The 10 Best Road Bike Cranksets
This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in November of 2018. When considering the anatomy of a road bike, few components are quite as important as the crankset. This part, which is actually a collection of individual pieces -- including chainrings, the pedal arms themselves, and sometimes a bottom bracket -- is crucial to a cycle's operation, turning leg pressure into forward propulsion. The models on this list meet a range of budgets and quality markers. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 21, 2020:
The crankset is the part of a bicycle that connects to the chain via toothed sprockets, called chainrings. It is used to convert the reciprocating motion of pedaling, into rotational motion used to drive the chain, which in turn drives the rear wheel. In this ranking, we have selected cranksets for all levels of cycling, from entry-level models, suitable for novices who want to customize their gear ratio set up, to professional models for serious riders who want to improve their performance and reduce their overall weight.
In this update, we have replaced several models with the latest versions and added some new options that have recently been released. The Vuelta Corsa Comp SQ was replaced with the newer Vuelta Corsa Team, a very affordable option that now has a slightly larger chainring set. The Shimano 105 Triple was switched for the Shimano 105 FC-5800 which features improved chainring teeth that have been developed to work in conjunction with HG-X 11-speed chains, providing increased contact, greater efficiency, and improved power transfer. The Sugino XD600 is designed specifically for touring bicycles, and in its place, we added the Sugino Xd2 600T. This three Ring model is ideal for cycling on a variety of surfaces and is now lighter than its predecessor thanks to an improved crank arm design.
At the professional end of the scale, we replaced the Sram Red22 GXP with the Sram Red Dub, which is the latest iteration in the company's flagship road group and as such boasts new, direct mount rings that are machined from a single block of aluminum, making them as stiff as possible for faster, crisper, and more consistent shifting. Finally, we added the FSA Powerbox Alloy, This innovative crankset is, as you would expect, extremely lightweight at only 751 grams, and also has built-in power meters that collect data during the ride, which can be sent via Bluetooth to a range of biking computers, for analyzing your training sessions.
December 11, 2018:
Whether you're a hardcore cyclist or a weekender cruiser, having a crankset that suits your needs is essential. The right one can mean improved performance and an overall more comfortable ride, while the wrong one can make you work harder than you have to. Realizing the variety of budgets and riding levels out there, we put together a list that includes models for everyone, from the supremely affordable Shimano M361 to the pro-level FSA K-Force Light. We even threw in the single-speed SRAM S300 Courier for all the urban road warriors out there.