Best Track Crankset Review 2023 – New Edition
Track cranksets can range anywhere from 20 bucks to 400 bucks and even upwards to 700 bucks. Now, that’s a lot of money, especially for one component. All of them have the same parts, and they all do the same thing. So, how do you find the best track crankset for the money? Well, let’s find out. Why is there such a huge range of prices when it comes to cranksets? Is spending more, even worth it?
Affordable Vs. Expensive Crank Sets
Keep in mind that affordable cranksets will do the job just fine if you only commute using your bike. If you are a competitive person and occasionally compete in tournaments, I would suggest you spend more on this component.
Going for a mid-range crank will give you the added benefits of performance, durability, looks, and better power transition. These are for the fixed-gear enthusiasts who appreciate the finer finishes on the components, the history behind the cranks, and the nicer ride quality.
The insanely expensive 600+ dollar track cranksets are for top-level racers. Unless you have the potential to win thousands of dollars worth of prize money from an upcoming race and every single advantage counts, these cranks will be way overkill. So, where is the sweet spot between price and then? It’s actually between 150 dollars and 200 dollars.
Whatever the type of person you may be, here is my top pick for the best 144 BCD cranksets for the money.
Best Track Cranksets Review
From high-end cranksets to a more budget-friendly option, here is a list of top track-approved cranksets that should give you good value for the money. This review will help you to compare the cranksets available in the market and get the best one for your bike.
1. SRAM GXP 170mm 48T Black Omnium
All the bikes I see out there on the track have Omniums. It is one of the most popular high-end cranks out there and within a reasonable price. The SRAM GXP Omnium, in my eyes, gives the best price-to-performance ratio.
Omniums are widely used with the newer style of external ball bearings. Although it’s on the pricey side, you can ride them for years without having any issues. All you need to do is find a BB that fits the crank, and you are good to go. It comes with an external bearing cup and a GXP bottom bracket. The crankset is constructed using a one-piece 7050-TV forged aluminum alloy which is very stiff.
You will feel like all the energy produced is going directly to the rear wheel. This crankset is really smooth and very quiet. Even if you are a heavy person, you can easily stand and pedal without worrying about bending the crank. Long story short, this is the crankset for track bikes out there that is smooth, light, fast, and the stiffest.
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2. Origin8 Track/SS Crankset
For street use, some cranksets can be overkill but Origin 8 is an exception. Although it’s cheap, it is perfect for regular commuters and occasional group rides around town. It’s the best budget track crankset if you are willing to sacrifice quietness. Because it squeaks if you put BMX pedals on it.
Apart from that, it is a nice track crankset for the money. The quality is there and it fits well and rides smoothly. The crank has a nice and shiny finish but does look faded after you use it for a while. Unlike single-speed aluminum cranksets, you will not face any thread stripping issues.
If you want to lighten your bike as much as possible while spending the least amount possible, this set is perfect for you. For most clearance on banking, go with the 165mm size, and if you are riding a track bike, go with the 170mm size.
3. Mekha Duchman with External Bottom Bracket and BCD 144
The Mekha Duchman is a solid crankset that is cheaper than the SRAM Omniums with the similar build quality, performance, durability, and smoothness. If you are looking for a good track crankset that uses the Hollowtech bottom bracket, this is the one.
It uses an English Hollowtech threaded bottom bracket, and the whole set weighs only 817 grams, including BB. For the best power transfer, it has 144 BCD, which is track standard, and the crank itself is made from durable forged Aluminium. The crank accepts standard 1/2″ X 1/8″ chain size and comes with crank arm bolts.
It provides you with more efficient pedaling to significantly improve your performance on the track. Also, it reduces the overall weight of your track bike. The 7075-T6 CNC machined aluminum chainring is stiff and retains its roundness for a long time. The crank length on this one is 167.5mm, which is 2.5mm more than typical track crank.
However, in actual track bikes, the bottom bracket shell has enough space to fit longer crankarms. If you are a short person, it is recommended to go with a shorter crank arm.
4. Vuelta Pista Track 46A SQ 144/BCD Crank Set
This track crankset from Vuelta is probably the cheapest one on this list. But it will do its job while not breaking the bank. This one has a 144 BCD, and 46 teeth count. You can fit a 108mm square taper bottom bracket, and 170 mm crank arms. The cold-forged aluminum alloy arms have a nice finish and look really nice on any bike.
It’s a reliable product and also very lightweight. This crankset can take in 9/16″ standard-size pedals just like any other crank in this list. Even if by any chance you get a crappy chainring, as long as the arms are any good, it’s a good deal, in my opinion.
For ball bearings, use 107mm or 110mm square taper or JIS BB. It doesn’t come with any ball bearings, so you have to get your own. This crankset is made from forged 7075 aluminum alloy to make it durable and lightweight at the same time.
5. State Bicycle Co.: Black Label Series: (144 BCD)
The Black Label series of track cranksets from the popular State Bicycle Co. is designed exclusively for track bike enthusiasts. This crank is a thing of beauty, and the best part is, you can customize it while ordering. It has a 48T anodized chainring, and the crank is CNC machined alloy for durability and versatility.
This one is easy to install, and you only need a square taper bottom bracket for it. It weighs only 561 grams, which is the lightest on this list. Get this one with an FSA bottom bracket for maximum performance. The design and color of the crank are also very beautiful that look good on any track or street bike.
If you don’t like the Omnium interface and prefer square taper, go with this one. It has more stiffness and drivetrain performance than most street riders out there can use or need. In terms of installation, it is very easy because the frame and grease BB threads well. Just make sure to install it with the right torque wrench.
6. SHIMANO M361 Hybrid Crankset
If you are looking for a replacement choice at an affordable rate, Shimano M361 Hybrid Crankset is the right option for you. It features shifting guides and substitutable chainring for better performance. Also, Hybrid M361 Crankset from Shimano has a patented hyperdrive system to offer quiet, simple, and stress-free shifting.
This crankset is the greatest way to cruise along your favorite trail with comfort and confidence. The Hybrid M361 is a well-match for any square bottom bracket bike. This crankset is also sturdy enough not to stir complaints from its users. It is a well-finished product, it appears ground-breaking, and sells for a better price. This crankset is too lightweight and its installation and removal are quite easy.
7. SRAM S300 Courier Crankset
SRAM S300 Courier Crankset is a single-speed crankset designed for urban riders who want their setup to be simplified. The crankset was built from light but strong material. Besides, its bottom bracket gives it a very stiff and durable performance bottom bracket to boost its performance.
One great and interesting fact about the SRAM S300 Courier Crankset is that it is quite lighter and stiffer, making it one of the best cranksets you will enjoy when you equip it on your bike. The bottom bracket of this crankset makes it a convenient unit with loads of benefits. Without mincing words, SRAM Courier Crankset S300 is one of the greatest single-speed cranksets on the market today.
It has a visually charming design and comes in 170mm and 165mm sizes. You may check good cyclocross wheel reviews and buying guides.
8. SRAM NX Eagle Dub Groupset
The SRAM NX Eagle Dub Groupset offers you everything you need to make it easy to jump to a 1×12 drivetrain. You will have no problems riding on every terrain with SRAM NX. It is the latest innovation to the Eagle ecosystem. The NX Eagle DUB has the cassette, crankset, shifter, chain, rear derailleur, and other necessary components, apart from a bottom bracket.
Besides, the crankset has a 32t, 6mm offset chainring for non-Boost bicycles with QR. Simpler shifting, less maintenance, quieter operation, and improved chain retention, all contributed to what makes SRAM DUB one of the top track cranksets.
9. FSA Vision Non-Series 1X 386E
FSA is the abbreviation for Full Speed Ahead, while the FSA Vision Crankset is a high-end aluminum crankset for fixed, road, and single speed. With an ultra-stiff 30mm spindle, it is a revolution when it comes to tracking crank design. The 386EVO spindle design of the FSA Vision Crankset guarantees compatibility with all the main available bottom bracket shells.
And, the spotless, glossy lines balance the simplicity of a track bike, even as the aero technology makes you stand out from the crowd. FSA Vision is attractively stunning and appealingly restrained, as far as its design is concerned. It has a complete factory warranty just like most of the available good cranksets.
Although Non-Series 1X 386E Crankset is not the only FSA crank available to choose from, it is most likely that it is the most affordable of them all. In spite of that, the crankset remains a premium set.
How to Choose the Best Track Crankset?
As I’ve said before, cranksets can be either very cheap or super expensive. The obvious benefit of the cheaper ones is that they are affordable and you are not spending the equivalent of an entry-level bike. They are very functional and reliable if you know which one to get. And this guide will help you pick the best track crankset for the money.
All the track cranksets in this list will get you from point A to point B, just fine. Since most of them are square taper, they are fairly easy to install and maintain. With that being said, you do have a very limited selection, and finding the right one can be a daunting task, especially if you are looking to find a matching crank that will look good on your bike.
Related guide: Can You Remove the Bike Crank without any Puller
When you invest more in a crankset, you will get better performance. They will be stiffer, give you better power transfer, and you will be able to go faster with a mid-range crank compared to something more affordable. In my opinion, stiffer cranksets are more enjoyable to ride.
A stiff crankset can make the difference in ride quality between a bike that feels like pedaling a pile of mashed potatoes or pedaling a bike that feels like a rocket ship. And of course, when you spend more, you are going to have more options to choose from. The mid to high-end models are machined out of more durable aluminum, and they will have better machining.
This means the teeth profiles are more consistent. They are also rounder so that you can have an even chain tension throughout your pedal stroke so that you can perform at your best.
An entry-level track crankset will have a smooth finish but can fade and damage pretty easily after some time. Black budget cranksets tend to turn a brownish tint after long enough exposure to the sun, whereas silver cranksets tend to scratch pretty easily at this price. If you get colored anodization, it can be really uneven.
You can immediately spot the difference between a high-quality one and a low-quality one. When you increase your budget a little bit, you can choose between any style that you want that will best suit your build. They are also going to be more durable, and the finishes won’t damage or fade as easily.
One problem that most budget track cranksets have is in the chainring. In terms of roundness, durability, and options, these rings won’t be as well machined as more expensive ones meaning they won’t be as round. The teeth won’t be as even, which means your drivetrain won’t run as smoothly. You can have uneven chain tension throughout your pedal stroke, and the chain line might not be straight.
Furthermore, the vast majority of these affordable cranksets are going to be 130BCD, which means they won’t meet track standards. BCD means Bolt Center Diameter, which indicates what size chainrings you can use. And at 130BCD, there aren’t as many options as the track standard, which is 144BCD.
Like with anything else at a lower price point, the quality control is going to be more varied. Some track cranksets with the same model are going to be better than others in terms of durability, chain line, and finishes. A big reason for getting a more expensive crankset is the pedigree, which means fixie points. These sets will have really tight quality control which makes them more consistent across the board.
When you spend more, you know that you are getting a good product. They are going to be well-designed by companies that have a history of making good components. Because of that, they all retain their value better, which means you can sell them more easily and get some of your money back in the event that you don’t need them anymore.
Most high-end cranks are 144 BCD, which means you can use track standard chainrings. There is more choice for chainrings in terms of style and price-to-performance ratio. Since a lot of fixed gear enthusiasts use 144 BCD, there are a lot more options on the used market, making it easier to snag yourself a pretty good deal on chainrings.
High-quality track cranksets can cost as much as an entry-level fixed-gear bike. This begs the question – what are you even doing with your money? Then again, there are some cranksets that cost way beyond. Obviously, I haven’t included them on this list for obvious reasons. The price-to-performance ratio isn’t worth spending that much.
However, if you do decide to buy one, keep in mind that you are getting the absolute best performance. Unless you are trying to win a gold medal or something, you won’t spend that much money on a crankset.
Track Crankset’s Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a track crankset?
A track crankset, also known as a track bike crankset, is the component on a bicycle that connects the pedals to the drivetrain and allows for forward movement. Track cranksets are typically lightweight components with relatively narrow chainrings and feature no guard or bashing since they are designed for riding on velodromes where there is limited obstacle clearance or chance of contact with rocks, roots, or other obstacles. Most track cranksets feature a fixie sprocket so they can’t be freewheeled; although some models have switchable gearing and enable single-speed or freewheeling use.
Q. How do I choose the best track crankset for my bike?
Choosing a crankset for your bike can be a bit tricky. First, you will want to consider the number of teeth on the chainring, as this dictates the gear ratios that you will be able to choose from. You should then look at the material of the crank arms and spider, as this affects both stiffness and weight. Finally, look at the bottom bracket style and ensure it is compatible with your frame. Those are just a few tips to help you understand what to look for when selecting the best track crankset for your bike.
Q. How do I maintain my track crankset?
Maintaining your track crankset is important to ensure it functions properly and lasts a long time. To maintain your track crankset, make sure to clean it regularly and keep it lubricated with oil. Check for wear and tear on the crank arms, chainrings, bearings, and connecting bolts. Also, inspect the spindle for any signs of damage or corrosion. Finally, adjust your bottom bracket cups to ensure proper chain tension when shifting gears.
Q. What Are Some Other Methods to Remove a Bike Crank Without Using a Puller?
One method of removing a bike crank without any bike puller is to use a socket wrench. A socket wrench is designed to fit perfectly over the crank arm, and it can be used to loosen the crank arm from the bottom bracket. You will need to use a ratchet to turn the socket wrench in the proper direction until the crank arm is free from the bottom bracket.
Now, thanks for reading up to this point. Hopefully, by now you know which one will be the best track crankset for the money. Again, if you really want to get the absolute best, you need to follow the instruction mentioned in this article to know what to look for in a good track crankset.
Getting the right model at the right price really depends on what type of rider you are and what preference you have for your crankset. The little cheaper 30 to 60-ish dollars cranksets are for people that are really price-sensitive but they still do their job well. Spend a little more than that if you are someone who is competitive and races in competitions. You will get what you want.