Japanese component manufacturer Shimano is introducing a new carbon-fibre and aluminium Dura-Ace crankset in the spring. Currently, Dura-Ace features aluminium alloy cranks in the existing FC-7800 model.

The new crankset – given the name FC-7800C – has an aluminium core wrapped with carbon-fibre, which the company claims gives it ‘light weight yet very rigid construction’, which doesn’t sound like a far-fetched expectation. It also says that the carbon version is 10 per cent stiffer than the existing all-aluminium model.

The crankset utilises Shimano’s existing integrated bottom bracket technology, and uses the same bottom bracket cups as the FC-7800.

It will be available with either 53/39 or 52/39 rings, and in 170, 172.5 and 175mm crank lengths. Weight is quoted as 709g including bottom bracket.

Prototype versions of the crankset could be found on the 2007 Tour de France bikes of Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) and Markus Fothen (Gerolsteiner). Both riders are reported to have been impressed with its performance in the Tour. During development, Shimano opted against an all-carbon crankset as it felt the material didn’t offer enough rigidity on its own.