Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Half and Half

Remember UnKnown Bike Co.? We last talked about them three months ago when they introduced the three-and-a-half pound Revolution frame. Well, they're ba-ack!

This time they're introducing their two-piece cranks, which you can see on messageboards in Germany and the UK but not their own website.


Rather than attach the spindle to one arm or the other, they chose to split their (19mm) spindle right down the middle. Just like Campagnolo did with their road cranks in '06. Then again, Campy's design uses a lot more teeth, something known as a Hirth joint, which looks a lot more stable and sturdy than the UK's connection point. Let your cranks get just a little loose with these babies and you'll be banging your knee into something or throwing yourself over your bars. Fun! Well, unless they fit super-tight, in which case good luck putting them together in the first place.

The arms look conventional enough, although I'm sure they use UK's super-secret heat-treating process. Some kind of bolt will lock the whole thing together. Of course this means if you break EITHER arm, the replacement cost will be fairly high. They weigh 736 grams, which must be light. (Who weighs their cranks in grams? Oh. These guys, apparently.) No mention of price, either.

According to the info provided, they have developed an even lighter set of cranks at 712 grams that either haven't been or can't be photographed. Perhaps they're adversely affected by light?

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Mike Aitken took it hard the other day at Posh, and is in the hospital recovering. Like many riders in the wonderful US of A, he doesn't have health insurance. You can donate—or just leave a message for him—on the 50/50 site.

Here's a sequence of him I took at the Banks during the Fox tour a while back:


Get well soon, Mikey.

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28 comments:

Anonymous said...

van homan's section in seek and destroy i reckon,
oh yer and get well soon mikey

Bone said...

Little bird told me that UKBikeCo's taiwanese manufacturer won't guarantee their frames, so they're doing it themselves....could be expensive boys.

james said...

their team riders have been snapping and cracking frames, and that kane dude left the team already

not a great start on the testing front then...

Anonymous said...

sunday 'c-class' 24ers' only in 21" tt? take em down russ!

Anonymous said...

I heard that the frames are flexing so badly that 'normal' crank arms are hitting off the chainstays...

Anonymous said...

i heard that when you make bmx frames like road bike frames you get ball cancer like lance armstrong. and then you will get the new nickname "lefty."

Mexican John said...

UKBike Co is such a joke! Fucking hell what next.

Get well soon Mike.

Anonymous said...

I'll take "Solutions in Search of Problems" for $500, Russ.

I can't wait for the rest of the economy to implode so that we can all respectably ride the same bike with the same parts as long as the parts aren't broken and still be considered "cool." This insane need to make everything that was sold yesterday completely obsolete tomorrow is getting way insane.

Anonymous said...

Um, insane insane insane.

Also, please wear your damn helmet when you're jumping 30 foot gaps and bombing down staircases. I know you won't look as cool, but you'll look cooler than you would in a hospital.

Thomas said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirth_joint

Specialized also did it!

VxD said...

It seems like they're addressing a problem that doesn't exist, and ignoring the main purpose of bmx cranks as standing platforms (not pedaling like Campagnolo).

Every time you land with the pedals even you're putting your entire weight (combined with whatever force from the kinetic energy of falling) on the ends of the cranks, generating immense torque on the spindle. Haven't there been cases of solid spindles twisting? How is putting a (frankly, weak looking) interface right where the torque is highest a good idea?

Why did we move away from three piece cranks in the first place?

bobby p said...

because 2 pieces are lighter than 3 pieces. duh.

mike.m. said...

no bobby, because 2 is less than three, and less is more.

bobby p said...

mike.m. was a no show in nv and it broke my heart.

Anonymous said...

Think how fun it would be if one side of your BB got squeezed, on a slipped disaster or something, and the spindle was stuck in the compressed bearing. You'd destroy your whole crank set trying to bang the arm out. You'd get to throw away half your bike!

Good times.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for this piece of shit company, that makes a mockery of everything other companies are trying to do, fall around that fat mountain bikers ass.

alan said...

Still riding mid-school bikes... Havent replaced a part in ages. If I ever broke anything I'd probably try some new products. But I don't so no need.

Anonymous said...

I have a 23lbs S&M two pegs brakeless, no ti. lifetime warrenty bars, fork, crank, and crash warrenty-able frame. bikes are getting too crazy. still be thankfull that our bike cost less, are stronger than, and backed by better warrenties than our somewhat bretheren on MTB's and roadsters. every company is rider owned, they're image(and they're riders) is what sells parts. theses guys are nobodys, they'll get nowhere. unlike people like jim c, robbo, castillo, haro, mirra, miron, the list goes on. Ideas are good, when they work. but everything has to be tried before instantly denounced. they look shitty and i wouldn't ride them. 2 is better than 3, but this is the wrong kind of two. with so many industry standards, i would have gave these cranks a go if they were 48spline 19mm. but not if it has a big cut in the middle of it.

Greg said...

Companies like this won't just disappear. They'll sell a couple of hundred frames to kids around the world, making themselves a few £k profit on their investment. The kids will discover that the "lifetime warranty against faults arising from manufacturing defects" doesn't cover frames which snapped as a result of simply being too weak for their intended purpose. The company's reputation will be destroyed but they'll come back with another company name and another, even lighter frame and the whole process will start again.

Anonymous said...

Metallica kicked so much ass back then, what happened... (Bob Rock would be my guess)

wade said...

lifetime warranty doesn't mean much when the company folds before your tubes do.

Anonymous said...

Ahm ... everyone that is a little more scientific than 1 quart of half-and-half from Ralph's is weighting their stuff in grams. Most of the US citizens just aren't.

SQUAT THRUST PROLAPSE said...

Send those motherfuckers over to PDB and i'll break them with my TEETH!

Worst ideas ever coming out of that company

Anonymous said...

Metric FTW.

nate said...

It's like Lewis Black once said,
"Sometimes science is wrong and gives us shit we don't need...they might as well go, 'Hey, we made cancer airborne and contagious! You're welcome! We're science: we're all about coulda, not shoulda.'"

I feel the same way about bike parts. Most companies are all about coulda, and not shoulda. But I don't get bent out of shape anymore. At this point in my life I've observed enough trends come and go that new crap emerging like this is kind of entertaining.

Anonymous said...

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Well said, same deal here.

Noel said...

Squat Thrust Prolapse? I think someone should make a 12 pound frame and call it that.

wade said...

You know, and this just occurred to me, you would be able to run this Nub without cutting your frame if you run a seatclamp...