Okay, so you need a new crankset for your 10-speed road racing bike. What type of crankset will you choose? Shimano, as one of the biggest bicycle component makers in the world will obviously be an obvious choice for many cyclist, and one of the most popular choices is the Shimano Ultra chainring crankset.
Before getting into the specifics, what do other riders think about the Shimano Ultegra carnkset. Here are some quotes about the crankset from several bike review websites.
“This is easily one of the most dependable cranksets available for your money.”
“The Shimano Ultegra crankset and bottom bracket is very solid, I would probably just change the chain rings though.”
“The chain rings aren’t exactly bad, and the shifting felt more crisp.”
“These cranks will probably last longer than your bike.”
“The Shimano cranks put the power to your rear wheel efficiently and effectively. I climb a lot of hills and I’m now hitting speeds that were previously a struggle to hit and maintain”.
Now, there are some pretty good raps for the Shimano Ultegra from different riders using this drivetrain. Now, let’s take a look at the technical side of the cranks.
The Shimano Ultegra Hollowtech II integrated crank and bottom bracket combines hollow forging technology that has been race-proven. Thanks to the hollow construction, the weight of the drivetrain has been reduced however its rigidity and power transfer have been significantly increased.
The chain rings provide smooth front shifting thanks to special tooth profiles, pick-up spikes and ramps.
The Ultegra is compatible with a 10-speed cassette and is designed for use with the Super Narrow HG for 10-speed chain and hyperdrive. It also features 53-39/52-39T chainring cransksets with crank arms forged from anodized aluminum and a crank arm length of 165/170/172.5/175mm. The crankset chainrings are also anodized and the whole set weighs in at 833 grams.
Shimano 2008 Ultegra SL Road Group
Shimano introduced its ’08 Ultegra SL road group to bridge the gap between their existing Ultegra and their Dura-Ace kit. The new Ultegra SL has been refined to further reduce weight by about 35 grams over the standard Ultegra crankset. New features include improved Hollowtech II arms, a billet steel spindle, lighter bearing cups and alloy chainring bolts. Options available include 53 or 52 x 39mm double chainrings, a 52 x 39 x30mm triple chainring or a dedicated 50 x 34mm compact crank in 165, 170, 172.5 or 175mm lengths.
The SL has also gone through some cosmetic changes such as two-tone chainrings and an Ice Grey finish.
While on the road the two cranksets are indistinguishable in performance-mainly because the original is so good and the SL is equally flavored. Put a bike on the weight scale and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the weight savings. Add in the SL shifters (where the biggest performance gains are realized) and you’ll be clicking in style.