DMR Axe crankset review£180.00

Outstandingly stiff and practical cranks

BikeRadar score4.5/5

DMR’s Axe crank is totally new, but it’s actually based on proven technology given an extra twist of practicality that makes its excellent all-round aggro crank performance less of a surprise.

For a start the broad, hollow-forged cranks are very similar to the stiff Turn Girder cranks we reviewed recently. The DMR arms are slightly shallower to save a few grams but they’re still unyieldingly rigid whether you’re stamping on the pedals, straining on the bars or pushing hard into the belly of a berm.

Related: Praxis Works Turn Girder M30

The arms attach onto the same 28/30mm oversized axle as the Turn cranks, with the same single bolt tightening/extracting bolt too. DMR has reversed the side the axle steps down on though, so now it’s the driveside that detaches for easy access to the SRAM-style three-bolt-secured spider mount. This lets you change ring ratios without disturbing the axle and bearing seals.

The Praxis BBs it runs on have a superb reputation as a silky smooth, ultra-long-lived upgrade already and come in a range of conventional and conversion formats to fit most frames. DMR’s seven-arm direct-mount Blade chainring is as impressively stiff and durable as the crank arms, with a reassuringly chain-securing narrow/wide tooth profile in 26 to 36 tooth sizes.

The arms are also available separately if you’ve already got a SRAM spider or direct-mount ring you can match them to.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

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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