So Why Are Carbon Cranks Better?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by stanngg, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. stanngg

    stanngg New Member

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    OK....sorry if this is a dumb question but what is the advantage in having carbon cranks. Weight? Stiffness? Is a carbon crank lighter and stiffer then a Dura Ace crank? I just purchased the new 5.5 Madone with full Dura Ace except for the compact carbon crank. I want to switch to standard. Not sure if I should go with carbon or the Dura Ace crank...
     
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  2. gemship

    gemship New Member

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    I was told that carbon cranks are just lighter. Besides being the new hip and trendy way to go these days. Don't see how any carbon crank could be stiffer than the Dura ace model or Ultegra for that matter. I'd say go with the D.A. and laugh at the naysayers. It's light, strong and looks great. I suppose if you compare it to its peers in terms of price it could probably be seen as a bargain as well.
     
  3. jcjordan

    jcjordan New Member

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    you will find that 90% of carbon cranks have a alloy core and the carbon is more of a visual bling thing then any sort of weight saving reason. The bontrager cranks on my mates 6.9 are actually heavier then my Dura-Ace cranks.

    I know FSA actually make some full carbon ones, and personally I think they suck. They flex like mad and I ditched them after about two week.
     
  4. gemship

    gemship New Member

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  5. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

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    I have a set of 2006 Record carbon cranks on one bike and the alloy version on another. The carbon ones are about 100 grams lighter and to me they do feel a little lighter (reduced rotaional mass perhaps). Or it could merely be a placebo effect since they lightened my wallet...:eek:

    Stiffness is a non factor but price sure is.
     
  6. gemship

    gemship New Member

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    Gotta admit those Record carbon cranks have quite a bit of bling :) I'll also note that if we ever pull up next to each other on a ride and start checking out the gear you'll be thinking he's sensible while I'll be thinking why did I skimp as you only live once. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    On a test by that Aussie bike mag(can't remember the name), they tested carbon and aluminum and some aluminum were stiffer than some carbons and vice versa. Like all carbon 'stuff', it just depends.

    Secondly when the marketeers say lighter, stiffer', they imply that ya just can't ride w/o this new gadget, the old stuff being so 'soft, flexy, heavy', which of course, is not true. same for the BB30 bottom bracket silliness.

    Like a guy at interbike once told me when I pointed to a piece of his company's gear and asked, 'what's that for?', he answered, "it's for selling'...

    I have an aluminum crank on one bike and a carbon on another and I can't tell any difference.
     
  8. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

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    Yeah but my wife would be on your side....
     
  9. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    LOL. Besides, how did we ever pedal without ultratorque?

    I still ride alloy Campagnolo Chorus square taper, very nice and reliable. I would love the ultratorque for the bling, but that will wait for my next bike.

    Continue to hear bad things about FSA cranks in terms of build quality, reliability and stiffness (also the number of their cartridge BBs that go bad after a few thousand kms is rather disturbing).

    Cannot comment on Shimano, but suspect that DA or Ultegra cranks are just fine.
     
  10. stanngg

    stanngg New Member

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    Thanks everyone....great advice!
     
  11. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Yup on all accounts. While I have Record UT CT cranks, I'm under no illusion that they offer any real improvement over the square taper cranks that were the Campy standard. I will say, though, of all the integrated BB/external bearing cranksets, Ultra Torque is the best solution, from a technical standpoint, by far.

    FSA continues to be amazingly underwhelming.

    Shimano, their cranks are like the rest of their stuff, functionally excellent and aesthetically challenged.
     
  12. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    We refer to Shimano cranks as ' the chainsaw' and their external STI wiring as 'clotheshangers'. :)
     
  13. S4one

    S4one New Member

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    I believe that Record carbon cranks are full hollow carbon. I am using Centuar's carbon cranks that has aluminum inside.
     
  14. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    I'll check but I think that all Campagnolo carbon cranks now made(and in the past) are either hollow(Record) or foam filled but none have aluminum inside. Centaur differs from Chorus by chainring quality only whereas Record has the same rings but hollow arms.
     
  15. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Peter, is that true re: Centaur vs. Chorus cranks? So you are telling me if I purchase Centaur cranks and then mount Chorus chainrings then I have the same quality?

    Have you checked the parts list on this? Where can I read more about it on line?
     
  16. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    I love UT, it has lowered the price of the square spindle stuff.

    Last fall, I picked up a Record carbon crankset with Ti rings, square spindle, on ebay for $160. They were a bit scratched where the pedal/shoe had rubbed, but a few minutes with a polishing wheel and jeweler's rouge had them looking brand new.

    Stiffer than the Chorus triple I took off? I can't say, I'm still the greatest limiting factor. But, they sure do look pretty.

    And you really do live only once.
     
  17. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    Well, both are of very high quality. Centaur rings are stamped and Chorus/Record are machined.

    The parts list will have a different part number because of graphics but none of the Campag cranks from about a decade ago to today have ever had an aluminum spine. I sawed a first gen one apart and there was no aluminum inside.
     
  18. benkoostra

    benkoostra New Member

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    I bought a set of D/A alu cranks (the older style, Octalink) and they are very stiff indeed. Much stiffer than what I had before (105). AND they were cheap!
     
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