Kooka Downhill Crank Review

I appologize if this is a repost … it seems that the winternet list is acting up.

Well, it’s been 3 months since I took my first MUni/trials ride with a set of the Kooka Downhill cranks and they are still straight. Here’s the lowdown on them …

A set of the Kooka downhill cranks will cost you around $150US ($250CDN) and here is what that gets you:

  • Left and Right crank arm with a removable 110mm spider
  • They are made of 7149 aluminum alloy
  • They fit a standard squared axle
  • The two cranks and spider weigh 600 grams
  • Choice of crank length: 165mm, 170mm, 175mm
  • Choice of colour: Black, Red, Blue and Silver
  • “Unconditional Lifetime Warranty”
    Source: (http://www.kooka.com)

The only difference between Kooka’s “Downhill” and “Freeride” cranksets is the spider … and price (the Freeride is more expensive). The crank arms with the two sets are identical, so go for the Downhill set to avoid the higher cost.

The spider is attached to the right crank arm with a pair of bolts and a splined cut-out interlocking the two pieces. It took persistence to get the spider off … the crank and spider are locked together tightly requiring a lot of wiggling to free the two … I’m now the proud owner of a useless spider (I tried to sell it to the local bike shop, but they didn’t want it). The cranks fit my suzue axle without problem. I did have an issue with one of the axle nuts coming loose, but I attribute this more to use than a problem with the crank or axle. A little bit of lock-tite and the issue was solved.

I’ve been riding MUni/trials with these cranks for the past 3 months and I’m quite impressed with the amount of punishment they can withstand. 4 to 5 foot drops and aggressive trail riding are no problem for the Kooka’s, mind you, I only weigh 155lbs (however I bent the standard Pashley steel cranks and twisted a pair of Odyssey Black Widow’s fairly quickly). I haven’t done any crank/pedal grabs, so I can’t tell you whether they are good for that or not, but I can’t see anything that would prevent them from allowing to do a pedal grab.

There is one interesting thing to bring up with the design of the
crank arm … it extends approx. 3/4" past the axle mounting point
(this is evident in pictures). I haven’t had any problems as a result
of this, but watch shoelaces and baggy pants cause they could easily cause problems with these cranks.

I think the Kooka’s are a great set of stiff cranks that are perfect
for someone who doesn’t want to make the investment into a profile axle/crankset and someone with a squared axle having problems with standard cranks. With an “Unconditional Lifetime Warranty” how can one go wrong?

And just for the record … Kooka HAS NOT paid me or given me any free product for this glowing review! :wink: