lightest bmx cranks

Our top choices

Our Choice

our choice
Eclat Maverick

Eclat Maverick

Eclat are a very innovative company and these cranks only reinforce that fact. They are machined from a solid piece of alloy, eliminating the need for weak welds.

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Cheapest

cheapest choice
Demolition Rig<

Demolition Rig

Demolition make the cheapest set on this list. They are by no means a bargain as we have still tried to provide you with the best products. You'll get a lot of use out of a pair of Demolition Rig cranks.

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Upgrade Pick

upgrade pick
BSD Substance

BSD Substance

BSD don't disappoint with their substance cranks. A very traditional design but they've proven it works and looks good so there's no harm in upgrading and trying them out.

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BMX bike cranks are one of those parts that don’t get enough love. They are a pivotal part of a bike but most riders don’t have a second thought about what cranks they ride.

Cranks are part of the cranksets or chainset that are the several components used in unison to convert the rotating motion of a cyclists legs into energy to power the bike's wheels, arguably one of the most important aspects of a bike as it obviously won’t move is there’s no way to power it.

Crank arms are just one part of the chainset, attached at a right angle between the pedal and the chainring. The arms are attached through the bearings of the bottom bracket via two or three pieces. 3 piece cranks attached to either end of a central spindle, threaded through the bottom bracket, on the other hand, two-piece cranks have one straight arm and one bent at a 90-degree angle that attach on one side of the bike. The majority of BMX cranksets and those that I will review on this are made from 3 pieces.

Image Crank Weight Our Rating View Price
Odyssey Thunderbolt Odyssey Thunderbolt 788g product rating View Price
Eclat Maverick Eclat Maverick 981g product rating View Price
BSD Substance BSD Substance 884g product rating View Price
Odyssey Calibur V2 Odyssey Calibur V2 935g product rating View Price
TSG Killer TSG Killer 935g product rating View Price
Primo Superbite Primo Superbite N/A product rating View Price
Profile Magnutanium Profile Magnutanium 544g product rating View Price
Demolition Rig Demolition Rig 895g product rating View Price
Animal Akimbo Animal Akimbo 938g product rating View Price
Subrosa Big Bitchin Subrosa Big Bitchin' 884g product rating View Price


Crankset Materials

There are five common materials used for these parts. Aluminium alloy, titanium, carbon fibre, Chromoly steel and regular steel are these common materials, used interchangeably depending on the intended use and cost of the cranks.

Different cycling disciplines will favour some of these materials over others. For example, carbon fibre is the preferred choice of higher-end road bikes. BMX manufacturers are very fond of using tubular steel for their cranks as they can be super light and very strong at the same time.

Aluminium alloy is very widely used in bicycle manufacturing, especially for these parts. Mountain bikes, lower-end road bikes and often BMX bikes have aluminium alloy cranks as they can be cast, hot forged or cold forged. Forging the metal in this way gives it additional strength, thus allowing it to be made lighter without having an impact on strength.

Shimano makes a great mountain bike crank called the ‘Hollowtech’. They use forged aluminium that hardens around a steel insert, which is withdrawn to make a super-light part.

Odyssey Thunderbolt Crankset

thunderbolt odyssey bike crank

They’re a couple of years old now but these cranks are an evolution of over 10 years of development. Odyssey and their sibling companies, G-Sport and Sunday, are incredible at BMX product design. They hold so many patents they remind me of a company like Google.

Thunderbolt is a 2-piece design, which is different from most bike cranks. This means that the spindle permanently attached to one of the arms. The other arm is bolted on like normal. A two-piece crank is good because it eliminates all possibility of arm wobble from one side. There are also no issues with equally lining up the spindle evenly on each side.

Normally the arms are kept in their correct place on the spindle via the splines and grooves that match up. You will see us talk about the number of splines within each section of this article. Generally the more there are the better, as there’s less likelihood of the arm wobbling or coming loose. As always Odyssey has come up with an ingenious way of eliminating the need for splines completely. They use a wedge that is effectively several plastic wedges that are held in a circle via a piece of elastic. This wedge cluster is placed between the Thunderbolts’ arms and its spindle where Odyssey guarantees it will never cause wobbling. It’s a clever design but I'm not convinced it’s a perfect solution yet.

Along with the wedge, there is an updated mating arm lug for better durability, an ultra-hollow 22mm spindle and an open-ended spindle cap. The company's roster of professional riders tested all of these features and parts for over a year before it was released to the public.

thunderbolt spindle wedge

Specifications:

  • Type: 2-Piece
  • Spindle: 22mm, Wedge Cluster
  • Compatibility: RHD, LHD
  • Weight: 788g

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BMX - Odyssey's Thunderbolt Crank

Eclat Maverick Bicycle Crank

eclact maverick forged alloy

Eclat is another brand that is relatively new to the BMX world, created as recently as 2008. Just like Subrosa, Eclat is another brand created by previous BMX brand owners. The owners of Subrosa are actually the same owners as WeThePeople. Eclat is a purely parts company. There were so many ideas for new and different parts that the founders believed there was reason to create a new brand.

My favorite thing about the Maverick cranks is the design of the arms. The front of each arm is slightly recessed from the pedal and spindle holes.

Eclat has aimed for strength over everything else in the manufacture of these cranks. Part of the reason they have designed the arms in such a nice way is to take the burden away from the welds. When you’re applying forces in so many different directions, welds find it hard to keep up.

Eclat has forged the Maverick crank arms out of a single block of alloy, thus avoiding weak welds. Nearly all cranks made from alloy use a square spindle with a pinch bolt on the side of the arm. Eclat has managed to create such a high-quality product that they’re able to use the regular 48 spline spindle. The lack of welds and ability to use a regular, strong BMX spindle puts the Maverick cranks up there at the top.

Specifications:

  • Material: Cold forged 7000 series alloy
  • Sizes: 170mm, 175mm
  • Spindle: 22mm, Chromoly Ultra Hollow
  • Compatibility: RHD, LHD
  • Weight: 981g

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The Eclat Maverick Cranks



BSD Substance

best 2 piece bmx crankset

The Substance cranks from BSD are another unique model. This crankset features a 2.5 piece assembly. This means that the whole set can be built and dismantled with just one 8mm bolt. This design is very new and can cause a little frustration to those with less experience with bike maintenance. I would not say this is a reason not to buy these cranks though. The arms are made from the regular 4130 heat-treated chromoly with a rectangular cross section. Strength and stiffness has been increased due to this cross section design.

Other than the 2.5 piece design, many of the other features of the Substance crank is pretty much the same as the stereotypical BMX crank. We have a 22mm, 48 splined hollow spindle. 165m, 170mm and 175mm variations are available, as well as LHD and RHD compatibility.

Taller riders or ones that ride dirt jumps can often encounter problems when buying parts that fit the other parts of their bike and themselves. BSD has created two versions of this crankset. There’s a regular version and an XL, which comes with a bigger 24mm spindle and a larger pedal boss that enables clearance of even the widest frames.

Specifications:

  • Type: 2.5-piece
  • Spindle: 22mm, 48 spline
  • Compatibility: LHD, RHD
  • Weight: 884g
  • Sizes: 165, 170, 175mm

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Odyssey Calibur V2 Rustproof Crankset

odyssey calibur lightest crankset

The original Calibur cranks were released back in March of 2017. This is the updated 3-piece crankset that has been updated, strengthened and simply made better by the team at Odyssey BMX. Just like all of their parts, they haven’t done anything half heartedly. Calibur has been manufactured using the same standards, materials and production quality as their famous Thunderbolt+ cranks.

I’ve included both the Thunderbolt and Calibur cranks on this list because I love the craftsmanship and the ride of Odyssey parts but there is one worrying aspect of the Calibur cranks. They don’t come with a lifetime warranty.

This is worrying because the Thunderbolt cranks do come with a lifetime warranty and if they’re built the same, why wouldn’t these also have the same warranty. If you’re worried about cracking or bending your cranks then it’s probably worth investing that little bit more and getting the Thunderbolt cranks.

A lack of a warranty doesn’t mean the product isn’t great. Calibur V2’s have been very well received and many riders love to ride them. You could look at these as the budget version of the Thunderbolts.

As usual, Odyssey has used 4130 Chromoly for the arms; allowed both LHD and RHD compatibility and made them available in 165mm, 170mm and 175mm sizes. The spline is 22mm with 48 splines, which is also relatively common for this style of 3-piece crankset.

Specifications:

  • Type: 3-piece
  • Spindle: 22mm, 48 spline
  • Compatibility: LHD, RHD
  • Sizes: 165, 170, 175mm
  • Weight: 935g
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Trey Jones Shadow Conspiracy Killers

the shadow conspiracy killer

Trey Jones of Florida, US is a gnarly park and street rider who is willing to ride just about anything, at any speed on his bike. Now riding for The Shadow Conspiracy, Trey has helped them create a great signature crankset named the Shadow Killers.

Jones is a super interesting guy. He has an ever-changing wooden backyard ramp that accommodates the riding of some awesome riders. These ramps are an amalgamation of DIY and repossessions from competitions gone by. This yard has everything from a loop to a hand-made swimming pool.

Shadow and Trey have spent 2 years designing and developing the design of these cranks. The team were so determined to get this right, Jones and his fellow pro team riders spent a year testing and refining every aspect of the crankset before it was put on the market.

Shadow Killer cranks are fully heat-treated and feature 4130 Chromoly arms with bespoke forged tubing. A 22mm, 48 spline hollow Chromoly spindle with oversized spindle bots are used to increase strength and rigidity. Both the spindle and bolts are hollow there’s the less unneeded weight.

Specifications:

  • Spindle: 19mm, 48 Spline
  • Crank Type: 3 Piece
  • BB Included: No
  • Weight: 935g
  • Material: 4130 Chromoly Custom Forged
  • Compatibility: RHD, LHD

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Primo Superbite Connor Keating Signature

Connor Keating Signature Crankset

Connor Keating worked with Primo to develop these signature Superbite cranks. They started with the original Powerbite design and then developed it into these 4130 Chromoly with a rounded top and flat sides, 3 piece cranks. The shape here makes it great for grinding. Nobody loves grinding on their crank arms and ruining them but you know the Superbites can deal with it.

Utilizing a 22mm, 48-spline spindle with 8mm hex bolts, you get a good amount of strength with a good amount of weight. Primo also include a 22mm Mid bottom bracket to make sure you don’t have to mess around buying the right one for your new crankset. As usual, you can buy this crankset in 165mm and 170mm lengths.

Specifications:

  • Type: 3-piece
  • Spindle: 22mm, 48 Spline
  • Sizes: 165mm, 170mm
  • Bottom Bracket: Mid. Included

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PRIMO - Superbite Cranks

Profile Magnutanium Crankset

Magnutanium mtb, bmx crankset by profile

It’s very uncommon that Profile don’t make an appearance on one of our top 10 lists. Profile primarily focused on flatland and race BMX riders for this product and the tremendous statistics will definitely benefit this type of rider.

Let’s get the obvious facts out of the way first. These cranks aren’t cheap, they may possibly be the most expensive on this list but those of you that can work with a price this high, these cranks are definitely worth a look at.

Profile manufacture two versions of the Magnutanium. We chose to include the mini instead of the regular version on this list because of the weight difference. Thinned out crank arms and a 19mm gun drilled hollow titanium spindle being the only main differences. I believe the weight difference will benefit BMX bike riders.

Before buying this crankset you must make sure you fit the style of rider Profile are targeting with this product as it’s a pretty niche subset of people. The lightweight materials and thinned out arms are great for race bikes and most flatland bikes but anything else will be a little risky. It’s suggested that bigger riders and people who often ride dirt jumps or big park ramps don’t run these cranks. They may not be strong enough to survive that force. Having said all this, it’s crazy how light they’ve managed to go with the Magnutanium Mini’s. A tiny 522 grams for their smallest size.

Their sizes are also smaller than regular brands, mainly due to the target audience often needing a shorter crank arm. The smallest size is 145mm, moving up to 170mm and everything in between. If you’re desperate for an extra 5mm you can make a special request to Profile.

Specifications:

  • Type: 3-piece
  • Axle: Titanium GDH w/ Chromo Bolts
  • Bottom Bracket: Mid, Not Included
  • Sizes: 145, 150, 155, 160, 165, 170mm
  • Weights: 522, 525, 527, 534, 537, 544g
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Dennis Enarson Demolition Rig Signature Cranks

deomition rig cranks by dennis enarson

Enarson, of La Mesa, California, is an old school BMX rider, having won an incredible 10 X Games Medals. Dennis is known for his cannonball barspins and his innate ability to ride any discipline incredibly well.

Similar to a lot of riders, he began racing at 8 years old but quit soon after to smash it at the much more enjoyable street riding. The Demolition cranks aren’t the first product that Dennis has been consulted on. In the past, he has helped design signature parts for Haro bikes.

If you want to learn more about Dennis Enarson then check out his new podcast called Unclicked, where he interviews other BMX riders and things happening in the industry.

The Rig crankset has a 24mm, 48t Chromoly splined spindle, the biggest commonly available for mid-bottom brackets. The Rig cranks have heat-treated Chromoly arms with a built-in ridge face. All this increased strength makes them nye on impossible to break. The price isn’t preferable but if you can afford them I doubt you’d ever need to buy a replacement pair.

This crankset comes with an included bottom bracket set that fits the 24mm spline. As we discuss at the bottom of this article, the most common crank sizes are 170mm and 175mm lengths. The Rig cranks are available in these sizes plus 165mm, catering for the majority of people.

Dennis and the Demolition team didn’t hold back on the development and manufacture here. They did a great job for professional and hardcore riders. Most of the Demolition team actually run these cranks full time. In my opinion, that’s a massive compliment.

Specifications:

  • Type: 3 Piece
  • Spindle: 24mm, 48t
  • Weight: 895g
  • Compatibility: RHD, LHD

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DEMOLITION BMX: Dennis Enarson Rig Line Video



Animal Akimbo Bike Crank

animal akimbo 3 piece cranks

Animal Bikes was incorporated by Ralph Sinisi on the first day of the century, the 1st of January, 2001. Sinisi acquired his love for riding in New York City, riding with his crew day and night.

NY is a big and crazy place, the riders would constantly find new street spots to ride. Anybody who sent it at one of these riding spots was congratulated and called an ‘Animal’.

According to Ralph, that's the way he came up with the name for his bike shop. Super simple but I love the idea. Plus it’s pretty memorable. Animal is still a relatively small company but that doesn’t mean they shy away from making high-quality parts. They don’t create or sell any gimmicks.

To me, their pro team seems quite large for a company of this size. In total, they have 14 riders on their pro squad and even more on the AM team. Some great riders are representing this company, including the likes of Nigel Sylvester, Dan Lacey and Mike Hoder.

The Akimbo cranks, made from heat-treated 4130 are strong and able to withstand some real punishment but without being excessively built. The arms are a smooth, tubular design to prevent ankle torture when doing things like tailwhips. The arms also use a heat-treated 22mm, 48 spline spindle.

The only issue riders seem to have with these cranks is the grease pack. If you’re thinking of hammering these cranks or using them for dirt jump riding then I would suggest replacing your bearings for some of higher quality.

On a final note, don’t forget that Animal offers a lifetime warranty on bike parts like this so don’t be afraid to give them some tough use.

Specifications:

  • Crank Type: 3 Piece
  • Spindle: 22mm, 48 Spline
  • BB Included? No
  • Weight: 938g
  • Material: 100% CrMo
  • Spindle Bolt: 15x1mm

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Subrosa Big Bitchin’

Subrosa bitchin bike crank

Subrosa is a relatively new biking brand. Created by Ryan Sher and Ron Bonner in 2006. It gets harder to create a popular BMX brand as the years go on but due to Bonner’s amazing BMX pedigree, they seem to have found it quite easy. Ron helped create huge brands such as UGP and The Shadow Conspiracy. On the other hand, Sher brought riding experience from years of being a pro rider.

Subrosa aims to produce high-quality parts for every aspect of a BMX. These parts are intended to be affordable, reliable and have the appropriate attention to detail that people expect from professional bike parts.

The Big Bitchin’ cranks are an updated version of the old Bitchin’ cranks. This newer version has been beefed up with a bigger, tougher 22mm spindle that has 48 splines and 100% death proof post-weld heat treatment on the arms.

The custom forged Subrosa shape tubing is wrapped immaculately around the spindle. A square design was insisted upon by Subrosa to prevent any unnecessary wear that could cause the crank arms to wobble.

The front of the spindle boss has been rounded to keep ankles intact when doing tricks. The word ‘Big’ and ‘Bitchin’ are definitely well earned. The crank arms are bigger, the arm angle is tilted wider to suit even the biggest BMX frame and as I said the spindle is a big 22mm.

I haven’t heard of a single bad review of the updated version of these cranks. Subrosa have taken their customers opinions on board and then created a great 2 piece crankset for virtually any rider.

Specifications:

  • Type: 3-piece
  • Sizes: 170mm, 175mm
  • Weight: 884g
  • Spindle: 22mm, 48 Spline

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What to Look for When Buying Cranks

What Crank should I buy? Sometimes it gets really hard to know what bike part will suit your riding style most. Cranks are one of these parts that have a lot of aspects people don’t fully understand.

Arm Length

Firstly there’s the arm length. Unless you’re a highly-skilled rider in a specific discipline then arm length is just a preference. The vast majority of the population will ride the basic 170mm or 175mm arms.

Dirt jump riders and racers, who need more speed may opt for larger arms that could be up to 190mm long. On the other hand street and flatland riders might often work better with shorter arms, sometimes as short as 125mm.

Some people love the longer arms because it can give them more power when pedalling but others can only get comfortable with shorter sizes. It can make tricks easier to handle while also giving you better peg clearance.

What is the best spindle size

what is a bike spindle

You can buy bike cranks in 3 different spindle sizes: 19mm, 22mm and 24mm. The size of the crank you buy is more determinate on your riding style than the abuse you give them.

19mm cranks are great for dirt jumps, ramps, trails and smoother riders. You want to go for a 19mm spindle if you’re looking to land smoothly the majority of the time. Don’t by these cranks and then drop off roofs.

Moving up a size, 22mm cranks will give you some extra weight and strength. These are a little harder to bend and snap so they’re the option for people willing to send it.

I think these cranks can suit any riding style but I would specifically suggest these to street riders that do a lot of grinding and big drops.

Finally, there are the 24mm cranks. This size is becoming more and more common as some of the bigger companies are applying the 24mm size to their much new cranks. One example of this is the new Fit Indent cranks, designed specifically for street riders that are almost determined to smash up their bikes. Similar to the other sizes, you will be getting extra weight but also extra strength with 24mm.

Bottom Bracket Size

what is a bottom bracket

The bottom bracket is the bearing set that goes between the hole in the centre of the frame, around which the cranks and pedals turn. The crank spindle passes through the bearings in the bottom bracket. Most BMX bikes have a mid-bottom bracket, which allows for the riding of 19mm, 22mm and 24mm spindles. Since the actual size of the bar needs to fit your bearings you may need to change them if you’re altering the size of your spindle. Apart from that, there’s not much you need to look out for when buying a new bottom bracket. The price usually dictates the quality.




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