Light single ring chainset but potential stiffness and impact strength issues
Buy if, You're looking for a sweet spot between lightness and price, and aren't at the brutal end of the spectrum when it comes to power output
Aerozine offers a range of multi-ring cranksets as well as this smart-looking, weight-saving and affordable single-ring XOne chainset. But be warned: it’s not the stiffest option if you’re a real pedal-strainer.
The forged arms are kinked for chainstay clearance with a big dimple in the centre near the axle and a broad, scooped-back, flared I-beam section that tapers towards the tips. But the really clever bits are the lozenge-shaped openings at either tip. These are the homes for a pair of eccentric ‘ALS’ pedal thread inserts with a steel-facing washer that lock into the crank arms as you tighten the pedals.
This idea was first used by Stronglight a few years ago and lets you choose 170 or 175mm effective crank length settings by flipping the eccentric inserts, or 172.5mm if you buy extra inserts.
It makes removing and installing pedals a bit trickier, but it’s a potentially useful feature if you’re building a bike for a young racer whose legs are still growing, or you want to experiment with different leverages. They don’t squeak or creak even after a couple of months of mixed weather use and while the logos have scuffed, the anodising underneath is holding up okay.
The XOnes come with an updated direct-mount combined ring and spider with narrow/wide chain teeth that do a reasonable if not outstanding job of keeping the chain on. The scalloped, three-bolt fixing is the same as SRAM too, which opens up a whole world of aftermarket replacements.
You also get a decent quality bottom bracket included in the price although it only comes in a skinny 24mm axle option.
The spline mounted chainring has really skinny arms too – which you can feel flexing at peak power, when you’re grunting up a climb or out of a corner at low revs and high torque – and we’ve warped one slightly in the past after accidentally ‘sumping out’ on a log.