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A tale of two cranksets

What is wrong with this picture? To the left is my old Dura-Ace crankset from the early 90’s (I still have it in use on my fixed gear beater bike). To the right is the crankset on my road bike, a much newer Dura-Ace 9 speed model. Both are in good shape, but the rubbed-off logo on the newer crank makes it look much older than it really is. Mine is not an isolated case. Check the Ebay listings for used Dura-Ace or Ultegra cranks and you will see that most of them have similar cosmetic damage. The old crank has some rub marks, but the deeply recessed logo still looks as good as it did 10 plus years ago. So why did Shimano change to the surface printed logo? Maybe there was a reason, but my guess is that it was just to save money in production. Designers need to consider what a product will look like after years of use, not just at a tradeshow or in a pricey catalog shot.

I doubt this an issue with DA 10 since the peak surface of the ridge on the crank arm is higher than the logo. Since I don’t have 400 bucks burning a hole in my pocket, I guess it will be some time before I know for sure.

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2 Responses

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  1. Quino says

    My guess on this is that the latest two incarnations of the Dura-Ace cranks are hollow. I do not know how thick are the cranks walls are, but a recessed logo may create stress points that could make a crank fail.

    In any case I think that the 8 speed Dura-ace is the best looking crank ever. Great blog by the way.

  2. Anonymous says

    Easier to carry out the brand engineering for which Shimano is famous. Embedding the crank name complicates this.

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