Wednesday, October 3, 2007 11.01am
Carbon has been touted as the next big thing in cranksets for a few years now, but the WMB test team remain to be convinced.
For a start, the Stylo Carbon is actually a whisker heavier than the £90 cheaper all-alloy Truvativ Stylo Team, the same weight as the Shimano XT and significantly heavier than both the Race Face Deus and the Shimano XTR. Plus, while Truvativ claims increased stiffness for the broad arms with multi layer carbon wrapped round an aluminium armature, you'd be hard pressed to notice it on the bike.
On the bright side, the cold forged and CNC'd chainrings shift really smoothly and last well even in UK winters, too. Despite their looks, they're all-alloy not stainless steel, and they're standard 'compact' size. The deep external bearing GXP bottom bracket is a generally solid and reasonably long lived unit, too. Installation is simple, with a single captured bolt onto a tight splined steel axle that's a permanent fit into the drive side. We've never had loosening and creaking problems on any set we've ridden, and 170 or 175mm crank arm options will suit most riders. Value seems low for performance, but it is £100 cheaper than other mainstream carbon competitors if you have to have black fibre pimp.
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