Spanish brand, Rotor Components, has recently announced an all-new mountain bike crankset. Well, they’ve actually announced two cranksets, and both are designed for trail riders and enduro racers.
Called the Raptor and the Hawk, the new cranks feature a beefy profile and a clever modular 3-piece design that should make them compatible with a much wider variety of bikes. They come in as heavier duty options to the existing Rex cross-country crankset, but like the Rex, they’re 100% made in Rotor’s Spanish factory, just outside of Madrid.
The Hawk is the higher end option out of Rotor’s two new crank options. It is 100% CNC machined from 7055 alloy, and features Rotor’s Trinity drilling system, that sees three parallel holes drilled down the length of each crankarm. This makes the arms on the Hawk hollow, which helps to strip weight from the arms. This design is also used on the Rex crank and Rotor’s road cranksets too.
You’ll be able to get the Hawk crankset in 160, 170 and 175mm lengths. As Rotor make their own chainrings, the cranks feature a direct-mount design for a super clean setup when paired to their own narrow-wide chainrings. In the above photo, Rotor has used their narrow-wide Q-Ring that features an oval shape. With both crank arms, the axle and a 32t chainring, claimed weight on the Hawk crankset is 665 grams.
Included with the Hawk and Raptor cranks are these neat rubber bumpers. Other crank brands offer rubber boots for the tips of the crank arms, but Rotor have added an additional bumper further up the crank arm that should provide better protection against ankle rub.
But here’s where the Hawk and Raptor cranks get interesting. Unlike mountain bike cranks from Shimano and SRAM, the Hawk and Raptor feature a modular 3-piece design, more like a Race Face Next SL crank. This means that each crank arm is a separate component, which bolts on either side onto the alloy axle. This allows different width axles to be used, with a standard, Boost and DH versions available. Changing your parts over to a new frame with Boost spacing? Then all you need is a new axle, and your Rotor cranks are now compatible with the new bike.
The axle itself is made from hollow alloy, and is 30mm in diameter. Not pictured but also new from Rotor Components is a new threaded bottom bracket designed for PF30, BB30 and BB386EVO bottom bracket shells. The bottom bracket uses two alloy cups that thread together in the middle to provide a tighter and more snug fit inside the frame, and it’ll work with the new Hawk and Raptor cranks too.
On the end of the non-drive crankarm is a threaded preload collar, which allows for easy take-up of any play between the cranks and the bottom bracket. Simply undo the pinch bolt, add or release tension, then nip up the pinch bolt to lock it down. Each crank arm attaches to the axle via a large 8mm hex bolt, so an 8mm hex key is pretty much all you need to install and remove the new Hawk and Raptor cranks.
New direct-mount chainring from Rotor to go with the Hawk and Raptor cranks. Note the small splines used on the inside of the chainring, which corresponds with a matching spline on the inside of the drive side crank arm. The difference between Rotor’s system and the Race Face Cinch system, is that there is no additional locking collar used to attach the chainring to the crank. Instead, the chainring is simply sandwiched between the drive side crank arm and the step on the axle.
All together, it’s quite a neat system that offers the ability to change the chainring or axle configuration as needed. The Raptor crank uses exactly the same design as the Hawk, but instead of a full CNC machined design, the Raptor is made from forged 6082 alloy, and is then partially CNC machined into the final product. The other difference is in the hollow drilling – the Raptor has only two holes bored through it, rather than the three holes that the Hawk has. As a result, the Raptor is a little heavier, coming in at a claimed 715 grams with a 30t QX1 chainring.
Out of the box, the new Rotor cranks will come with black rubber boots, but there’ll be a bunch of other colours available for matching up the graphics on your bike. Go on, you know you want to!
Boris from Rotor Components was on hand at Saddleback HQ to take us through the modular design of the new Hawk and Raptor cranks. We grabbed a short video to show you all how the 3-piece design works, and just how easily it all goes together.