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Crankset Question(3 posts)

Crankset Questionchanhoward
Apr 8, 2003 7:13 PM
1.What makes a crank stiff? The crank arms or chain rings?
Sorry for asking such a dumb question.
2. I am deciding between the Shimano Ultegra & Dura-Ace crankset(No Campag for me). I do not care so much about the small weight difference, but I would like a stiff crank(I am more of a spinner), so which one of the 2 will you guys recommend? Please advice
Happy riding
Thanks
re: Crankset Questionrussw19
Apr 8, 2003 8:53 PM
The stiffness difference is not going to be noticable until you put this on a machine and test it to thousandsth of an inch. In that case, I think the Ultegra is actually marginally stiffer. By a thouandth of of an inch of two. Again, not enough to be noticable. But sometimes the stats for these tests are misleading... some measure flex at the crank arm, which is really not a big deal. If the test is to be more acurrate, they should measure at the spider. That makes a bigger difference in most experts opinions. You are more likely to flex a crank at the spider and chainrings and notice it than at the end of the crankarm. Also, more important is going to be your bottom bracket's stiffness. And even more so than that is going to be your frame's stiffness at the bottom bracket shell.

So over all, get the Ultegra with a Dura-Ace BB. There is a lot of talk right now on this board about if the Dura-Ace or ultegra is the better bottom bracket... some say the sealed cartridge unit in the ultegra (making it service free, or non-servicable depending on your perspective) makes it a better buy, but the Dura-Ace uses a triple bearing system to make it quite a bit stiffer. They use 2 sets of ball bearings like the ultegra, but add a set of needle bearings at the driveside to make the spindle stiffer and smoother. And you can clean and repack the Dura-Ace if you get it wet or dirty. Some people think this is too much work, but it makes your BB last a lot longer. If you get debris into the ultegra, you must replace it with a new one... it's not serviceable.

All that said, I would tell you to look into the Ritchey WCS Road crank and use it with a Dura-Ace BB. The ritchey is strong, stiff and really pretty nice. It should be a little cheaper than the D-A but weighs the same. It uses the Shimano Octalink spline pattern, so use a Dura-Ace BB with it and you will be rockin' like Dokken!

Just my opinion,
Russ
Spinners and stiff cranksKerry
Apr 9, 2003 4:31 PM
Generally it would be mashers and sprinters who would be benefited by a stiffer crank. When spinning, the peak forces on the whole system are lower, and so you don't need such beefy stuff to get the job done. That said, among the upper end Campy and Shimano, there's not much difference.