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.
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.