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Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks.
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We're seeing a lot of bikes this year spec'd with Truvativ brand (QR and Cannondale to name a few)and FSA brand cranks (Felt). Any thoughts on these cranks vs. Shimano? We've done some testing, pretty extensive as a matter of fact given our capabilities, but I'm interested in the greater opinion. What do you guys think?

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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Truvativ: Good cranks, as good as Ultegra, Shimano rings are slightly better, ISIS spline drive, competitive weight. Compare to Ultegra.

FSA: Slighly better than Truvativ. Rings almost as good as Shimano, ISIS drive, light weight, carbon model is very nice. Compare top models to Dura Ace (however its hard to beat Dura Ace).
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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i love both. i believe both are built around the isis spec, and both have done a bang-up job of crank-making. no loss in performance as far as i can see. i think shimano has lost cranks/bbs from the de facto road group. next year, or the year after, they lose brake calipers.

the solution is simple for shimano. lower prices to compete with the knock-offs. let's face it, everybody copies shimano, except they work around the patent. so just lower the price once you've lost your head start.

shimano needs to keep its commodity prices low. i realize that it's sticky, because then you open yourself up to a predatory pricing action, which it lost in the case of sram. but nowadays there are so many companies picking shimano apart that so long as all the pricing is rational throughout the line, shimano should be fine.

until then, the good knock-offs like truvativ will make sales, and ought to.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I dunno...I think these various cranks are alright, but I would still rather ride shimano. It is not entirely a rational decision. I feel that the whole shimano gruppo was designed under one roof, to work together. And the shimano gruppo does work well, never a problem with parts at or above the 105 level. I guess my point is, why mess with a good thing? I'm not sure the few bucks saved should be the deciding factor...and that seems to be the biggest selling point. Not increased quality, just lower price at "comparable" quality.

And carbon cranks? Please. Marketing gimmick of the first order. What is wrong with aluminum?

Philbert

Dr. Philip Skiba
PhysFarm Training Systems
Coaching, Consulting and Technology for World Champions, and You.
Dr. Phil's Books available here
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Philbert] [ In reply to ]
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On the sales floor we are seeing the predominant consumer sentiment is that carbon cranks "Make good things more and bad things less". People can't verbalize why they want them, but they do. Often times it is just a matter of saying... "...and this has CARBON cranks..." They just kind of get quiet. I have FSA Team issue carbon cranks on my cyclocross bike and am running a single chainring. In that configuration it's hard for anything to go wrong. So far though, we see a consumer preference for carbon cranks, but some degree of resistance to non-Shimano alloy cranks, despite the fact that some are actually better than their Shimano counterparts (lighter, machined vs. stamped chainrings). Interesting.

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Addendum.Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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I should have added: Customers with a little higher degree of sophistication or more experience in cycling/triathlon do recognize the advantage of a machined vs. a stamped chainring. Today we put one bike equipped with each in a work stand to demonstrate the difference to a customer. When you pedalled the bike with stamped rings at high RPMs (over 100 rpm) there was a noticeable undulation in the rings, as though they were "out of true". The machined rings (on an FSA equipped Felt) were very straight in comparison.

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Addendum.Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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We were faced with this question for the One and Dual, Shimano, TruVativ or FSA. The thing that is important above all others is very simple: shifting performance. The two biggest problems non-Shimano cranks have had in the past are the ring quality and the straightness of the spider. But the current FSA rings are very nice and the spiders are flawless on everything but the carbon crank with the separate Alu spider (the "non-Team" crank). And one area where Shimano really dropped the ball: there is no 172.5mm length in Shimano 105. FSA does offer that length (and all the other lengths of course). So in the end the choice for FSA was rather easy.

______________
Gerard Vroomen
3T.bike
OPEN cycle
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Re: Addendum.Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [gerard] [ In reply to ]
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Our experience with FSA is their cranks of commensurate "value" to Shimano are actually better in terms on chainring straightness and overall front derailleur shift quality. The hole in the size run of 105 cranks has posed a problem. FSA solves it.

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Addendum.Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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I find it interesting how few people in the Triathlon world (generally filled with off-the-peg/stock bikes) ever refer to Campagnolo as an option...As an aside, I'd argue that Campy Daytona/Centaur probably provides some of the best "bang for the buck" in road components (at the grouppo level).

With that said, I intend to spec my new Tri rig (recommendations forthcoming from Tom;-) with FSA Pro Team Issue Carbon Cranks...Simply put, they have good weight, they're Campy Compatible (my drivetrain), well-manufactured, and provide that ounce of carbon "sexiness" which I like for my "race" rigs. They are also durable...Many of my teammates raced FSA Carbon Cranks for CCX this past season.

At Interbike this past year, I was VERY impressed with FSA's professionalism. I'd have no problem buying a bike specced with FSA components...It should be noted that a few years ago my opinion would have been different...FSA has simply improved the non-Campy/Shimano market that much.

FSA are sexier than Truvativ...I haven't ridden Truvativ to comment on quality.

http://wattieink.com/elite-team/
Raising funds to help wounded veterans and racing RAAM 2013 with http://team4mil.org/
"If you are gonna charge... CHARGE HARD!"
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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I really like the Truvativ cranks, mainly the ISIS standard. Their mountain bike rings had some durability issues initially, but from what I have heard, they have cleared those up. I'm riding a race face crank with Truvativ ISIS bb on my mtb right now, and I really like them. If SRAM made some road deraillers, I think that I'd go with those too. Except for the XTR cassette, not a shred of Shimano on the mtb.

I'm hoping to put a pair of the new Truvativ road cranks on my tri bike this year. They certainly look really nice. If the rings don't look that great, then I'll switch them out to an FSA or other set of rings.

Personally, I like having the opportunity to 'chose' something other than Shimano and give the 'smaller' guys a chance. If the guys at Chris King support a product, like they do the ISIS Standard, then it's certainly good enough for me since they make some of the finest (though expensive) components in the world.


Brandon Marsh - Website | @BrandonMarshTX | Cervelo | RokaWetsuits | 1stEndurance | ATC Bikeshop |
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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After trying every possible after market thingamajig including cranks,I follow a very wise mans advise.SHIMANO.Tom, you once told me to stay away from unproven componants so i'll wait for those carbon cranks from Japan.
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Cullen Watkins] [ In reply to ]
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It is certainly wise to stay away from unproven components, but FSA and Truvativ aren't. I got my first sample TruVative crank in 1996 (Dan probably got his back in 1995) and FSA a year later, and have been following progress carefully. I can't really speak for TruVativ, but I would put an FSA Gossamer crank easily at the same quality level as Shimano 105 (in fact, the 105 rings are not that good).

And while I like most Shimano parts, going with a known name doesn't necessarily get you a quality product. The first Ultegra 9-sp STI lever was terrible, with pieces loosening within the first kilometer. And Shimano's first iteration of their wheels wasn't that great either (the new ones are quiite nice).

So I think you're better off judging the products on their merits, rather than its name.

______________
Gerard Vroomen
3T.bike
OPEN cycle
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [gerard] [ In reply to ]
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Also, aren't Bontrager cranks resticked Truvativ cranks? I do recall hearing that.

I've run Truvativ Stylo SS cranks for a couple years and a Stylo Team last summer -- no problems. However, I was less pleased with the off-road durability of their ISIS BB. The bearings were toast in less than a year, which is much less than normal for me.
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Todd Scott] [ In reply to ]
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Further notes on cranks: In a preview (not REview) of the 2003 Felt S32 I made deragatory comments about our attitudes toward carbon cranks. There was substantial outcry (over a dozen e-mails) from manufacturers and reps saying I was wrong. I spoke with representatives from the crank manufacturer and agreed to reconsider my position by testing several samples (that we purchased- they were not "freebies")of their highest end carbon crank. We also purchased two other high-end and very expensive- carbon cranks. Our findings (admittedly very informal) were: The two cranks made by an existing component manufacturer (Campagnolo) seemed fine but had cosmetic features some customers may regard as defects. Functionally, they were no worse than the alloy version of their same crank. Another example, alledged to be made by Ferrari for Colnago, was also very good, excellent in fact. The two examples we tested from FSA were both good but one featured pedal threads that seemed to be at a slight angle, producing an odd sensation when pedalling. We returned the cranks and they replaced them withing four days with apologies. Bottom Line: I would use any of these cranks but I prefer Shimano Dura-Ace personally. I have kept the FSA Carbon Team crank on my cyclocross bike with a single Spot Brand chainring. I like it on that bike. I may try FSA Carbon Team cranks on a road or tri bike soon with double chainrings- either theirs or Shimano. However, at this time, there is no compelling reason for me to replace all the Dura-Ace cranks on my tri and road bikes. I just ordered A Cervelo P3 and will be using Dura-Ace cranks on that as well. I do own a Cannondale MS5000 (2002) which I love that uses their integrated crank system. I really like that- low "Q" factor, light, stiff (super stiff)and uses Shimano Dura-Ace chainrings. This crank/BB system I perceive as a huge upgrade over anything out theri and I have also purchased the Cannondale Saeco Team Replica road bike with the CAAD 7 frame and the integrated cranks. Yup, I got a lot of bikes. Good thing I own a bike shop. My .02. Happy, safe and peaceful New Year to each of you. Wear your helmets.

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [] [ In reply to ]
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IMO when talking price, durability and design, when considering the entire groupset (not just the cranks), it's hard to justify anything but Ultegra

the world's still turning? >>>>>>> the world's still turning
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Callin'] [ In reply to ]
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Callin' wrote:
IMO when talking price, durability and design, when considering the entire groupset (not just the cranks), it's hard to justify anything but Ultegra
Why for the love of all that is good did you call up a seventeen year old thread to say that?
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Trexlera] [ In reply to ]
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Trexlera wrote:
Callin' wrote:
IMO when talking price, durability and design, when considering the entire groupset (not just the cranks), it's hard to justify anything but Ultegra

Why for the love of all that is good did you call up a seventeen year old thread to say that?

No idea who/how to keep track of such things, but is that some sort of record?
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Trexlera] [ In reply to ]
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Whoops. I have no idea what happened but it was tops on my list when I opened it. Never even noticed the date!

the world's still turning? >>>>>>> the world's still turning
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Trexlera] [ In reply to ]
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Trexlera wrote:
Callin' wrote:
IMO when talking price, durability and design, when considering the entire groupset (not just the cranks), it's hard to justify anything but Ultegra
Why for the love of all that is good did you call up a seventeen year old thread to say that?

This made me laugh.
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Callin'] [ In reply to ]
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Something wonky going on with the forum... I had a thread titled "story of Calvin", also from 2002, at the top of my list.

It's funny because that's right around the time I started lurking here. Funny to see some of the old names again.

-Mark Rebuck, http://www.markrebuck.com/
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [MarkRebuck] [ In reply to ]
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I believe it was due to some dipshit resurrecting old threads and then pitching his stuff that he was selling on the sales forum. I imagine he no longer resides here and we are left with the remains of his failed sales plan.

"Aquabike is a swim then sleep session on aerobars ...."
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Fuller] [ In reply to ]
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I just liked seeing dan and vroomen chat bike parts.
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [Rocket_racing] [ In reply to ]
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Rocket_racing wrote:
I just liked seeing dan and vroomen chat bike parts.

I actually think this is an interesting thread to resurrect because over a decade on and Shimano still hasn't taken back a lot of the OEM crank market. Personally I have found the FSA products spec'd on my recent bikes of very poor quality. FSA bottom brackets seem like real s*** as do the Gossamer chain rings while the cranks themselves are alright. I know that FSA has revamped Gossamer but now companies are specing the even lower Omega line so any improvements aren't reaching the consumer.

This begs the question would consumers pay a bit more for better cranks and BBs or is it a great way for companies to save money?
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Re: Thoughts on Truvativ and FSA cranks. [scott8888] [ In reply to ]
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These days i don’t think there is a whole lot of magic. Parts are built to a price point. Some can still lean on name to charge a bit more... and some materials/manufacturing techniques still costs more. And shimano continue to have class leading machining tolerances.
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