Full Circle

When I think back, I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what it was that was “wrong” with square taper cranks. Whatever it was, I was sure that ISIS would deliver the improvement I was looking for. Unfortunately, this revised crank/ bottom bracket interface came at the price of bearing longevity, or rather lack of…

It was a good job then that someone came up with the intergrated crank. Outboard bearings, large axle, improved stiffness and so on. These were the cranks I needed to solve the problems I was having with ISIS. A few years later though, with many miles ridden, my integrated cranks lie worn out on the workbench with play in the spline that makes them unrideable. Looking at the current offerings from various manufacturers, I can’t say I was overly impressed with cost, weight or appearance.

Middleburn RS8

So, I go back to the tried, tested, trusted and British Middleburn RS8 square taper crank. Its forged profile maximises strength, yet its slender form gives it a very purposeful and attractive appearance. Not only that, once I’d fitted them to the bike with a UN73, they spin much more freely then my ISIS or integrated cranks ever did. It’s taken me over 10 years, countless hours in the garage replacing or greasing equally countless sets of bearings to come to the conclusion that a square peg in a square (tapered) hole is the way to go for cranks. You could say that crank development has gone full circle.

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