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Squalor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Could you guys give me some details on the crankarms below? I am a fan of nice square taper crankarms such as RaceFace Turpines (my current favorite) and the older Shimano XT M730s, but I am having a hard time finding such cranks for my newer bike projects. I just do not like the current crop of outboard and splined bearings.

I recently acquired these three sets of "Kooka" crankarms that looked nice and they are all obviously square taper which I was after. The funky ano seems to indicate that they are probably of an older vintage, so I hoped some of you guys would know about their quality.

I searched this forum and found some discussion about forged vs. CNC but I do not know which these are. All three sets do have what looks like a removable chainring spider. Also, I weighed the silver set and they weighed in at 438 grams for the set. The silver set is 94bcd and the other two sets are 110bcd.

I have attached a pic of the 110bcd RaceFace cranks that I am currently using, and like very much, for your comparison.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

LP
 

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lanpope said:
Could you guys give me some details on the crankarms below? I am a fan of nice square taper crankarms such as RaceFace Turpines (my current favorite) and the older Shimano XT M730s, but I am having a hard time finding such cranks for my newer bike projects. I just do not like the current crop of outboard and splined bearings.

I recently acquired these three sets of "Kooka" crankarms that looked nice and they are all obviously square taper which I was after. The funky ano seems to indicate that they are probably of an older vintage, so I hoped some of you guys would know about their quality.

I searched this forum and found some discussion about forged vs. CNC but I do not know which these are. All three sets do have what looks like a removable chainring spider. Also, I weighed the silver set and they weighed in at 438 grams for the set. The silver set is 94bcd and the other two sets are 110bcd.

I have attached a pic of the 110bcd RaceFace cranks that I am currently using, and like very much, for your comparison.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

LP
I'm with you on the square taper! I'm putting a pair of turbines on my new xc bike. The ISIS and even X-Types don't hold a candle, durability wise.

I think your purple Kooka's are their xc crank, the silver and rainbow were the DH crank (i think).

I broke a pair of the XC's just before they went o forging - but if you're an XC type, you should be fine.

Good luck!
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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They're also all US-made vintage which means 7075-T6 Al. The canadian owned kooka were the ones who switched to forging the things and switched to 7129-T6 Al.

The middle pair also looks to have the double inner ring bolt pattern drilled spider, which means a 110mm mid/out, 74mm inner and also a 56mm (Suntour Microdrive) inner.
 

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Squalor
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info guys. I knew you all would have the scoop on the cranks. So how are they durability wise? The first poster said he broke a pair and cranks are NOT a component I want to break while I am riding (scary). I only weight about 155lbs w/ gear but I ride a pretty good bit. Would I be better off just eBaying these, and continuing to search for some RaceFaces? Does the ano coloring give them any kind of novelity in the market, or are they just seen as old and fragile?

Thanks again for your help...

LP
 

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lanpope said:
Thanks for the info guys. I knew you all would have the scoop on the cranks. So how are they durability wise? The first poster said he broke a pair and cranks are NOT a component I want to break while I am riding (scary). I only weight about 155lbs w/ gear but I ride a pretty good bit. Would I be better off just eBaying these, and continuing to search for some RaceFaces? Does the ano coloring give them any kind of novelity in the market, or are they just seen as old and fragile?

Thanks again for your help...

LP
Mine cracked down the middle - in a non catastrophic manner.

Put it to you this way - if you ebay them, I'll bid!
 

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Weird huh?
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Careful there....

The ones on the right in the picture are the original design. They're milled out on BOTH sides of the arms.

I've had 2 catastrophic failures on bikes. One of them involved those cranks. They sheared at the BB spindle and came off during a standing power stroke. I'd just gotten on the bike, clipped in and was going to ride across a road to the start of the trail. First pedal stroke, they gave. I got hurt pretty badly.

They changed the design to mill out metal only on the inside sometime later. I got mine new from Kooka in 94. Cool looking cranks, and as the ads said at the time...the lightest around.

Cheers
 

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cmdrpiffle said:
The ones on the right in the picture are the original design. They're milled out on BOTH sides of the arms.

I've had 2 catastrophic failures on bikes. One of them involved those cranks. They sheared at the BB spindle and came off during a standing power stroke. I'd just gotten on the bike, clipped in and was going to ride across a road to the start of the trail. First pedal stroke, they gave. I got hurt pretty badly.

They changed the design to mill out metal only on the inside sometime later. I got mine new from Kooka in 94. Cool looking cranks, and as the ads said at the time...the lightest around.

Cheers
Wow! I remember wanting a set of those for my ride back in the day! Glad I couldn't afford them! SHEARED AT THE FRICKEN' SPINDLE??????
 

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cmdrpiffle said:
The ones on the right in the picture are the original design. They're milled out on BOTH sides of the arms.

I've had 2 catastrophic failures on bikes. One of them involved those cranks. They sheared at the BB spindle and came off during a standing power stroke.
Yeah, I think "fragile" is a very good description of Kooka cranks. Here's a couple of pics of a set that I own - both sides cracked at different locations. These were attached to a bike that I bought, so luckily it wasn't my wasted money. The bike had relatively few miles on it.

Non-drive side:


Drive side:
 

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Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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Wow.

I bet that non-drive arm seats really well on the spindle though :rolleyes:
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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My original 1993 Kooka Kranks... still in use on my singlespeed (180mm's).

My original 1993 Raceface Turbine IB's.... bent after six months usage in 1993.

I've got two more sets of Kooka cranks (second generation ver) going still on my Alpinestars
and my Amp. No issues with either. Kinda wish I'd kept the other two sets of those that I'd bought off Nashbar a number of years ago. (this one month, Nashbar had Kooka cranksets, complete with rings, $69.99, I ordered four).
 

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laffeaux said:
Yeah, I think "fragile" is a very good description of Kooka cranks. Here's a couple of pics of a set that I own - both sides cracked at different locations. These were attached to a bike that I bought, so luckily it wasn't my wasted money. The bike had relatively few miles on it.

Non-drive side:


Drive side:
To be fair, aren't yours the first generation - while the one's in the orginal post are second generation?
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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All three of the ones in the first pic are second generation, american made ones.

The cracked ones further down the page are first generations. I have the same version in silver also (but mine haven't cracked, though I did replace the spider retaining bolt a couple years ago, the original one sheared). You should be able to see the difference in the CNC miling between these two, first and second generation models of their XC cranks. .



 

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Here's Mine

I picked my Kooka up directly from Kooka when they were up in Kanada.....around 1999 I think. I'm running them on the Airborne right now and haven't had an issue. I've put some big miles on these, and have raced a few times on this setup too......no concerns or issues in the 6 years I've run them.

Also I agree with the square taper for xc use. I run campy on my road bike and thats taper as well. It seems like when they went to splined they had to reduce bearing size and thus that impacted durability...and the new outboard bearings make for difficult chain lines. Funny thing is they did this when they went to 9-speed. This airborne is running 9 speed with the standard chainrings, square taper, and shifts better than any of my other bikes...and I'm running SRAM Rocket Shortys with Shimano derailleurs.

Doesn't it seem like crank choices just became very limited in the last few years? Can you even get a decent crank arm with standard rings (new) these days?
 

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We sold quite a few of those way back when, and eventually stopped because we got tired of sending back broken ones for warranty. Sent back a few Race Face and and tons of Grafton too.
 

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No Gansta Lean here.
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In your photo....

DeeEight said:
All three of the ones in the first pic are second generation, american made ones.

The cracked ones further down the page are first generations. I have the same version in silver also (but mine haven't cracked, though I did replace the spider retaining bolt a couple years ago, the original one sheared). You should be able to see the difference in the CNC miling between these two, first and second generation models of their XC cranks. .



What type of bashring is that? I run a Threshold bashring with a similar look. Thanks!
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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Kooka bashring.I own a half dozen of them, in different colors and bolt patterns (94, 110, and 104).
 

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A friend here that was a pro racer had them years back and reffered to them as "Kreakas".

Another vote for square taper in general. I never had any problems with them.
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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A racer around here used and broke a lot of the first generation kooka parts, but he was one of those sandbagger types who did sport class all the time where he'd win when he should have been racing expert instead considering how often he raced and how much he kept greasing companies (like Kooka) for deals and sponsorships. He also lacked in finesse and technical skills (for the time period even) and tended to break stuff in general.

Incidently, and this isn't just about Kooka cranks but all CNC cranks of the period, we're talking about the durability of things that were made LIGHTER than anything shimano, sugino or suntour would have done. Regardless of it being CNC machined from billet or hot or cold forged in a press, it was basically all similar strength aluminium alloys being used. So obviously an M730 Deore XT or M900 XTR crank is going to be more durable than a Kooka or Raceface or Topline or Cook Bros or Grafton crank. The Shimano ones all used a LOT more aluminium in their construction. Shimano built for strength, not for weight weenism.

The Deore XT cranks? 520 grams for 175mm arms. The Deore DX cranks? 565 grams. XTR with its slimmed down profile? 500 grams. Original Kooka Kranks? 385 grams. Graftons? 375 grams. Cook Bros RSR? 420 grams. RaceFace Turbine IBs ? 440 grams.

How many of us can claim to have broken a DX, XT or XTR crank, or known anyone to do it, versus how many of us can claim the same for any of the above brands of CNC cranks.
 

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You make a very good point DeeEight, though I do have to say we sent back out fair share of Deore cranks of various flavors, as well as XC Comp cranks. They would either snap in the middle or at the pedal hole. Rarely they would split the BB spindle hole, mostly the lower end products in those cases.

The Grafton cranks were just way too light for most riders. I had a set and even though I was about 185 pounds at the time, I stayed on the ground and didn't tend to bash the things. I sold them to a guy that weighed at least 20 lbs less than me and he promptly snapped them landing a big jump. I also recall Grafton telling Earl Bob something about a bad run being produced out of the wrong billet stock. And then there was a recall for some other design issue IIRC.
 
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