Fifteen.G Hive chainset review£199.99

Innovative mid-range cranks

BikeRadar score3/5

This unique new crankset packs in a lot of cunning tech for the money. For a start, the 30mm diameter aluminium axle still fits in a standard bottom bracket shell.

This is due to unique extra wide external bottom bracket cups using special Japanese bearings behind a floating seal. The left-hand crank then fits onto the axle using a tapered triangular polygon rather than a square or splined design.

According to Fifteen G and Austrian tank transmission research, this gives a much stiffer and more reliable full-contact fit. It certainly feels stiff underfoot and there’s a big strain and ‘ping’ effect when you take them off, which suggests they’re on seriously tight.

The machined crank arms use an asymmetric design with a slimmer driveside arm and U-section offside to transfer the increased stiffness right out to the pedals. We’ve only been running it for two months but it’s seen a full-on, filthy weather period and so far the external wrapover seals have kept everything inside clean and silky smooth.

The shifting isn’t quite as sharp as Shimano though, and the anodised arm finish is already starting to scuff, but otherwise it’s a tempting alternative transmission option whose ultimate longevity we’ll report back on as 2010 continues.

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: 45
  • 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 than 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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