Thursday, December 27, 2007

Q&A: Crankset conundrum

Q: I have a Dura-Ace 9-speed setup on my bike. I want to upgrade the
crankset to a newer model. It states that it is a 10-speed crankset. Should
this make any difference? Isn't it the derailleurs that control the
shifting, not the crankset and chainrings? I'm confused!

A: I actually haven't tried installing a 10-sp crankset on a 9-sp
drivetrain, Robert, but it's not supposed to work right because the 9-speed
chain is wider than the 10-sp so it might not shift very well. The
derailleur will still move the chain fine but it might not seat smoothly
onto the chainrings. You might be able to solve the issue by going with a
10-sp chain when you install the 10-sp crank. That would work fine on the
crankset but would be narrower and might not shift perfectly on the rear

But, I haven't experimented like this with these parts so I don't know for
certain whether you could get it to work, or not. Sometimes even though the
manufacturer says it won't work, it actually works enough so that you can
get by with it for awhile. I just can't say for sure having not tried it.

Of course, what you're supposed to do is upgrade the whole shebang,
crankset, cassette, chain and shifters, but that gets expensive. So, if you
don't mind experimenting you could certainly upgrade one piece at a time and
see how little you can get away with.

Good luck and let me know how it goes,

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