Two years ago this ISIS-based XC crankset stunned everyone with its unique construction, although getting it ready for mass production was difficult. However, most cranks have now moved to integrated-axle, external-bearing systems, not ISIS. The hollow stainless steel arms – cold fused onto alloy back plates – still look stunning though and promise to stay that way.
At 808g (1.8lb) with the matching Cobalt titanium bottom bracket (£150 extra – the steel version is £50) the set is as light as Shimano XTR, and the Truvativ chainrings perform well in terms of shifting and durability.
Narrow stance fans can also opt for the 108mm wide Cyan bottom bracket (available in titanium and steel). Either way, the system is easy to fit and there’s no sign of flex or creak, even when wrestling big gears up short, sharp climbs.
The biggest unknown is how the bottom bracket will stand up over time, because first-generation ISIS units haven’t tended to last long.
Crank Brothers have used doublerow drive-side bearings plus pressfit blue seals between the arms and bearing faces to back up a five-year warranty. We’ll let you know how the set is surviving after a full winter.
For now, it’s an eye-catching centrepiece to any bling bike if you can afford the high price.