Need crank help.

What are all of your experiences with the Monties, the Black Widows, the Doteks…and cranks in general. I have a United 24" Extra Large trainer that I have been riding for a year. All my hopping and stair climbing has bent my steel cranks. I’m also 215 pounds. I need to upgrade, but it seems like there are mixed reviews everywhere. My cranks are square taper and upgrading to splined is not an option now. I do mostly just normal riding, including curb drops and hops and the occasional staircase or two. I intend to take it offroad in the future. Any help is appreciated.

I wouldn’t go for any of those aluminum cranks, especially given your 215 pound size. Steel cranks are going to be better for you. Just keep an extra pair of steel cranks on hand because they are eventually going to bend.

The problem with the aluminum cranks is that it takes very high quality aluminum cranks to handle heavy riders and any sort of rough treatment. All of those cranks are made out of a softer series of aluminum. The really expensive and strong aluminum cranks are made out of 7000 series aluminum (like 7075) and are much stronger. The strong cranks like the Kookas are made from the stronger aluminum.

What size wheel are you using and what length cranks do you want. There may be some other options.

Ok, I always thought that there was just one type of aluminum. So the best trials cranks are the better grade of aluminum? I guess for the uni I’m using and what I’m doing I don’t need that much crank. The ones I have now are steel and they started to bend when I started hopping. I have a 24" wheel and I’m looking to get 140-150. I have 150s now. I like the torque for hills, but I like to cruise too. Almost leaning more towards the 140s.

Thanks for the help. =)

There are many different grades of aluminum. Aluminum bicycle parts are all made from aluminum alloy, they’re not made from pure aluminum. There are many different aluminum alloys. Different alloys have different properties. Some will be softer and more malleable, while others will be harder and stronger. Some alloys are less expensive and easier to machine while others are stronger and more difficult to machine. The choice of what alloy to use makes a big difference in the final strength of the crank. The more expensive cranks generally use the stronger alloys.

In addition to the choice of alloy there is also the manufacturing process. Some cranks are made from cast aluminum. Cast aluminum cranks will be very weak (think Lasko). Some cranks are machined from a solid block of aluminum alloy. The better cranks are first forged and then machined. The more machining required the more expensive the cranks are going to be.

All aluminum cranks are not created equal. The choice of alloy and the manufacturing process are very important factors in determining the strength of a crank.

Unless you plan on spending big bucks for a custom set of cut down Kooka cranks, you’re going to be better off getting steel cranks. The steel cranks will eventually bend, but they’re also cheaper than good strong aluminum cranks. Steel also has the advantage that it will first bend before breaking in two. When aluminum cranks fail the fail quickly and catastrophically (meaning the break in two with little warning).

In the 140 mm length, there’s the Schwinn steel cranks. In the 150 mm length, there’s the Bicycle Euro steel cranks along with others. The Bicycle Euro cranks have a reputation for being stronger than the others.

Keep an extra set of cranks on hand so that when you do eventually bend the cranks you have something to replace them with.

If you continue to have constant problems with bending cranks then it’s time to consider one of the splined setups. The splined cranks are bigger, beefier, stronger.

Hey thanks a lot, john. I appreciate it. So the widows are going to be a not-so-good choice for my weight (220)? Or are they just weak aluminum, period? I have heard mixed things about the Euros and I need cranks before the 4th of July parade!!

Thanks. It helps me out.

best crank option

Listen to John.

You don’t want to be spending close to $100 on aluminum cranks that are going to break.

You need to be thinking “upgrade to splined”, but just get the bicycle Euro’s on the cheap until you can save the money.

You can buy a splined 24" Torker for $149.00 on e-bay(plus $20.00 shipping). They come with 150mm cranks that won’t break.

Re: best crank option

Good point. See, I went into a bike shop here in town (I know, bad idea) and they could not stop talking down about steel cranks. I guess that just really turned me to aluminum. And seeing that my own steel ones bent… Oh well, you both do make valid points. I would rather have some warning as to when they break, and I really don’t have the money to spend on something just to find out, “Oh, oops…it broke.”

Yeah splided are the way to go, I bent my steal ones on my first unicycle and didnt notice till I got my summit. Then I couldnt figure out how I rode it with them so bent.

Bike shops are suck every time I try to talk about something unicycle they say it cant be done. Like putting a brake on my coker the guy thinks that every time I use it I’ll fall on my face and wouldnt listen to what I was saying. The guy actualy didnt want to sell the brake to me because he thought I would kill myself on the coker.

When I buy stuff if ever I do from them I wont say what its for.

The Black Widow Euro cranks aren’t strong enough for jumping around with or for heavier riders. I used them for XC riding back before I was doing drops and jumps. They worked fine for that. I’ve also used them on my Coker. But I wouldn’t use them for muni any more because my muni riding has gotten more aggressive and I’m doing jumps and drops now.

Ok, I’m pretty sold on the steel ones now after hearing all of your inputs. Should I go for the Euros, or the Schwinns? All the reviews on the Euros on are not good, it seems.

I don’t know about how the different brands of steel cranks compare for strength and resistance to bending.

Anyone have experience with the different steel cranks? Which ones are the strong ones?

Sorry, I don’t have an opinion on different cranks. I will say that having weakish cranks are not an all togther bad idea. I’d much rather have a crank break or bend then mess up a hub. Even if replacement hubs are cheap (and they are) unless you know how to lace a wheel, you are going to end up paying more for the hub then cranks.

I once snapped a hub and that was the end of that uni. Had I broken a crank, the fix would have been fast and cheap.



I’m gettin’ the Euros. I need the 150s for the few hills I go up and down. And if they break, well, I’m only out $25.

Re: Need crank help.

“Sigurd” <> writes:

> I’m gettin’ the Euros. I need the 150s for the few hills I go up and
> down. And if they break, well, I’m only out $25.

Consider the 125s. I find them much nicer than 150s for any paved
riding. I was surprised at how well they worked on non-technical off
road as well. And this is on a 27" wheel (26x2.5) - they’ll give you more
powerful gearing on your 24".


The 125s work offroad?? I always thought the lower torque of shorter cranks would be bad offroad. What about for trials, which is actually turning out to be more of what I’m doing? Shorter or longer for trials?

Re: Need crank help.

“Sigurd” <> writes:

> The 125s work offroad?? I always thought the lower torque of shorter
> cranks would be bad offroad. What about for trials, which is actually
> turning out to be more of what I’m doing? Shorter or longer for trials?

Maybe “cross country” is a better term than “offroad” for the use I
referred to, though the trails I ride aren’t flat. I was thinking
125s would be great for “normal riding, including curb drops and
hops”. 150s will be more versatile for offroad, but not as smooth as
the shorter ones.


So how about for trials? Would longer be better?

Longer cranks are generally better for trials. Longer cranks give you more leverage for rolling over bigger bumps. Longer cranks also give you more leverage for holding your position on objects with sloping surfaces. For example, when you’re jumping on a big boulder that has a lot of surfaces that are not flat, the longer cranks will allow you to better hold your position on the various slopping surfaces. For trials it’s all about leverage and not so much about speed and pedaling efficiency.

Thanks for all your input. I got the 150 Euros this past week and they are great!! Haven’t gotten to crank grabbing just yet. I want to keep them nice looking for a little while anyway. I haven’t ridden on straight cranks since last October!!