Cranks are a meaningful investment as they can outlast your frame, reduce weight, and feel good when riding. Plus if you get cheap cranks without considering the alternative, they’ll likely not last long, and make annoying noises every time you ride. No one wants that.
In this pick, our focus was on finding the best cranks for street and park riding as opposed to racing. This means we were focusing on weight, durability, and strength as you don’t want them breaking in half while landing a huge gap or grinding. Here was a list of our main attributes in the decision:
Lighter the better, as long as it doesn’t sacrifice strength and durability in a disproportionate amount.
A good crank should be able to outlast your frame, overall durability is key when choosing a crank. Aspects such as type/number of splines, technology, material, type of bolts can make a big difference in durability and lifetime.
2 or 3 piece cranks were considered.
Chromoly is preferred for arm strength.
We all know this matters to a lot of people. Clean and simple seems to be the most universally appreciated look.
For a seemingly simple piece of equipment compared to a frame or wheel, the crank has a very wide price range depending on the quality and type. We really only considered cranks that were above $50 for serious riders.
Our Pick: The Odyssey Thunderbolt 175mm Cranks
After comparing numerous cranks side by side, and considering everything from the manufacturer warranty to the weight to technology and testing used to make it, we came up with the Odyssey Thunderbolt cranks for several reasons.
These are simply all around awesome cranks. Starting with the weight, a majority of their comparable in quality and price peers made of chromoly are over two pounds, when including the arms and spindles, while the Thunderbolts are only 1.74 pounds in total. But make no mistake the strength and durability is not sacrificed. Their 41-thermal heat treating process on the chromoly is as strong as it gets. It gets better, they have a lifetime warranty on bending, cracking, and breaking. So by the time you have to replace a cheap and squeaky pair of $50 cranks three times, you could’ve been riding the best and lightest with virtually no risk except for possibly waiting a couple days to receive them in the mail. The Thunderbolt’s are by no means cheap at roughly $168. At the same time though the lifetime warranty almost makes it a no brainer if you are able to front that. And although looks aren’t a big issue for many, an added bonus is they have a clean and simple look with the black paint and non-overbearing logo.
Overall, Odyssey is a great brand, and they have not failed us with the Thunderbolt cranks whatsoever.