Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Road Compact Cranks and Wheelset

My road bike has gotten some changes recently. The primary change was to put compact cranks on, and in doing so, finally rid myself of the Dura Ace cranks, and get some carbons/Campys. Dura Ace cranks are some of the finest on the planet, but on an all Campy bike, and a dark colored bike, etc. etc., I wanted them off.

I also am currently riding a new set of Campagnolo Eurus clincher wheels. This is mildly embarrassing, but I bought these as my "winter wheels" :) I decided I wanted a set of non-carbon wheels for "harsher" winters here in Eugene. I rode my carbon wheels in the winter in Rocklin, in plenty of rain, so I doubt it was necessary, but from what I hear here, there is obviously much more rain/wet, and then also a fair bit of road grit and gunk, and occasional snow and ice (definitely will be ice on the hills around my house). Also, I just sent one of my Reynold's clinchers in to be rebuilt, and I'm in the middle of removing the glue on one of my tubulars, so couldn't ride a complete wheelset (a pathetic reason to buy new wheels, but, hey, any reason will do!) Whatever.

So I now have two rides on the new setup. More importantly, pictures are posted. As for the result...

First, the cranks are phenomenal, I wish I'd gone compact sooner. I push the pace on the steeper hills now, and I can sit in the big ring more of the time. A great setup. The Campy compact cranks use a 34/50 chainring setup (as opposed to some who use 36/50). I'm using an 11-25 cogset with that, so I have a real nice range (and greater range on both ends as compared to my previous setup of 39/53 + 12-25). Along with this came a new Record compact front deraileur, chain, and cogset (as said).

One thing I'll note, Campy chain setup is nice. They include this special little pin that goes in before the regular link pin. It does a few things: holds the chain together while you're working on it, gets things aligned properly, and then it has a pin that sticks out the back that you put the real link pin onto ensuring that that real pin goes in a certain way (as it can only go in one direction). Was the easiest chain install I've done in a while (in this new world of wacky chain link pins).

The wheels. Well, they're stiff, and they look cool, and they sure as hell seem to roll fast, but wow, they certainly reinforce my feeling that carbon wheels are the shit. The Eurus are a lot rougher riding - they just can't absorb like the carbon Reynolds. I also need to swap out my special carbon pads (I thought they'd said they worked on alu too, but they don't seem to work that well). These will be my "winter wheels", which I know, is kind of embarassing (to have such a nice "winter" wheelset), but hey, what can I say. I don't feel they are any stiffer than my Reynolds deep sections, hell, I don't even know if they're as stiff (the rims almost for sure are not, but the spokes in the Eurus are significantly beefier than the Sapim CXRay's in the Reynolds). I thought they weighed more than my Stratus DV's, and they sure feel like it, but according to printed weights, they're only a few grams heavier (both are 1500-1550, or so depending on where you read the weight :) In reality, the wheels are pretty great as far as I can tell, but I do love my carbons, and will be glad when my Reynolds wheel comes back (sent it in for a rebuild), or when I ride my tubies instead.

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