Cranks rarely get the attention they deserve. The only time we think about them is when our pedal stroke becomes lopsided, with one leg rotating normally while the other does an impression of wrestler Randy Orton approaching the ring. This is a sign that your crank is loose, and probably buggered. Think deeper and you realise that the crank is the sole component that makes the bicycle unique. Without them we’d just be riding around on hugely ineffective motorbikes. The crank is key in the symbiotic relationship between us and our machines. Next time you’re looking to spend a little dosh on your pride and joy, why not invest in a gift for the heart. If you do, you should certainly consider these e.thirteen cranks from The Hive. Although four weeks is not enough time for us to give our full seal of approval, we can tell you that they perform well and seem to be of good quality. A couple of nifty features promise reliability too. Most notable is the unique tri-lobular interface between the oversized cromoly axle and the crank arm. This technology, adapted from German tanks, purportedly results in a near perfect fit that eliminates creaks and the likelihood of the cranks working loose. They’re pretty bombproof, but tip the scales at a reasonable 730 g (sans bottom bracket). If bling is your thing, these might not be the cranks for you, but if you’re more interested in quality and reliability you should definitely consider this offering from e.thirteen. LEIF ROY
The Meta TR 29, the new 130mm travel beautiful brushed alloy trail rig from Commencal just passed through the office recently. A solid, well-priced build makes this a very good option for a lot of people wanting that perfect blend between fun and pain. The go-everywhere, do-everything Meta in a neat little bundle.
One of the supercars of the modern era, the Pivot Firebird has been on the lips of everyone this past year. With Ed Masters piloting one to all sorts of reults, we got the Rod Bardsley to swing his leg over a Firey Bird and deliver some wise words of his own.
Afton are another newcomer in what seems a flood of new shoe brands, but the stylish look and comfort have got everyone talking. Want to be the snazziest dude among your mates? Look no further.
The Flat pedal shoe market has thickened recently, and one brand leading the charge is Ride Concepts. We did some skids this summer in a long term test, and are stoked there is a new player in the mix.
The Orbea Rallon is a hot topic. Good looking and extremely well put together, this pedigree machine gets the carpark talking. We got to spend a few days aboard the Spanish rig and collated some thoughts inside.
We got to spend some of our summer thrashing around on this beast. A user friendly 180mm do it all park bike, that’ll pop jumps and rip turns till the cows come home. Get in.