New to the UK this year is this crank, and other parts, from German company BOR. It's claimed to be both the lightest and the most versatile crank system on the market.
The driving force behind BOR is a fella called Boris Latsch, who formerly worked for German lightweight parts specialist Tune. Latsch struck out on his own in 2007 to make a tyre sealant, then decided that what the world really needed was a crank and axle system that would work with any frame.
The resulting Smart Spindle System is compatible with just about any of the bottom bracket standards you care to name, and is available in double, triple and even power meter versions.
As Latsch puts it, the idea is that you can “take your crankset to your next frame, especially if it's f**king expensive," like a power meter crank.
The Smart Spindle System achieves this versatility by using a fat aluminium axle with wide bearing seat surfaces so that all that's needed to fit bottom brackets from good old 68mm up to Shimano's 92mm Press Fit is the right adapters and spacers. The selection includes 73mm threaded, BB30, BB386EVO, and Specialized's BB85 among others.
But the system's not just versatile, it's light too. The double crank you see here is intended for 29ers, so has a 22-tooth inner ring and a 36 outer with a claimed weight of 575g without bearing kit. For a 68mm bottom bracket, the bearings and adapters weigh 98g, and that's the heaviest option.
Latsch is quite a character and is refreshingly honest about both himself – he admits he's not an engineer, but gets engineers to realise his ideas – and his company. “We didn't try to invent everything," he says, confessing that the idea for saving weight by threading chainring bolts into the chainring came from SRAM.
“I'm like a music fan who has ended up in a band," says Latsch.
The Smart Spindle System is also used by Tune. BOR and Tune collaborated on the design, with Tune putting in a large enough initial order that Latsch could afford the necessary CNC set up to get it off the ground.
For more on BOR components see the English version of the BOR website.
BOR components are available in the UK from Velobrands.