While the flawless shifting quality hasn't changed, the all-black treatment on the SRAM Red Black Crankset will move you. We like it because its monochromatic version of the Nascar-esque graphical styling of Red seems more subdued and stealthy. All the same, the Black Red Crankset shares the top shelf with Red, and its DNA comes straight from SRAM's earlier Force crankset.
Moving back and forth between chainrings is substantially quicker, quieter, and more fluid in comparison to Force. Red's exclusive use of ZeroLoss technology allows the Red DoubleTap shift lever to pull cable in the instant you put pressure on the shift lever. Another improvement in comparison to Force is the fact that with Red you can now microadjust the position of the front derailleur, so you can cross-chain to your heart's content without getting ticketed for noise pollution. The final piece of the shifting puzzle is found here, in the Red Black Crankset. The redesigned profile of Red's PowerGlide chainrings make them measurably stiffer, so more of your power turns into speed instead of component flex. But it's not just about the added power-transfer that comes with flex-free chainrings -- since they don't flex, they pick up and drop off the chain with unparalleled ease, and they look fantastically Pro, to boot.
Another critical difference between Red and Force is in its redesigned arms. Like Force, Red is an all-carbon crankset with an integrated BB spindle. It has carbon arms built on an aluminum spine, mated to a carbon spider. What's different, though, is that Red's arms have a lower profile, leading to a lower Q-factor and added stiffness.
The SRAM Red Black Crankset is available in 170, 172.5, and 175mm crankarm lengths, and it's available in 53/39 and 50/34 chainring configurations. Please Note: it does NOT come with a bottom bracket. You'll need a SRAM/Truvativ GXP bottom bracket. One final note: SRAM Red compact cranksets don't require a special compact-specific front derailleur. You use the same Red front derailleur for the 53/39 as you do for the 50/34.
Carbon crankarms add stiffness while reducing weight
Integrated carbon spider eliminates hardware, increases stiffness, and reduces weight
SRAM Red PowerGlide chainrings for pro-grade shifting and stiffness
Giga X Pipe external bottom bracket (not included) eliminates bearing side-loading for greater reliability
165 mm, 167.5 mm, 170 mm, 172.5 mm, 175 mm, 177.5 mm
(not included) Giga X Pipe
Bolt Circle Diameter:
5 x 110 mm
53 x 39 t
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After a bike fit, it was recommended that I purchase longer cranks. So went with the SRAM Red 177.5 mm compact set up to match the rest of my SRAM Red build. The cranks are super light, super stiff, and look cool as well. Can't ask for much more. I've tried Shimano and Rival cranks in the past, and certainly noticed a significant improvement in the stiffness of the Red cranks. You won't be disappointed.