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Cyclocross Cranksets(9 posts)

Cyclocross Cranksetsheldveld
Aug 13, 2003 6:22 AM
Anyone out there using one of the cross specific cranksets? I've been looking at FSA Gossamer Cross, TruVativ Elita Cross and Ritchey Cross V. Any advantages other than coming with 48/38 rings? Let me know your opinions. Thanks
Not too impressed with the Ritcheys....Chicago_Steve
Aug 13, 2003 7:00 AM
For some reason I have terible luck with aftermarket cranks not made by Shimano. I got a set of take off Ritcheys from ebay to replace a Shimano XT crankset originally on my CX bike. Here are the pros/cons:

Ritchey Cons
- They had more flex then the Shimano XT's
- Developed a creak at the splined BB interface (Yes I torqued them properly with grease on the splines)
- One of the chainring bolts threads directly into the crankarm. The bolt fell out a short while after installation and forced me to search all over town for a proper chainring bolt and spacer to fix the problem.

- Look nice
- Come with the right chainrings for CX
- Work with Shimano splined BB (which seem to be more reliable then the ISIS BB's on the market).

These cranks only lasted about 500 miles before I resigned them to the parts bin. The chainrings came off and where remounted on a 105 crank which I am using now.
Aug 13, 2003 7:57 AM
I've got 2000 miles on mine and the only issue was a single lost chainring bolt shortly after it was new. I had no problem scavenging one from my spare parts bin but then I didn't need the spacer.

I never noticed a problem with flex but I am surprised that 105's are more rigid than these are.

Here's some interesting data on crank flex...Chicago_Steve
Aug 13, 2003 8:22 AM
Some of the flex I noticed might be due to the fact that I weigh 190 - 195lbs and do a lot of start/stop riding (ie-commuting).

Euro magazines do much more comprehensive product tests then the US. This info is a crank test copied over from the Weight Weenie board on While these are MTB crankset the Ritchey design is very similar between the road and mountain versions of their crank. The higher the "S" number is the stiffer the combination of BB and crank is...

The test results of german "Mountain Bike" magazine:
listed on the left are the cranksets
listed on the bottom are the Bottom brackets
in the grey and white fields are the measurements of the combined parts
S = Stiffness
G = Weight
SGI = Stiffness to weight ratio

Ritchey = Sugino?The Walrus
Aug 13, 2003 1:37 PM
...or at least that used to be true; classic TR, slap-the-logo-on-some-low-end-stuff-and-charge-a-premium (for Sugino, Kalloy, etc....)

Schwab Cycles has the TA 'cross crankset (with rings) for about $200. If I had the money to be buying more stuff, that's what I'd go for.
Ritchey is a design shoprichpierce
Aug 14, 2003 11:42 AM
Ritchey is a design shop not a manufacturer. They always outsource their stuff. They do not normally use other manufacturers designs and simply slap their name or label on them. They make the design, write the specs, then get quality manufacturers to make the stuff. Industry standards are industry standards- so if they want or need a specific alloy, heat treated X way, hot-forged or whatever, that's what they get. There's no reson Sugino or kalloy cannot make highest quality stuff. Companies such as Kalloy or Sugino just have agreements with their business partners to only market OEM quality stuff under their own brands, not the higher end stuff.
what about SS cranks for CX?sbornia
Aug 13, 2003 3:56 PM
Somewhat related question - anyone know of single speed-specific cranks that will work for CX? I know that Truvativ makes one, am curious to know of others.

Alternatively, is it just better or more common to run a regular road or mtb crank with a chainring guard in the large ring position and the single ring in the middle position?


p.s. FWIW, I worked for Ritchey back in the mid-90s and will give you my $0.02 on Walrus' comment about TR putting his logo on low-end stuff. While I have no enduring love for the company -- the stories I could tell! -- I can definitely attest to the fact that TR designs his own stuff. A fact of life of working with overseas manufacturers is that they eventually produce their own, similar versions of your branded products - either with contractual blessing, or quietly without permission. Unless you have a trusted rep monitoring the production floor or shipping containers, it's tough to protect your stuff completely.
FSA Gossamer thoughtsdpb
Aug 14, 2003 6:44 AM

I picked up a new Gossamer CX (double) crankset this year. I found it on ebay for $100 USD, a steal IMHO. Especially when you consider the cost of new (decent) chainrings alone. It's a 175, I was running a 170, so adapting to that was interesting, but I feel better riding these now than I did the 170, especially having the extra torque for the trails.

As for the cranks themselves, the finish is great, the rings shift VERY well (as good or better than shmiano, vuelta). They're stiff, I'm 160 lbs, I like to mash, and I've never noticed any flex. Custom chainring bolts are nice, just don't lose the tool. What else is there to say? ISIS works for me, I hate the shimano monopoly, and my BB (truvativ I'm pretty sure) has been flawless.

Here's some 3rd party info:

"The FSA Gossamer crankset is an acceptable substitution for the RaceFace cranks found on the Speedster and contribute to the lower retail price of the Primera. "

"We love the FSA Gossamer cranks on the Dual. Felt also uses this crank on one of their offerings. It is a substantial upgrade to Shimano 105 with much better chainrings. [snip] Even the chainring bolts are an upgrade."

Anyway, I've read plenty good about these. Also, a friend of mine who kept breaking his XTR cranksets (mid-race spider failure) switched to FSA and refuses to run shimano anymore. Also, I would note that the 38-48 felt like an amazing upgrade for me. My trail-riding has improved a LOT now that I'm running 38/28 in my easy gear. I've spun-out the high gears on some downhills with a tailwind, but I don't race so I'm not concerned. I might want a 50t in front in the future (I do a lot of road riding), but not until I wear out the 48t I've got.

Anyway, after 5 months or so of use, I'd say they're great cranks, I wouldn't hesitate to reccomend them to anyone, and I'd buy them again in a second (especially for the price I paid).

Using Truvativ Elita CrossAJS
Aug 17, 2003 3:28 PM
...with 48/39 rings & ISIS BB. It's 's a pretty good set, but nothing like my old Campy Record cranks! Of course!