I got a chance to test out the FUNN Hooka DH cranks this summer. Cranks might not be something most of us give a whole lot of thought to once we’ve made our purchase and installed them.But once you’ve had a spindle break, a pedal hole strip, or a friend get on your bike and point out immediately that ‘something’s bent’ referring to a nuance that you no longer notice, it becomes apparent that this really is a component that’s worth taking the time to choose carefully. Between my DH and dirtjump bikes, I’ve bent and stripped a fair number as well has had bottom bracket failures at less than ideal moments. Popping off the lip of a high speed double and feeling my right foot break loose as my spindle so graciously freed my right crank is not something I’ll be forgetting.
Pics from the original unveiling can be found HERE
The FUNN Hooka DH cranks arrived in the mail just begging me to see what torture I could inflict on them. Before I even agreed to try them out, the first thing I asked was which variety of aluminum was used. Nothing but 7050 T6 here. The one common thread among cranks in my personal graveyard is that of 6000 series aluminum. Ahh….these might be for me.
The first thing I noticed when unpackaging them was that these things are burly. They’re somewhat reminiscent the Race Face Diabolus cranks with a thick I-beam sort of design. The machining is clean and smooth, with no overly sharp edges and no industrial looking CNC marks giving them the appearance of being unfinished.
FUNN uses the typical external bottom bracket design with the spindle fixed to one crank arm, and BB spacers included to match all 68 and 73mm bottom bracket configurations, chainguide or not. I even got them to work with my oddly spaced Demo 8 with its offset rear end with no unusual hassles to achieve a decent chainline. The spindle itseft uses a rectagular splined surface to mount to the cranks, a welcome addtion to any crankset you’ll be pounding on.
The cranks have a steel pedal insert which not only decreases the likelihood of stripping the threads, it also allows you to replace the part if it does happen without installing a helicoil. Rather than a one-sided insert, FUNN uses a two piece system (similar to sex bolts used on skateboards…yeah I’m old). For a pair of DH cranks this a big plus. Sooner or later you’re going to tag a pedal on something and this little feature can ease your mind about the cranks being what fails.
Being a dedicated DH crankset, the Hooka DH doesn’t have holes drilled for running multiple rings. If that’s your goal, check out the Hooka FR crankset instead.
These cranks came with a 42 tooth chainring. I don’t know about you but I’m not racing the Mammoth Kamikaze, nor do spin out frequently on an 11 tooth gear with a lesser front ring. FUNN is selling the crankset without the ring, so this shouldn’t by any means affect your purchase. But the first thing I did before installing was switch out to a more versitile 38 tooth ring. When I did this I noticed something that was a welcome surprise. The crankbolts have the standard 5mm allen head on the male side, but utilize a 6mm allen on the other. There’s no need to smash your knuckes using those goofy little chainring tools trying to get purchase on what’s essentially a flathead screwdriver slot. And for those of us with only one set of allen keys handy, this means you can work on your bike instead of chasing down odd tools you rarely use.
Installation went smoothly. No poorly cut threads, or odd fitting crank/spindle interfaces. The non-drive crank mounted the spindle easily and uses a monster 10mm allen bolt to make sure it’s secure. No weird plastic tools to secure the crank arm with. Worth mentioning is that the crank had a very noticeable and defined bottom out point on the spindle. With some offerings from other manufacturers this isn’t always the case which leaves you wondering if you have them in the ‘ideal’ spot.
Now the punishment. Of all my bikes, my dirtjumper has killed the most cranks. A hardtail takes no mercy on cases, overshoots or crappy riding in general. There’s no 6-8 inches of cush to ease the smackdown on either your body or your parts. So onto the component killer they went.Unsecure image, only https images allowed: http://cmoney.smugmug.com/photos/188833125-M.jpg
I’m happy to report that with all my sloppy riding and general dirtjumping beatdown, I never gave a thought to these things. No tweaked crank arms, no play in the interfaces, no nothing. This is good. Very good. The bike jumped when I got on the gas and hurt my ankles when I overshot something. These two things told me what I needed to hear. They’re stiff. I’ve had some cranks that act like suspension on my hardtail they flex so much. Not the case here. I’ve broken both ankles and the mess now that joins my feet to my legs is a highly tuned flex sensitivity device. Like I said, they hurt when it got rough.Unsecure image, only https images allowed: http://cmoney.smugmug.com/photos/188833174-L.jpg
As the higher elevations melted around Tahoe, the downhill terrain began to open up and I switched the Hookas over to my DH bike. Upon switching pedals I noticed that one of the pedal inserts had come loose, either from repeated impacts or just from having the pedal installed tightly. I pulled the insert out with the pedal, secured it in a vice and removed it from the pedal spindle. The threads on the backplate of the insert were still in perfect shape, so I applied some red loc-tite to the insert, installed it back in the crank with a different pedal and as far as I can tell, it’s there for life. I’ve switched between flats and clipless numerous times since then and the insert hasn’t made a peep.Unsecure image, only https images allowed: http://cmoney.smugmug.com/photos/188833140-L.jpg
Once on my DH bike, I proceeded to do the things that I do on a dh bike: gladly pound it into flat landings, hit rough lines at ludicrous speed, occasionally smear some aluminum on the random rock outcropping, and generally allow myself to enter into situations that OSHA would frown upon. Again, I never gave the cranks an ounce of thought. They just work and that’s all there is to it.
The bottom bracket held up well through use on both bikes. The bearings still spin with ease, with no apparent pitting and the spindle is still as straight as it was when new.Unsecure image, only https images allowed: http://cmoney.smugmug.com/photos/150325843-L.jpg
To be honest, there’s only one downside I can see to owning a pair of Hooka DHs at this point. They’re heavy. At 1116g for the cranks, ring and bottom bracket, they’re heavier than almost all of the current DH offerings from other manufacturers. Just for a reference, that’s over 3 ounces heavier than a comparable pair of Shimano Saints, a known heavyweight. This may sound minor but if you’re building up a bike with wieght in mind, these aren’t your cranks. At 45lbs, I wanted to put my Demo 8 on a diet recently, and the Hookas had to go. I’ve since stripped the pedal threads on my lighter crankset so who knows, I may put them back on. But if you’re a bigger rider or a rider who goes bigger, I see no reason not to put these on your short list. A benefit will be that you’ll also spend less than you would on a top end offering from many other companies.
Big thanks to Ollie at FUNN
for the crankset and Craig Saunders
for the amazing photos.WWW.FUNNMTB.COM