Fashion, modernity and to a larger extent ease of fitment dictate that the current crop of two-piece cranks are the thing to have on your bike these days. But the three-piece Isis drive crank is very much alive in the Terry Dolan stable as he believes that there is no real advantage to a two-piece. “The bearings spin smoother,” he says of his design. We agree that the amount of friction caused by the bearing seals on some two-piece cranks is less than ideal but this is largely a thing of the past.
These Alpina carbon cranks by Terry Dolan have a 130mm BCD (Bolt Circle Diameter) and aluminium plugs where they interface with the pedals and b/b axle and are compatible with all Isis bottom brackets. At 575g including chainrings they are around 200g lighter than an all-aluminium Isis Drive chainset and with the bottom bracket valued at around £60 the chainset /b/b combination represents fairly good value for money. The Shuriken chainrings are available in a 39/53 tooth configuration for around £35 the pair. They represent the same quality as Stronglight with CNC machined teeth that show little sign of wear after a month of testing and they are sure to provide long service. In most cases the chain ramps between the chainrings of a 10-speed Shimano gear setup smoothly but the transition from the small to the large chainring is slower than Shimano chainrings when shifting under pressure.