Thursday, January 26, 2012

Journey of the Boardwalk: Part 20 - Shimano Ultegra Crankset

An unexpected upgrade! Was actually looking for a Shimano 105 crankset to upgrade the Vitesse. However, for some strange reason, I couldn't find the right crankset anywhere! I was actually looking for the Shimano 105 5700 series cranks, black or silver, 170mm length, 53/39T. However, it was out of stock online at CRC and also at the bike shops! Doesn't really make sense to pay more to ship from other online bike stores.

Then, Kelvin from Gee Hin Chan offered me a price for the Ultegra 6700 crankset that I simply couldn't refuse. In fact, the price is very competitve compared to CRC! And the Glossy Grey colour looks so fabulous. Although I know I don't really need an Ultegra crankset, but then the poison is too strong to resist! Argghhhh....

Distinctive lines of the Ultegra crankset!

Left side crank

170mm for me!

 The polished finishing is superb.

It looks so good! I love the Glossy Grey colour scheme

53/39T combination

Nice flowy lines...well done product designers!

The reverse side of the Hollowtech II crankset

Closeup on the 39T chainring and the hollow outer chainring

Well positioned sub spikes and main spikes on the rear side of the hollow outer chainring. The rough surface really helps when upshifting from 39T to 53T.

Chainring bolts are screwed in from the rear side! And Torx bolts are used instead of the regular hexagonal head bolts.

Right side crank and chainrings separated!

Raised crank arm spider increases stiffness, they are hollow at the rear so weight is not increased

Cross-sectional view of hollow outer chainring! It is made of 2 layers bonded together, makes it very strong but lightweight since it is hollow inside.

Removing the current Shimano 105 5600 crankset. See how the cable for the FD is routed!

Different left crank cap for Shimano 105 5600 and Shimano Ultegra 6700. The new ones has a bigger thread diameter, which is shown on the right.

Ta-da! Ultegra crankset installed. Very easy as it the bike already has a Hollowtech II BB. Just pull out the old one and insert the new one!

No more gold chainring bolts, but it still looks nice!

 Closeup view of the Ultegra crankset and the 105 FD

 
 View of left crank

View of the full bike!

The Dahon Boardwalk X20-R on the Boardwalk

Not only does the crankset look good, the shifting performance also feels much better! Previously, when I upshift, sometimes the chain does not shift properly, either it shifts very slowly or it does not shift at all. Not very ideal, but I didn't complain because I hardly need to shift, unless I encounter steep slopes that require me to downshift to the 39T chainring.

Now, the shifting is practically instantaneous! It is much better than what I expected. Push the lever and it climbs up effortlessly and almost instantly. Front shifting has never felt better! This also dispels my belief that the LitePro FD adaptor that I am using is too flexible to give good shifting.

I think there are 3 main reasons why the shifting is so much better now:

1) Better FD alignment. I realised that the FD alignment was not perfect, which may have contributed to poor shifting performance. This time, when I installed the Ultegra crankset, I took extra care and time to position the FD properly.

2) Extra large ramps and spikes on the rear side of the hollow outer chainring. Also, the rough surface at the back of the chainring. Together, they catch the chain very well during upshifting and makes the chain go onto the 53T chainring easily and accurately.

3) Excellent compatibility between the Ultegra 6700 crankset and the Dura-Ace 7901 chain. The 7901 chain has a special profile on the inner and outer plates that interact with the chainrings and cassette sprockets to ensure good shifting. By upgrading to the Ultegra 6700 crankset, it fully maximises the chain's profile and consequently provides excellent shifting.

Needless to say, I am very happy with the new Ultegra crankset! Not only is the price reasonable, the appearance is excellent, it has also improved the front shifting tremendously! If you are interested in the weight, you can check it out over at the Weight Weenies blog post.

44 comments:

  1. btw, how much does a new set of Ultegra 6700 crankset with BB cost at GHC? if not convenient to post here, can u email me?

    thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Shimano cranksets will fit, no problem. it would cost you probably $380 including BB from GHC.

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  3. thanks, steve ... very tempted to upgrade :)

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  4. I just upgraded my Dahon Speed P8 with Shimano 105 crankset. However I realized the shaft is pretty short and couldn't add spacers to leave enough clearance between the left crankarm and kickstand. Is it a known issue that the length of 105 crank shaft is a little too short to be mounted on Dahon? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. what do you mean by clearance between kickstand and left crankarm? is it when kickstand is down or up, and which kickstand are you using?

    I have installed 105 5600 series and ultegra 6700 series cranks with no problem. Badrul has installed 105 5700 series with no problem too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I meant when the kickstand is folded up, the 105 5700 left crank arm only have about 2mm clearance from the kickstand. Plus only half the left crankarm is cramped on the shaft, the other half is on the crank cap.

    ReplyDelete
  7. ehh means the BB never screw on fully, or the crank shaft never insert fully? no need spacers for road bike cranksets and BB.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello,

    If you can help me: I have a Dahon mu P8 with a Sugino crank in front; It looks like the crank could hold another gear in it so it would become double.
    Could you tell me if this is possible or you recommend other way to have a double crank in front?
    And what about a front derailer for my dahon, any suggestions?

    Thank you in advance,

    Dario Silva
    Portugal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the MuP8, you may want to try a front derailleur adaptor such as the one found in the link. http://www.thecyclopedia.com/page8/index.html

      It may not work perfectly as the curve of the Mu frame makes it difficult to mount an FD.

      I would suggest you get a proper double crankset, so that the chainline is OK and chainrings work properly.

      Delete
  9. Hi steve some advice needed from u.

    I am riding a speed p8 and looking to upgrade my crank . Am looking at shimano 105 or shld I go for ultegra 6700?

    I did nt mod FD so just wondering wats ur view between this 2 crank? Is there a big diff bet this 2 crank?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No big difference between these 2 cranks in terms of performance.

      Main differences are:
      Appearance. Ultegra has a hollow outer chainring, similar to that of Dura-Ace. Lighter and stiffer than the standard chainring.

      Weight.

      For 105, you can use your own coloured chainring bolts if you want. You can't really use standard chainring bolts for the Ultegra crankset.

      Ultimately it is up to your budget and which appearance you prefer.

      Delete
  10. Thx steve. Act I was just wondering which crank to go for.

    Since there r nt much diff in terms of performance. Guess might go 4 105 shimano. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Steve,

    Good day. I own a Tern Link P24h and I am looking at the option to upgrade the bike to make it lighter and better. I spoke to some of the guys running the bike shop and some of them told me that my bike is not worth to upgrade and it's better to get a new bike instead. I am new in biking but i have been in other hobbies for a long time so I know that basically they're the same when it comes to upgrading and stuff. It's always better to get a higher end bike than to upgrade a lower end bike.

    Thanks for the very informative blog, especially on the upgrades on your Dahon bike. What should I be looking at to upgrade my Link P24h? Here's the specs http://www.ternbicycles.com/my/bikes/link-p24h

    I am thinking of changing the wheels to Wheelsport, take out the Biologic Saddle post pump and replace it with either aluminium or ColorTech CF saddle post, Schwalbe Durano Tires, but I don't know must about the groupset. Please advise, I'm so lost.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the Link P24H, the main challenge is the wheelset, because it comes with the 3 speed internal hub. If you change the wheelset then you lose the main feature of the D24, which is the 3x8 drivetrain. Once you change to a normal rear hub, it basically becomes a Link D8. Then what do you do with the extra wheelset? Not many people will get the wheelset.

      What I suggest is the same as the bike shop. For your particular bike, the main feature is the 3x8 speed drivetrain. If you remove the drivetrain it becomes another normal folding bike. It may be a better idea to sell the bike, and get a bike that is easier and worth upgrading.

      For example, a bike such as Vitesse D18, Tern P18, these bikes already have a 2x9 drivetrain, and can accept standard RD and FD, and thus easy to upgrade.

      Getting the Schwalbe Durano tires will allow you to go faster. As for the seat post, changing out will make it lighter but not much other benefit there.

      Delete
  12. Hi Steve,
    I recently bought Dahon Mu P8 in Indonesia. I want to change the crankset from single 53T to double 53-39T or something similar to that size. I am wondering if Shimano 150 FC5600 or FC5700 would fit on my bike? What else I should purchase?
    Thank you.
    Victor

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem. The Shimano 105 5600 or 5700 crankset will fit fine. However you will also need to get the Hollowtech BB to use with the crankset.

      Delete
    2. Thank you Steve. I have one more question.
      The only crankset length available in my city is 175 cm. I am wondering if it has enough ground clearance.
      Victor

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    3. No problem. Don't worry about ground clearance.

      Delete
  13. Hi Steve thank you for answering my questions. I got everything but I am not able to find FD Adaptor (FD Hanger) for Dahon Mu. Could you, by any chance, have information which store sell this FD Adaptor in Singapore?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just came across this post. Hard to find locally as the shops don't carry it. Have to try online from Taobao.com

      Delete
  14. Hi steve any recommandation for Tern D8 crankset, budget ard $300.. pls advise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you get online, you can get Ultegra 6700 crankset. But excluding BB and installation.

      If you get at the bike shop, $300 will get you Shimano 105, including BB and installation.

      Delete
  15. Hi Steve,

    Can you recommend a good LBS I can go to upgrade the crankset on my Dahon Vector P9?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Almost every bike shop with Shimano products can upgrade the crankset for you. Just go to the one near your place. A few I can think of are Mybikeshop, Hup Leong, L&T, C2C.

      Delete
  16. Hi, I just bought a second hand tern link d8. Am thinking of upgrading the crank set and installing a bash guard.. The ultegra crank set looks awesome.. Can it be installed on my d8 .. And any advice on the bash guard ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Ultegra crankset can be installed on the Link D8. You will also need a compatible Hollowtech II BB.

      However, you can't really install a bash guard on the Ultegra crankset without spoiling the look. To prevent chain drop, you will need to install an FD.

      If you insist on having a bash guard, it is better to get the Shimano 105 crankset. It has standard crankarms and chainrings, and a bash guard will fit much better on those.

      Delete
    2. Ah.. Thanks for the advice! What is a hallowtech II BB and FD ? I was looking at the available cranksets online http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/sg/en/cranksets
      how do i know Which ones are compatible with my tern d8 ?

      Delete
    3. A Hollowtech II BB and Crankset is by Shimano, but there are other compatible ones by other brands too.

      You can read up by going Youtube and searching for Hollowtech, or going to Shimano website. Basically what you need is a road crankset.

      Delete
  17. which measurements I should get ?

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/sg/en/shimano-ultegra-6700-double-10sp-chainset/rp-prod39017

    Which length should I select and 53 or 52 teeth ?

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/sg/en/shimano-ultegra-6700-6703-bottom-bracket/rp-prod38998

    Should I get the English thread or the Italian thread and what size should I use ? 70 mm or 68 mm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Normally a crankarm length of 170mm should be fine. Longer crankarm lengths are for taller people.

      53/39 or 52/39 is fine, the difference is only 1 gear teeth.

      As for the BB, get the English threaded one, 68mm width.

      Delete
  18. Hi

    Can recommend me crankset for my stock link p9? Roughly how mich would it be? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shimano 105 crankset with BB, slightly over SGD 200 online. At the bike shop it will cost maybe 250, but with installation.

      Delete
    2. Hi Thanks for the recommendation! It is a hollowtech?

      Delete
    3. Yes it is a Hollowtech II crankset. Actually many of the answers to your questions can be found just by googling, it would be better if you did your own research first, and only ask if you can't find the info.

      Delete
  19. Hi..

    A tern p18 rider...looking into upgrade my original crank, details asf:-

    LitePro 130mm BCD 53T/ 39T CNC Double Disc Crankset, arm length 170mm.

    any comment on that?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I personally think it is not going to be too much of an upgrade. Better to upgrade to a branded crankset for stiffer crankarms and good front shifting.

      Delete
    2. Hi Tylsteve! thanks for your comment.

      However beside your recommeded Shimano 105 crankset w BB, is there any others? Hesitation probably due colour not real matching my bike, tks!

      Delete
    3. You can also check out FSA or SRAM cranksets. They have different graphics which may suit your bike.

      Delete
    4. Thanks!

      Last question, any idea shop or website i can get?

      Delete
    5. Bike-discount.com has a good range of components at a good price.

      For local bike shops, Hup Leong has the best prices for Shimano parts. As for SRAM parts, I don't recommend getting from local bike shops as they are mostly overpriced. Best price is always online, but you need to install the components yourself, or pay the bike shop to do it for you.

      Delete
  20. thanks...& appreciate your kind suggestion!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Steve, i'm currently running on 105 cranks on my dahon speed, and am planning to switch the chainrings from 53/39 to 60/48 due to spinout. Do you think its doable? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will be possible, but I'm not sure where you will find a FD that can fit a 60T chainring and still shift smoothly.

      Delete
  22. Hola sabéis si se pueden montar unas bielas shimano ultegra 6700 en una tern link p9

    ReplyDelete