Believe it or not, you can make your bicycle rides more comfortable and your bike more attractive without much effort. All you need is the best crankset that converts the leg pressure on the pedal into propulsion to drive the rear wheel forward. Often, this set is equipped with chain rings, cranks, an axle, a spider, and even a bottom bracket.
Whether cycling is a hobby reserved for your weekends or a passion you follow day after day, the right crankset can increase your bike’s visual appeal while enhancing your comfort. Whatever your budget or size requirement, you’ll find a suitable option among the many time-tested and best-selling cranksets listed and reviewed below. Take a look.
10 Best Bike Cranksets
The heavy-duty JGbike mountain bike crankset is an excellent option for both road and mountain bikers. This road bike crankset is crafted using forged aluminum alloy (6061-T6) through CNC machining and boasts a single chainring with a Bolt Circle Diameter (BCD) of 104, giving it a competitive edge over other cranksets. With a 170mm crank arm length, it is suitable for most cyclists. Additionally, depending on your bike type, you can opt for a round or oval chainring.
- Includes bolts
- Wide tooth profile
- Available in square taper design
- Compatible with most bike brands
- Easy to install
- May not be scratch-proof
- May lack a classy finish
The lightweight and stiff crankset is equipped with TSM power-glide chainrings. It includes a plastic bottom bracket that enables optimal power transfer, better than an average square taper one. The good quality pedal threads and spindle have no rough edges and can be installed conveniently with a park tool. It comes with washers that fit the crank arms for pedal installation, so you don’t have to worry about messing up the arms. Check out this review video to learn more about this Sram crankset.
- Helps maximize performance
- Smooth and tough
- Easy to drill
- Spins well
- Impressive stiffness
- May not be very customizable
- Bearings may creak
The chainguard model from Shimano comes with 170mm cranks on both sides. This budget-friendly mountain bike group set is an excellent replacement crank for entry-level bikes. The field-tested mountain bike crankset comes with triple chainrings, a plastic chainguard, and a 9/16 pedal spindle. This Shimano crankset also features a 48-tooth main sprocket for high-end speed and effortless pedaling.
- Suitable for trekking
- Easy to install
- Smooth and silent cruising
- Soft but sturdy
- Thread in the crank arms may cause trouble at times
JGbike Mountain Bike Crankset
Sram S300 Courier Crankset
Best For Effortless Pedaling
|11.25 x 9.25 x 6.5 inches
|12.5 x 11 x 2.25 inches
If you have an MTB, this crankset with 104/64mm BCD triple steel chainrings and 44T/32T/22T gearing designed for indexed shifting can be an ideal choice. It is 170mm long and perfectly fits the square taper 110mm bottom bracket. The mountain cranks are built with time-tested manufacturing processes and materials to offer quality and performance at a great value. This square taper crankset also has cold-forged alloy crank arms in a black finish for a stylish look.
- Lightweight crankset
- Removable rings
- Can be made into a single chainring
- Threading may be flimsy
- May not be scratch-resistant
Get this compatible, simple, and sturdily designed crankset with 9/16-inch pedals and 1.257lb weight. This performance-enhancing component has alloy crankarms with solid carbon steel chainrings, which measure 132mm in diameter. The durable crankset comes with a square taper interface and is easy to remove or install.
- Can easily shift up to go faster
- Good weight
- Stylish design
- Doesn’t creak
- Protective guard may interfere with leg movement
- May not be suitable for shredding
The lightweight yet sturdy single-speed crankset is made of durable forged aluminum. It has fine machined-aluminum 46-tooth chainrings for super-smooth pedaling. You can find it in three different crank arm lengths- 160, 170, and 175mm. It is an ideal option for vintage and modern style bikes, making it a trusted choice of many. Available in two colors, this stylish aluminum crankset can make your bike the coolest ride on the block.
- Includes crank bolts
- Helps lighten the bike
- Changeable gears
- Easy to install
- Not compatible with steel pedals
- May creak
The burly and lightweight aluminum-forged crankset can be a good choice if you are looking for ultimate strength and reliability. It includes a left crankarm, a right crankarm, and chainrings and is compatible with 9/16-inch pedals. This black bicycle crankset has a square taper weighing 772 grams, which can be used on a single-speed mountain road bike or a fixed-gear bicycle.
- Removable chain ring
- Lightweight component
- Easy to install
- Good-quality material
- Paint may chip off
- Threads may be flimsy
The narrow-wide tooth single-speed crankset from Ganopper is compatible with 9, 10, and 11 speed 1X systems. It comes with a 24T threaded bottom bracket type and is pocket-friendly. The crankset produces no noise, facilitates smooth installation, and includes quality bearings. It weighs approximately 622g and can give your bike a competitive edge over others.
- High-quality steel
- Works with 9/16-inch pedal size
- Includes a direct-mount chainring
- Rod may be short
- Arm may seem flimsy
The nine-speed, triple crankset has melt-forged arms in either square taper or octalink bottom bracket options. It features steel chainrings and a 50mm chain line with a 113mm spindle. The crankset is compatible with most bike designs and has replaceable chainrings, allowing you to use a narrow-wide ring in time.
- Compatible with eight-speed cassette
- Easy to install
- Helps add more gear ratio
- Threads may seem flimsy
- May bend while downshifting
The high-quality track/fixie crankset from Vuelta fits well with any 108mm BB spindle. It does not make a creaking noise and works perfectly on a 7X speed bike. The bicycle chainset has a shiny and highly polished appearance and looks even better with a pair of black candies. The design and quality of the crank arms have no mechanical flaws or issues. This chainset is easy to mount, moves and turns the chain smoothly, giving an impressive performance like a higher-end crank.
- Suitable for daily commute bikes
- Durable crankset
- High-quality paint
- Threading may get damaged eventually
- Chain may need to be tightened often
How To Choose The Right Crankset?
While the right crankset can improve performance and provide an overall comfortable ride, the wrong one can make you work harder. So, consider these factors before purchasing a crankset for your bike.
- Budget: The first thing to consider when buying a crankset is the budget. Start by analyzing how much you want to spend as per your needs and sort out the options accordingly. If you don’t use your bike often, it is better to invest in a crankset that does not burn a hole in your pocket.
- Material: While solid forged-alloy cranks are the cheapest option, they’re quite heavy. The drilled or hollow molded alloy cranks, on the other hand, are quite fashionable but don’t necessarily perform well. The top ones are made of carbon, which is even lighter. Choose one as per your preferences. Ensure to choose cranksets that are suitable for your most-frequented terrain and those that can also withstand the test of time and resist rust.
- Chainrings: Usually, a road bike has two chainrings, and a mountain bike can have one, two, or three–usually the mid and high range bikes come with one chainring and the cheaper ones with two or three. Know which bike you have, and how many chainrings it has in its crankset. Also, count the teeth on the chain rings before purchasing the crankset. It enables you to know the size of the chainrings. For instance, 52 teeth for the big one and 36 teeth are for the small chain rings.
- Weight: If you’re a cross-country/trail rider who is not into jumping or doing big drops, or a road cyclist who likes to climb then you should go for a lightweight crank. However, you must note that the lighter you go, the more careful you’ll have to be.
- Quality assurance: Opt for cranksets that have been rigorously field-tested to ensure quality and durability. Moreover, consider cranksets manufactured by trusted brands.
Jordi Sadurni, a sports scientist and cycling coach, says, “There are various types of chain sets to choose from – standard, compact, semi-compact, and sub-compact. Compact and semi-compact chainsets are the default options for road bikes. A compact chainset is the first choice for most cyclists and the best option for those who want to go up steep hills. The standard 53-39 teeth chainring is advised for high-level cyclists or for cycling mainly on flat roads. A semi-compact chain set is ideal for most types of terrain or for medium or advanced level riders.”
He adds, “The usual chainring size is 32 teeth for a mountain bike, with some riders opting for a 30 or 34, depending on terrain or cassette sprockets. Larger sizes are generally reserved for high-level or professional mountain bikers.”
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the crankset of a bike?
The crankset or chainset is the round wheel-like component to which the pedals and chain are attached. It’s responsible for converting your foot’s pedaling motion to the rotational motion of the tires via the chain.
2. Do bike cranks make a difference?
Yes, the crank lengths and the format—single, double, or triple drivetrains—have a great influence on your posture and the pressure required by you while pedaling.
3. How do I know what crankset I need?
Selecting the right crankset depends on the size of your bike, your height, and the terrain you are planning to ride on. In general, a 172.5mm length crankset is an expert-approved option for most mid-sized bikes meant for road use. Using longer cranks could limit your ground clearance, thus making them ideal for bigger bikes.
4. Do all cranksets fit all bikes?
Since not all cranksets are compatible with all chainrings, not every crankset might fit every sort of bike. This is because varied cranksets have different numbers of direct-mount interfaces and positioning systems.
5, Will shorter cranks help my knees?
It is said that 165mm short cranks can help reduce knee, back, and hip pain induced from bike riding since they offer a more aerodynamic riding posture and fluid pedaling.
6. Do carbon cranks make a difference?
The major difference between carbon steel and aluminum cranks is that the former are comparatively lighter but do not influence the bikes’ performance in a significant way.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Wedetso Chirhah, our in-house product writer and reviewer who loves recommending the best products to his readers. In this article, he has compiled a list of the best cranksets that will take your bike riding experience to a new level. While preparing the list, Wedetso has included best-selling products that can suit your budget and needs after evaluating different options and user reviews. In addition, he has highlighted every product’s features and has explained in detail what you should keep in mind before buying a crankset.
The best bike cranksets can help you upgrade the look and functioning of your bike. Further, it lets you crank up the speed and make your ride seem more customized. Given the different types of cranksets available in the market, choosing the right one involves considering your budget, the chainrings, the crankset’s weight, and the material of the parts. The options listed here can help you find the one that suits your bike’s requirements perfectly. Our top recommendations include the Shimano FC-TY501 for high-speed pedaling and trekking and the Sram S300 Courier Crankset for better power transmission, which enables smoother spinning.
Infographic: How To Choose The Right Bike Crankset?
A good crankset in your bike provides smooth and improved cycling performance. So, if your bike needs a change of crankset, explore the tips in the infographic below. Knowing these will help you choose the right crankset for your bike.