The fresh and agressive new look of the Dura-Ace 9000 groupset couldn’t be complete without an appropriate crankset. So, as it usually does, the Japanese manufacturer ticked this box also, without forgetting to add some cutting-edge technology.
The FC-9000 is radically different than its predecessors due to the 4 arms of the crank’s spider, Shimano dropping the classical 5-arm configuration. The change didn’t happen over night, as the producer spent about 3 years researching how to make it real. Out of this period, aproximately 18 months Team Sky’s riders tested the innovation out-and-out. All the hard work can be seen in the final product, and it is my belief that it represents a big step forward for the company. Stiffness is increased by the assymetrical placing of the 4 arms, and weight is reduced by 52 grams, if it were to state the main perks of the new design. In regard of materials used, Shimano didn’t change its receipe, the special aluminum used for Hollowtech cranksets being the option yet again. The same attitude goes for the bottom bracket as well, the manufacturer staying loyal to the 24mm axle.
An ace up the sleeve of this 11-speed compatible crankset is the large number of chainring sizes that can be mounted. To be more accurate, buyers may pick between 5 different pairs of chainrings: 55/42, 54/42, 53/39, 52/36 and 50/34, basicly any cyclist of any physical condition being able to turn the wheels with one or more of them. I personally tested the 53/39 version, and the conclusion is very simple and straight-forward: no delay in chain movement, no akward noise, no malfunction, just the chain going up and down the rings as the lever tells it to.
Once again, weight betrays the Dura-Ace 9000. It’s not necessarly big, but when we’re talking about top of heap components, small things matter. The Shimano crankset weighs 683 grams, far more that Campagnolo’s Super Record or SRAM’s Red cranksets which are both under the 600-grams limit.
Weight: 683 grams