Strengths: Incredible strong, longer lengths than normal, very flexible for set up
Weaknesses: Bearings, bottom braket
These are awesome cranks, built with great foresight, for riders who demanded something stronger and longer than was being offered in the market. Since it was a small shop, they couldn't offer the manufacturing of a multi billion $ corp like shimano. So they are tubular steel, hand welded, with some small imperfections.
Unfortunately, in the 20+ years since their inception, the market STILL doesn't offer any good alternatives. So, I keep on using them.
The new Dura Ace / XTR is nice, but now, "Can I get it in 195 mm?". Probably not, I'm convinced cranks don't come longer because the manufacturers are concerned about breakage due to increased stress.
I'm 6'3", 200 lbs and even in the biggest sprints I can't flex these at all. I have 195mm cranks on 3 different bikes and have been using Bullseye's for over 15 years. (In one case, the same crank has > 50,000 km on it). It has been stripped and repainted several times. The spider is all drilled out and it weighs about the same as the D/A
I like being able swap the spiders and get any chainring combination under the sun. If I want to run a 54/38/28 for the French Alps, I can do it.
The downsides is that Bullseye has closed shop and parts are hard to come by.
The standard BB arrangement is a huge PITA. Toss it. I spoke to Roger Durham who knows the problem, but given the oversized axel (and since you can't increase the BB shell diameter) you end up with very small bearings.
The solution is to toss the BB and use a new Dura Ace one. Get a set of shims from desperadocycles.com, polish up your axel and slide it in. I have about 5000k on this setup, with absolutely no slop, wiggle, or squeeks. I can't flex this at all. And very low maintainence.
My riding buddies still can't figure out how I can spin as fast as them but out power them on big hills.
Despite some the issues (all of which a solvable), I absolutely love these cranks.
Similar Products Used: Shimano, Campy, TA, Profile,
Bike Setup: Klein quantum Pro crit bike, Quantum TT setup Klein Attitude race. Ok....I know there a theme here. :)
a Cross Country Rider
from Seattle, WA
Date Reviewed: June 20, 2005
Strengths: Arms are rugged, distinctive looks, legendary name.
Weaknesses: Bearing problems, arms rust, slooooow customer service
There are at least two reasons to get Bullseye cranks: - arms up to 225mm long - retro cool, distinctive looks (new Shimano XT/XTR is a Bullseye rip-off once the patents expired!)
There are many reasons to avoid: - uses nonstandard bearing size, not available from anybody else at any price - old radial-contact bearings run loose or else they wear out; new angular-contact bearings get loose with very little use, have to re-tighten - both old and new bearings have poor seals and bearings self-destruct when exposed to the elements; might self-destruct anyway - bearings not cheap, either - uses fractional-inch fasteners and -- all common bike tools are metric; similarly, bb cups use not a standard bike wrench - the grease system gets grease all over your ankle - customer service is slow at best - powder coating is tough, but not that tough -- it wears off and the cranks rust - cannot change the spindle length (true of all 2-piece cranks) - stiffness, strength, and durability are probably much better than what was available in 1985, but today stiff and strong cranks are available from other makers - not a lot of ankle/heel cleareance (spindle sticks out far compared to other cranks).
One reviewer complained about lack of space between chainrings and arm -- you can put washers under the spider plate for more space.
One reviewer complained about the ankle biter end bolt, get a flat head Allen (with bevel under the head) and a flat washer. You'll need to get fractional inch but the Allen fits a 5mm wrench too and it won't bite your ankle. It will still rub, though.
I like Bullseye cranks but it's an art thing not a performance thing. I do not recommend them if you are looking for the technically best product unless you need long arms, in which case these are the only product -- get lots of extra bearing sets though.
Bike Setup: Used Bullseye and Tiogas (and briefly square-taper) on beater/city/utility bike for 10+ years of semi-regular but not thrasher riding. Maybe 1,000+km/yr on these cranks, now on 3rd set of bearings.
a Cross Country Rider
from Malibu, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 30, 2005
Strengths: These are the only cranks that I can get in any length. I've tried 190 mm, 205 mm, and 210 mm. Used the 190's on my road bike. Currently using the 210's on my MTB. The physics is clear: longer cranks = more torque. My hill climb times are cut by 5% going from 175 mm to 210 mm. Never had a failure.
Weaknesses: Bearings wear out in about 3,000 km. Get some spares.
CrMo cranks that don't flex. More length = more torque = better climbing. I'd never use any other cranks. My inseam is 34" and the 210 mm cranks work fine. Adjust your crank length proportionatly. Been using these for 20 years and haven't had any problems with the cranks. And can still get the high cadence when needed. Also haven't had any problems with my knees, which was a worry initially due to the ergonometric issues. I just run my seat at the right height to get proper leg extension. I've won hillclimbs because of these cranks. As of 2005 these are still in production.
This is a review of both the road & mtn crankset. Let's begin with the directions where, laughably, you're asked to drill a 1/4" hole in the bottom bracket shell, thereby voiding every frame manufacturer's warranty bar none. Then, you're given a small collection of rubber O rings (to be used as spacers which wear immediately & were later replaced with washers), 2 pieces of newspaper-thin shavings of plastic (bearing seals, utterly worthless), 2 no-load bearings (eastern european)& a small, leaky tube of Locktite. (My skepticism grew with each step of the directions I followed.) After assembling the unit, I noticed that the shifting was poor & the clearance between the arm & large ring was too narrow to allow the crank's turning without the arm hitting the derailleur due to the "slop" that's mandated by the directions. I called their number & the guy told me that the slop is essential & if it's tightened the bearings will fail. So, I put up with lousy performance for several months but the bearings crapped out anyway. Went to my LBS & coughed up $50 for replacements, they failed shortly afterward. Called Bullseye & was told that the BB shell needed to be faced. Had my LBS do that & install the new bearings to the tune of $115. Bearings crapped out again, were replaced while I carefully followed directions & now they're gone again after roughly 2000 miles. Also, the slop that you're asked to put up with generates nearly twice the chain, ring & cog wear that a standard crank will. So, after 3 years of creaking down the road on these things I've come to my senses. I have to admit that I was warned by my LBS to go with the Shimano line (you can now get XTR or D/A with BB for the cost of these cranks). Lastly, the warranty on this crank is one year. That's how much confidence Bullseye has in their product. In the immortal words of the comic book guy on the Simpsons, "Worst cranks ever".
a Weekend Warrior
from New Zealand
Date Reviewed: February 7, 2002
Strengths: Tough and secure on the bike, very rigid and retro looking compared to available products now. powdercoating hasn't worn off
Weaknesses: bottom bracket bearings have worn out and can't get any replacements in new zealand. seals didn't repel mud that well
I have used this bike a lot in the past and was happy with the cranks then. They were brought new in '94 and used from frame to frame until '01 and the bearings finally died as they were put onto the new GT. I had repacked the bearings and maintained the cranks periodically and also replaced the seals but still the cranks filled up with muck. In this time I had ridden a long way and I am happy with the performance of them. The ugly hex bolt that the cranks are held down with had caused a couple of skinned ankles and could be improved on. If I could find some new bottom bracket cups that could cure the excessive play caused by scoured bearing cups then I would still be using them. Buy these cranks if you live in a dry climate or you want your bike to look better
Similar Products Used: suntour and shimano bottom brackets, klein bottom bracket, various shimano cranks (XT, DX, Deore)
Bike Setup: retro '91 scott proracing, Mavic paris to dakar wheels, pauls brakes, SS5 levers, mission control bar and stem, old Xt thumbshifters and drivetrain 7s, grafton ti pedals, specialized ground control tires
a Cross Country Rider
from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Date Reviewed: January 1, 2002
Strengths: I have been riding these cranks for ten years. They have outlasted four frames. I even run them on my tandem. You can order them in any length in 2mm increments. By far the strongest for the weight. You can feel the difference when you climb. Ideal for singlespeeds.
I cannot believe more people are not using this product. Especially people who ride singlespeeds. I swapped my Redline cranks for bullseyes on my monocog and it made a world of difference. I can climb the hills I previously had to walk. I have used Bullseye cranks and hubs for a decade now and cannot see any reason to change. Ride On!!!
Bike Setup: Fat City Cycles Yo Eddy, Girvin pro Carbon, XT, Bullseye hubs and cranks
from zagreb, croatia
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2001
Strengths: STRONG, simple, light and indestructible
These are the best and by far the strongest cranks I have ever tried. Bought them more than 10 years ago, required some minor work around the seals, but they are great. Love the 178 mm length. I use 20 28 38 setup using the old 6 bolt pattern, that they used... Great for uphills... I remember guys from Shimano having a loong look around the bike, when I was at a NORBA/GRUNDING world cup race in the US some 10 years ago... I remember seeing bullseye cranks with all the paint worn off, ant they still went strong
Looking to change out my crankset. I ride singlespeed and really don't see the point of buying a double or triple, removing the ring(s) and than try to sell them.
Makes more sense to me to buy a dedicated SS crankset, unless someone can convince me otherwise.
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I currently have a 3X9 (22,32,42) setup on Truvativ Noir crankset on my Santa Cruz Blur LTc. I am replacing my 2 inner rings with the same sizes (22 and 32) but wanted to put a bash ring on the outside.
I found a Truvativ bash ring and am pretty confident it will fit, but I saw that RaceF ... Read More »
My GF has a nasty crankset (lol rivets) on her Merinda [url=http://www.fishpond.co.nz/Sports_Outdoors/Shimano-M131-Crankset/0689228426085]Shimano M131 Crankset (170mm, 48/38/28) by Shimano - Shop Online for Sports & Outdoors in NZ[/url] and it and the BB has been trashed enough that replacing both a ... Read More »
Cleaning out the garage to fit baby stuff...
[url=http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showproduct.php?product=87626&cat=]Niner One9 and Garage Sale! - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories[/url]
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Hi, i want to change the Sram S2200 crankset of my wife`s epic expert to a s-works carbon crankset. Do i have to change the PF30 bearings and cups as well? Or do i just have to insert cranks with spacers and thats it? Thanks.Read More »