From Cycle EXIF’s technical correspondent, Richard Gearing. This review has been a long time in the making — not because of laziness, writer’s block or through struggling to know what say, but through plainly and simply forgetting. I’ll come onto why I consider that to be a good thing later…
I’d been keeping an eye on the development of Turn’s range of cranks for a while as I had a feeling the quality would be pretty good, based on the people behind them. Turn is a ‘second brand’ from the folks at Praxis Works — considered by many to be the only aftermarket chainrings worth considering.
On receipt, and subsequent speedy installation, of the M30 Zayante cranks and matching M30 BB, my instincts were proven to be bang on. Immaculate production finishing, impeccable quality, solid construction and no nonsense assembly all add up to a smooth, creak-free setup that feels positively bomb proof.
And that’s why I forgot about them.
There’s nothing in the shift quality of the supplied Praxis (obviously) chainrings to make you fret about why you’re using something aftermarket. There’s no flex anywhere in the setup to make you question your choice of such critical components. The bottom bracket is whisper quiet and smooth as butter, and never makes you doubt it’s calibre. At around $300 (US), even the dent in your wallet will leave less of a lasting mark. They’re about as ‘fit and forget’ as an aftermarket crank and BB can be.
Weight-wise, they don’t exactly sparkle if minimising the grammage of your ride is what flicks your switches, but as the saying goes: “strong, light, cheap: pick two”. Besides which they’re not exactly porky, reportedly (I didn’t weigh mine) coming in a touch above Shimano Ultegra at circa 790g.
In a move which I’m sure is far from unplanned, they look the goods too. Let’s not underestimate the importance of this on a site that was born through appreciating the beauty of the bicycle.
They’re as simple to install as any other crank I’ve tried, and far easier than many. Switching them to another bike was a doddle — the big 8mm hex bolt acting a self-extractor to pop the non-drive side crank arm off. The 8mm hex key and a wrench for the BB cups (assuming you’re running BSA, BB30 or PF30) are all that isn’t supplied with the full chainset and BB purchase — two BB installation sockets come with the M30 BB to help you get yourself sorted.
Taking the ‘second brand’ approach is an interesting one from Praxis, but in this case it works well. Had the cranks not worked as a proposition in their own right it avoids them impacting on the much renowned Praxis brand. It also gives the cranks an opportunity to stand alone in the marketplace and, in a sense, develop their own solid reputation regardless of any chainring affiliation that potential customers might have (although they are supplied with Praxis rings as standard).
Available with M30 BBs to suit most options — PF30, BB30, Specialized OSBB, BSA and BB86 — you shouldn’t have any issues mounting these regardless of the frameset you run (Cervélo’s BBRight solution is a gap here, but I think you could resolve that using the standard press fit BB with a drive side spacer of the correct width). They’re good looking, beautifully made and faultless in function — probably all the kinds of features that drove the industry behemoth that is Specialized to spec them as OEM on many of their 2015 bike range.
As an aside, for those of an MTB persuasion Turn also offer the ‘Girder’ — their off-road M30 twin brother of the Zayante.