But no. Profile continues to pump out their 48-spline race cranks, which remain virtually unchanged after 30-plus years (if you want to see what the originals looked like, and you have a spare $300 burning a hole in your pocket, you're in luck), and companies like Eastern, Primo and Shadow continue to cater to that weird market of people who'd rather not have to remove their entire crankset just to change sprockets.
And while other companies work hard to eliminate that pesky second spindle bolt, others seem content to simply fiddle with cosmetics.
Thankfully Profile is only making 100 sets of these candy-striped nightmares. One wonders whether Garrett Reynolds (and perhaps Jack Skellington) will ever get around to using all of them.
Drop me an e-mail when these are all gone—I'm just curious how long it'll take. (Personally, I there needs to be a "Louisville Slugger" set to go with all those poor abandoned Mosh parts and Verde seats, although I have no idea how you'd powdercoat woodgrain. Or what about this? Local pride!)
At the same time, other companies continue to develop brand-new three-piece cranks, which seems almost quaintly defiant in the face of progress—like a soda company selling their product in steel cans that require a churchkey, or a newspaper actually printing on paper. Take Premium, for instance. I'm almost sure they're just making a joke about being the first to use 16-spline "technology" for their new cranks:
After all, Redline's been using something similar for their Flight Cranks since approximately the beginning of time, and both Mosh and XS (among others) offered a less-than-48-splined pinchbolt crankset. But maybe none of those companies used 16 splines. Maybe it was eight or 12 or 14. I can't recall. Regardless, it all seems a bit Nigel Tufnel of them.
That said, while Profile's 48-spline interface is tested and true (if memory serves, they originally went with 48 splines for their cranks because that's what they were using on their race car steering setups), it will forever be a pain to line up properly. I'm sure there are a rather large percentage of riders out there RIGHT NOW pedalling around with their cranks a spline or two off. You'd think in the ensuing years, as their cranks took off, that Profile would have reduced to a more manageable 32 or 24 splines. Although then perhaps the precision of the fit declines to the point where you need to taper the spindle or use pinchbolts or something. Hey, they're the engineers.
Still, it's good to see that the two- and two-and-a-half (ugh) piece crank has yet to entirely eclipse the three-piece variety. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to find my churchkey.
This week's sign of the apocalypse: Taj cut off the top of his seattube to run a wedge post.
(Send me this bike and I'll forget all about it.)