With all the big noise in chainsets being outboard bearing this and integrated axle that, it’s easy to forget that most of us are still happily riding around on more traditional cranks. Ritchey’s Pro Mountain V crank is a lightweight ISIS chainset, sitting near the top of the Ritchey heirarchy (only the WCS stuff is above it).
It’s certainly light. Cranks, rings and bolts come in at 650g. Add in the bolts and a bottom bracket of similar quality and you’re looking at somewhere around 900g, not far off the weight of a new-fangled XT HT II setup.
The arms save weight by the simple method of being quite slimline. They’re cold-forged, so should be durable. A hollowed-out area where the crank arm broadens out towards the axle gets rid of some excess material. They also come with pedal washers to prevent fretting damage at the pedal eye, which is a welcome (and increasingly commonplace) touch.
Rings are hard-wearing 7075 aluminium and are equipped with a selection of ramps and pins to ensure smooth shifting. The days when the shifting of Shimano rings was an order of magnitude better than anything else are gone – most of the rival chainset manufacturers can turn in a more than respectable shifting performance, and Ritchey is no exception.
This is very much a lightweight XC chainset in the classic mould. It’s inevitable that a solid, slimline crank arm is going to be less stiff than a big hollow one, but while riding these and Hollowtech II cranks back-to-back reveals a discernible difference, the Ritchey offering certainly isn’t noodly.
The only real question mark is the ISIS system itself. The splined crank/BB interface is foolproof, stiff and reliable but lots of riders seem to have trouble with bearing life. Plenty don’t, though, and if you’re one of them and you’re looking for a weight-saving replacement crank, the Ritchey Pro is well worth a look.
Light, sleek, decent performance
Beaten on stiffness by integrated systems
If you don’t have any problems with ISIS BBs and you’re looking for a lightweight XC crank, the Ritchey Pro should be on the shortlist. But we suspect that a lot of people will be tempted to go the extra mile for an integrated crank/BB system.