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Compact double crank ideas?

Old 07-29-12, 09:35 PM
  #1  
birdadam
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Compact double crank ideas?

Hey all,

I am restoring an older touring bike for modern use. I need some compact double (50/34) cranks to put on it. I'm not tooooo concerned with making it look vintage, but I would like the cranks to be polished aluminum. On my normal road racing bike, I use 175 mm cranks. Options:

1) I can get some Campy Athena compact double cranks in 175 mm on closeout for $115. But they are power torque, and I understand that this BB type is very hard to service (lots of special tools required) so I wonder if this could prove to be a liability on a tour?

2) A buddy of mine has some Campy Athena compact double cranks with ultra torque BB that he wants $160 for. BUT they are 172.5 mm. I am a little hesitant to get a new component that is not the "correct" length, even if 2.5 mm is a pretty small difference. Plus, will ultra torque be much easier to service f I break down and am getting help at some small town LBS?

3) I can get a set of compact double IRD Defiant cranks in 175 mm for $160. They have a square taper crank. They certainly look the part. I'm a little concerned about heel clearance eith the older design. Plus, they are clearly not as high level cranks as Athenas.

Please no comments about me needing a triple for touring. I have already decided upon a compact double.

Anyone have any ideas of of other cranks to get? Or does one of the 3 options I have suggested seem suitable?

Thanks!

Adam
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Old 07-29-12, 09:58 PM
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AngrySaki
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I'm a little concerned about heel clearance eith the older design
Maybe I'm not reading right, but why would the heel clearance be "worse" on these 175mm cranks compared to other 175mm cranks?
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Old 07-29-12, 10:05 PM
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birdadam
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The crank arm is straight, as opposed to more "modern" cranks which have a curved crank arm. It has nothing to do with crank arm length.
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Old 07-29-12, 11:46 PM
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Thor29
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Velo Orange has polished square taper compact cranksets. I put one on a Surly that I built for a friend. They look sweet but I had to run a shorter bottom bracket than the recommended size to get the correct chainline. They are fairly inexpensive, so what the heck.
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Old 07-30-12, 01:13 AM
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AngrySaki
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The crank arm is straight, as opposed to more "modern" cranks which have a curved crank arm. It has nothing to do with crank arm length.
Do you mean that newer cranks are curved away from the bike and that your heels would be too far inwards on the old cranks?
If that's the case, what about just using a wider bottom bracket. (Or maybe I'm still not understanding :/ )

edit: do you mean heel clearance for your heels hitting your panniers, or crank-arms?
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Old 07-30-12, 02:19 AM
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MichaelW
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Stronglight Impact is a fairly classic compact double.
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Old 07-30-12, 07:40 AM
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birdadam
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Thanks for the feedback.

AngrySaki: I mean that when your foot is at the front of the pedal stroke, your heel hits the crank arm just where it joins the BB.

Any feedback on how unwise it would be to tour with powertorque cranks? They seem like a great deal for the money. I'm just wondering:

a) Really, how likely is it that I would have a catastrophic (ie. unrideable) bottom bracket failure.
b) How difficult is it to find a shop that can service power torque cranks?
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Old 07-30-12, 07:50 AM
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I've got some Campy Centaur Ultratorque compact cranks, and they are beautiful and well-functioning. I ended up replacing them with a Sugino trip crank on my touring bike, but to be honest I think the compact crank had low enough gears for my purposes. I agree with you, however, about changing crank arm length. I have always used 172.5 mm cranks and would be unwilling to install 170 or 175 for the same reasons because my knees are very sensitive to changes in saddle height.
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Old 07-30-12, 07:58 AM
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Nice cranks. Any opinion on power torque?
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Old 07-30-12, 09:01 AM
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The new Shimano Ultegra compact crank is very nice, but a little pricier than the others mentioned. Bought it for riding in hillier terrain last year. Very light and stiff, and shifting is improved over the older style 53/39 Ultegra crank.
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Old 07-30-12, 11:53 AM
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Given: This is the touring section, a 50 14 top gear was fine when all the freewheels/cassettes
were no smaller than that..
now with 12 and 11 t top cassettes , you don't need that big a chainring..

double out of a triple like VO has makes more sense, 46-30 chainguard replaces the bigger outer.

British cyclist,friend, on a Cal coast tour,86, had one of the combos only do-able with TA cranks
a 50 28, but as I say the smallest cog was a 13t back then,
and so when you run an 11-34t 9 or 10 speed cassette drivetrain , a 44, 24 will be OK.
a single chainring with #2 a bail out mountain chainring.
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Old 07-31-12, 04:19 PM
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Look for an older square-taper Campagnolo Centaur 10sp compact double. You will need a Campy square-taper bottom bracket as well. If later you decide you want to make it a triple, IRD sells a sexy "tripleizer". I ran my Centaur with a 48 FSA outer ring.





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Old 07-31-12, 04:25 PM
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Very well made but not cheap

https://store.interlocracing.com/irdd.html
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Old 07-31-12, 04:31 PM
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The Campag Race triple Right arm is different than the same double,
so it uses the same BB/... adding a triplizer means the right arm has to move outboard
to make room for #3, then a longer BB is required ..

But I suspect the poster wants the shiny Campy double first ,
the touring on the bike hauling their kit is a temporary use.

People ride thru town all summer on all sorts of rigs.
to tour is verb like, the activity of riding to see places.
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Old 07-31-12, 04:44 PM
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How about a sugino crank? They make all sorts... yellow jersey sells a modified triple but I'd be inclined to just buy a triple and take the inner ring off, set it up 46/28 and put a bashguard on the outer ring. The sugino cranks are standard square taper cranks too, so they can alleviate the "what-if" feeling a bit. They are more reminiscent of the 80s shimano cranks than some of the other cranks mentioned in this thread. I've used a couple sugino cranks and found them to be a good value.
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Old 07-31-12, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Given: This is the touring section, a 50 14 top gear was fine when all the freewheels/cassettes
were no smaller than that..
now with 12 and 11 t top cassettes , you don't need that big a chainring..
This is the way I was thinking, except when 14 teeth was king, the big chainring was almost always 52. A 42/11 is actually a higher gear than a 52/14. My new bike has a mountain bike crank on it with a 44 tooth big chain ring. I think it will be fine with an 11 in the back. I doubt I will be in my top gear much.
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Old 07-31-12, 07:29 PM
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Thanks all. I've decided to get the Campy Power Torque cranks. I've looked at the IRD and Sugino cranks, but the Campy ones are just irresistible.
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Old 08-01-12, 12:53 AM
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well if you go with a full Campag drive-train
29:34 is your lowest possible gear, 1.172:1.

Note Small town bike shops will probably not
have Campag Repair parts in stock ,
when you need field replacements.

so expect a layover while things get shipped in.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-01-12 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 08-01-12, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by birdadam View Post
Hey all,

I am restoring an older touring bike for modern use. I need some compact double (50/34) cranks

Please no comments about me needing a triple for touring. I have already decided upon a compact double.

Anyone have any ideas of of other cranks to get? Or does one of the 3 options I have suggested seem suitable?

Thanks!

Adam
To reinforce Fietsbob's comments. If this is truly a touring bike a compact road racing set of chain rings is a waste of space given the prevalence of cassettes starting with 11 and 12 tooth cogs. My Cross-Check is set up with a nice shiny Suntour XD2 triple with chain guard, 44t middle and 30t inner with 12-28 8spd cassette. I like the idea of protecting the chainring from damage as can happen transporting/hiding the bike in less than ideal circumstances. Lower gears are easily achieved with a smaller inner chainring or standard wide cassette.
The other nice aspect is that the middle chainring position allows access to the entire cassette range.
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