Considering a compact crank, considering FSA, do new FSA carbon cranks have problems
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  1. #1
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    Considering a compact crank, considering FSA, do new FSA carbon cranks have problems

    I am not really after the merit of compact cranks in this post. I think I have more than enough input on that from fellow riders, and from other posts here. I have ridden a double (most often a 53/39) for all of my 18 years of serious riding, currently Dura Ace 10 speed (including a DA crank) with a 12 x 25 cassette. I live in Kansas City metro area, we have hills, some 10% or even more, but not long climbs. This combo is fine for me here.

    I am going to Colorado for a week or so of cycling this summer (went last summer), to include the Copper Triangle ride, which ascends Vail Pass from the west. I am 6'3", 215 pounds, reasonably strong and seasoned, but I didn't think I could climb it with a 39 x 27 that I had on at the time, though I went up Vail Pass east side OK.

    So, I want to use a compact, for at least that week. Might leave it on the bike, if I like it better. I already have, new in box (could return it) the Shimano FC-R700 compact crank.
    What I am wondering is if I want to go with a carbon crank, which ones would work well with Shimano (I don't think I could put a Campy crank on my Shimano equipped bike, just don't think I could do it ). I have read many posts here about problems with FSA cranks -- have those problems been encountered with the current models FSA offers, or are their latest offerings good products ? Any other carbon compact models out there that are good ? I don't want to spend a fortune on this, as I might not keep it on after the Colorado trip. The FSA k-force lite, at $650-700 (well, $525-550 on ebay, new) might well be more than I would want to spend, however if it is an excellent product, I might consider it.

    Thanks in advance for any help any of you can provide.

    Doug

  2. #2
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    The R700 has been flawless on two bikes that I have it installed on. An added plus is that you can use your current front derailleur. If you are going to only be using it for a week, use that. It seems rather silly to invest $$$ into something that will get used for a week. If after using it you decide to keep it, upgrade if you really think that it is necessary....

  3. #3
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    thoughts..

    No matter what the brand, someone will report a problem, even if was due to their own poor installation. FSA has specific instructions to insure that the left crankarm will not come loose, as it was prone to with certain models.

    The Shimano model that you have will certainly perform just fine for someone of your size and weight.

    That said, there are a lot better cranks for the money then the FSA K-force light. A Campy Chorus crank would be a lot cheaper and has a superior design, in this engineer's opinion. Other brands, like Specialized and Zipp are using the same type of two-piece spindle and Hirth joint coupling on their latest cranks.

    I sure wouldn't pay $200 more for a Record level crank or the FSA, just to save a few grams. It won't help your climbing.

    FWIW, I rode in the Kansas City area myself from '85 to '03, then I moved to Colorado, at age 50. I knew that a 53/39 with a 12-25 wouldn't do, even for a 135 pound rider like myself. I built a second bike with a 53/39/30 triple and the same 12-25 cassette. I later switched to an even lower 28T little ring. All of my bike have a triple now. With the triple, I don't lose top gear for fast descending and I've got more low gear, so I can maintain a brisk 75-90 rpm cadence instead of mashing at 60-70 rpm, or being forced to stand.
    Last edited by C-40; 02-21-2008 at 09:42 AM.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Ditto on the R700. Reasonably light, looks good, and compatible with your components (derailleur). I ride the r700 and can't complain. good luck

  6. #6
    I like Chicken
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    Though I have limited experience with mine, I like em.
    I've seen lots on Craigslist that seem pretty affordable.
    Quote Originally Posted by gutfiddle
    Most of the gals we know schedule C sections whether they need them or not nowadays to keep their cooter from gettin torn up but I say you can't hurt them things, they're made of hognose material.

  7. #7
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    I have a Compact Campag ultra torque Chorus with my Shimano equiped bike, works just fine. will put a SRAM 11-26 on the back when my 12-25 shimano cassette wears out.
    Had an FSA on the front which also worked just fine, I just prefer the look of the Chorus.

  8. #8
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    Ditto on the can of worms

    Going on owner comments I would steer away from the new generation '08 FSA Force Light cranksets until they are well and proven - they are just too new to know whether FSA has overcome the problems that have been colourfully expressed on the review section of this site of the preceding top model - the SLK Light MegaExo - particularly in relation to the longevity of the external bearing system and failure of the pedal inserts - which is probably why this model can be readily picked up at substantially reduced costs.

    Conversely owners of the older models with the smaller ISIS spindles (ie not the MegaExo system) seem quite happy and have got a lot of trouble free miles. I think this version of the SLK is still in the most recent FSA catalogue.

    If mixing Shimano and Campy is a problem for your ethically then what about the Fulcrum RS and R models (essentially Camp Chorus and Campy Centaur models respectively made in another factory with minor detail changes but retaining the essential Campy good bits such as stiffness, Ultra Torque and reasonable weight etc)

    If you have a rush of blood the new Zipps may be worth a look - new product but can be changed from standard to compact by simply changing chainrings.

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