Beefy but light cross-country cranks
Reviews: Components > Cranksets
Stiff and amazing-looking hollow cranks
Weight-saving cranks with titanium axle
As soon as you bolt them on to the bike, you’ll notice their impressive stiffness
Mega expensive cranks for serious gram savers
Impressively stiff downhill/freeride cranks
Beefy and pimped out downhill crank
Super strong: you’ll probably never need another crank again
Cheap, but strength and loosening issues mean only buy if that’s all you can afford
Clever adjustable-length cranks with great rings
There's plenty to love about this crankset.
Hollowtech II technology, now in Ice Grey
Wheel specialists moving into cranks
The RS7 cranks are slender, yet they boast high strength and what seems like endless durability - testament to Middleburn's belief in the RS7 is the lifetime warranty.
King Earl is Bontrager's top 'Earl' group. It's significantly lighter compared to 'Big Earl', but still tough enough to get loony on. The chunky cold forged arms certainly feel solid when they're on tight and we've not run into any breakage problems even on dirt jump bikes. The 36/24/polycarbonate bashguard ring setup gives a really good gear range for general mucking about too. Single ring and triple setups are also available and lifespan of the Truvativ chainrings is better than average. The downside is the Truvativ Howitzer BB it runs on. It's plenty strong, with a heat treated cromo steel spindle and oversized external bearings. Unfortunately the offside ISIS connection has got a nasty habit of loosening very quickly, which can catch out even regular bolt checkers. It's massively heavy as well, which wastes the weight saving on the crank.
Middleburn has been quietly turning out beautifully sculpted cranks for well over a decade, and revisiting its retro cranks proves they're still better than most.
Crank Brothers radical hybrid design certainly looks tasty, but is it equally hungry on the trail? By using an alloy back cold-fused onto a stainless steel cover they’ve created a super stiff crank that’s unique in looking better the more you ride it. Although we burst our first set the two replacements we’ve been sent are still going strong despite a long winter of deliberately hammering them. The Truvativ-made chainrings are reasonably long lasting and shift perfectly well even under serious stress. Initial cynicism about the 'Overkill' sealing on the ISIS BB has been replaced with respect for how well the big blue contact seals have kept everything smooth after six months hard labour. The Ti axle Cobalt BB is very expensive compared to Stronglight and SKF though.
Hone is basically a beefed up 'All Mountain' version of LX, making it a great option for aggressive riders on a budget. The Hollowtech II forged crankarms are the same super stiff and sturdy piece as LX, but with steel pedal thread plugs and integrated axle to handle extra stress from big landings.
Bontrager have a selection of their own mid-price carbon cranks, but this ultimate bling set is actually made by Stronglight. The full carbon construction uses big square ends and flat profile for a totally solid feel. Switchable pedal chucks mean you can run them as either 170mm or 175mm units. Smaller stainless scuff strips on centreline and arm tip mean they're 50g lighter than the Magmas or 30g lighter than XTR. You get the same swift shifting Ceramic Te?on CF2 chainrings, and again we've been nailing them for a year with no obvious signs of wear. There's no Bontrager BB, but the carbon and Ti Stronglight Twister SL would seem the obvious choice, especially as ours is still going strong after last year's soggy race season and 180km epics. Still silly expensive, though.
The Ride DH is a mongrel, but not in a bad way. RaceFace have taken elements of higher spec cranks, continued to use the X-Type external bottom bracket, and designed a more affordable crankset without too much compromise.
The Hone crankset is the second generation to utilise Shimano's HollowTech II system and it's aimed at the expanding 'all mountain' genre. The Hone features an external/integrated bottom bracket system that's very straightforward to fit to any bike.
Made from burly 4130 chromoly steel, these three-piece cranks are mega strong and they feature a Euro bottom bracket rather than a BMX style bottom bracket.
Two years ago this ISIS-based XC crankset stunned everyone with its unique construction, although getting it ready for mass production was difficult. However, most cranks have now moved to integrated-axle
The greatly anticipated Cobalt crankset from Crank Brothers is here. The cranks are 7075 aluminium bonded to the stainless steel front box to produce a light but stiff crank.