The tough e*thirteen TRS+ enduro cranks need initial TLC, but offer huge stiffness and strength for the weight.
The forged and then machined arms are super wide, with a permanently attached spider to guarantee serious stiffness. The unique bottom bracket bearings allow e*thirteen to use a 30mm spindle inside a conventional shell to increase stiffness further; the result is a crank that turns your pedal power into chain torque with brutal efficiency, though you’ll know all about it through the soles of your feet if you run soft shoes on hard trails.
The rounded-triangle P3 Polygon crank fit also needs careful watching for the first few rides, as it can come loose as it settles in. If you take an 8mm Allen key and tighten it as soon as you sense any sort of wobble, it settles down and is fine after a few weeks. Leave it wobbling, though, and you’ll wear the crank and/or spindle irrevocably, and from then on the crank will just keep falling off however much you tighten it up.
The pre-loadable bearings also take a few hours to lose initial stiffness. Bottom bracket and chainring life are good otherwise, and there are BBs to fit any bike – as well as double ring options and a lighter XCX+ version, if you feel you can get away with slightly less strength.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.