Rotor Aldhu spiders and axles.
Rotor Aldhu spiders and axles.

Vive la Modularité

I now have three sets of Rotor aluminum Aldhu cranks, or four counting the carbon version on my Ritte. My Marauder uses an older pair of Rex 1.2, and my Stooge sports a current set of aluminum Kapic cranks. Out of seven bikes, six are equipped with Rotor cranks. I love the modularity of Rotor’s cranks with the availability of various axle lengths, different spiders, and a wide selection of round or oval direct mount rings. I wish they would only offer Kapic axles for fat bikes.

I had a SRAM XX1 fat-bike crankset that I had to throw into the trash because the axle was too worn. Well, I sold the drive-side crank for $21.50 on eBay. Only the non-drive side went into the trash bag. I will never buy a set again where one crank is permanently fixed to the axle. Modular cranksets such as Rotor or RaceFace can easily be moved to another bike. You simply buy a new axle if the new bike needs a wider or narrower one. And, if the bearing seats have developed too much wear after several years, you just buy a new axle for less than forty dollars. My Snakedriver now has a pair of RaceFace Turbine cranks for that reason.

For my upcoming project, code-named X12, I’m using a pair of aluminum Aldhu cranks, which have been sitting in my spare parts cabinet for a couple of years. To find the ideal chain line for a 1x12 drivetrain, I purchased three different spiders as well as a standard and offset road axle. The axle not used for Project X12 will likely end up on one of the other three bikes. While the 5-arm spider is my favorite, I am going to mount whatever results in the best chain line. I plan to use a Real World Cycling BSA30 bottom bracket for BB cups. It is a spare BB purchased for my Kid Dangerous in 2013.

This is the first time I am mentioning Project X12. Project X12 is about challenging the tried and true. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it - If something is reasonably successful or effective, there is no need to change or replace it. German speakers would say “Bewährtes soll man nicht verändern.” When it comes to cycling, most of us stick to that. We ride something, we like it, and we are, therefore, rarely willing to change it. Project X12 is an inexpensive platform to question everything I know. It may not be “the” answer, but it will certainly provide a ton of answers. And that, for now, is as much as I am saying about this endeavor.