Crankskins - Is your crank wrapped?

Dec 31, 2009 at 10:40
by Colin Alexander  

It may not be the next invention to make you faster, or keep you safer, but what's ever been wrong with looking nice?

Everyone knows that us mountain bikers have a habit of making things look terrible in short order. Whether it's from crashes, shuttle wear, or nice abrasive mud, the nice shiny parts we pay for end up looking like mangled pieces of metal in no time. Ever see Holzfellers after a season of use? Not a pretty picture. But now they can be!

More details and pics inside,

Now, I'm a sucker for keeping things looking clean. I have used many types of protection in the past on things like car hoods, moto fairings, and bike frames. This includes finding ridiculously expensive heli-tape, and buying ClearBra to practically envelop my Commencal's poor quality paint work. However, I always have had "shoe polished" cranks after riding the same set for a while. Enter Crankskins.


Crankskins are a small company out of Spencerport, NY that specializes in PROTECTIVE graphics, for your bike. Not only do they do crank covers as their name implies, they do frame protection, fork guards, and rim products too! Offered in clear, color, and graphics, you can find something they make to suit your style and bike. They have specific cut offerings for cranks like XTR that have a distinct look to them already, and also generic offerings that fit almost anything. Made of THICK, self-adhesive material 8 mils thick, this stuff lasts a while. MUCH thicker than any puny sticker you've put on your bike and then it later wore through. They even offer frame products in 12mil, for people with a serious tendency to destroy their possessions.

Application is just like anything else- Clean with alcohol, and stick it on. Clear looks exactly like that, CLEAR.

If graphics aren't your thing, you can still keep your cranks looking mint.
If graphics aren't your thing, you can still keep your cranks looking mint.


For those of you who like to match every ano part on your bike, they have a solution for you too.





From a few feet back, gets the nice glittery ano look. Nice metallic touch. For silver/polished cranks, they even offer a Chris King color match setup!

When I put them on new, I figured for sure I'd end up scuffing the material so bad that I'd rip them off after a while... but this was not the case. They've been on my bike for our sloppiest, most crash inducing months, and are doing their job well. The clear SLX sized one you can tell gets scraped, but NO damage to cranks. The graphic generic sized one looks like the day it was put on. Super durable stuff.




Our dirt out here is not very forgiving, as it's mostly made up of little pieces of granite that have eroded, and has sandblasted the downtube of my frames before, but this material holds up very well to it even with shoes constantly rubbing the cranks covered in that mud.

Pricing varies, but take a look at their site. 11$ for 3 pairs of clear crankskins? Pretty cheap for the bike industry. They'd pay for themselves many times over in crank resale value, it's always impossible to sell beat up looking parts.

Crankskins can be contacted via their site, or thru their profile on here - crankskinscom.pinkbike.com. EJ is a very friendly guy, and will definitely help get you set up with what you need!

-Humm



*The first 12 people to buy a 2010 Pinkbike.com calendar will receive a FREE pair of custom Pinkbike.com Crankskins! Just note in the customer field that you read this offer in this article.*
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98 Comments

  • + 40
 I tend to like the look of my cranks after there worn down and shiny from my shoe/pant leg.
  • + 25
 I agree. Shows you ride you bike. But it makes my shoes dirty.
  • + 6
 Again, agreed. If they're not it's either brand new or the rider doesn't ride.
  • - 1
 I just use a sliced inner tube and remove my pedals and slide it over my cranks. doesn't look horrid and keeps them nice and mint. I also use a old sliced tire for a downtube protector.
  • + 5
 What they dont show very well in this article is the actual alright designs! Ie. gold xtr replica ones like ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-81318493505679_2087_46414123
  • + 7
 i feel the same way. worn cranks is a sign of pride. plus im not really sold on the look of them. especially that last pic, looks really out of place, and weird. it kinda reminds me of those really large valve caps on tubes, that are like a skull and crossbone or something, but these are far worse.
  • + 1
 I can see im getting neg props for that previous post. Yes they still look wank and its all tacky, but thats better than what they have shown in this article by a long way.
  • - 6
flag rikcombee (Jan 9, 2010 at 2:50) (Below Threshold)
 Worn cranks is a sign of pride? Thats the biggest bullshit ive heard in a while...
  • + 1
 Care to explain why rikcombee?

I wasn't referring to bashed up cranks from hitting them necessarily. Just worn from use. It's not like the ano getting rubbed off affects the ride.
  • + 1
 clear ones are a good idea but i wouldnt put some random coloured ones on, they would just look wrong. there will be some sort of problem with these as this is the first release so after some months of riding and customer feed back they will change them, maybe buy some then?
  • + 0
 Lols.

'There will be some sort of problem with these as this is the first release'

ITS A STICKER, im sure they will find some monumental issue where the glue dissolves the crank arm or something.

Whats wrong with helitape?
  • + 2
 if your the sort of person that consantly selling stuff on then wear reduces the price so thoose are the sort of people that would use this cus they could just peel it of when they sell their bike or cranks
  • + 2
 jezzah i mean like the glue might discolour the arms or wont holdup in bad weather that sorta thing obviously its just a sticker but this one isnt just for show it has a use and will be used outside in mud and rain. hugo if the glue is weak enough to peel off after youve used them i doubt they will stay on the arms when your shoe rubs them from time to time so you would probably have to leave them on there and sell with them on.
  • + 2
 what i meant is that worn pats are impossible to sell so that is there main purpose to stop wear. clear ones are best.
  • + 26
 they look so bad i guess clear would be ok though
  • + 27
 I agree, why are the graphics so cheeeeesy?
  • + 17
 The edges will start to peel back after about 10 rides too
  • - 8
flag webhead (Jan 8, 2010 at 7:59) (Below Threshold)
 They do make clear. did you read the article, or just look at the pretty pictures?
  • + 5
 companies put time and of effort into making a good looking crank, only for some to decided ohh lets cover it some cheesy graphics
  • + 1
 im glad im one of the few riders who doesnt rub their cranks whilst pedalling then Big Grin
  • + 1
 same whitetux, i ride alot but never rub my cranks so they look better for longer lucky us Smile
  • + 18
 taccy or what
  • + 12
 Cheap tacky ugly ! Even clear ones look pretty bad , I tried using clear protection on my saints and it wears thru so fast you will be rubbing the ano off again in no time
  • + 11
 those all look pretty terrible. selling 2 year old cranksets is going to be hard whether you have paint on the side of the cranks or not.. anyone buying cranks knows its a normal thing and its nothing to worry about
  • + 10
 Waste of timeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Tons of people make plastic protection. Why don't many people have it? Because it falls off after about 2 rides and makes your bike look tatty.
  • + 10
 no thanks i like a bit of buffing on my bike. nice try
  • + 4
 aawww. Absolute plan! Im going to buy myself a set of cranks that has the bank chasing me for over a year, then cover them up with a 99p sticker so people think im riding a set of bargain bin ones! Great idea!
  • + 1
 They come transparent for that reason.
  • + 5
 I've never seen so many props for people saying negative things about an article! I bet the company making these are sitting with their head in their hands!!
  • + 5
 I would not be caught dead with thoes on my bike. So tacky looking. And besides cranks that are scratched and beat up are a good thing. It just means you ridin' hard!
  • + 3
 Not a fan, my bike's take such a thrashing, i don't care about paint chips and scratches, they just add character to the bike. You ride around with a bike that looks bran new all the time and it just looks like you never ride.
  • + 5
 Epic Failure! I don't care if this is the new big thing, I am never putting that on my bottle rocket.
  • + 5
 i agree with RavineRiders, clear may be ok, but anything else just looks stupid
  • + 2
 So, to demonstrate the crankskins, you put them on SLXs? Which have a raw surface to stop them suffering from shoe-rub anyway? I've owned a pair for a long while (until some pikey stole the bike), and they only lose a tiny bit of finish on the edges of that surface. It's not really noticable...
  • + 1
 Amen, I use SLXs and I use the bike everyday. The finish is tough on those cranks, the edges are the ones that go first, but its minimal.
  • + 3
 isnt this the reason for chrome, raw and polished cranks?
and who in there right mind would put a cheap sticker on expensive cranks to protect them, maybe some 12 year olds might
  • + 7
 Pointless.
  • + 0
 Yep.
  • - 4
flag odin333 (Jan 8, 2010 at 13:19) (Below Threshold)
 not really, the graphics look cheesy, but a clear one will keep your cranks looking good, and will be easier to sell your cranks later on down the road when they look good.
  • + 1
 yeah, but you can already get patches of clear tape alot cheaper than these.
  • + 7
 looks ugly
  • + 4
 In the running for the _Most Useless MTB Product Ever!_ prize. Other contenders: handlebar tassels, kick stand...
  • + 1
 The product is a good idea, I'm just not sure about the designs. *Shameless plug to follow* There are examples in my gallery of how this type of product can enhance the bike.

el-nombre - 8mil is not 8mm. Mil is an imperial measurement equal to 1000th of an inch.
  • + 1
 Ah right fairy muff, crazy talk then.
  • + 4
 The pinkbike one at the end is discusting. looks like something a cheap walmart bike would have.
  • + 1
 Great product and great idea. Think about this, what if u are planning to upgarde your cranks down the line and want to sell off your current ones, they'll be easier to sell if they look good and not wore away by the sides of your shoes.
  • + 3
 scars on yourself and your bike are like battle scars, they show you actually ride.
besides , why would i want a sticker on my crank? it looks horribly tacky IMO
  • + 1
 Its definately an interesting product but the fact that no two brands have the same shape of crank makes it difficult for them to fit properly, ie. the pinkbike stickers. The motocross industry has been doing this type of product for the last 10 plus years and its ridiculously popular, maybe it will catch on for MTB.
  • + 1
 the clear ones come for nearly every crank. you can select what crank you have and they will send you the ones that fit.
  • + 1
 I've had these on 3 of my bikes for 6 months of VERY hard riding, and they still look brand new, the stickers are easily removable, but not as a result of riding. There have been no problems with the glue damaging my paint or anything. Also, if you dig around their site they have hilarious crank girls (naked girl stickers for your cranks). I've been rocking a pair for a while and they are definitely a conversation starter, and they're also fun to slap on your friends' bike when he's not looking and then see how long until he or his girlfriend notices.
  • + 3
 yeh if i had to get one id get the clear one, but yeh i dont mind the polished look of my cranks after a while, i rekon it looks like u actually ride a bike.
  • + 2
 interesting idea. but it looks terrible! sorry but i would never put that on my cranks. But the colour plate looks nice. maybe on other parts...
  • + 4
 Can't wait to see the first chump with the 'hippie tech' ones!!
  • + 2
 Not feeling this at all, i think its just tacky to put stickers on your cranks.
  • + 1
 after reading thru all the negative comments maybe these will show up inside your next race packet as schwag for your toolbox sticker collection.
  • + 4
 That looks rubbish
  • + 0
 Wow, pretty harsh comments being thrown about here! The clear is a good idea, but the graphics do look dire. I would rather just raw and polish the surface of my cranks though if I'm honest. Polished Saints look amazing!
  • + 1
 The person who uses these and gets most of his/her money back from selling their cranks that still look brand new will reap the benefits.
  • + 3
 PATHETIC
  • + 1
 dont hardware stores have clear stickers for windows? i use them for my downtube... takes a while to cut though
  • + 2
 the world had waited for this, and finally it is there!!
  • - 1
 How can i get a hold in this as you know i live in macedonia , and our export-import is a piece of crap.

What are the means of delivery? Payment and stuff?
  • + 2
 You can contact these guys by email at : ej@crankskins.com and their website is nalgenestore.com/ind.html
  • + 0
 woah they look crappy and i prefer the chromed out look when all the paint rubs off
  • + 0
 I don't get it. It's clearly not 8mm thick. Am i just being stupid or have they got the unit mixed up or something?
  • + 1
 American flag ones....typical! No one cares....
  • + 1
 as for clear ones you could pick up 3m clear protective film
  • - 2
 These looks so bad its unbelievable. Do you do a clear one so you can't see it (Heli tape!!)? Why spend hundreds of pounds on spangley new cranks and cover them up with somthing that looks so cheap and nasty?
  • + 8
 They do offer a clear one if you'd read the article
  • + 2
 thats gay.
  • + 1
 I wonder if they carry BMX crank skins..
  • - 28
flag xXLEPRICONXx (Jan 8, 2010 at 7:24) (Below Threshold)
 there the same
  • + 21
 i am glad to know the people who power this website are stoners.4:20
  • + 1
 i kindof want them.
  • + 1
 i want some to
  • + 1
 And me!
  • + 4
 xlepricon how are bmx cranks the same as mtb cranks? pfft
  • + 1
 mmmmmmmmm... 420 or candy paint
  • + 2
 i didnt mean it like thet... i ment it will fit each crank mabye not as well but it still will
  • + 2
 not so smart
  • + 1
 cheesy
  • + 0
 LOL 4:20... msa close : 4:30 ! faster ! faster !
  • + 1
 what a waste of cash
  • + 0
 looks familiar, commie meta and slx cranks, cheers!
  • + 0
 ...hmmm, saint cranks looking mint for a while...yes please!!!
  • + 0
 4:20.
  • - 2
 its for style id buy em for my bikes wen they up for sale and would custom ones be possible
  • + 0
 hehe ..forkskins
  • - 2
 Where can i get a pair? Big Grin
  • - 1
 fuck ! soo sick !
  • - 1
 yea 420!
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