12/02/2013 | 19 comments
Middleburn is a name that kind of slipped off our radar for a while, which is a shame because there was a time when the cranks at the top of most riders wish list bore the Middleburn name.
There is no mistaking a set of Middleburn cranks, they just ooze class thanks to a hefty dose of understated style. If ever there was a timeless design for a set of cranks then it has to be these. Each of the crank arms is forged from 7075 T6 aluminium before being machined to its final shape right here in the UK. The result is a set of crank arms that are as light and as stiff as anyone realistically needs. 636g to be precise on the weight front (as shown), and as for strength, I know countless riders who have been using older versions of these cranks for donkeys years without any issues whatsoever. The lifetime warranty backs this up.
Whilst the arms have remained largely the same for years, the addition of an oversized axle which can be used with any Shimano style bottom bracket has firmly brought them into the modern era. Middleburn have chosen not to make a bottom bracket themselves as they see it as a bit of a can of worms and they openly admit that people like Chris King are already making bottom brackets that Middleburn would struggle to match. Basically, as a tiny company it’s really not worth the time and effort. One thing that should help with the lifespan of any bottom bracket though is the simple preload adjustment that these cranks offer. Unlike some other cranks this means that you should never overload the bearings, which in turn will cause premature failure.
The final thing that we’ve always loved about Middleburn cranks is that they’ve always used removable spiders. This means that the same arms can be set up in a whole number of different ways. You can run a whole load of different spiders, or as seen here you can simply fit an ‘Uno’ single ring which features an integrated spider and is available in a wide range of different sizes, all with Middleburn’s excellent ‘Hardcoat’ treatment which makes them run smoothly for years. It’s a super neat and lightweight solution and Middleburn were one of the first companies to ever offer this.
Currently these cranks are available in either black or silver, with either 170 or 175mm arms, but by the sounds of it there might well be an RS7 version in the pipeline too. We reckon it’d be great news if that is the case because those cranks were absolutely legendary. They were a little heavier than the RS8′s (still very light) but they were absolutely bombproof. The RS7′s can also be made in shorter lengths, and because the arms flare out more it means that you don’t need as much dish on the Uno ring. Either way though, if you’re looking to buy some new cranks then don’t overlook Middleburn for one second. They might well be a tiny outfit, but the UK based company is still more than capable of putting up some serious competition to the big guns.
Price: £252.50 (as pictured)