Modeled after Dura-Ace.
With the introduction of Shimano's new Ultegra 6800 groupset, most people's focus was naturally drawn toward the additional gearing options provided by the 11th cog. But the new group is something more than just added gearing; it represents an entirely revamped drivetrain system that now integrates its top-end Dura-Ace 9000 engineering into every one of its components. The new four-arm crankset displays this most clearly, as it pulls the same striking visuals and functionality that have made 9000's cranks so popular in the pro-tour ranks.
It's quite possible that Ultegra 6800's most stunning and recognizable feature is indeed the FC-6800 crankset, as it borrows the best technology from its Dura-Ace brother. On the surface, the FC-6800 is a complete departure from the traditional aesthetics of prior Ultegra. Gone are the days of the five-arm spider, and the necessity for a separate compact crankset has also fallen by the wayside. Instead, 6800 features a shift to a new four-arm spider design. This occured for several reasons, but most notably it's because the four-arm spider matches rigidity of Dura-Ace cranks while shedding close to 26g of weight over 6700. Also similar to Dura-Ace 9000, the 6800 cranks were built with Shimano's Hollowtech II construction. Over the past few iterations of Dura-Ace, this manufacturing methodology has played an integral role in attaining weight reduction without sacrificing Dura-Ace's superior stiffness. This, again, is a welcome improvement over the previous version of Ultegra.
Shimano has learned what works, and over the years has continually added to, and improved, the ideology of Dura-Ace, which now carries over extensively to Ultegra 6800. Hollowtech II and Hollowglide are prime examples of this. Strategic placement of hollow aluminum throughout the crankset and chainrings allows more structural material to be used, and when coupled with Shimano's integrated bottom bracket, creates an unrivaled weight-to-stiffness ratio.
The four-arm spider amplifies this characteristic, but more important to Shimano, it embodies its 'rider-tuned' philosophy. In this, Shimano created 6800 to work for you, the rider. Case in point, the four-arm design and the 'top-secret' BCD allows for front chainring combinations from 46-36T to 55-42T on the same spider.
The Shimano Ultegra FC-6800 11-Speed Crankset is available in sizes 170, 172.5, and 175mm and in 50-34, 52-36, and 53-39 chainring options. Shimano has also added a cyclocross-specific 46-36 combination in all three crank arm lengths.
- The crankset favored by privateer racers
- Hollow aluminum construction based on Dura-Ace model
- Ring sizes can be swapped without changing spiders
- 4-arm spider accommodates chainring sizes from 46-36t to 55-42t
- Compatible with Shimano 6800, 11-speed shifters and chainrings