Is it time to replace your cranks? FSA Crank Review

Oct 30, 2005
by Tyler Maine  
So it seems like cranks these days are a dime a dozen. A lot of companies are trying to become more innovative with their designs. Adding things like external bottom bracket bearings, to stiffen up the chassis of the bike. Or hollow out the crank arms and bottom bracket to lighten “her” up. In my opinion it’s just the industries way of “one upping” the competitor and convincing the consumer that it really makes a difference. Well…I have been on a set of Race Face North Shore ISIS cranks (now discontinued) for the past 2 seasons. Throughout that time I have beaten the hell out of them, racing all season, free riding the hell out of em’, and not to mention hitting them off a few rocks in the process. So they creak a little, but they are stiff and true.

I received this beautiful set of cranks from FSA (X-treme V-Drive) to test out. “Ride them and let us know what you think” they said. This left me wondering, how I was going to test a set of cranks. Once I finally slapped them on my bike with a new bottom bracket (which very well could have been my creak issue), I took my bike for a quick boot. Instantly I noticed a difference, “the creak was gone!...sweet” After that I decided to ride around and check the torsional rigidity by cornering aggressively. The new cranks are definately going to be up to par for some Nelson XC riding. (Which is big drawn out climbs, followed by epic descents)

Since the swap, I’ve been on numerous rides, most of which I pedal my brains off to the top of the trail, just as I usually do. I think that for a guy like me, this would be the ideal situation to test a set of cranks. I grind my dh bike up the steep trails of Nelson BC all summer long. Rarely walking, there are few things that I hate, and walking my bike is one of them. I pedal to the bitter end, and usually a little further… just for fun. So grinding a DH bike up with DH gears really allows a person to test how stiff a set of cranks really are. Whether it was from comparing them to old set of cranks to a new set, I'm not sure. All I know is that these FSA X-treme V-drive cranks are stiff, strong and relatively light. In my opinion I give them two X-treme thumbs up!!

Happy trails,


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