ISIS vs Octalink



Navy Jayhawk

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Feb 25, 2006
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I've reached the point where I want to shift to a compact crankset. I have an Ultegra 9 speed outfit with a 105 BB. I am a 42 year old recreational rider, 6'2" and 205 lbs. I have really enjoyed the Ultegra crankset, more than stiff enough for me. I am using a 26/12 cassette, but those hills just seem to be getting steeper. I am doing a 8 day, 485 mile cross-state ride in June that will include some climbing.

It seems the choices for an Octalink compatible crankset is limited compared to ISIS. I would like opinions on:
1) Ritchey WCS 110 V crankset (octalink), particularily concerning stiffness and shifting smoothness
2) thoughts on ISIS reliability vs. octalink
3) difficulties encounted when changing from octalink bb to ISIS
4) compatability of the new Shimano compact crank w/ an ultegra 9 speed
5) any bargains out there (I don't like to simply throw $$$ at the bike, I like a little value!!)

Thanks in advance.

Rock Chalk
 

hd reynolds

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Nov 15, 2005
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Does it really matter what type as long as it goes with the crankset you finally decide and gets the job done? Reliability-wise there's very little info or comparative analysis on the 3 most popular type used nowadays. However there's that failure of an ISIS BB (an FSA) mentioned by Sheldon Brown but says it has more to do with technical design flaw from FSA.
 

Navy Jayhawk

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Feb 25, 2006
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hd reynolds said:
Does it really matter what type as long as it goes with the crankset you finally decide and gets the job done? Reliability-wise there's very little info or comparative analysis on the 3 most popular type used nowadays. However there's that failure of an ISIS BB (an FSA) mentioned by Sheldon Brown but says it has more to do with technical design flaw from FSA.
No, it really doesn't matter...I am looking for OPINIONS related to the components. I have read of ISIS reliability issues, Ritchey stiffness problems, etc.

As I said earlier, I don't like to throw $$$ away, so information is key.
 

Retro Grouch

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Dec 29, 2005
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When I made that same desicion a year or so ago, I chose an octalink crankset simply because it saved me the cost of a bottom bracket. If I were doing it over again today I'd do exactly the same thing.
 

Navy Jayhawk

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Feb 25, 2006
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Retro Grouch said:
When I made that same desicion a year or so ago, I chose an octalink crankset simply because it saved me the cost of a bottom bracket. If I were doing it over again today I'd do exactly the same thing.
What crankset did you settle on?
 

Retro Grouch

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Navy Jayhawk said:
What crankset did you settle on?
I chose an FSA Energy crank. It cost me right at $150.00. I wanted something a little more upscale than a no name Nashbar crank to go with the rest of my (Ultegra equipped) bike but it didn't make sense to me to pop for some hyper expensive carbon thing either.

The gears work out ideally for me in the area that I ride, the shifting is as good as it always was, and the only thing that I had to buy was the crank. I'm very happy with it.
 

Adam-from-SLO

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Nov 30, 2003
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Navy Jayhawk said:
No, it really doesn't matter...I am looking for OPINIONS related to the components. I have read of ISIS reliability issues, Ritchey stiffness problems, etc.

As I said earlier, I don't like to throw $$$ away, so information is key.

Carbon cranksets look appealing(not $$ wise , mainly trick looks).
However, if you end up with a good cold-forged crankset- with fairly durable rings(at least Ultegra level , not so sure how FSA, Richey, etc.)

What about getting a MTB crank- to do the job( you said you want a compact crankset = for triple, right ?) I'm a fan of Race Face- Isis.

How about the new out-bearing Shimano design ? .... yes, more $$. :eek: ;)
 

hd reynolds

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Nov 15, 2005
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Retro Grouch said:
I chose an FSA Energy crank. It cost me right at $150.00. I wanted something a little more upscale than a no name Nashbar crank to go with the rest of my (Ultegra equipped) bike but it didn't make sense to me to pop for some hyper expensive carbon thing either.

The gears work out ideally for me in the area that I ride, the shifting is as good as it always was, and the only thing that I had to buy was the crank. I'm very happy with it.

There is a resurgence on the use of compact cranks nowadays - it seems it is the fashion. Because of this there's a lot of alternatives out there. I heard/read good reviews for FSA Gossamer Cranks (stiff), PMP (fluid bearings), Bontrager Xlite Compact (good value) and the offering from Acerra - nice looking crank btw.
 

JohnO

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Jul 5, 2003
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FWIW: a few years ago, I was upgrading my MTB, and just wanted a nicer crankset to replace ol' toothless.

I looked at RaceFace Next with ISIS, at around $300. Ended up buying RaceFace Next with the traditional square bottom bracket spindle on sale for $140.

Have since tried out MTB's with Next/ISIS cranksets, and if there was any difference, I couldn't tell it. Saved a ton of money, and the Next crankset is as tight and quick shifting as it was when I put it on back in 2001.

So you might check prices on a compact crankset for the traditional square spindle BB axle. Some people say the newer splined shafts are 'stiffer', but I sure didn't notice it. The only real difference I noticed was the price.