Friday, May 13, 2011

Whatcha think?



Our friends at IRD just sent us this 50.4 BCD TA/Campy-inspired retro-crank. The chainring sizes are 53/39. The chainline is 43.5mm and the BB axle length is 115mm. We're thinking about carrying them in the SOMA store..would they tickle your fancy?


29 comments:

Andrew Karre said...

Yes. The more of these available, the better.

jugdish said...

Is this the same bolt pattern as the TA Cyclotouriste cranks, and the new VO cranks? If so, how does the quality compare to those cranksets?

stevep33 said...

Excellent in terms of the chainring possibilities, but the rings look crude and boxy when compared to the TA Cyclotouriste rings.

Anonymous said...

Its a good start - but EVERYONE makes a 53/39. Make a realistic chainring choice for an intelligent compact crank, say 44-30.

Invisible Hand said...

53/39 seems like a crazy choice for the crank given everything else out there.

Anonymous said...

Do they come in 165mm? What advantage do these have over the Velo Orange 50.4 crank?

C said...

My take on the 50.4 crank is that it's a great idea that nobody has done right, including TA. Specifically:
TA: The newest batch are insanely expensive and it sounds like they still won't work well with modern front derailleurs. Also the bolts are fiddly and require you to carry a box wrench.

Velo Orange: allen bolts are nice since that's a tool we already carry. Finish quality is nice out of the box but they're not protected and require regular polishing/cleaning. I wonder how long they will hold up in corrosion prone environments like Seattle.

Electra Ticino: Finish quality is only so-so.

If you can keep the price to under $350, get them to work with modern drivetrains and have a durable finish on par with a Sugino crankset then you'd have a winner on your hands. Also be sure to offer a 46x30 combo.

Electra: The use allen bolts which is nice but the finish is a bit a wanting. Supposedly they work better with modern derailleurs.

Velo Orange: Tough to work with modern derailleurs and the lack of finish means you have to polish them on a regular basis which is annoying and makes me wonder how long they will last, especially in a place like Seattle or the Bay Area.

I say if you could keep the price to under $300 with rings, get them to work well with modern derailleurs/drivetrains and have a level of finish comparable to a similar priced Sugino then you'd have a winner on your hands.

rigtenzin said...

These look great if they will be available with lower gearing and they are the same bolt circle as TAs.

Jon said...

For real, make those 46t + 30t rings.

Are these anodized?

Anonymous said...

Agreeing with most of the other commentors: it's a lovely crank, but the 53/39 combination is kind of nuts. Anything above 48 for a non-racing bike is silly, unless you're strictly selling to commuters in Texas or Florida.

Anonymous said...

hmm, completely stupid 53/38 gearing and really, really ugly? I expected more from you, SOMA...

like the 46/30 VO crank, which also looks good....

C said...

One more thing: 53x39?!?!? What are you thinking? Anyone strong enough to push a 53t is going to think these cranks are too flexy and/or won't like the aesthetic. Plus the only reason to run a 50.4 BCD is so you can run smaller rings than is possible on a 130 or 110 BCD. A 46x30 would be perfect for the randonneuring/century/credit card touring crowd who are likely your best customer for these.

Anonymous said...

Look closely at the photo (click to enlarge) - it has a 130bcd inner. Real 50.4bcd cranks are 50.4mm/80mm bolt circle diameter, like the Velo Orange and the specialties TA cranks.

So, this won't be compatible with all your lovely TA rings. The Outer ring is proprietary, because it needs to be drilled for the 130bcd inner: the little ring bolts onto the big ring.

Looks like it uses different hardware from real 50.4bcd cranks, as well. So, this is only half of a 50.4bcd crank - it looks like it is, but it ain't.

WMdeR said...

Hi,

If it is anodized or made from a material that is not highly subject to stress-corrosion cracking it sounds like a reasonable crank for the real world. The VO crank requires heavy care and feeding in the winter if your local municipality uses salt or MgCL2 on the road.

I'd suggest going to a 48/32 or 46/30 double chainset, or sell rings separately. Make sure that a 172.5mm length and a 165mm length are included in your size run....

Best Regards,

Will

William M. deRosset
Fort Collins, CO

Anonymous said...

whats up with the crappy laser etching and Sunrace style crank taper? And why a square taper? ISIS would be much better.

Will there be a tandem arm set available?
What crank arm lengths will you stock? Velo Orange really missed the mark by not offering 160mm and 180/185mm lengths.

Anonymous said...

dude- the TA cranks are laser etched.

Anonymous said...

Mr. William:

It is my understanding that the alloys commonly used in bicycle components and accessories, the 6000 and 7000 series of aluminium alloys are rather resistant to corrosion because of the passivation effect which forms a protective layer of aluminum oxide, preventing further corrosion.

Even an aggressive cyclist, like myself, can only produce about 1/2 horse power. Fatigue damage should not be a concern in this application.

Modern forgings should produce alloys that will reach the peak of the fatigue failure bell curve at around 5e10 cycles under high stress... That's 50 million pedal strokes!

Annealing can help protect your material as well, but for most of us, fatigue is only theoretical in this application, even in the presence of NaCl.
Yours truly,
Sampat Nitram,
Engineer, Midé Smart Materials Consultants

Anonymous said...

The inner chainring isn't 50.4. It will not fit any other TA chainring. I'd toss the 53/39 combo as would anyone else on the planet who bought them and swap out for something useful. Why make them pay for a set of throwaway rings as well as the ones they actually want?

Somacisco said...

jugdish: same bolt pattern as the TA and VO cranks. The IRD's are 6061 T6 aluminum and anodized. The VO's from what i gather are not anodized and vulnerable to corrosion.

C: We aren't thinking anything. This isn't our product. Just passing along info. I don't know if the 53-39t is final spec or just the size of the sample they had in hand. These aren't in production, so maybe they'll take some of your suggestions to heart.

SteveP33: totally agree on the shape of the rings, but finish is pretty nice.

Anonymous: ISIS?!? Hey it's hip to be square, dog.

Thanks people!

Fred Zeppelin said...

Add one more to the chorus of 46/30 or 44/30 rings as standard. 172.5mm would also be excellent.

I know these aren't yours, but if I had a wishlist I would do a crank very much like this, but with only a 5x94BCD bolt pattern. Could sill have a very cool look, but with more widely available rings.

Anonymous said...

What's the Q factor?

Anonymous said...

I would join the chorus asking for 46/30 chainring combination, but unfortunately I'll have to unleash a knowledge burn instead. Take a close look at the photo, in its current specification with 130 BCD inner ring this crank can accept rings no smaller than 38 teeth.

Anonymous said...

Somacisco:

No, it's not a 50.4 bcc crank. Really.

Anonymous said...

64 BCD if memory serves, or was it 62?

KingsRoad said...

Its a niche market crankset for niche market cyclists, its for the guys who want thier cycle to look like a 50's Rene Herse or Alex Singer. The VO crankset looks good but BQ did not give it a good review.
In my opinion its not a mass market item and as such should not be treated like it, let Campag and Shimano take care of that, theres nothing wrong with tipping your hat to the past designs for the market that craves it.

Shaun

Anonymous said...

As long as it's 50.4, then the other figure can be where ever the holes are. This one's 130, but you could put 80. Very smart because 130 will help to brace the big ring. Then if you want smaller you could have 80 because it's still 50.4. That makes sense at least to me.

cptvitamin said...

+1 for a 30T option

systemBuilder said...

People like TA cranksets because of their BCD and because of their elegance and beauty (espeically when the silver and black decals are affixed to the arms).

This crank is neither elegant nor beautiful, in fact, it's rather ugly and the chainrings are very wide, fat, and are not aesthetic at all.

Anonymous said...

Uhh, your mom is ugly, wide and fat. JK :-)