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FSA Carbon Pro Elite Compact ??(17 posts)

FSA Carbon Pro Elite Compact ??fasteddie
Jan 27, 2004 2:45 PM
Anyone use/try these? Other than a compatible BB, is there anything else that needs to be done? I need some climbing help with some of the steeper passes here in Colo as well as expected cyling in Italy this spring. The 50/34 rings are attractive from a clmibing standpoint. It seems easier to just switch the crankset and BB instead all the additional stuff to convert from a double to a triple. However, I am a little concerned with just a 50 big ring. Anyway, any thoughts would be appreciated.
campy or shimano??C-40
Jan 27, 2004 3:13 PM
The benefit isn't that large, a bit more than a typical 1-cog shift (13%). A change in cassette range may offer the same benefit, depending on what you have now. For example, with a Campy 10 drivetrain, changing from a 12-25 to a 13-29 cassette would provide a bit lower gearing than a 34/25 low gear. Either combination exceeds the capacity of a short cage rear derailleur and really requires a medium cage rear derailleur if you want full capacity.

The disadvantage to the caompact crank is having to shift 3 or 4 cogs after every chinring shift, compared to a 2-cog shift with a 53/39.

With Campy, the only additional item needed to switch to a triple is a new front derailleur. A Centaur front derailleur is only $28.
I have Campy 10 (Record) now...fasteddie
Jan 27, 2004 3:55 PM
and have already gone to a 13-29 cassette. This has worked great the last couple of years, but I've hit the wall as far as what I can climb without some mechanical assistance.

For a triple I figured I would need a new BB (a 111mm asymmetrical for the wider profile), the triple crank, a long cage RD (I now have a medium) and a new FD. Assuming I have this correct, then the FSS compact would be much easier, although not necessarily cheaper.
the cheap route...C-40
Jan 27, 2004 4:22 PM
Going to a 50/34 will really cut down on your top end with a 13-29. If you need that much help (like me), a triple would be a lot smarter. You can get by with a medium cage rear deraileur either by not using cogs smaller than the 16T with the little ring, or by switching to a 12-25 cassette. A 30/25 gear is virtually identical to a 34/29.

A 53/39/30 is a better setup than a 53/42/30. It provides a uniform 2-cog shift after every chainring shift and reduces or eliminates the need to use the little ring on hills. Unfortunately, Campy doesn't offer this combo. There are three good 53/39/30 cranks readily available. FSA makes the pricey Team Issue carbon and the $150 Energy triple. These cranks have identical chainrings and the much cheaper Energy is nearly as light as the Team Issue carbon. Shimano has a a 53/39/30 in DuraAce 9-speed, which will work perfectly well on a Campy 10 drivetrain.

I have both the Team Issue carbon and Energy triple cranks with 53/39/30 chainrings, combined with medium cage R/D and 12-25 cassettes. Makes a great climbing setup with low gears for climbing and no loss of top speed. I chose the ISIS bottom bracket versions.
great suggestions....Thanks!fasteddie
Jan 27, 2004 4:37 PM
one warning...C-40
Jan 27, 2004 8:35 PM
One thing I just thought of that's rarely discussed, is the fact that a triple front derailleur must be mounted significntly higher on the frame than a double. On my C-40 I barely managed to get the derailleur high enough with the braze-on derailleur mount. There is always the chance that a braze-on mount might not have enough travel to allow the derailleur to clear the big ring.

If the frame uses a clamp-on derailleur or clamp-on adapter, there will be no problem.
one warning...fasteddie
Jan 27, 2004 8:46 PM
I too have a C40 and initially I was concerned that I could the FD low enough to fit the 50 big ring. I didn't even consider the reverse. Thanks for the advise.
One of the best new products!kushogun
Jan 27, 2004 3:15 PM
Ok ok ok, so it's not brand spankin new. FSA has turned out about 2-3 large runs of these bad boys and the vendors simply can't keep them in stock! I work at a shop in Kansas and i've sold several during the cold months. Right now QBP, Seatle bike supply, Sinclair Imports, and BTI are all out of the crank but should be getting resupplied within the next 2 weeks or so. I ride about 6-8k miles a year and have tried a wide variety of cranksets ranging from shimano D/A 10 to Campy Record (carbon and alum), FSA Elite Carbon, and the FSA compact. While i'm not the super beefy stud who can crank out 600+ watts in the sprints pushing my 53/11, it definately seemed like enough gear for me. FSA basically took your top 6% worth of gear and moved it to the granny side. In fact I think a 50/11 is pretty close in gear inches to your 53/12 (someone may check thi). However, the small 34 tooth ring really allows for all day climbing bliss. The other nice thing about the crank is the 110 bolt pattern. This allows for near infinite chainring experimentation (regarding teeth) compared to the 135 or 130. Overall, I would recommend the crank to almost any rider, this even includes some seasoned racers. If you don't believe me check out Mr. Tyler Hamilton in his solo breakaway during the 2003 TdF. Look close and you'll see his compact crank. In summation, I give the crank top marks. It's light (approx. 515 grams), relatively stiff (although not touching the D/A 10 crank especially in front end shifting), and great design. While some may buck the crank, and scoff at the baby inner ring, i'm confident that it will be well worth your money. One last thing, why do you need to change your bottom bracket? The crank is available in both ISIS (which I would strongly NOT recommend) as well as Octalink. BTW, FSA's website lists the required Octalink spindle @ 103mm. The new school 109.5mm works just fine! Hope this helps. Keep the rubber side down!
One of the best new products!kushogun
Jan 27, 2004 3:18 PM
Sorry, I forgot you may have campy, in that case go Octalink.
Yep. Campy here....fasteddie
Jan 27, 2004 3:59 PM
Sorry, I failed to mention that earlier. I don't recall what FAS calls their 2 or 3 top BB...but what are your shop's prices on the FSA compact and a top BB? I can't find any around here (Denver) and there a ton of shops to chose from.
buy online...C-40
Jan 27, 2004 4:30 PM has FSA cranks and bottom brackets about as cheap as anyone. The compact crank is $300 and Platinum Pro Ti BB is $85. is also a decent source.

Locally, Excel Sports carries FSA cranks, but only in the Octalink versions.
Jan 27, 2004 4:09 PM
FSA's top dog is called the Platinum Pro Ti. Retail is around $110. Although I hate ISIS. They use smaller diameter ball bearings than Campy or Shimano resulting in a shorter lifespan. After about 4-5 rides ISIS B/B just seem a bit rough. I would go octalink with a sealed unit like Ultegra. But if not compatible than it doesn't leave you a whole lot of other options. Price for crank/BB is around $470 before tax.
not in my experience...C-40
Jan 27, 2004 4:34 PM
I logged 1500 miles on an FSA Platinum Pro Ti BB this year and it still turns perfectly smooth.
re: FSA Carbon Pro Elite Compact ??Wiaruz
Jan 27, 2004 4:40 PM
I have gone with the FSA carbon pro on my new De Rosa Corum. I also have gone for a 48/34 set up with a 13/26 cassette. I need the lower gears rather than the higher and can still use a short cage rear mech. 48x13 (100 inch) is quite big enough for an old fart like me. I cannot believe that most people on this forum can really need or use 53x11 or 12. They are for pros only.
The chainset is a beauty and a real challenege to the two regular makes we all know and love.
I also use 48-34Ray Sachs
Jan 28, 2004 7:07 AM
I find that a 48x12 tall gear is enough for me (about 108"). I've tried setups with smaller high gears and wished for more, but with 108 inches, I can spin well up into the upper 30's and then I'm happy to tuck and coast anyway. I use Shimano gear and on the low end, I use a 12-27 or, for touring or hilly epics, a 12-34 (I keep an XT rear der on the bike). That 34x34 is a nice bail out for super steeps on the fourth or fifth consecutive hilly day on a tour. I don't use it much, but I've never been sorry to have it.

The only problem I've ever run into with this setup is with braze on front derailures, where the braze tab is too high to get good derailure placement. Dropped the chain quite a bit on a frame like that. All of my bikes use clamp on front mechs now, so no problem anymore.

re: FSA Carbon Pro Elite Compact ??torquecal
Jan 27, 2004 5:53 PM
Actually, just got done installing mine about fifteen minutes ago. You'll almost certainly have to lower your front der on the frame. Chain length and rear der B-stay adjustments may take a little work. There is some crosschaining limitations (on my 105 set up, when in the 34 chainring, the chain rubs on the inside of the 50 ring if I try to use any of the three smallest cogs). I've only had it on the trainer so far (darkness falls waay too early these days!) Hope to get a proper test ride in tomorrow right after work.
re: FSA Carbon Pro Elite Compact ??lithiapark
Jan 28, 2004 7:08 AM
Have used this crankset for 6 months or more and probably 1500 miles. Use Shimano 12/27 cassette and FSA Platinum Pro Ti ISIS BB. Works nicely, and achieved the goal of being able to get up my steeper hills without a triple. Have to do less shifting, you can use the whole cassette with either chainring if you want to, but I try to avoid prolonged cross chaining. The BB uses larger ball bearings, I believe 1/4", and 2 rows on the drive side, which I believe is larger than some competetitors. The BB has been flawless. Use the same BB on mtb over the past 2+ years, in all the grimiest conditions, and it has also been flawless. I am a fan of ISIS-very easy to use, doesn't creak or need frequent attention, just like octalink only a little lighter, at least for the Platinum Pro Ti. The Compact Pro crankset is about 200 grams lighter than a triple, and the Q factor is less which is of importance to some knees.