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Reaction to Shimano crank saga

OK so hands up I've not really been paying too much attention to bike news over the last couple of years due to life and stuff, but have recently started to spend some hours back in the saddle and one thing that has recently hit the headlines is the Shimano crank saga.

Now I have a somewhat unremarkable but still very much cared for 2015 Bianchi Infinito CV which I purchased at the time for an exceptional deal fitted with an Ultegra group. Now having done some research into the issue (I'm an engineer for my sins) it's looking almost certain to be a combination design and process issue causing the crank failures so it's more a question of when not if your crank will fail (unless you live in a desert) so this leaves some choices for those in a soggy climate such as the UK..
1. Keep inspecting regularly until the crank starts to fail and replace like for like
2. Fit a heavier 105 crank
3. Fit an alternative compatible crank - FSA SLK or SRAM Force /Red spring to mind (sram would need de branding obvs.. )
4. Use this as an excuse to fit a Campy Record group  3

I'd be interested to hear what others are choosing to do?

P.s. having read across forums I've read about the issue occurring to hollowtech cranks later than the batch numbers Shimano state, as late as 2020 so far. This doesn't instill confidence in the possibility of buying a replacement Ultegra / DA...

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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8 comments

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belugabob | 9 months ago
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Has anybody had their cranks inspected, since the recall, or had any feedback from their LBS (other than " we're waiting to hear from Shimano")?

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Sriracha | 9 months ago
5 likes

It's come to the attention of HM Gov. Which might give hapless owners a little more leverage, since it is now, officially, unsafe
https://www.gov.uk/product-safety-alerts-reports-recalls/product-safety-...

Avatar
Inder | 9 months ago
1 like

I've had a few bikes over the past 10 years or so with either 6800 or R8000 Shimano cranks, some bought new some second hand some of them I still own. I probably ride around 6000 miles a year in all seasons, mostly in the NW of England. Never had a crank failure or any signs of impending failure. Based on this I'll happily keep riding bikes I own with these cranks without too much concern. Of course, I'll check them over for any visual signs of issues when cleaning and pay particular attention to any wierdness when riding. 

I don't think I'd buy a new shimano groupset though but mostly because of the phasing out of "higher end" mechanical shifting rather than concerns about cranks falling appart. 

Avatar
IanEdward | 9 months ago
2 likes

Having just added 90g of additional tyre weight to my Basso, I can confirm you will absolutely not notice the extra 40g weight of the 105 chainset smiley

Better yet if you can swap your existing Ultegra chainrings on to the 105 arms, I have heard it said (but not checked myself) that most of the weight savings are in the chainrings anyway?

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check12 replied to IanEdward | 9 months ago
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105 weight is in the arms not the rings 

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Simon E replied to check12 | 9 months ago
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check12 wrote:

105 weight is in the arms not the rings 

105 crankarms are only 45 g heavier than Ultegra. That's a small energy bar or a mouthful of whatever's in your water bottle.

7000: 713 g
8000: 668 g
9100: 614 g

https://road.cc/content/review/248560-shimano-105-r7000-groupset

Most of the weight is on top of the saddle. Excess body mass is the biggest restriction on performance; it stifles the engine and holds you back on climbs (among other things).

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Cugel replied to Simon E | 9 months ago
1 like

Simon E wrote:

check12 wrote:

105 weight is in the arms not the rings 

105 crankarms are only 45 g heavier than Ultegra. That's a small energy bar or a mouthful of whatever's in your water bottle.

7000: 713 g
8000: 668 g
9100: 614 g

https://road.cc/content/review/248560-shimano-105-r7000-groupset

Most of the weight is on top of the saddle. Excess body mass is the biggest restriction on performance; it stifles the engine and holds you back on climbs (among other things).

Just so. In addition:

The obsession with the weight of bike and parts is almost entirely an unholy alliance of cycling = nothing-but-a-competitive-sport and advertsing of the new! improved! ilk. In reality, little bits of marginal gain-got weight decrease will make hardly any difference at all ... and none of any significance to everyday cyclists. Only those at the very top of competitive cycling will see any benefits from lighter-by-a-few-grams stuff.

Even those top-end competitive cyclists may suffer, as the lightweight stuff can easily become the too-flimsy stuff. Alright if you have a car full of bikes you can exchange your broken down bike for. For the hoi-polloi, your race is at an end.

For a data-driven back-up to this notion that bike weight is not as important as is generally assumed by avid purchasers of the "30 gms lighter than that other brand" stuff (and the drillers of gubbins, mercifully now a rare breed) have a read of the following:

https://www.cyclingabout.com/why-we-should-stop-our-obsession-with-bike-...

************

As you say, for a better power to weight index, lose some plump from the person, which can also add power from less-clagged-up body body functions. Or stop worrying about going as fast as you can on a bike for as little energy as possible. The cycling will possibly become a better experience without such angsts.

 

 

 

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Daveyraveygravey replied to Cugel | 9 months ago
1 like

I have a 2015 Giant Propel with Ultegra 6800.  The first failure was in 2018, holidaying in Yorks, and on my way to Rosedale Chimney!  There had been an issue with it in the weeks before but I hadn't been able to find the actual problem, I thought it was loose cleats or a damaged pedal. On the way to Rosedale though, you could see a gap between the arm and crank on the downstroke.  I managed to get back to base but was pedalling one-sided for an hour. 

At the time it was my only road bike and got used year round, and I didn't clean it that often.

I had a battle with Shimano to get a replacement as it was 6 months outside their 2 yr warranty but I kept at them, and eventually the UK distributor coughed up.

The replacement then failed in July 2022.  I didn't even think of contacting Shimano, and as luck would have it a lightly used 105 chainset appeared on the Bay which I snapped up for less than 50 quid.  It seems to be in one piece, so far.

The way Shimano have dealt with this has really put me off.  I used to sing the praises of Ultegra, back then it really was the sweetspot in the range, in terms of what you got for the money.  I'd probably not go Hollowtech again for the next bike, maybe not even Shimano.

 

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