@ Frank braised is usually better as if you need a clamp the right size clamp is in my shed somewhere...if not ebay is a cheap place to get one
Peter how about asking Noel at bike station as everything he has is for sale :) Whatever you end up with make sure you have the bottom bracket to suit.....worthwhie to spend the extra bucks on that component....but I do have a spare FSA and DuraAce lying around here somewhere you can have for nix if that helps:)
I found that the 34/25 felt about the same as a 39/27 so if you are looking for a cheaper option you could try a 12/27 or 12/28 cluster first. Assuming you haven't already.
You should be able to find a gear calculator on the web somewhere to check. Pretty sure there is one on Sheldon Brown.
I run a 12/27 with my std crank all the time now (live in the hills).
I have an Ultegra compact crank that I bought for the mountains in Europe but I don't use it at home as I found I had to change the front ring too much in normal flatter riding here. Not for sale though as I have some more mountains that I want to climb.
I've got a 105 compact crank in the shed, I think, came off the last bike.
They are all pretty much the same. Ive riden them all from tiagra to DA/Sram Red and cant tell any difference if I close my eyes lol!
These days the crank technology is so similar its no real difference.
Get your bike fitted by an experienced fitter as well if you knees are a bit knocky. Mark all your changes with a liquid paper pen so if anything slips, you got a reference point to go back to.
Hello Peter - going through the same question myself...
I have braised on and it is easy to move the FD down a few millimeters (or indeed up) to change between full size and compacts. Much easier than band on!! I use DA7800 full size with 53/39 - and have used 55/42 on the same crank with no problems. Both sets are 130 BCD.
I borrowed some FSA Gossamer compact cranks (these use the SAME bottom bracket as my DA) and the braised on FD allowed more than enough adjustment to fit these smaller cranks. Note that 52 tooth chainrings are FULL size with 130 BCD and 50 are COMPACT with 110 BCD - the effective difference in the radius of the rings is not large.
I like FSA - and will buy them OR DA7950 cranks. The issue with FSA is the Bottom Bracket. Some can use the Shimano bracket (DA7800/DA7900 etc) like Gossamer - some use MegaExo which fit the same bracket shell on the frame as Shimano - others use BB30. The BB30 cannot be fitted to frames that were not designed for it (the spindle is larger at 30mm - and the shells are correspondingly larger.
See this from the web: - copied..
BB-4000 Omega Mega Exo
BB-6000 Gossamer and Engery Mega Exo (can also use a Shimano BB with these cranks)
BB-8000 (ceramic) K Force and SL-K Mega Exo
BB-8060 Team Issue and SRM Mega Exo
BB-8200 (ceramic) K Force Light and SL-K Light Mega Exo
BB-8681 K Force Light and SL-K Light Mega Exo
Even shorter version:
BB 8681 is for framesets with BB-86 bottom bracket standard (Giant TCR Advanced, Scott Addict). BB-8000 is non-ceraimic with 7mm wide bearings (thus wider bearing cups) and while it will work with Gossamer, Energy, SL-K, and K-Force, the wider bearings/bearing cups can cause issues with the non-drive side crank arm comming loose due to the width of the frames bottom bracket shell. If you have a Mega Exo crank which ends with the word 'Light', then the BB 8200 (or non ceramic equivalent) will be required as it has 6mm wide bearings and narrower bearing cups and was part of FSA's fix for the NDS crank arm issue. That said, I have used the BB-8200 ceramic bottom bracket (red annodized bearing cups) with FSA Energy, Team Issue, SL-K, K-Force, K-Force Light, and SRM K-Force Light cranksets without any problems but this is a pricey option to ensure compatibility between bikes.
I have (as indicated) decided to go DA7950 compact - or FSA with MegaExo (new BB required). The weight is similar, the reliability seems about the same - the deciding factor is price and do I really want to replace a near new DA7900 bracket?
Oh - and if you order FSA online - make sure you specify the right thread for yoor new bottom bracket.. English or Italian.
Finally - choose the right crank arm lengths. As DR above says: get the bike fitted - crank length is important, shorter will encourage higher cadence and spinning which may help the knees too.
Oh - and my experiences with the borrowed compacts.. Not all good!
* I find I'm in the wrong gear sometimes - especially when changing the front chainring. Issue here - the differential between 53-39 (14 teeth) and 50-34 (16 teeth) is disconcerting. I'm told I'll get used to it - but I've strained a knee slightly because of it... changed from 50 and 21 to 34 and 21 - and there appeared no resistance!! Maybe I need to change both front and back at the same time. The Shimano DA derailleurs have no problems doing this - have gone to small chainring and upped 3 cogs on the back at the same time - VERY smoothly too.
* I find that going uphills I am no faster - I might be spinning a little faster but not moving forward any better. Am I just bludging here? I'm hoping my knees are getting some relief though.
* I miss the feeling of power from the bigger rings when on the flat - even though 53 to 50 is not really a big change - it feels delicate and like I'm pussyfooting around. Maybe the answer to all the above is the crank arm lengths. I'm used to 170mm and the borrowed compacts have 165mm...
So I intend to persist with my trial - but as I've only compacts on one bike - its taking some time.
Agreed about the bike setup... And, yes - I've had it wrong before.
How tall? 184. How heavy? 83. Probably too heavy - aiming for 80 again by EOY.
I am very comfortable with the setup with the standard cranks - and it is a matter of getting it right for the compacts before I invest $400+ for them... Interesting for me - in 1998/1999 when I had a bike fit - I was a 58cm (traditional frame - Colnago Tecnos) - in 2004 another fit had me at a 57cm (trad) - in 2008 another had me at a 56cm (trad). I have not yet started to shrink though!! I am middle aged true - but?? There is a school of thought its better to ride too small than too large.
Anyway - in 2008 the bike dude recommended compacts - I decided against. This in hindsight was a poor decision - but can be fixed with the right compacts now. Whether it be DA or Campag or FSA or SRAM - really is not the main issue for me - it is the crank length. I will reconsult my favourite LBS before the final selection and I don't really want to preempt it. I do suspect that 165mm is NOT the answer. Bike fits have always had me at 170mm or 172.5mm. They have all agreed 175mm is probably too long.
I know you are a Campag man - and particular about which of their products. I am primarily Shimano and VERY particular about their products! I too would rather save and buy the better product. I like DA and have had it on 4 bikes so far going back 20 years or so. Before that - Suntour, SACHS and Simplex. Maybe one day a full Campag group for me too!
As you say so well - I like to know my bike will go the distance when I start out. A common weekend ride is well over 100km... Not always fast - but a good work out.