fixie crank suggestions?

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fixie crank suggestions?

Postby emilmh » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:07 pm

Im after a set of cranks for a cheap fixie build.

I see that there is a variety of ones on ebay for the $30 /$40 mark (plus postage) but have heard people say they are crap. I would also like to get some that are 165mm so as to improve ground clearance.

What makes a crank good and bad and how do you know. I realise weight is something to look out for, but when it comes to economy cranks would there even be much difference?
I'd be happy to go for second hand cranks, but they seem to be hard to come by at reasonable prices. (If anyone has any let me know, I'm prepared to spend hours to polish)

I also assume that for single speed its easiest to go for square tapered cranks? (I can't see how you could adjust 2nd hand splined axle road cranks for a fixie)

Any ideas or suggestions welcome.
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by BNA » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:30 pm

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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby Oxford » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:30 pm

all of my SS bikes have external bearings, they're easier to set up IMO, they have spacers you can use to adjust the alignment of the BB/chainwheel to get the chain alignment just right. the cranks are two piece FSA cranks at 180mm and I have no issues with ground clearance, only once have I grounded a foot going around a corner (slight lapse in concentration), it is an MTB frame so it does have slightly higher clearance than a road frame.
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby emilmh » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:51 pm

Oxford wrote:all of my SS bikes have external bearings, they're easier to set up IMO, they have spacers you can use to adjust the alignment of the BB/chainwheel to get the chain alignment just right. the cranks are two piece FSA cranks at 180mm and I have no issues with ground clearance, only once have I grounded a foot going around a corner (slight lapse in concentration), it is an MTB frame so it does have slightly higher clearance than a road frame.


So your saying the external bearing cranks dont use any type of "measurement" the way square tapered cranks use bottom brackets of x size? So basically I could use any external bearing crankset and it would have some sort of standard length which can then be adjusted to suit single speed/fixed use?
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby drubie » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:09 pm

The fixie cranks from cyclingdeal are ok, paint finish sucks and they seem like the crank spindle size is ISO rather than the more common road JIS size (see sheldon) but for a low budget build they work. No good with 3/32 chains though despite what their description says.
Can't remember the brand on mine (starts with s)
Edit: shun cranks. Yeah I lol the name too. :)
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby Oxford » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:33 pm

emilmh wrote:
Oxford wrote:all of my SS bikes have external bearings, they're easier to set up IMO, they have spacers you can use to adjust the alignment of the BB/chainwheel to get the chain alignment just right. the cranks are two piece FSA cranks at 180mm and I have no issues with ground clearance, only once have I grounded a foot going around a corner (slight lapse in concentration), it is an MTB frame so it does have slightly higher clearance than a road frame.


So your saying the external bearing cranks dont use any type of "measurement" the way square tapered cranks use bottom brackets of x size? So basically I could use any external bearing crankset and it would have some sort of standard length which can then be adjusted to suit single speed/fixed use?
yes they come with spacers that sit between the bearing housing and BB frame shell. most shells are either 68 or 73mm wide (there are other sizes but these are the most common in use today), so with two/three spacers the 73mm BB fits the 68mm shell. you can move the spacers from side to side to align the chain wheel. for instance on two of my bikes I have 2 on the drive side and one non drive, but the other MTB its the opposite, but all three have the same driveline so I can swap any wheel around any of the bikes without changing anything else. you can use these spacers on Octalink, ISIS and square taper BBs, but typically only on the drive side, the non drive side often recesses into the shell, but some do but against the shell.
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby teds01 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:51 pm

External bearing bottom brackets and a set of cranks - what sort of money would you be looking at? Surely can't be too cheap?

I've always seemed to have a number of different width square tapered BB's and spare old cranksets to ensure that I can find a combo to get a straight chain line with.

My current fixed gear has a shimano square taper BB (approx 110mm) and I've been running some generic 170mm roady cranks off an old Alloy Apollo roady for a few years without any issue.

I guess I'm suggesting the cheap way is to pick up a square taper BB and some second hand roady cranks..... and see if you can achieve a good chain line.
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby Oxford » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:54 pm

teds01 wrote:External bearing bottom brackets and a set of cranks - what sort of money would you be looking at? Surely can't be too cheap?

depends what you define as cheap. The average I paid for my 180mm cranks with BB (3 sets), no rings was about $100 from the USA.
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby HappyHumber » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:16 pm

teds01 wrote:I guess I'm suggesting the cheap way is to pick up a square taper BB and some second hand roady cranks..... and see if you can achieve a good chain line.


+1

Just did a conversion with a mate. Used a sealed 107mm Shimano BB (new...~$30 I think) and a set of early 80s 165mm Arabesque Double cranks. The shorter BB length than the double would normally require for two chainrings at the front allowed the single ring to be mounted on the outer shelf and look better, imho.

The mock up went well, but when we torqued the cranks down proper on the taper, the crank arm couldn't clear the chainstay. Back of to the local, amenable & actually helpful LBS who scratched out one of the 2.5mm spacer washers for the described later external bearing types. Pulled out the driveside fixed cup and used this spacer between it and the frame we all good. This did mean the left side crank was a bit closer in when the adjustable cup was snugged in further - but it still had 3 or 4mm clearance.

Just scrounge around for some square taper double cranks. Your bit of grief maybe similar as described above, maybe getting chainline or clearance. A decent LBS should be able to help with spacers or letting your swap an unsuccessfully tried BB... maybe.
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby Lark2004 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:07 pm

Oxford wrote:
teds01 wrote:External bearing bottom brackets and a set of cranks - what sort of money would you be looking at? Surely can't be too cheap?

depends what you define as cheap. The average I paid for my 180mm cranks with BB (3 sets), no rings was about $100 from the USA.


Keep an eye on evilbay... I got my FSA Gossamer cranks (with chainrings) with BB for $50.00 +about $15.00 postage (if I remember correctly). You just can't be in a hurry if you want to get a good price. It can take a while to win an auction at a price you are happy with.
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby Wee Jock » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:06 am

I got some FSA Vero cranks for very cheap, $40-50 from CRC. Have been good so far, worth checking out.
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:33 pm

Best value track cranks I reckon are Stronglight track 2000.

Image

Wack them on with a 107mm JIS bottom bracket and the chainline is spot on, no mucking about with spacers. They can be had in 165mm, 170mm and 172.5mm lengths. They come with a proper 144 BCD, 1/8" track chainring and they look great. You can't go wrong really. If you hunt around on the Euro cycling stores they can be had for $100 AUD plus shipping.
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby yehuda » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:57 am

if you are in melb. I have some Campagnolo Mirage cranks. Plus Miche BB you can have for $60. Just need to get a couple dust caps and washers to hold the chainring bolts on.
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby toppity » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:01 pm

yehuda wrote:if you are in melb. I have some Campagnolo Mirage cranks. Plus Miche BB you can have for $60. Just need to get a couple dust caps and washers to hold the chainring bolts on.

they wouldn't be a single chain ring though...would they?
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:50 pm

toppity wrote:
yehuda wrote:if you are in melb. I have some Campagnolo Mirage cranks. Plus Miche BB you can have for $60. Just need to get a couple dust caps and washers to hold the chainring bolts on.

they wouldn't be a single chain ring though...would they?


Put the single ring in the granny position and you're good to go.
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Re: fixie crank suggestions?

Postby .isaac. » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:33 pm

Lasco Originals cost me $50 shipped from Ebay (Ill post a link if you want). My opinion, they are just cranks and a chainring, they do what they do and do it quite nicely. I haven't ridden many fixed gears yet so Im not sure how they compare to other cranksets but in my opinion they are very nice for a starting crankset. You'll also want to figure out what ratio you want to use.
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