Les manivelles Trialtech SL au banc d’essai !
Las bielas Trialtech SL al banco de pruebas !

Test: the Trialtech SL cranks

Tuesday 9 July 2013
by Ben Swales
popularity : 11%

PNG - 114.6 kb Trialtech’s reputation for quality is well known. They started out five years ago with their Sport range, which can now be seen on trials bikes the world over, thanks to their quality, reliability, affordability and great looks. They soon added to this the Sport Light and SL ranges, for those riders looking to save weight on their bike and still look good.. Their SL Ti bashring is almost omnipresent on the comp scene; it’s a work of art whose low weight and great looks make it a must-have for the discerning ’weight weenie’. Trialtech’s top-end SL range has been refreshed over the last few months, with the addition of a carbon handlebar (which we will be testing in the near future) and, more recently, an ISIS BB with Ti axle and some forged cranks (The new Trialtech SL BB and cranks).

We really liked the look of these new cranks and decided to put a pair to the test. At a glance, they resemble the Try All forged cranks, benchmark in light cranks, or the very similar Rockman cranks. But what if you look more closely? Our expert parts tester Greg’ Soignon, who has already tested all of the cranks currently available on the market for Tribal Zine et Trial Mag, gives a more detailed examination, comparing them to the ever-popular Try-All forged cranks and the well-known Trialtech Sport cranks for reference. Of course, he’s also fitted them to his bike and gives us his impressions after two months of testing...

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JPEG - 161.8 kb Taking these magnificent forged cranks out of their custom SL box, he wasn’t disappointed by their looks. The finish is superb, with a very fine silver anodised surface. The elegant and original shape give a real sense of personality - the curves definitely set these cranks apart from the more basic lines of their competitors. The 7050 aluminium used in the construction of these hollow forged cranks is well-known for its strength and robustness. The threaded are on the drive-side arm is perfectly dimensioned to allow a freewheel and bashring to be fitted. The machining has been done extremely, no smears, scratches or handling marks, and the logo quality is very good. It’s a shame that there is no washer for the pedal interface, neither as part of the carnk, nor in the box; certain models of pedal could damage the crank arm as a result. We were also quite surprised not to find a Trialtech logo anywhere on the crank, just the classy SL logo. On the other hand, this is a small complaint since for most riders the logo wil not remain visible for long - regular riding will soon see it rubbed off by the feet.

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The obligatory kitchen scales weigh-in gives a wight of 457g for the pair (we’re testing the 175mm version), a feather weight in the same category as the Try-All and Rockman cranks and a good 100g or so lighter than ’classic’ cranks such as the Trialtech Sports or Try-All Experts.

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Spot the difference... The SLs with the Trialtech Sport and the benchmark top-of-the-range Try-All cranks. The SL’s have obviously taken some inspiration from the Try-Alls, with a fairly similar hollow back and rib pattern. They are, however, much wider at the bottom bracket end, tapering towards the pedal. It’s a shape that is pleasing to the eye but that also has a nice funtional effect - helping to keep the crank away from rocks and other obstacles, with a very low-profile pedal end.

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The offset of the SL cranks, in terms of distance from HS33 calipers, measures exactly the same at the Try-Alls using the ’Tribal Vernier’. That is to say, there is between 4mm and 6mm clearance on both sides, which is ideal.

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’In the field’, we epxected there to be a bit of flex in the crank, given how slim the pedal end is, but there is no movement whatsoever. In terms of stiffness, the best cranks that we’ve tested have been, without a doubt, the Try-Alls, and the SLs are easily a stiff. We were pleasantly surprised; these are extremely stiff cranks that optimise transmission response and riding precision. We pressed down on them like madmen and they didn’t budge, unlike other cranks that we’ve tested in the past.

In conclusion, these cranks sit happily at the top of the best trials cranks on the market and are an excellent choice for those riders that want to lighten their rides while optimising performance and improving the look of their bike. Sexy looks and maximum stiffness, tested and approved by Tribal Zine!

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