Strengths: Durability, simplicity, lots of gearing options.
Weaknesses: availability of parts is sometimes a pain.
If you have a choice between the RS8 and RS7 cranks, I would go with the RS7's due to the fact they are much stiffer than the RS8's. These cranks are durable, and come with lots of options in gearing and setup to accommodate anything a rider wants to do. Availability of Middle burn rings and spiders can sometimes be a pain, and I have been waiting for shops to restock parts for months now with no luck. Rings last forever but are a bit "thicker" than most chainrings. There is a bit of flex in the crank arms. I also have a set of Shimano XT M760 cranks that are much stiffer than these, but the Q factor is a joke on the Shimano cranks. I am currently waiting for stores to restock duo parts, for I am changing out my entire drivetrain on all my bikes to a double chainring when parts are actually available. The worst part of these cranks is the self extracting crank bolts- waste of money. The crank bolts cause a lot of creaking, and are not worth it. Chainring bolts have exploded on me in races as well, so I opt for steel instead of the aluminum bolts and have had no issues since. Chainrings are about 30% more expensive than anything else non-Shimano out there, so the value rating is a 4 for that in addition to the lack of spares at any stores to replace old parts.
Bike Setup: Kona Kula Supreme, Phil Wood Titanium BB
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 9, 2009
Strengths: Build quality, looks, options, strong as you like.
Weaknesses: Not really.
Middleburn make awesome cranks. Period.
I have two sets of RS7 arms, one with an Uno ring, the other with a Duo spider/rings. The Uno (32t)sees most use, either SS or 1x9 and it laps it all up. Never slips, never sucks, even the non-Hardcoat ring lasts forever. Duo (29t/42t) is great for when I need those lower gears for going up hills, but is still uber-light, and the shift is great with the Slickshift outer ring. I can swap between the two in five minutes (plus fitting the front mech of course), everything just fits together like a dream. And the self-extracing crank bolts are great because they use a 6mm allen key, not 8mm like most (so you can fit and remove trailside with a normal multitool if you need to).
from sedona arizona usa
Date Reviewed: March 3, 2009
Strengths: Strong, stiff, svelt & sexy.
Weaknesses: Hard to find in usa.
These cranks r da bomb! I have abused these cranks for 10+(yes ten) years and apart from them being scuffed & scratched to sh#t and the middleburn engraving half worn out I have not had a single problem. PERIOD. I only weigh 160lbs, but I ride HARD. I have riden the piss out of them on several different bikes for 10 straight years! I have used them to race pro XC/DH/Super D over this time period. I've hit up to 20ft drops. Basically I have shown these cranks no mercy & they just keep coming back for more. They don't cry or whine or behave weakly at all. I have probably killed more than 10 frames during the time I've used these cranks, from XC race bikes to DH/FR monsters. I heard the cranks were put on a test machine and they killed it too!(the machine broke before the cranks were even damaged). I recomend these cranks to anyone and for every style of riding. they are the bollocks. Recognise & respect.
Strengths: Slender, liht weight, extremely durable and stiff.
Weaknesses: None! Cranks either bend or break and these havent so NO WEAKNESS!
I have been beating on these things stupid hard and no failures as of yet. I was thinking about buying another set originally so when these go Id have spares. No need, I have dropped countless times to flat latest one is 9' up and 35' out to a REALLY HARD landing. Enough that I go OOOHMF! and people around say they can hear it. I weigh 230lbs before coffee and clothes so Im not light at all.
I ride DH/FR and huck urban, I have blown 6 chains, 2 chainrings got teeth ripped off, X0 derailurre pulley got split in 2 from down pressure during pedaling, broke a frame, 4 whelsets (rims) and bent a set of bars, smashed a set of pedals beyond use and the cranks are still strong, straight and stiff!
Similar Products Used: Race face shore, XTs, diabolous, FSA gravity DH, holzfeller
Bike Setup: Canfield Jedi
from Johnson City, TN
Date Reviewed: June 3, 2008
Strengths: -Beautiful -Light -Strong -Can use internal bearing BB's (external is crap) long live internals! -Beautiful
Weaknesses: They are so good looking I feel bad using them and wearing the finish down.
I got the black RS7s with a red spider. I am using red BMX chainring bolts. I decided that the RS7s were a better deal than the RS8s for me. 25 grams is nothing, and the guarantee and strength are pluses. A crankset guaranteed for DH and Tandems, that is light enough to race XC on? That's what I'm talking about!
I have absolutely ZERO complaints with these things. XC race bikes are delicate machines that need to be fussed over and maintained constantly. It's nice to have one less thing to worry about. The only problem is, I wear that beautiful black finish off when I ride! Ach! Since I got the black ones, the wear is slightly more obvious than if I had gotten the silver. But those things are eye candy.
- The RS7's are beautiful, durable, light workhorses. +1 from me.
Bike Setup: KHS XC Team, these cranks, XTR brakes etc, Speedplay Frogs, Kenda Tires, Thomson goodies, all the good light, reliable things
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 9, 2007
Strengths: Light, nice detail, finally something different from shimano, fsa and race face.
Weaknesses: the only weakness is that i din't find them sooner
these cranks do the job as good or better than any other high end crank on the market, but what makes them so cool is that when ever yo go to hit the trails you dont see 20 people with the same crank as you. At least not here in texas, most people here hav not even heard of middleburn which is a shame.
Bike Setup: cannondale with lots of secret super light and super fast goodies
a Weekend Warrior
from Marin, CA
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2007
Strengths: Light, well designed, stiff, easy to install.
Weaknesses: 180mm don't come in black. None that I can think of.
Using 180mm cranks with compact spider and a 30t chainring on my 1x9 setup. Impressed by the stiffness of these cranks, seem as stiff as my old XT's. Love the numerous gearing and spider options available, you can tell that the folks at Middleburn ACTUALLY ride bikes and sometimes require options (what a concept). A very well thought out design, both functionally and asthetically. I just love the way they look, but better yet, love the way they perform. I tend to lots of standing uphill climbs and they have always gotten the job done. Very Clyde-worthy. They are perhaps the most appreciated/valued component on my bike.
I'm using FSA chainring bolts and have had no troubles yet.
Will add that Alex at MTB tandems worked with me and was very patient with all my questions/changes. He will definitely give you top-notch service. Highly reccomended.
a Cross Country Rider
from Cleveland, OH, USA
Date Reviewed: April 1, 2007
Strengths: These are strong, stiff, and light. There was also a good selection for different drivetrain set-ups.
Weaknesses: None yet.
I usually scoff at people who give rave reviews after only 3 mo.'s... hardly a real test. But really, if they make it past 3 mo.'s, they will prob'ly last for years. This is an old-school MTB: My personal [low-maintenance] preference. I needed to replace 5x94mm Cook Bros. square-taper E-cranks with something comparable. The Middleburns are stiffer, but a tad heavier. For me, I could've gotten by with the RS-8's (I'm 185#, but I don't do big air very well), but the LIFETIME WARRANTY on the RS-7's was a big selling pt. The available crank/spider combos for every application was another HUGE selling point for me (square, ISIS, compact spider, etc). I'm sure these will outlast the bike. Go with the RS-8's if you're a weight weenie and you're not clumsy.
Similar Products Used: These replaced my old Cook Bros. E-cranks.
Bike Setup: 20-32-44 Vuelta compact x 11-32 XT on a Stumpy w/Surly Instgator fork, King hubs, V-brakes. I am also using Ti crank bolts (1st pressed on and torqued with a Cro-Mo bolt, then swapped)
a Cross Country Rider
from Phoenix, AZ
Date Reviewed: February 6, 2007
Strengths: Haven't used these for very long, but here are some first impressions. Great construction quality, unique style, and light. I have the uno ring anodized in red which looks super sweet with black arms. This combined with a phil wood ti spindle square taper BB make for a very light set up. Awesome!!!
Weaknesses: The Middleburn crank bolts suck! I'm running a single speed set up and could not make it through a two hour ride without the crank bolts coming so loose my crank was wobbling. Same the money and get some regular old heavy ones.
Awesome crank arms and rings, well worth the money!! Save your money on the crank bolts and buy from Alex at mtbtandems.com They are great to work with!!!!
Bike Setup: Gunnar Ruffian 29er, Pace Carbon Rigid Fork, Middleburn RS7 Uno crank, Flyte Ti Seatpost, Terry Fly Saddle, Stans Olympic 29er SS wheelset, Surly Cogs, King Headset, Easton Monkey Lite SL Riser Bar, Bontrager Stem
a Cross Country Rider
from Hartville, OH USA
Date Reviewed: January 8, 2007
Strengths: These cranks are nice and very versatile and allow you to run a large number of gear combonations. I run them with a duo spider and can go down to a 29th chain ring for lower gearing on the 29'ers. Very stiff with the ISIS bottom bracket.
Weaknesses: None yet
Buy this crank and buy it from Alex at MTBTandems.com He's a good ole' wild eyed southern boy that really knows his tandem stuff.
a Cross Country Rider
from Dallas, TX USA
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2006
Strengths: Light, stiff, and very well made.
Weaknesses: Self-extracting bolts cause creaking and are not worth the money.
Great cranks. I have a set of slick shift rings and ragular rings from Middleburn, and there is absolutely no difference in shifting. Get regular rings, and you will be able to get a few more gear combinations out of your setup. Slickshifts caused a little too much chain rub on my bike for what I like.
Self-extracting bolt are terrible. Cause a lot of creaking and noise with the cranks, so I installed regular crank bolts back in and now the noise is completely gone. Compared to XT cranks, these cranks are sit a bit closer to the bike (about 2-3mm), so you might need a slightly longer bottom bracket to get teh chainline right. My old 94 LX cranks used a 113 lienth for 50mm chainline, but the Middleburns require a longer BB length of 117 or 118mm to get the same line.
I have used these cranks for over 3 years for trials. Not one problem with them,I first bought the sqauare taper version which has now made it onto the ss with the uno ring on it. Even the square taper version is stiffer than most isis cranks ive used. I now have the isis version on the trials bike and it has performed flawlessly. Like the warranty, these cranks will last a lifetime. Just keep them tight.
A lightweight, smooth shifting, stiff, reliable crankset. Mine is a Duo model 42x26, weighs around 550g, shifts as good or better than anything I've owned. To me, the feel is similar to the Race Face Turbine in terms of stiffness but the shifting is just a tad quicker. A little less stiff perhaps than the FSA Carbon Team Issue cranks but those sometimes seemed a little harsh, probably due to the aluminum core inside the arms. Still, I wouldn't attribute the increased comfort to flex, as the Turner frame is super stiff and mercilessly exposes any components unworthy of its pedigree (3rd wheelset is on its way!). Additionally, I've found the 42/26 setup works great paired with an 11-32 cogset on Illinois/Wisconsin trails. No need for a true granny around here, and the ratios work well together i.e. you don't feel an excessive increase in resistance going from 6 to 7 in the back like you might with a 44 up front. You also don't stretch your chain out doing big ring/big cog combinations because the chainline variance is much narrower. Bonus! Got mine online from Chain Reaction Cycles, who charges flat shipping fees based on specific weight ranges; keep this in mind when ordering and remember the UK has a different import duty structure than the US so sometimes you can get Japanese and Italian stuff at far lower prices than we see in the US. You just might want to stock up on a few things. Overall, these do everything an XC rider needs exceptionally well. 5 flamers all the way 'round, because as one UK reviewer so eloquently put it, these are the dog's bollocks.
Similar Products Used: FSA carbon team (nice) Race Face Turbine ISIS (also nice) Bonty somethings w/ integrated BB (decent) Shimano 950 series XTR (decent +++)
Bike Setup: Turner Flux, Fox F100RLT, King, Thomson, awesome, etc.
don't worry about it
from Connecticut, USA
Date Reviewed: June 7, 2005
Strengths: looks good. works good. light. lifetime garuntee that i've never had to take them up on.
Weaknesses: of course i'd like it if they were cheaper, but who am i kidding, i'd buy another set in a second.
anyone who can appreciate stiff, efficient, and durable cranks should buy these...notice I DIDN'T SAY anyone who wants cool looking cranks or wants to drop some grams from the bike they never ride. these are the best cranks i've ever owned. like chris king to headsets, i see no reason to buy anything else. they're light. they're super stiff. they look hot. i have them on my rigid single speed mtb, my xc race bike, and my downhill rig--and they've never done me wrong. i'm bummed because there is currently no distributor in the u.s. and i want to put together another bike...Middleburn, if you can hear me, hook me up.
Similar Products Used: xt/xtr/race face/cook bros/fsa/dura ace/ritchey/extralight...the list goes on and on.
Bike Setup: i'm a junky, so i'll spare you.
a Cross Country Rider
from Munich, Germany
Date Reviewed: May 24, 2005
Strengths: Beautifully machined and very strong, lots of spider options, anklebone friendly, 180 mm Isis for singlespeed!!!
There was a time when companies like Shimano did excellent products of high quality and finish, similar to Middleburn. Now the parts look ugly and the finish is very poor. Everything is concentrated on cheap production. Even Race Face has lost his path... Parts like Middleburn cranks are a revelation in the business... Eat sushi but forget about Shimano!
I just can't seem to get these two to work together. With the largest spacer's installed, the crank arms will rub up hard against both the top and bottom guide. Remove the spacers and having the guide mounted flush I'll loose the chain line and the ring comes up hard against the inner top guide. A ... Read More »
Ik bought an Middleburn RS7 crank that I want to use with a 2x10 (Shimano shifters, front 24x36 and rear 11x38) setup. I have seen some stories that the Middleburn chain rings are not compatible with a 10 speed setup and causing chain suck. Also CRC only sells the Middleburn rings with a note, only ... Read More »
I know these things have been around for ever and are really good in terms of strength-to-weight ratio... However, after you add in the weight of the bottom bracket to the equation the scale doesn't really seem to favor this setup all that much. SKF BB are almost 300g! Are there any new light weig ... Read More »
I like to run a 2x9 setup with 26 or 27T Inner and 38T Outer chain rings on my 29er.
I am looking for a clean and quality setup with good chain line. Here are a couple of options I am looking at. Does anyone have experience with either? Please help.
A) Middleburn RS7 Duo cranks with Phi ... Read More »
looking at the rs7 for a do it all bike? what do you think,
i ride all mountain and fr, dh, weight is 220,
i dont race nor will i start,
its this or an santa curz nomad with a 170 mm coil fork and a coil rear shock...
help me decide on the two bikesRead More »