Shimano made 50 special edition chainset available to the UK. Condor Cycles was one of the first retailer to fit Shimano Dura-Ace components to bikes in the 1970s. Shimano provided ten of the exclusive set to Condor.
Priced at £699.99, it is fair to say they aren't on the cheap side but here's our low down on why they are so special.
When Shimano do something they don't do it by halves! Just like their carbon chainset and they weren't quick to follow suit of Sram and Campagnolo. Instead opting to do do it their way, test, test and test again. You know when they launch a product it will have been ridden at the highest level for a good while. A sign they were getting close was that they gave their cranks to a few higher profile teams for use and abuse by select well known riders, Michael Boogerd had been spotted racing using this new chainset.
When Shimano comes out with a new part, it's aim is to have a product that is better than the component it replaces. It must perform at the highest level under the highest stresses and strains and still come back for more, day in day out. The new carbon chainset looks much the same as the aluminium chainset, almost as though they just wrapped a layer of carbon over the top, this is not so. Shimano's Dura Ace FC-7800C is built around an aluminium core. The spider, start of crankarm, and pedal thread area all have aluminium inside, as does the left arm's pedal thread and axle clamping area. In testing Shimano found this maximised the strength to weight ratio and also helped maintain the rigidity they demand while still decreasing weight. The right hand crank is bonded to a steel billet spindle, the steel spindle has been found to be lighter and stiffer than aluminium options.
The hollow spindle fitted into the driveside of the Hollowtech II crankarm rotates in the new external Hollowtech II cups, with little or no flex or loss of power. Weight for the complete chainset and bottom bracket is a svelte 709g, the chainset on its own comes in at 609g. Even with this weight loss the end result is a chainset that is a full 10% stiffer than the aluminium version, which was already well known for its exceptional stiffness. The left crank arm features the same installation technology as current Shimano XTR to save some weight and to make installation even easier.
The anodized black chainrings are CNC-machined and are unique to this crank. The rings receive a lot of sculpting and machining away of any unnecessary metal, this reduces weight and aesthetically enhances the lines of the cranks themselves.