TA Carmina Cranks
The Specialites TA Carmina crank has interchangeable spiders. The arms are available in silver in all sizes 155mm through 185mm, and black in 170mm and 172.5mm, it has either a black spider (for triples) or a polished silver spider (for doubles and singles) and silver, black or red chainrings, depending on type and size. The spider is available in six versions, with different bolt circles; double or triple. If you will be using a single chainring, just use the double spider.
The Carmina has a beautiful matte finish, and it's anodized. We stock 155mm, 160mm, 165mm, 167.5mm, 170mm, 172.5mm, 175mm, 177.5mm, 180mm and 185mm in the Silver finish, 170mm and 172.5mm in Black.
Using the same crank arms, you can change from a 130mm bolt circle to a 110mm or a 104mm or a 94mm bolt circle. I suppose that's nice, but I doubt many people will ever do that. I think the real advantage is that shops don't have to stock as many styles of cranks. Just stock the Carmina, and several spiders. The spiders attach in the same way that Shimano XTR spiders attach, and require the same Shimano tool. When you order a crankset from me, I will of course install the spider, unless you ask that I not.
The available bolt circle spiders are:
130mm Double, silver finish (Smallest inner chainring, 38 teeth) Available
94mm Double, silver finish:
94 x 58 Triple, black finish:
The 94x58 triple is a good setup for many touring bikes, like the Rivendell Atlantis. Specialites TA makes 46 teeth outer rings for the 94mm bolt circle. So you can have 46-34-20 or 22 teeth rings on a Carmina crankset, which is ideal gearing on an Atlantis frame.
On our Tout Terrain frames with a Rohloff hub, I recommend the 130mm spider, positioning the typical 40 tooth ring at the outer position. We then use some spacers to place the chainguard between the crank and the outer ring. It just fits and it allows the single ring to be in perfect chainline with the Rohloff's cog without having to use an excessively long bottom bracket axle.
The Carmina has a JIS square taper connection to the bottom bracket. That means it doesn't work with either recent Campagnolo bottom brackets or the old Campy axles from the sixties and seventies. Nor is it compatible with any current Dura Ace, Ultegra, XT, XTR and most other Shimano bottom brackets with the bizarre splines, or the newest Hollowtech II bottom brackets. If you have any sort of Campagnolo or recent Shimano crankset and want to change to this TA crank, you will need a new bottom bracket. I prefer the Phil Wood.
Due to a production change TA made in 2006, the Carmina can use different length axles. The original Carmina uses a 113mm axle for a triple in a frame with a 1 1/8" seat tube. You can tell the original Carmina by looking at the back side of the crank. If it's polished in the recessed section of the arm, it's the original version. If the recessed section has a grey finish and appears to be sandblasted, you have the later version. The later version requires an axle that's about 6mm longer. So a triple on a traditional steel frame with 1 1/8" seat tube would use a 119mm axle. See below for more information about BB axle length.
With a 113mm TA Axix bottom bracket, symmetrical in the frame, the Q factor for a triple is 156mm with the TA pedal washers. This assumes the original Carmina! The newer crank has the smae Q factor but needs a longer axle.
Available arm lengths: 155mm, 160mm, 165mm, 167.5mm, 170mm, 172.5mm, 175mm, 177.5mm, 180mm, 185mm. 170mm and 172.5mm arms are in stock in black anodized finish. No other sizes are available black anodized.
Choosing the bottom bracket axle length may seem a bit confusing. I'll try to make it simple.
To start, forget that there are two versions of the Carmina arms. Pretend that there is only the original version that's polished the same on the front and the back side of the arms. If you are using either a single chainring or a double, and your frame has a 1 1/8" or 1 1/4" diameter seat tube, you use a 103mm axle. If your frame has a 1 3/8" diameter seat tube, you need a longer axle, otherwise your front derailleur will not be able to move far enough inboard to shift onto the inner chainring. So with the 1 3/8" seat tube you increase the axle length by about 3mm. If you have a single or double, that means you need a 106mm axle. The closest available is 107mm from TA or 108mm from Phil Wood, so that's what you use. If you are using a triple crank, you need an axle that's about 10mm longer than a double or single. So with a triple, you use 113mm with a 1 1/8" or 1 1/4" seat tube, or 116mm with a 1 3/8" seat tube.
Then, if you instead have the later version arms with the grey sandblasted inset on the rear of the arms, add about 6mm to whatever length you would be using with the original cranks. There are other subtle differences between the old style and the new style arms, but they are difficult to see and have no bearing on function. Don't worry about them. TA has never explained why they made the changes. In fact, they never even announced the change, so when we received our first shipment of the new arms, we shipped them to people with what was now a bottom bracket with a too short axle. Duh! By the way, they did the very same thing when they changed from ISO tapers to JIS tapers back around 1999. They didn't mention the change!
I love TA's products, but the people there drive me to drink.
There's no change in Q factor between the original style Carmina arms and the newer style, as long as you are using the proper axle length for the type you have.
All TA cranks use tapered axles. They do not work on ISIS or Shimano Octalink bottom brackets, nor do they work on any Campagnlo bottom brackets.
To order a Carmina, you need to specify the crank length and the type of chaining spider. The spiders are easily interchanged and we stock them individually.
The cranks include the lock ring to hold the spider, and pedal washers.
Carmina cranks without spider: $ 279.00
The spider does not include chainring bolts. All spiders cost the same. Triple spiders are black anodized, doubles are polished aluminum. You can use a triple spider to hold only one or two rings, and the double spider can also hold just one ring. The 130mm double spider can also be used for a triple, but you then must use a "tripleizer" middle chainring to hold the inner third chainring.
Carmina spider, any type, double or triple, any bolt circle: $ 136.00
TA Steel chainring bolts for a double crankset: $ 19.50
TA Aluminum chainring bolts for a double crankset: $ 32.00
TA Inner steel bolts and aluminum spacers for a triple crankset: $ 18.00
If you purchase a complete Carmina crankset, that's cranks, spider, with TA chainrings and chainring bolts, you'll receive a 10% discount on the total price of those items.
TA is no longer selling their cranks as complete cranksets, but only individual parts, which has resulted in a large increase in the cost to us. Individual arms are not available. In order to buy a left crank arm, you must buy a pair.
See the chainrings page for TA rings to fit the Carmina cranks.
This page was last updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
To see my full selection of chainrings, click here.
For TA Alize cranksets, click here.
For more about bottom brackets, click here.
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This page updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Peter White Cycles