Zipp Vumaquad cranks review
Ignore the staggering price of the new Zipp VumaQuad cranks for one moment. Never one to do it by the book, Zipp has designed the VumaQuads around the new 30mm bottom bracket standard – basically an upsizing of the crank’s spindle and associated bearings.
Weight is impressively low. The chainrings use single bolts that screw directly into the threaded spider – little touches like this shave off those grams. We tested the 39/53-tooth version with 172.5mm crank lengths, which weigh in at a feathery 607g.
With a combination of the four arms, compact spider and big 53T ring, we had initial concerns about chainring ﬂexibility. We had no noticeable ﬂex or front mech rub though – only power sprinters might get the rings to ﬂex. The cranks felt incredibly solid and purposeful. The stiffness and power transfer, combined with the low weight, does feel special.
The all-carbon crank arms are beautifully ﬁnished, although if you pedal ‘heels-in’ you will scuff the ﬁnish on the raised centre bulge. Installation is a doddle – all you need is the supplied external bottom bracket tools and a 10mm Allen key. Removal is just as easy and the cranks feature a self-extracting bolt. Considering the high price, we’d advise getting a shop to ﬁt them for you.
As for that price, if you’re the sort of person to query it then the VumaQuads probably aren’t for you. They don’t even come with a bottom bracket. The standard 10-steel-balled bottom bracket tested here costs £100, the ceramic upgrade £175. So who’s going to buy them? Posers and those who can afford the performance advantage. Judging by the pre-orders, there are plenty of you out there.