We’ll start by defining some terms here about the Shimano Dura-Ace FC-7900 crankset. When you see “FC-7900″, that refers to the 53/39 chainring combo of this crankset, a.k.a. a “standard” crankset. When you see “FC-7950″, that refers to the 50/34 chainring combo, a.k.a. a “compact” crankset. This is the first-ever generation of Dura-Ace that offers both a standard and a compact option, and in our minds it is the final and authoritative piece of evidence we need to prove that triple cranksets are dead. Good riddance!The most immediate difference between the Dura-Ace FC-7900 crankset and the FC-7800 generation that preceded it is aesthetics. The FC-7900 is decidedly sleeker and more aerodynamically shaped. The …the most appealing Dura-Ace crank ever, yet it’s also lighter, stiffer, and the teeth have been optimized for efficiency… edges are less sharp and more rounded, and the driveside crankarm flows more fluidly into each spider arm. From the standpoint of pure sculpture, it’s Shimano’s most beautiful component in the Dura-Ace 7900 series. The Dura-Ace FC-7900 and FC-7950 cranksets represent more than just beauty, though — thanks to their hollow, forged, thin-walled Hollowtech II crankarms, you save 15g over the 7800-series crankset. You save a few grams, too, due to the fact that the outer chainring is also hollow. This hollow design does more than shave weight — according to Shimano the hollow chainring and re-shaped crankarms make the FC-7900and 7950 a full 20% stiffer than the FC-7800.Another theme with the Dura-Ace 7900-series drivetrain is the reduction of mechanical drag. Just as the chain and cassette were redesigned to mate together with a new level of closeness, the chainring teeth on the FC-7900 and FC-7950 were likewise re-thought to deliver Shimano’s most efficient chain contact. On race day, every watt counts, and this precise fit between chain and chainring eliminates needless loss of your power.
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