Best Crankset for Mountain Bike in 2021: Reviews and Buying Guide

Since cranks and chainrings are the wearing parts, everyone will have the pleasure of dealing with the subject of drivetrains. Replacing all the chainrings is often not worthwhile for economic reasons. It often makes more sense to change the entire drive and invest in a new crank.

People use this purchase as an opportunity to reduce the overall weight for the upcoming marathon or to rethink your usual range of translations. Does a closer gear ratio make more sense or is two instead of three chainrings enough? To help you with this decision, we present the best crankset for mountain bike in this article. The test field comprises five higher-priced two-way models and three three-way cranks from the middle class.


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Top 6 Best Crankset for Mountain Bike

Top 1: Shimano 105 FC-R7000 Crankset

The first is Shimano’s middle-grade component crankset that has undergone a full model change. It is the phenomenal FC-R7000 model. The four-arm design inherited from the previous FC-5800 follows the design concept of the upper model and has a more fleshy design. The weight is also 30g lighter than the FC-5800.

The best feature of FC-R7000 is that it has a crank length of 160mm. It is shorter than before and has been added to the lineup. Conventional Shimano cranksets have the shortest crank length of 165mm. So, short stature users under 160cm had to put up with a 165mm crank or use a third-party crankset.

However, when using a crankset made by another company with a short crank length, a disadvantage is that there are only a few options and it is expensive. FC-R7000 is a long-awaited item for such short stature users. The FC-R7000 is perfect for those who have been in trouble without a Shimano crankset with a short crank length.


  • Innovative design
  • Lightweight and compact
  • The shortest crank length


  • Limited options
  • Expensive

Top 2: CYSKY MTB Crankset

Next, we would like to introduce CYSKY crankset, a long-established bicycle trading company in the US. CYSKY is a crankset for short people. CYSKY developed the unit for people who are small and have short limbs, while most manufacturers develop products for tall Westerners, have long limbs, and have a splendid physique.

The best feature is the wide selection of crank lengths from 130mm to 170mm that other manufacturers do not have. Especially between 160mm and 170mm, CYSKY set the crank length in 2.5mm increments so that children and adults can choose the crank length that suits them.

Besides, the Q factor (distance between the outer surfaces of the pedal mounting parts of the left and right cranks) is set narrower than the cranks of other companies. So, even people with a narrower hip joint width can turn the pedal smoothly. Fine change is possible with the attached spacer.

There is a special bottom bracket, but the crankshaft is the same 24mm through axle as Shimano. So, if you are using a HollowTech II standard crankset, you can replace only the crank. CYSKY crankset is perfect for those who have been in trouble, as they cannot find a crank that suits the short body.


  • Perfect for short body
  • A wide selection of lengths
  • Suitable for both children and adults
  • Special bottom bracket


  • Not stable

Top 3: UPANBIKE M430 Crankset

While aluminum and carbon frame road bikes occupy most of the market, chromyl frame road bikes are still popular with some users. The classic look is cool, isn’t it? However, each part has changed to an aggressive, aero-shaped design according to the large-diameter pipe, aero-shaped aluminum, and carbon frame. In particular, the arm part of the crank has become thicker, and the strict design has increased. Sure, it is better, but it does not look good on a classic-looking chromyl frame.

Do you want to attach a classic frame and classic silver-colored parts that match it? We would like to introduce to such a person the UPANBIKE M430 released by UPANBIKE Engineering. UPANBIKE is a domestic parts manufacturer famous for parts for bicycle races and track races. It is also famous for handling cranksets with classic designs that have been decreasing recently.

The UPANBIKE M430 is a crankset for road bikes and touring vehicles that has a classic look and performance comparable to the latest models. They set the crank length from 160 to 175 mm. It is inferior to the CYSKY introduced earlier. You can choose from seven types of teeth, 52-36T, 50-36T, 50-34T, 48-36T, 48-34T, 46-36T, 46-34T. Also, you can choose to accord to your riding style. If you are in trouble without a classic design crankset that fits your chromyl frame, the UPANBIKE M430 is the one for you.


  • Chromoly frame
  • Classic look
  • High efficiency and durability


  • Low compatibility

Top 4: Shimano Ultegra R8000 Crankset

Inheriting the lines made from the elder Dura-Ace set, Ultegra has outstanding durability and rigidity, while the price is much softer than Dura-Ace. With the use of 110mm BCD disc rims, Ultegra can be integrated with 50/34, 52/36, 53/39 chain chains.

Although the BB30 is not available, with a 24mm middle shaft, the Ultegra allows for the powerful and precise performance of the transmission on each bike. The top high-end crankset from Shimano fully converges the most modern, sturdy, and highly integrated with many types of the groupset.


  • Premium materials
  • High compatibility
  • Precise performance


  • BB30 is not available.

Top 5: Shimano 105 Crankset

The Shimano 105 is a modern and affordable crankset for most cyclists. The spider’s web design combined with thighs mounted directly on the large disc ring gives the Shimano 105 a great deal of power and integration across a wide range of vehicles.

Although the price of the premium crankset coming from the Shimano is high, its ability to switch chains is extremely impressive. Spider webs are carbon combined with Shimano’s 3D thighs, the 30mm disc shaft creates a powerful crankset with impressive accuracy.


  • Innovation spider’s web design
  • Large disc ring
  • Powerful and compatible with many models


  • Expensive

Top 6: Vuelta Corsa Crankset

The Vuelta crankset has taken its reputation beyond imagination with its modern features and excellent integration with bicycles. The stability, lightweight, precise, powerful performance, and compatibility with all-terrain and weather make this crankset used by many bicycle manufacturers in their products.

Also, Vuelta Corsa has other size groups: 46/36, 50/34, 52/36, 53/39. The spindle is 30mm, but BB is a proprietary standard. It is sold separately. It does not fit in SRAM, FSA, ROTOR’s BB30, and PF30. This Vuelta Corsa series is an excellent choice for a limited budget.


    • Stable and lightweight
    • Compatible with all terrains and weather
  • Many choices of size


  • Does not fit with some models

Why Should I Buy a Crankset for a Mountain Bike?

The advantage of a short crank is that the range of motion of the foot is narrowed. It reduces the burden on each joint of the foot, mainly the knee joint. It is easier to raise the cadence than a long crank. So, we recommend it for those who run with light gear to raise the cadence.

The advantage of long cranks is that we can turn them with less force in the same gear than short cranks. We recommend it for those who often run uphill or who run slowly in heavy gear. If you get a value between the crank lengths, the proper crank length can select that, you can also refer to the advantages of the long and short crank lengths.

Who Should Buy a Crankset for Mountain Bikes?

A crankset is a general term for parts that include a crank and a chainring. Among them, people compose the crank of three parts, the left and right cranks, and the crankshaft. We classify it into either a two-piece crank or a three-piece crank, depending on how integrated it is.

Two-piece crank is a general term for two types of cranks, a right crank and a left crank that are integrated with the crankshaft. Shimano’s HollowTech II is famous, and two-piece cranks have become the mainstream of road bikes in recent years. Since the crank arm and shaft are integrated, it is lighter and more rigid than a 3-piece crank.

Three-piece crank is a general term for cranks of the type in which the left and right cranks and the crankshaft are all separate parts. The square taper (square axis) is famous. The left and right cranks and the crankshaft are all separate parts, and although they are inferior to the two-piece crank in terms of weight and rigidity.

Even with the same type of crank, the standards differ depending on the manufacturer. There is not much compatibility between the standards. So, when changing to a crankset of another manufacturer, it is necessary to change the bottom bracket at the same time.

Best Crankset for Mountain Bike FAQs

What is the crank length?

The crank length is the distance between the center of the shaft that connects the crank and the bottom bracket and the pedal mounting shaft. It is 165mm, 175mm, 172.5mm, and 175mm.

How to choose a crankset?

When choosing a crank, calculate the optimum crank length based on the height of the rider. If you run with light gear and increase the cadence (the number of crank revolutions per minute), a short crank is ideal. For those who run in heavy gear, choose a crank length that considers the longer crank and how to ride.

How to replace the crank?

It requires a special tool to replace the crank. The required tools differ depending on the type of crank. But here, it is highly adopted in finished vehicles. You will need a square standard (mainly adopted by manufacturers other than Shimano) where the crank arm and crankshaft are separate parts and a crank arm.

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