General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Cranksets Rss Feed  
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2014-02-17 3:48 PM

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Subject: Cranksets
Thinking about upgrading my crankset from a lower level FSA to either a Shim Ultegra, or SRAM RED. The SRAM is lighter, but my LBS says the ultegra is stronger. Most of my other components are ultegra or 105. So is the SRAM Red really weaker?


Thanks
J


2014-02-17 4:54 PM
in reply to: #4950994

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
Plenty of BS... The Red cranks are very stiff, you're not going to flex them.
2014-02-17 4:55 PM
in reply to: audiojan

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
I assumed as much. But good to hear from others since I don't "really" know anything!!
2014-02-17 5:09 PM
in reply to: toodamnbroke

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
Let me guess...LBS has Ultegra in stock and wants to sell it you... Total BS. The Red and Ultegra cranksets are both plenty durable. The Red will be lighter and maybe stiffer (but you likely would not know the difference in stiffness). If equal price then go with the lighter! If you are looking at 10-speed, then note that with the introduction of 11 speed you can start to find some really good deals on gently used last generation Dura-Ace (the equal to Red in the Shimano line) and ultegra.
2014-02-18 5:10 PM
in reply to: toodamnbroke

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
It is worth noting that post 2012 Red 10s has slightly wider chainring spacing (.4mm, IIRC) than Shimano to accommodate the Yaw FD. I'm not sure if they narrowed it back down to 'standard' 10s width or something in between when they went to Red22 (due to the narrower chain).

SYJ
2014-02-18 5:38 PM
in reply to: toodamnbroke

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Subject: RE: Cranksets

What exactly are you trying to get out of upgrading your crankset?  Unless you are trying to change your gearing by moving from 130mm BCD to 110mm BCD (or vice versa), then the difference between your current crank and the top of the line cranks will be somewhere between slim and nothing as far as performance and speed goes in triathlon.

I have nothing against upgrading simply because you want nicer gear...just want to make sure that your expectations are in line though.

 

 



2014-02-18 8:26 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
Originally posted by Jason N

What exactly are you trying to get out of upgrading your crankset?  Unless you are trying to change your gearing by moving from 130mm BCD to 110mm BCD (or vice versa), then the difference between your current crank and the top of the line cranks will be somewhere between slim and nothing as far as performance and speed goes in triathlon.

I have nothing against upgrading simply because you want nicer gear...just want to make sure that your expectations are in line though.

 

 




There is kind of a few reasons... (said in a shacky, unsure tone). But I am running out of gear on the top end during some of my group training rides, so i'd like to move to a standard size crankset. Then there is the issue of weight, which I know isn't a big, or even noticeable factor, but I'll throw it in there. I'm half looking at PM's, which complicates things even more, but i might do the crank and PM at the same time.. which yields more options to wrestle with.... stages and Ultegra, stages and SRAM, Quarq and SRAM... This is why my name is what it is.... there is always something else to buy which leaves me Toodamnbroke!!!

And when it's all said and done, I'll most likely do nothing!!! But it never hurts to ask and get opinions.
2014-02-18 9:21 PM
in reply to: toodamnbroke

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Subject: RE: Cranksets

What kind of chainrings are you currently running?  What type of cassette?  If you are not currently using a cassette with an 11t gear, then I'd suggest moving to that first.  Easiest and simplest solution to getting more top end gear.  Second to that, I would consider moving to 52/36 chainrings assuming you have 50/34 now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014-02-18 10:29 PM
in reply to: toodamnbroke

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Subject: RE: Cranksets

The ultegra is probably stronger, but you will never induce enough stress on either to cause fatigue/deformation.  the SRAM red is the lighter of the two options.  If you get a deal on the Ultegra because they carry it I would just go with that and not worry about it.  I'm assuming you are doing this to upgrade to a standard over a compact.  Another option would be to buy new chain rings in a 52/36 

2014-02-18 10:31 PM
in reply to: audiojan

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
Originally posted by audiojan

Plenty of BS... The Red cranks are very stiff, you're not going to flex them.


Cranks are good, It's everything else SRAM produces that fails, more specifically their cassettes and derailuers
2014-02-18 10:35 PM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Subject: RE: Cranksets

Originally posted by bcagle25
Originally posted by audiojan Plenty of BS... The Red cranks are very stiff, you're not going to flex them.
Cranks are good, It's everything else SRAM produces that fails, more specifically their cassettes and derailuers

I'm having chain ring issues with my SRAM bike right now.



2014-02-19 3:59 AM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: Cranksets

Originally posted by Jason N

What kind of chainrings are you currently running?  What type of cassette?  If you are not currently using a cassette with an 11t gear, then I'd suggest moving to that first.  Easiest and simplest solution to getting more top end gear.  Second to that, I would consider moving to 52/36 chainrings assuming you have 50/34 now.

To the OP:

50/11 at 90rpm = 32mph.  53/11 only bumps that to about 34.  In either case, you're talking about a downhill.  Plus, you can turn a lot more rpm if you practice.

If your focus is triathlons, leave the compact crankset in place and choose the right cassette like Jason said.  Work on some cadence drills if you really want that top end speed for short courses.

2014-02-19 5:28 AM
in reply to: toodamnbroke

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
Running out of gear on a group ride...on the top end meaning on hills or descents? At a certain point you will run out of gearing on descents, but if the group is getting away from you, it's from proper shifting at the crest of the hill. Listen for all the gear changes right before the apex. If you're running out going up...well....
1) have any weight to lose?
2) what gear are you in and what's your cadence
3) maybe it's time to do some focused work on hills??

If you're riding a 34 and something in range of 25-28 in back it definitely isn't the crank. In fact, it just definitely isn't the crank. I should have started with that. Also, you don't need a power meter if you're getting dropped on group rides. That might sound a little harsh, but it's a lot of coin to drop, and getting hooked up on a trainer with trainerroad can achieve more for you right now.
2014-02-19 5:30 AM
in reply to: toodamnbroke

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
Originally posted by toodamnbroke

There is kind of a few reasons... (said in a shacky, unsure tone). But I am running out of gear on the top end during some of my group training rides, so i'd like to move to a standard size crankset. Then there is the issue of weight, which I know isn't a big, or even noticeable factor, but I'll throw it in there. I'm half looking at PM's, which complicates things even more, but i might do the crank and PM at the same time.. which yields more options to wrestle with.... stages and Ultegra, stages and SRAM, Quarq and SRAM... This is why my name is what it is.... there is always something else to buy which leaves me Toodamnbroke!!!

And when it's all said and done, I'll most likely do nothing!!! But it never hurts to ask and get opinions.


Get yourself an 11-28 cassette. That'll take you from bombing down a hill to a pretty good climb even just getting started.

Get a year or a couple years in of regular riding before you worry about power.

Just like everyone else, this is my opinion and I'm running an 11-28 with a compact crank on my road bike and have never run out of gears either way.

2014-02-19 8:42 AM
in reply to: spudone

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Subject: RE: Cranksets

Likely you don't need a new crankset but more likely different cassette and/or different cadence.

95% of triathletes are better off on compact crank. Unless you are very much front of the front of the pack, compacts are ideal.

2014-02-19 10:10 AM
in reply to: KathyG

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
Go play with this gear calculator. It's a great visual for understanding the effect different cranks and cassettes, and cadences have on speed, etc. I change the "Show Values" tab to speed, and it's really helpful.

http://gear-calculator.com/#

BTW - Also assuming you are getting dropped on the downhills, I second the idea that it is not your gearing limiting you. At a cadence of 110 RPMs (well below spinout cadence), that is 39.1 MPH! I don't know about you, but anything around 35 MPH, I'm tucking in and trying to be aero to increase speed, and not pedaling!!! And, if your group can drop you on the flat at 32MPH, well....

What cassette do you have on right now?


2014-02-19 11:38 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
So to try and answer all the questions. I live in Houston, really really flat!! The only hills we have are overpasses and bridges. Getting dropped on what few down-bridges we have isn't an issue as the downhill distance is really short. But there are straight flat stretches where we hit between 28-31mph a few maybe 1-2 miles. During that time I'm spinning my a$$ off!!! Please note: I can keep up in the group, i CANNOT go that fast on my own. I'm not some sort of beast or anything, but I am a FOP to FMOP rider when I'm on my game. I know I can get what I want with a different rear cassette, and that is an option in consideration, it just does not apply to my lack of knowledge about the original question. I'm clueless about the different brands and how the hold up etc.. I could lose a few more pounds, and I have been steady losing over the past 2 years since I got into Tri's. I've probably lost about 20lbs total in 2 years. So that's definitely something I am working really hard to do as well. In total honesty, I don't run out of gear in my races... as I'm not riding with my group (that has some serious studs), so for anything but my group rides, I'm aware I will gain nothing from the gearing since I don't run out of gears in my actual races. My curiosity is in the: if I am going to look at PM's, and that "could" entail upgrading the crank at the same time, I'd like to know if there is a better/worse route to take with respect to cranks. And I think that questions has been addressed, so thank you. Most likely I'll probably end up doing nothing and just save some money for once.

Thanks for all the help.
J

Edited by toodamnbroke 2014-02-19 11:43 AM
2014-02-19 12:01 PM
in reply to: toodamnbroke

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
this is a few years old, but the name and bike are relevant to you:
http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2007/tour07/tech/probike.php?id...

An FSA Gossamer crank is just fine, guessing that's what you have.

The difference between your crank and a 'higher end' crank are simply not even worth a batted eyelid. Keep your bike clean, lube your chain, replace the cassette and chain once a year, and work hard. 30 mph in a train ain't a walk in the park, but you're not a crankset away from hitting the pace. It's a power thing.
2014-02-19 12:36 PM
in reply to: toodamnbroke

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Subject: RE: Cranksets

Your current crank is fine as far as weight and stiffness.

When you start losing 3-5 mile hill climb races by less than 10 seconds, you may consider going to a lighter crank.

If you're losing all out sprints by less than one wheel length, you may want to consider going to a stiffer crank.

2014-02-19 12:43 PM
in reply to: toodamnbroke

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
If your are using a 50 up front and 11 on the back you only have to spin at 85 to be over 30mph. There is no reason to change if that is as fast as they are going. You should work on spinning faster; for short periods (1 or 2 miles)anyone should be able t0 spin at 95rpm or more. I have a 52/36 with an 11/25 cassette and can pull 29 mph with gears to spare.

If you want a power meter the figure out what power meter you want first then figure out if you want to change your gears.

The 52/36 is a compact, so you can easily go from a 50/34 to a 52/36.
2014-02-19 4:10 PM
in reply to: mike761

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Subject: RE: Cranksets
When it comes to cranksets, in my mind there's really only one choice in the current market: Ultegra 6800. It should work with 10 and 11 speed drivetrains, and Shimano's 4-leg spider without a BCD means that you can run standard or compact chainrings. Shimano chainrings are also forged and hollow - which is unique in the cycling world.

That being said, like many of the others here, I would look to cassettes and technique (i.e., spinning faster) rather than cranksets. For giving up the 54x11 descent bomb (where gravity is giving you the biggest boost), you're getting a close-ratio, power-optimizing set of gears.

Adding a powermeter choice to the mix complicates things. I've posted about it before, but here's a capsule summary:

(1) Powertap - reliable, durable, relatively cheap - but you're probably going to buy two of them if you want one for race day.
(2) Stages - on the cheap end, subject to some voodoo about 2x left leg power (honestly, if it's good enough for Team Sky, it's good enough for just about everyone. Also, after 20 hours on my fancy (read: expensive) Vectors, my L/R power balance is 50/50, +/- 3% either way at any given time. I don't see it being significant.
(3) Power2Max - a relatively new player, but all signs point to it working well
(4) Quarq - a good options, but on the pricier side.
(5) Vectors - what I use. I've had some teething issues, but when they work, which is most of the time, they work well, and Garmin Support has treated me well. Easy to swap between bikes and not dependent on cranksets. Limited to Look-style pedals.
(6) SRM - the long-time gold standard, but probably too expensive for most.

P2Max or Quarq would require you to commit a crankset, while the Stages, Vectors, and Powertap don't. Also depends on whether you want it for your tri bike or road bike, if applicable.


2014-02-19 5:58 PM
in reply to: mirthfuldragon

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Subject: RE: Cranksets

Originally posted by mirthfuldragon

(6) SRM - the long-time gold standard, but probably too expensive for most.

The biggest annoyance with SRM isn't necessarily the price, but that it isn't user-serviceable.  Even battery replacement requires sending it back to SRM.

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