Carbon Compact Cranksets

Time Carbon CranksetIn recent years, many component makers have introduced carbon compact cranksets to their lineups. Campagnolo, SRAM, FSA and Easton all feature carbon crank-arms on their top of the line cranks. Conspicuously absent from the carbon bandwagon is Shimano which still makes it's top of the line Dura Ace compact crankset with aluminum, albeit highly-machined, hollow forged aluminum.

Carbon is clearly a wonder material that allows frame makers to dramatically shape tubes in order to fine-tune ride quality. Although bike makers have been using butted tubing for years, carbon let them take ride tuning much further. Bottom brackets can be massive and super-stiff while seat-stays can be manipulated for vertical compliance to absorb road buzz.

The same qualities that makes carbon fiber great for frames, also makes it a great material for cranksets. Crank-arms and spiders can be made very stiff and weight can be kept at a minimum. Many carbon crank arms like those found on Campagnolo Record and the Easton EC90 are built around a light weight core or are completely hollow. This technique makes these compact cranksets some of the lightest available.


FSA Team Issue Carbon Fiber 10 Speed 1725 Compact Crankset Crank jes56
FSA Team Issue Carbon Fiber 10 Speed 1725 Compact Crankset Crank jes56
$139.99
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SRAM Force Carbon Compact Crankset Crank Arms 1725mm Road Bike BB30 110 BCD
SRAM Force Carbon Compact Crankset Crank Arms 1725mm Road Bike BB30 110 BCD
$75.00
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Campagnolo Record CT Carbon Compact Square Taper Crankset 175mm
Campagnolo Record CT Carbon Compact Square Taper Crankset 175mm
$174.30
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FSA SLK Light 170 mm 110 bcd compact Road Bike Cyclocross BB30 crank set arms
FSA SLK Light 170 mm 110 bcd compact Road Bike Cyclocross BB30 crank set arms
$175.00
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Another quality that makes carbon compact cranksets so appealing is their appearance. Carbon fiber crank-arms can be molded into beautiful shapes and carbon cranksets can accept graphics much more readily than alloy cranksets. A downside to the lustrous appearance of carbon cranksets is that many riders complain that they scuff too easily. If you're generally hard on equipment, this may be something you want to consider before dropping a lot of cash on a new carbon compact crankset.

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