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Crankset Upgrade/Gearing Opinions, oh and a brake Q, too(5 posts)

Crankset Upgrade/Gearing Opinions, oh and a brake Q, tooJakob
Aug 16, 2002 12:04 PM
I made a mistake earlier in the year when I was building my bike. I bought a pair of 105 crankarms in a 170mm length. I am thinking about getting something a little longer, probably 175mm. Currently, I have my bike set up with a single 42 in the front and an 8-spd XT 11-30 in the back.

Here's a handful of questions:
1. Does 5mm in crankarm length really matter? What am I saying? Of course it does. . .

2. What's a better deal: Ultegra cranks for $90 or Ritchey Cross cranks for $120?

3. Since I am bound by my 8-spd STI shifters, I am kinda stuck as far as rear gearing. Should I stick with single or put on a double with a tighter Ultegra 8 cassette?

4. Brakes: Empellas or Paul's? Flat levers: Empellas or Paul's? I'm a NorCal guy that's leaning toward Paul.

I initially went to the single to avoid the excess chain length associated with the 46/38 double but as the season approaches I am starting to obsess (just a little) about gear ranges.

re: Crankset Upgrade/Gearing Opinions, oh and a brake Q, tooatpjunkie
Aug 16, 2002 1:17 PM
5mm in cranks hmmmmm two schools of thought. If you wanna mash and hammer it will matter. A 170 gives more ground clearance which can aid in slop and crap and bunny hopping. I'm actually running 172.5's and I kinda like them. I tend to like to spin but miss the leverage of bigger cranks. I tend not to blow into lactate debt with less mashing.
Where can you get the ritchey's for 120? Is that w/ rings? Ultegra probably a better deal but I like the black and plan on running campy on bike #2
Cool with the 8sp actually. You won't break as many chains. go double with a 12-27 if you can find it.
Go Pauls, support your local CNCers. If you are going to go hardcore race you may want to consider a single but a double has more opportunities as far as available rides.
cranks and gearsJakob
Aug 16, 2002 1:57 PM
I think I will go with the Pauls. has the Ritchey Pro Cross Crankset w/rings for $119.95. I like the black, too.

I'm not super-concerned about crankarm clearance as my Redline has a fairly high BB. That said, maybe I'll just stick w/the 170s. I tend to spin and run rather mash.

I have had no luck find 12-27 8-speed cassettes. The closest I have foudn is a 12-28 XTR cassette.

Also, this is my hardcore race bike. My Surly is set up with a triple, bar-cons, fenders, and even a rack at the moment. That's my adventure bike. The Redline is all about performance.

Thanks for the response.
cranks and gearsatpjunkie
Aug 16, 2002 2:46 PM
12-28 XTR will be swanky. I gotta check those cranks THANX, sounds like a fine rig
re: Crankset Upgrade/Gearing Opinions, oh and a brake Q, tooseamus
Aug 16, 2002 7:54 PM
1. Yeah, the 5mm really does make a difference. Heck, even the 2.5 to 172.5's would make a difference, but many riders really like 175's for cross. The added leverage helps, it just depends on whether or not you want to depart from your road setup, assuming you're on 172.5's on the road, and most riders are.

2. Ultegra if you already have cross rings, otherwise Ritchey. Technically the Ultegra arms are a little stiffer than Ritchey, but not by much.

3. Personal preference, but a double gives you more all-around options to match different courses and riding needs.

4. Pauls are RAD! I've had a few pairs, zero problems and the craftsmanship is first-rate. Paul's levers are nice too, because compared to the Empella Froglegs, they don't require a complicated split-cable setup, they just splice into your existing brake housing.

Seamus (Soron)