Urban Velo

Surly Mr. Whirly Crankset Review

In the world of singlespeeds, Surly has long been known for their drivetrain components. First came the Singleator, the oft-copied but never duplicated chain tensioner for conversions. Later came their venerable stainless steel chainrings which pretty much kicked sand in the face of weight weenies everywhere and garnered audible grunts of approval from the world of everyman cyclists. It was only a matter of time before Surly introduced a crankset, and although it hasn’t quite set the world on fire, the Mr. Whirly has gained a loyal following due to its adaptable nature.

The same crankset can be set up as a single, double or triple, depending on which spider is installed. Though complete cranksets are available, you can go a la carte, as interchangeable spiders are available in 94 mm, 104 mm and 11 0mm BCD. All attach to the drive-side crankarm via the 58 mm BCD granny ring holes. I opted for their standard singlespeed crankset, which comes with a 33 t steel chainring and an outboard bottom bracket. It seemed like the perfect fit for my urban trail bike, aka my singlespeed cross bike with a mountain bike riser bar.

The spiders and crankarms are forged from 7075-T6 aluminum, aka the good stuff. Though complete cranksets are only offered with a limited choice in crankarm length, the armsets are sold seperately in lengths of 165, 170, 175, 180 and 185 mm. The spindles are chromoly, and available in either 68/73 mm or 100 mm for things like snow bikes.

After months of riding, and not necessarily all of it in good conditions, the Mr. Whirly crankset is still functioning like the day it was installed. I haven’t had any issues with slipping bolts, or anything else of the like. It’s just been a solid workhorse of a crankset, as I kind of expected it to be.

The Mr. Whirly singlespeed crankset retails for $275. Visit www.surlybikes.com for more info.

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  1. MattAugust 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    As much as I would love to back this crankset, I’ve had nothing but problems with it. I’ve got one on my Pugsley. The bottom bracket is terrible, as it creaks and pops like crazy. The tensioning bolt on the non-drive side is constantly coming loose. I’m not impressed.

  2. Bianchi San Jose Frameset Review | Urban VeloJanuary 28, 2013 at 6:42 am

    [...] initially trying a flat bar, I decided to go with a nice, wide, Truvativ riser bar. I chose Surly mountain bike cranks because I wanted to stick with a relatively small chainring for clearance. And with knobby [...]

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