between the cranksets. FWIW all 10s cranks will shift a 11s bike just fine including Campy. So if you want to save some money, just get a 6700 compact crank, if running 10 or 11s. Ultegra cranks...in particular for threaded BB bikes are about as good as it gets price to dollar.
As to changing chain rings, as I explained, yes, it would make sense to go with the proprietary outer ring for either DA or Ultegra. But not the inner ring. It is generic with no pins or ramps. In fact a generic inner ring works fine for all doubles on the market. They are simple flat chainrings. FSA makes a good one. Even on Campy. Now Campy is tricky about trying to sell only their replacement inner ring for their compact. They have a proprietary bolt circle for 'one' bolt of 112mm. This is easy surmountable with a dremel with no affect to ring runnout or retention. I run a non Campy inner ring on my Campy compact. You won't need more than 50-11 so don't change the big ring on the compact either.
Consider a bigger cassette in back...something like a 30-11 will work or close. 34-30 is a creeper gear that will get you up anything with a spin.
Just remember that if you do end up with 6800 that all your rings will need to be proprietary, to the best of my knowledge nobody is making rings for the new 4 arm bolt pattern yet (?).
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Old 08-09-13, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by robbyville View Post
Just remember that if you do end up with 6800 that all your rings will need to be proprietary, to the best of my knowledge nobody is making rings for the new 4 arm bolt pattern yet (?).
Thanks for the catch on that Robby...I stand corrected that the new 6800 is 4 arm. Which begs the question. Many have heard about the new 4 arm DA crank with its universal spider aka ability to mount both 130 BCD and 110 BCD to accommodate both compact and full size chain rings without changing the crank design. Of course they do this with a proprietary purpose to extoll more money from consumers since no aftermarket chainrings will mount to the new DA crank. My question does the Ultegra 6800 have the same universal spider that will mount full size chainrings? Ultegra as you know is historically compact i.e. 110 BCD.
Thanks for any further insight.
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Old 08-09-13, 09:19 AM
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IMHO there is really no desire to use non DA9000 chainrings. They shift better than anything out there. Only case would be extreme weight weenies but then they wouldn't be considering the DA9000 crankset anyways
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Old 08-09-13, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by robbyville View Post
Gotcha much better! They certainly will be available, I just looked them up with one of our suppliers and while not currently in stock the individual rings are listed. It was like that for my DA 9000 as well took a while to see rings separately.

not that you would want to but if in a hurry you could put 9000 rings on as the bolt circle is the same but much more money than its worth.
Good to know that it's listed as something that can be ordered. I've read that the 6800 rings will fit on the 9000.

By the time I'd want new rings I'm guessing it would be probably next summer anyways so hopefully stock will be in by then. I think I'll just order the compact and go from there.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
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Old 08-09-13, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
Thanks for the catch on that Robby...I stand corrected that the new 6800 is 4 arm. Which begs the question. Many have heard about the new 4 arm DA crank with its universal spider aka ability to mount both 130 BCD and 110 BCD to accommodate both compact and full size chain rings without changing the crank design. Of course they do this with a proprietary purpose to extoll more money from consumers since no aftermarket chainrings will mount to the new DA crank. My question does the Ultegra 6800 have the same universal spider that will mount full size chainrings? Ultegra as you know is historically compact i.e. 110 BCD.
Thanks for any further insight.
Yup, same mold as the 9000 I'm told, same universal spider so one can swap rings comfortably. I haven't seen pricing on the Ultegra rings yet obviously but if tradition holds true they'll be reasonably priced
Originally Posted by GoodOmens83 View Post
Good to know that it's listed as something that can be ordered. I've read that the 6800 rings will fit on the 9000.

By the time I'd want new rings I'm guessing it would be probably next summer anyways so hopefully stock will be in by then. I think I'll just order the compact and go from there.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
Great choice and good luck! Make sure to post pics
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Old 08-09-13, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by robbyville View Post
Great choice and good luck! Make sure to post pics
Thanks. I'm just waiting for the frame to get back from Joe Bell for a repaint. Just got word he should be done by next week so it's going to be a sweet looking ride. Pics will definitely follow!
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