Best Road Crankset

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
kevinkalis
Posts: 597
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:29 pm

by kevinkalis

Hi all,

I'm currently starting a new bike build and have acquired a few of the components but I'm slightly stuck on crankset choice.

I've narrowed the list down to a few potential candidates but am looking for some experience/advice. My main concerns are weight (obviously), stiffness, reliability and looks. I've listed them in order of preference.

Zipp Vuma Quad
Pros: Looks, Weight, Compatibility - BB30/Standard
Cons: Proprietary Chainrings

I've read on numerous forums about reliability issues with the Zipps. My main concern is the crank failing and me being stuck with a very lightweight, and ineffective, paperweight. I've heard a few horror stories of crank failure, bearing failure and Zipp's Warranty Replacement being essentially useless.

Storck Powerarms SL
Pros: Looks, Weight, Standard Chainrings
Cons: Expensive
Similar concerns about the Storck Powerarms as with the Zipps. Very expensive so I want to know they'll go the distance.

Dura Ace 7900
Pros: Price, Stiffness
Cons: Weight, NOT CARBON
At the moment, believe it or not, the Dura Ace cranks are the most realistic option, proven design, stiffness by which all other cranks are measured. My real issue with these are weight, being nearly 200g heavier than the Zipps

SRAM Red
Pros: Looks, Price, Compatibility
Cons: Weight
Seems good enough for lot of the pros riding the Tour de France.

FSA SLK:
Pros: Looks, Price, Compatibility - BB30/Standard
Cons: Weight
Price and looks are the only thing these cranks really have going for them, I really want carbon cranks but they're heavy and the last pair of FSA Cranks I owned ended up with the thread for the pedal seperating from the carbon - admittedly, these were one of the first carbon cranks made by FSA, about 2000/2001.

A few issues. I do a lot of miles, most of them in the rain/snow etc. so reliability is key. I'm not too keen on swapping the crankset out just for racing so ideally, whatever I get, has to be bombproof. You'll notice I also mention compatibility, the frame I'm looking to use is a Giant TCR Advanced, either the 2009 or 2010 model. From what I've seen, these frames use press-fit bottom brackets, thus making it essential for whatever crankset I get to be compatible.

Any help/opinions on this would be much appreciated. I'd love to go for the Zipp or the Storcks but I'm wondering if I won't be better off saving the 200 grams elsewhere and going for the Dura Ace cranks.

Could any of you give me your opinions on this. Ideally, if you've got some experience with any of the abovementioned cranksets like horror stories, proof of how amazing they are it would be most helpful to me making my decision.

As a side note, if anybody out there knows any other exotic cranksets I haven't mentioned, please feel free to add your suggestions. As well, before everybody adds the THM Clavicula, I haven't put it on my list because it's ridiculously ugly.

Thanks
Kevin
Preston, United-Kingdom
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Doolop
Posts: 576
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:19 pm

by Doolop

Go for the 7900. Stiff, reliable, shifts better than the others, cheaper, stronger...

Been riding my 7900 through the mud and grit of winter and it works as well as the day I unwrapped it. I swapped from an EC90 crankset and would never look back.

by Weenie


gumgardner
Posts: 3553
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:47 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

by gumgardner

clavicula, morpheus, SiSL---I expanded your list :wink:

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prendrefeu
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:32 pm
Location: Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California
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by prendrefeu

Welcome.

But... ummm... ever use the search function at all? You should.

You'll eventually end up on this and loads of other info on various threads:
http://fairwheelbikes.com/forum/viewtop ... =77&t=5991

Ultimately, the choice will be yours. Good luck.
Exp001 || Other projects in the works.

SDP
Posts: 729
Joined: Tue May 04, 2004 1:23 pm
Location: uk
Contact:

by SDP

rotor 3d

kevinkalis
Posts: 597
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:29 pm

by kevinkalis

Thanks for the advice so far, I've already done some research on this, hence me asking your guys' opinion.

I'm ideally looking for real experiences with these cranksets. Every crankset I research seems to have some kind of flaw, most notably the carbon cranks seem to be most susceptible to design flaws ie. carbon seperating etc. I've seen reports about bad BBs on the FSA cranks. Easton EC90 was an option but, again, some research has ruled them out, mainly due to some bad reviews.

I'm having a bit of trouble sorting through, what could potentially just be down to bad maintenance on the user end and what is down to the manufacturer.

I'm leaning more and more towards aluminium cranks and the Extralite E-Bones are looking a realistic option. Anybody have any experience with them. Pictures would be nice, I'd like to get an idea what they'd look like on my build.
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kevinkalis
Posts: 597
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:29 pm

by kevinkalis

prendrefeu wrote:Welcome.

But... ummm... ever use the search function at all? You should.

You'll eventually end up on this and loads of other info on various threads:
http://fairwheelbikes.com/forum/viewtop ... =77&t=5991

Ultimately, the choice will be yours. Good luck.


Agreed, I actually came across that a while back while I was compiling my list. I would've liked to see a more up to date test which includes the DA 7900 as well. Ideally, I would love to go for the Zipp because it ticks all the boxes, lightweight, stiff, carbon, but being the crank I'm most interested in, I've done the most research on it and I still have my doubts. Any Zipp users out there who can convince me otherwise?
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mike
Resident Pro
Posts: 2420
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 9:42 pm

by mike

Campy ut is hands down the best combo of lw, looks, reliability, stiffness. It is the lightweight of cranks
I've used all the othet cranks except rotor 3d

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eigner
Posts: 1119
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:36 am
Location: Denmark

by eigner

If you got BB30: Canondale SISL
othervice I say Campagnolo Super Record 11. The bearings are just... wow... amazing! and the crankset is very light and very stiff.
Current: Colnago CX Zero Di2 Disc, Cannondale F29 carbon3
Previous: Scott Plasma 3 premium, Parlee Z3SL, Parlee Z4, Argon18 E112, TREK TTX7.0, S-Works Transition, Pinarello F4:13

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Juanmoretime
Administrator
Posts: 7043
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am
Location: Urbana, Illinois

by Juanmoretime

2.5 years on a set of VumaQuads so that's about 18,000 miles. I've worn out one set of rings. The ceramic bearing bottom bracket is awesomely smooth. Admittingly Campy carbon is extremely good but I did wear out a Ultra bottom bracket bearings in 4,000 miles.

I would use VumaQuads any time! For me the give me the best weight, strength, stiffness, smoothness, durability and look great too!
RESIDENT GRUMPY OLD MAN.

Geoff
Posts: 5014
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 2:25 am
Location: Canada

by Geoff

If you've been reading for awhile, you already know what I'm going to say: why not a light SRM? The 'new' Si SL version of the PowerMeter is quite light. You now have the choice of a Compact version, as well.

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stephen@fibre-lyte
in the industry
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 12:22 am
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by stephen@fibre-lyte

One of the cons you haven't mentioned with the 7900 is that the chainrings are designed to blend with the crank and although aftermarket chainrings will fit, they'll not look great. In the UK 7900 chainrings are ridiculously expensive so its something to consider if you might wear out the rings quickly.

If you're thinking silly money (Vuma, Storck, THM) then the THM Clavicula cranks for me are a no brainer. Very nice piece of kit. If you want to be more sensible then I'd choose Red, followed by 7800 (yes the older one) then Record, then 7900.

Last thing to consider as you live in the UK is availability of parts. The three pricey cranksets all require patience in sourcing spares where as Sram and Shimano parts are readily available (Campag not so much)

sgray
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:51 pm
Location: Denver, CO

by sgray

I switched to the Easton EC90 crankset and love it, shifts better than my old DA 7800 crankset and around 100g lighter. And you can pick one up in the $400's.

ritcheykestrel
Shop Owner
Posts: 892
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:53 pm
Location: United States

by ritcheykestrel

OP,

Just so you know, the durability of Storck Power Arms Cranks...The crank has been around since 1994.

I saw it at the Interbike Anaheim Trade Show in 1994!!

And I know many people who have had them since the late 90's and they are still going strong.

As for the Zipp Cranks, I can't give a time line on those.

I am not a fan of the RED Cranks due primarily to the ring tabs that have come off and the flexy and bendy rings.

jerms
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:55 pm

by jerms

stephen@fibre-lyte wrote:If you want to be more sensible then I'd choose Red, followed by 7800 (yes the older one) then Record, then 7900.


exactly.

by Weenie


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