Middleburn RS8 X-Type Cranks | Fresh Produce

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.

rs7

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.

axle

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.

spider

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)
www.middleburn.co.uk

  1. Burf@BTR

    How come they have put the axle on the left crank? Does Shimanoe have a patent on the right way?

    1. Ed

      The axle isn’t actually permanently fixed to either side, it’s splined on both ends. The only difference is that as they come the self extracting bolt is fitted to the drive side crank arm. As Espen says, if you want you can mount it all the other way around if you want, but i think that they way they come makes most sense. Why? Well firstly (and this is the reason why Race Face fixed their axles to the left hand side) it takes up much less packaging space, and secondly I find that if you’re having to faff with your chainset it’s almost always the drive side that you want to remove and with it done this way to don’t have to bother with having to pull the axle out from the bottom bracket. Does that make sense?

      1. WAKi

        What fridge model is it? Electrolux? I used to own Siemens KG39EAW40G, before I changed apartment – I believe it’s their best model in history. Reliable, light door on good bushings, Thermostate was easy to reach. Defreezing was a breeze. Don’t buy Whirplool!

      2. Hancock

        Well, not really. If they’ve got a removable spider, packing space is moot, just take it off and lay it flat in the box. Having a spline on the drive side means you can’t have pinch bolts to fit, so you have to use compression fitting and one bolt, which gives you problems with the cranks seizing on, or developing wobbles (hello Raceface). It’s a moot point about easy chainring swaps if it’s seized on solid.
        .
        I’ve been hoping that ‘do it up real tight and hope’ had died out with ISIS bbs, but various companies seem intent in preserving in the face of superior alternatives…

    2. I hate smart arses

      Piss off waki you smart arse

  2. Laurence Palmer

    I don’t think the axle is integrated with the left arm, looks like there’s an allen bolt in there.

  3. Nige

    The axle is fixed. The allen bolt ring is used to take up the movement once the cranks have been tightened up. So, once tight with an 8mm allen key the ring is just turned to meet the left side of the BB (to take up the side to side movement which is minimal), then you just tighten up the small Allen bolt. I have been running them for a few months and they’ve proved faultless. Single ring, 10 speed with a chain guide on an Orange five. All good!

  4. Espen W

    Axle is not fixed. You can just install it on the other arm if you like.

    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/14961541/RS8X-2313.jpg

  5. WAKi

    Very sure that Want!

  6. Jus

    Sex on a crank.

  7. Terrid

    Does the uno chainring work with 10spd?

    1. Flea

      I’ve got an Uno set up on my battered about hardtail with a knackered rear mech (similar to having a clutch but permanently seized). The chain stays on most of the time, the plan was to fit a top guide but the clearance between the crank arm and chain ring is too tight.

  8. Pat Cash

    I used to have Middleburn on three bikes. Lovely things. The bare cranks are the most tactile things.

    But unfortunately, the ISIS attachemnts had a limited lifespan. Hopefully, the new ones are the way forward. Can’t wait till they start appearing cheap on the second hand market.

    Shape the little preload collar isn’t too pretty.

  9. Andy G

    i’d stick my neck out and say middleburn cranks are the finest (british) engineered bicycle component of all time. I would love some RS7 x-type on my DH rig and no mistake, perfect.

  10. Ryan

    Been using these on my DH bike though the 2012 (they have been out a little while) season racing nationals and regionals.
    Super super light and superb quality with amazing customer support.

    The axle is thread locked on to the non-drive, but it makes SO much sense to have it this way around. I hate having to pointlessly remove chain devices.

    1. Ryan

      Should add that previous to these I was running RS-7 ISIS, which did me for 5 years! Until I sent them back under warranty as they had a slight bend in them. Despite them being utterly battered in appearance (after 5 years of racing and europe trips every summer) Middleburn replaced them with no fuss!!!

      1. Ed

        Yeah Middleburn’s customer service is second to none. They have so few crank failures that I even know someone who wrote some off purely thanks to his own stupidity and they would not have been replaced by any other company, yet Middleburn gave him a new set!

  11. Fruity

    They look so pretty. If they are strong/light enough, I might get some for my 4x bike.

    1. Ryan

      I defo say they are. They stood up to Glencoe….enough said

X

Also in Fresh Produce

Kore XX1 Compatible Hubs | Fresh Produce

Read More