Braking can be much improved via a modern lever upgrade and a set of Kool-Stop salmon pads, but there's only so much you can do before having to throw aesthetics and budget out the window in favour of long-reach dual-pivot calipers.
Shimano took dead aim at Campagnolo Nuovo Record with 6hun Ay-rab, and they did an admirable job. Both gruppos strada-style cranks suffered from stress riser issues along the sharp edges of the spider where it meets the crankarm - inspect them regularly for cracks and if you're feeling nerdy, take some sandpaper and radius the edge of the spider. That said, they can snap at the arms, too. I broke Morgman's when I borrowed his Sekine. :D
Y U beef with Tiagra? 10spd 4600 is nice stuff; truly the epitome of affordable excellence. The price jump to 105 cranks is hideous.
Cheers for the heads-up on the cranks. I'll keep an eye out but I only ride a few blocks a day (to very close to you. Maybe I asked you to cut some spokes on Saturday) and I'm more Lars Ulrich than Jan.
Shimanos lower end stuff is great if you want high performance at a good price. I'm fat and lazy, and like cheap old stuff!
wow you are a ass