Surly Mr Whirly crank arms review$192.98

Highly versatile

BikeRadar score3.5/5Find prices on Bicycle Blue Book

The appeal of Surly's modular crankset is that it can be configured to suit any bike and there’s a good choice of Surly or Salsa chainring/bashguard combos. Like most Surly products it’s cautiously overbuilt to take a fair amount of punishment. 

But this much versatility doesn’t come cheap. By the time you add a couple of rings and/or a bashguard to the crank arms (£120), spider (£65) and axle (£60) you're looking at about the same price as the complete triple setup (£320), and you still need to buy (Shimano cup compatible) bottom bracket bearings.

The weight of our 33/22-tooth, 175mm arm double setup is fairly reasonable considering the fact that we used a stainless steel outer ring. A hefty chromoly steel axle emphasises Surly’s design attitude: this is a crankset that's intended for heavy-duty cross-country use and a long multi-bike life, and our experience is that it does the job.

Bear in mind that while the five-arm spider offers a good choice of rings from sister brand Salsa as well as Surly, most other cranksets these days are four-bolt.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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