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  1. #1
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    FSA Metropolis geared crankset

    Anyone had any news of this FSA crankset?





    Any idea when they will start selling one of those?
    When it's time to go, is time to go.
    Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing

  2. #2
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    Ah, the "Patterson Transmission". It's a 28T that multiplies up 1.6 (equivalent to 42T). Needs no frame modification; FSA sez it's for commuter bikes.

    Loved the rear deraileur cable routing on the one they showed @ Sea Otter:



    JD

  3. #3
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    Shimano also say alfine is for commuter bikes too, but many people have use it for mtb.
    When it's time to go, is time to go.
    Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing

  4. #4
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    ok, so i've been waiting to hear more about this and I just don't get why they keep saying "It's for commuting only"

    at 1:38 in this interview he says "at more load... it works" so I don't get the problem.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh-sF...eature=related

    is it that the internals aren't very resistant to impact forces?
    anyone with more news/info/review?
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by byknuts
    ok, so i've been waiting to hear more about this and I just don't get why they keep saying "It's for commuting only"
    Crank arms may be a bit thin to take the strain of repeated impacts when the rider gets pushed up over bumps / lands from a jump. There may also be issues with the bottom bracket not being strong enough. Neither of those seems intrinsic to the design, but could be the result of design choices made to match a certain price point / target weight. Though to be honest, from what I've seen, commuting bikes get torn up worse than MTBs...

    Anyhow, the commuting market is hot right now. They may just be trying to distance themselves from similar existing MTB product(s) and establish niche dominance.

  6. #6
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    i was figuring it was the "sudden impact" part of things.
    but if it holds together under load, then for off-road touring, snow-biking/sand-biking it'd be perfect.
    wish i could get confirmation on what exactly is the reason for them insisting on it not being offroad capable...
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_dalhart
    Ah, the "Patterson Transmission". It's a 28T that multiplies up 1.6 (equivalent to 42T).
    So it sports a failed design from the get-go. What's the point of making the gear everyone will be spending most time and power in non direct thus less efficient?

    Apparently Germans are the only nation that comprehend the extremely complex idea that making the mostly used ratio the most efficient is a good thing. Heck, Japanese even ditched the neutral gear from their Alfine 11 at all.

    Back to Metropolis: if it is to be used with rear dérailleur, then it nullifies reasons why people go internal gearing. If it is to be used with an internal gear hub for commuting, then it will make the drivetrain too inefficient (multiplication of crank and IGH inefficiencies) and redundant as a standard cheap 8 speed IGHs are enough to commute. If it is to be used for touring, then it will be not efficient enough because of overdrive.

    Best thing to be done with this project is either ditch it or send it back to the drawing board.

  8. #8
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    Well..It's out in the market now. Anyone willing to give it a shot on their commuter/urban bike and report back? I would TOFTT but I'm clean out of bikes that could be candidates.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moozh View Post
    Well..It's out in the market now. Anyone willing to give it a shot on their commuter/urban bike and report back? I would TOFTT but I'm clean out of bikes that could be candidates.
    Who is selling it?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwarner57 View Post
    Who is selling it?
    http://www.greentirebikes.com/cr5050.html

  11. #11
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    Okay, I bit the bullet and ordered one today. If all goes well, sometime this weekend I will slap that puppy on my Zion 737EBB and will be casually spinning to the trailhead in 1:6 overdrive. The fun will start when I hit the trailhead. Will the 1:1 hold up under the strain of sustained standing climbs on the singletrack, or will the planetary gears shatter like a cheap Chinese cereal toy, catapulting my already abused body over the bars and into the pitiless rocks of Tamarancho? Stay tuned.

  12. #12
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    I put this on my mountain bike and it works great...shifts easily and instantly, -under load -- I was surprised how quickly it shifted - -seemed like it shifter before I felt the click on the handlebar control...have not had any problems of any kind....looking forward to testing it more...

  13. #13
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    you can find it on amazon

  14. #14
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    Finally got the crankset from Universal Cycles last night and went to work on the Zion. Unfortunately, I found out that this thing will not work with an EBB I should have known. The base plate/torque arm is set up to work with a standard BB shell, and the EBB shell is far too big. Also, once the torque arm is in place, the EBB cannot be rotated to tension the chain. Back to the drawing board. Contemplating picking up a Motobecane Outcast frame and selling the Zion just so I can use this crank.

  15. #15
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    I bit the bullet and picked up an Outcast frame to use with this crank. Installing the backplate was fairly straightforward (FSA inlcudes a special tool to prevent the plate from rotatating during installation) After I put the whole thing together, I found it was very diffcult to spin the cranks. Discovered that the backplate housing was rubbing on my chainstay I put a standard Shimano BB spacer (3mm?) behind the backplate and it now clears. Just. The issue now is that the non-drive side crank arm is not fully inserted on to the splines. Luckily the splines are pretty beefy, and should hold. If not, this thing is going to end up on my wife's Breezer. Hopefully I can get the shifter installed tonight and try it out this weekend. Stay tuned.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

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    Dear mwarner57

    I am very grateful for your enthusiasm. Thankyou!

    I am also concerned about the spacer added between the Control Plate and the BB shell. It is very important to use a metal (not plastic) spacer here. Metal will stay tight. Plastic will loosen. Also, did you use the thin stainless steel Seal Washer here? The objective is to tightly cover up the threaded holes which are needed for the locking setscrew installed between the BB cup castellations to keep the BB cup tight.

    I would be happy to mail you some extra Seal Washers so you can stack them as spacers.

    My biggest concern is that the splines between the spindle and the non drive side crank need to be fully engaged for safety's sake.

    I can't tell you what to do with your new frame, but in my shop I would not heasitate to pull out a friendly ball peen hammer and make an "adjustment" to the chain stay.

    It is very important to mount the Control Plate squarely, securely, and directly (with seal washer) against the BB shell.

    The crankset is specified for pavement use because the crank arms are die cast, not forged; and the seals are high efficiency/low contact force optimized for rainy city riding but not necessarily deep soupy mud.

    Sincerely, Sam Patterson, Inventor

  17. #17
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    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for the reply! I have been out of town for a few days, so still haven't finished the bike. I had the same thought of "massaging" the chainstay with a hammer, although it's hard to do that when the frame is sitll shiny and new I also gave some though to bevelling the inside edge on the planetary housing, but do not have the equipment to do this.

    I think the crank should work well otherwise. I live in Marin, and the terrain is pretty rocky, so we don't have much soupy mud, just puddled water during the winter. Thanks for the offer of the washers, but I think I am going to have to make this work with just the one in order to get full contact on the splines. Hopefully I can get some time this weekend to work on this.

    Mike

  18. #18
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    Sounds great, Mike

    Can't wait to hear how you like it!

    Sincerely, Sam

  19. #19
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    Finally got the crank on a functioning. I didn't have much luck "reshaping" the chainstays, so added a thinner BB spacer to the included washer and now have sufficient clearance. The other big challenge was that my frame does not have any cable stops on the downtube. I had to make do with a Surly brake cable hanger zip-tied on to the downtube. I am using a cheap Falcon thumbshifter for the shifting duties.

    First impressions: I first rode the bike in OD about 3 miles to the trailhead. I noticed some ratchety noises coming from the crank, but assumed it was normal. Playing with my shifter, though, I noticed that the noise went away with a bit more rotation of the shifter. It takes about a quarter turn of the thumby to go completely from one gear to the other. Also felt a light buzzing from the cranks while in OD. Nothing unpleasant, and the cranks did not feel like they were dragging at all. I didn't shift under load, so can't say how that feels, and given the infrequency of shifting with this setup, I doubt that I will have much need for that. Once I hit the trailhead, I popped it in to direct drive and commenced single-speedin'. The trail had quite a few sections where I was really straining on the cranks, and they worked without a hiccup. Back on the road, shifted back to OD and spun home without incident. The OD ratio seemed to work out perfectly for the road.

    I'm pretty happy with it at this point, although few changes would make it better suited to MTBs:
    - More chainstay clearance. Mine was pretty close right off the bat, but another 5mm or so would probably guarantee a fit on almost any frame out there.
    - Ability to work with top-pull shifter cables. I am debating taking the return spring off and making a little lever that sits on the backplate, to get rid of the shifter altogether, but I think most people would want to use their favorite shifters.
    - Some type of mud seal to keep crud out of the planetaries. I can see that this might create some unwanted drag, but shouldn't be a big issue with a little grease. Maybe it could be offered as an option?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FSA Metropolis geared crankset-metro_cable.jpg  

    Last edited by mwarner57; 09-07-2011 at 08:39 AM.

  20. #20
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    Hi Mike,

    Glad you enjoyed your first ride!

    I can send you a cable routing bracket that provides a socket for the cable housing . . . at the transmission. That way you can route the housing all the way from the shifter to the transmission. We just developed it and it will be available soon from FSA. Just send me a ship to address and I will put one in the mail.

    We DO have seals to protect the gears! There are two round rubber seals that look like circular windshield wipers. One is about four inches in diameter and goes between the crank arm and the Ring Gear Shell. The other is about three and a half inches and goes between the Control Cam and Ring Gear Shell. The seals rub on bores in the Ring Gear Shell. The seals do a pretty good job of keeping mud and water out, but I intentionally kept the seal preload to a minimum to keep the efficiency as high as possible. In fact, I have done a lot of efficiency testing using the "spin - down" method. ( Use an extension spring for a constant "quantum" of input energy for one pedal stroke and measure the time it takes for the rear wheel to "spin down".) I did this with seals installed and then again with the large seals removed. Many many times . The spin down times were very consistent and the difference between seals in and seals removed was less than one half a percent.

    We could always provide a seal with more preload, but we have been Field Testing this for years and the high efficiency is noticed and appreciated by our Test Riders. We put a lot of effort into testing and adjusting to get the right ballance.

    By the way, another reason for the high efficiency is that the chain force is alligned with the small diamter cartridge ball bearing that the Ring Gear spins on. The bearing is directly under the chain. That way cocking forces are avoided. The ball bearing is smaller in diameter and runs more freely that would otherwise be the case.

    Thanks for your other thoughts as well.

    Keep the rubber on the road!

    Sincerely, Sam

  21. #21
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    P.S. I was able to see your picture after I wrote the last post. When I look into the crevice between the Control Plate and Ring Gear Shell, I can't convince myself that there is a black rubber "windshield wiper" seal there. Might just be dusty. The seals remove and replace like rubber bands. Very easy to snap a new one in. If the seal is missing, please let me know and I will include new seals in a care package.

    Sam

    P.S. I was studying your pictures (nice!) again, and I have to ask: is your BB 68 mm wide?

    I have a nice plastic body working hammer that can "adjust" steel without damaging the paint. Hmm......

    I also do not have any spare "seal washers" to use as spacers. Very sorry about that. My friends at FSA keep reminding me that the spline engagement is very important.

    Heading to Interbike so will check for your comments again when I get home.

    Hope you are riding happily.

    Do you want the cable re-route bracket that accepts the cable housing at the transmission? Sorry, I am in a hurry and you may have already answered that. Will check when I get out of edit mode.

    Sincerely, Sam
    Last edited by Sam Patterson; 09-10-2011 at 08:48 AM.

  22. #22
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    Hi all.

    sorry for the slight thread jack.
    i tried to send a Pm, but wasnt allowed to.
    i was googling for information on the Patterson crankset, and found this thread.

    @Sam.


    i have just dropped my bike (2010 apollo trace urban hybrid)
    off at the LBS to have a new shimano 11speed alfine IGH installed.

    can you please tell me if your crankset will be compatible with the alfine 11 spd ?

    i really want to be derailleur free on my commuter.

    reason im asking, is that i have read that the crankset requires a 9 speed chain, but the LBS is saying they need to use a single speed chain with the alfine hub.

    the alfine hub will have a 18T rear sprocket / freewheel (im new to IGH so don't know exactly how they work in regards to freewheels and sprockets etc)
    i was looking at the schlumpf speed drive but they are too far outside my budget, and don't fit a std BB without modification.

    any info would be very greatly received.

    Jason

  23. #23
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    I've been riding one of these cranksets on a commuter for a bit. Works well.

    One question though: I'm surprised to see this thread on this forum, as I thought this crankset was supposedly meant for pavement use? I had wondered about that at time of purchase, as it's a pretty similar design to a Hammerschmidt, which I run on my mountain bike and have not succeeded in breaking it yet despite plenty of abuse.

    If it's cool to run this crankset on a mountain bike, I'd like to know - it's less expensive, and the cable clamp is competent, unlike the anemic clamp on my HS that keeps allowing the cable to slip every other ride.

  24. #24
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    Hi Jason,

    The Alfine with the Patterson Transmission is an awsome combination!

    Our CR will acceept a nine speed (and ten speed Sram XX) chain. A wider chain is no problem.

    Any simple indexing shifter designed for an FD will work great. Peferrably no fine tune detents as they serve no purpose and can be confusing.

    Two or three speed is no problem as you will not be able to reach the third detent when the cable is adjusted properly.

    Just clamp the cable with the shifter in the "paid out" position (position 1) then take out the slack.

    Position 1 will correspond to high gear. Pull cable to position 2 and you will be in low gear.

    If the transmission shifts too much sooner than the shifter reaches position 2, just loosen the cable a bit.

    The most important consideration is that when you release cable to position 1, you do it completely and cleanly.


    Sincerely, Sam Patterson, Inventor

  25. #25
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    Hi Drew,

    The Patterson Transmission is marketed and warrantied for pavement use. The reason is that the crank arms are die cast, not forged. Light duty trail riding shoud be no problem. FSA simply cannot recommend it for ballistic offroad use. We are not competing with the H'schmt.

    For this product, I have made efficiency the highest priority. (Details above in this thread.)

    Glad you like our cable clamp! Please make sure you have the rectangular aluminum "crush" washer with anitrotation fingers under the round steel washer under the head of the cable clamp bolt.

    Sincerely, Sam

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