Incomplete Groupsets

crooks
crooks Posts: 23
edited October 2012 in Road buying advice
Hi all,

I've spent quite a bit of time online recently researching carbon framed bikes. I'm looking for a sportive bike to use mostly for recreational road riding. When I've made a shortlist, I'm sure the final choice will come down to quality of the frame and how the geometry suits me. I can only make this assessment by travelling around and trying out bikes but that's time (and money) consuming so my shortlst will come first.

During my surfing, one of the things I find most striking is how few bikes in my price range seem to come with a single, complete groupset. The most commonly chopped component being the crankset with various FSA offerings the most frequent substitute to Shimano 105, Ultegra etc. I can't help finding this a major turn-off at the prices I'm considering. My question is, am I being unreasonable in feeling like this? My belief is that corners are being cut, simply to produce a cheaper bike with an expensive groupset label but perhaps there are other, good reasons why big names like Specialized, Canondale, etc make these component substitutions to groupsets.

Thanks
Steve

Comments

  • Your feelings are right... they cut costs to meet the price point they want to target
    left the forum March 2023
  • Matt_as
    Matt_as Posts: 84
    Most of the time it is likely to be to save cost but also because Shimano don't make a proper BB30 chainset and BB and other manufacturers do so it is easier and cheaper to spec them if frame is BB30.
  • Matt_as wrote:
    Most of the time it is likely to be to save cost but also because Shimano don't make a proper BB30 chainset and BB and other manufacturers do so it is easier and cheaper to spec them if frame is BB30.

    This.

    What can the manufacturers do if Shimano don't make a BB30 chainset?
  • crankycrank
    crankycrank Posts: 1,830
    Chadders81 wrote:
    Matt_as wrote:
    Most of the time it is likely to be to save cost but also because Shimano don't make a proper BB30 chainset and BB and other manufacturers do so it is easier and cheaper to spec them if frame is BB30.

    This.

    What can the manufacturers do if Shimano don't make a BB30 chainset?
    Yes, your cheaper crankset is another casualty of the Bottom Bracket wars. Notice how many different types that have been available in the last few years with each mfr claming theirs is the best and the BB30 seeming to be the most problem prone. I suspect the BB30 was pushed on cyclists partly because it's cheaper to mfr a frame this way and not solely for performance. Shimano know a thing or two about building a stiff, durable crank/BB and may be resisting for more than just financial reasons. Shimano would be about the last company I would accuse of resisting change. Mfrs are in a position that they know the public wants the latest and "greatest" technology so they almost have to make the frames to accept BB30 but IMO is still not as problem free as a good threaded BB. The buyer saves a few quid for an inferior product. They actually could still give you the Shimano crank using an adapter for the BB30 shell with a very slight price increase but most mfrs probably feel that some buyers will insist on having a bike with a BB30 setup and buy something else. In this case hype drives the market.
  • DavidJB
    DavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Chadders81 wrote:
    Matt_as wrote:
    Most of the time it is likely to be to save cost but also because Shimano don't make a proper BB30 chainset and BB and other manufacturers do so it is easier and cheaper to spec them if frame is BB30.

    This.

    What can the manufacturers do if Shimano don't make a BB30 chainset?
    Yes, your cheaper crankset is another casualty of the Bottom Bracket wars. Notice how many different types that have been available in the last few years with each mfr claming theirs is the best and the BB30 seeming to be the most problem prone. I suspect the BB30 was pushed on cyclists partly because it's cheaper to mfr a frame this way and not solely for performance. Shimano know a thing or two about building a stiff, durable crank/BB and may be resisting for more than just financial reasons. Shimano would be about the last company I would accuse of resisting change. Mfrs are in a position that they know the public wants the latest and "greatest" technology so they almost have to make the frames to accept BB30 but IMO is still not as problem free as a good threaded BB. The buyer saves a few quid for an inferior product. They actually could still give you the Shimano crank using an adapter for the BB30 shell with a very slight price increase but most mfrs probably feel that some buyers will insist on having a bike with a BB30 setup and buy something else. In this case hype drives the market.

    And what about bb30 on top-end frames then?
  • Matt_as
    Matt_as Posts: 84
    DavidJB wrote:
    Chadders81 wrote:
    Matt_as wrote:
    Most of the time it is likely to be to save cost but also because Shimano don't make a proper BB30 chainset and BB and other manufacturers do so it is easier and cheaper to spec them if frame is BB30.

    This.

    What can the manufacturers do if Shimano don't make a BB30 chainset?
    Yes, your cheaper crankset is another casualty of the Bottom Bracket wars. Notice how many different types that have been available in the last few years with each mfr claming theirs is the best and the BB30 seeming to be the most problem prone. I suspect the BB30 was pushed on cyclists partly because it's cheaper to mfr a frame this way and not solely for performance. Shimano know a thing or two about building a stiff, durable crank/BB and may be resisting for more than just financial reasons. Shimano would be about the last company I would accuse of resisting change. Mfrs are in a position that they know the public wants the latest and "greatest" technology so they almost have to make the frames to accept BB30 but IMO is still not as problem free as a good threaded BB. The buyer saves a few quid for an inferior product. They actually could still give you the Shimano crank using an adapter for the BB30 shell with a very slight price increase but most mfrs probably feel that some buyers will insist on having a bike with a BB30 setup and buy something else. In this case hype drives the market.

    And what about bb30 on top-end frames then?

    They still have the same the same choice, spec a BB30 specific crank and bracket or use shimano with an adapter. Only difference being they will probably be fitting higher spec kit. I don't know of any problems with BB30 myself so can't answer about that but it does seem quite rare now to see shimano cranks on bikes that are mostly shimano kit. Another casualty can often be brake calipers but that is almost definately a cost thing.
  • centimani
    centimani Posts: 467
    BB30 aside, many manufacturers have been offering mixed groupsets for some time before BB30 was more readily available, purely as ugo says, to meet a pricepoint.
    TBF, you cant have it all, full groupset without paying the extra.
    I'm with you BTW, it peed me off having FSA cranks and BB on previous bikes, so much so i made sure my latest bike had a full groupset.
    In the end, its simply down to economics...
  • Matt_as
    Matt_as Posts: 84
    It does seem quite hard these days to buy a bike with a complete group if you are looking at off the peg bikes. I know what you are saying about prefering the whole group to be fitted but a different chainset wouldn't stop me buying a bike if it was the one I wanted.
  • crooks
    crooks Posts: 23
    Thanks for all your helpful replies. I hadn't considered that the reason might be incompatibility in BB shell sizes. This certainly justifies why some manufacturers opt for alternate cranksets to Shimano where Hollowtech could only be fitted if an adaptor was used. Providing the alternate used is of comparable quality, I can accept the reasoning, although I suspect, in many cases, it's more of a convenient excuse to use cheaper alternatives. :)
  • I don't see the problem at all with 'Mix & Match'. Cyclists are pretty lucky that in most cases componants by one manufacturer are perfectly compatable with componants from another manufacturer. Has to be good. Wish the same could apply in my other hobby, photography. With that you buy into a system. Lenses, flashguns etc for Canon won't fit Nikon and vice-versa. There is virtually no compatability in photography.

    My road bike as bought, has Shimano 105 gears, Sram chainset and brakes from god knows who. It all works perfectly. Don't see how it could be better. My mountain bike which I built up myself from scratch is a total jumble of bits. Again, works perfectly.

    If/when the time comes when framesets will only accept componants from one manufacturer, that will be a sad day for the cyclist.
    I'm not getting old... I'm just using lower gears......
    Sirius - Steel Reynolds 631
    Cove Handjob - Steel Columbus Nivacrom
    Trek Madone - Carbon
  • pkripper
    pkripper Posts: 652
    it's not necessarily a bad thing either - i don't really like the aesthetics of shimano chainsets below ultegra, so the fact that the FSA gossamer chainset is fairly prevalent is no bad thing as it's good quality, functions perfectly, stiff and lightish. That, or a Sram force chainset would be my choice as a default below ultegra.