5DEV Factory Tour + CNC Machined Gravel & MTB Crankset Review! - Bikerumor

Last year, I made a trip down to San Diego to visit the manufacturing facility for 5DEV. Because I’m local to them, they reached out to invite me to their facility to try a prototype of their new gravel cranks… and they said that they were going to cut them on the CNC machine while I waited.

5DEV is the younger bike division of a larger, and more established machining company called 5th Axis. 5th Axis is a leader in the manufacturing of complex components for the aerospace and medical industries. Hydraulic Splittter Machine

5DEV Factory Tour + CNC Machined Gravel & MTB Crankset Review! - Bikerumor

The co-founders of 5th Axis/5DEV are cyclists that have been mountain biking for over 30 years. With the shortage of parts during the pandemic causing huge wait times to receive new components for their bikes, they decided to start building their own stuff.

All of the products 5DEV offers are designed and manufactured in-house out of aerospace-grade billet aluminum using a patented tooling system using efficient processes while managing the design and construction from the start to the finish.

When I got down to the San Diego area, I met Will Talbot at their facility, and we started the tour.

The facility, although neat, clean, and quite organized, initially looked like a typical, albeit, high-end machine shop. As I walked through the 5DEV office area where I got to meet some of the behind-the-scene 5DEV crew, I started seeing bits and parts that I actually recognized… in other words, bike stuff. This was going to be fun.

We walked out of the 5DEV office area, and back into the shop. We wound our way through a maze of (what seemed like) countless CNC machines to get to the one that would be cutting the new cranks.

5DEV did most of the machining on the pair of crank arms that I was to take home prior to my arrival. Once I got there, they put them back in the machine and let me watch them finish the process.

The crank arms went into their 5th Axis proprietary tooling and they queued up the machine. It was fun watching the CNC machine do what it does, putting the finishing touches on the cranks.

The machine effortlessly cut the final shape of the arms while smoothing all of the edges, and threading the spots for the chainrings and pedals. It really didn’t take long at all.

I got the arms right off of the machine and will be using them on the bike as they are, with the raw aluminum and no finish. They are as pretty as they look in person.

The prototype Gravel Cranks us the SRAM 8 bolt pattern to attach the chainring, They didn’t have any chainrings for these cranks when I got the arms, so they sent me home with a set of their Trail/Enduro cranks and their 12% oval chainring for my Surly Krampus (that I brought with me).

But there are two chainrings available on the website now, called Road Gravel Classic Chainrings in 40t and 42t.

Both the prototype Gravel Cranks and their Trail/Enduro Cranks are made of 7075-7651 billet aluminum. They are built to be both light and strong. The Trail/Enduro cranks weigh in at the claimed weight of 525g (w/ 30mm spindle) with the Gravel Cranks weighing in at 491g with a 29mm spindle.

There aren’t a lot of cosmetic differences between the two different cranks. But, upon closer inspection, you can see the subtle differences between the Trail/Enduro and Gravel cranks.

The Gravel Cranks have slightly more refined corners and extra chamfering on the edge of the arm going further up the arm from the pedal to towards the extraction bolt. Plus a little less material around the base of the arm (at the extraction bolt) on the Gravel Cranks. These few areas of eliminated material are the source of the 34g lighter weight difference on the Gravel Cranks.

They both use Chromoly steel crank bolts with self-extracting hardware. The Trail/Enduro as well as these Gravel cranks come with a 5-year warranty.

The Trail/Enduro cranks that I installed on my Krampus were installed without a hitch. I am still using the Race Face bottom bracket that was on my bike already, and with a single 2.5mm spacer on the non-drive side, and the chain line was perfect. I’m running the 175mm crank arm length and their small 12% oval, 28t chainring (old knees and occasional bikepacking loads) with a Shimano XT 11-46 cassette.

Since I’ve installed the Trail/Enduro cranks on the Krampus I’ve put roughly 500 miles on it in the last 6 months. In that time, I’ve not had a single issue. The alloy bearing pre-loader that comes with the cranks, hasn’t loosened up over time, like others that I’ve used in the past.

The cranks don’t feel like they have any lateral or “noodly” movement. They feel stiff, while delivering the power on really hard efforts, and feel light when spinning. And they look amazing.

The aesthetics remind me of the aftermarket “blingy” crankset offerings that were in abundance “back in the day”, like the Kookas, Hersheys, and Cook Brothers, except that 5DEV gets it right. Like really, really right.

The Gravel Cranks I received to test, were brought home to use on my gravel bike Dream Build. They turned out to be the perfect cranks for the Masi Incanto Ti. They really popped on the build, being a highlight on the finished product.

These cranks have a 170mm arm length with an 8-bolt chainring mounting interface which will be on the production cranks. The Trail/Enduro cranks have the more common 3-bolt interface.

At the moment, I am using a Wolf Tooth Powertrac Elliptical 38t chainring with it.

The build was completed back in early December 2022, and so far I have about 300 miles on these cranks. They’ve really been flawless. The finish on the raw aluminum I received has remained un-scathed even with a 25-mile mud-fest I’ve done under their belt. So far, they seem to be holding up really well.

Trail/Enduro Crank retail: $499 ($349 for 135mm and 140mm)

Trail/Enduro sizes: 135mm, 145mm. 155mm, 160mm, 165mm, 170mm, 175mm

Gravel Crank sizes: Both 170mm, and 172.5mm will be available first, with 167.5mm, and 175mm to follow. More sizes coming Summer of ’23.

Colors available: Clear Raw Anno, Black

Spindle sizes: 30mm boost or 29mm “DUB” boost

With my having the unique opportunity to ride both cranks in the associated disciplines, I can safely say that I would absolutely recommend either one of these cranks. The 5DEV cranks offer not only great performance but so far, seem to be reliable while adding a wild aesthetic to your current steed, taking the bling level up a notch.

5DEV Cranks is offering made-in-USA, boutique products that appear to be worth the money. The cranks not only offer the look of a boutique handmade product, but deliver on the performance side as well. That’s really what you want in a crank – light, good power transfer, a fit that stays tight, and a kick-ass look that adds to your bike’s swagger. The 5DEV cranks do that in spades.

Check out the other goods that 5DEV has to offer by hitting the link below.

Ron Frazelle is the Cycling Lifestyle Editor for Bikerumor, he has been writing about bicycles and the cycling way of life for 7+ years. Prior to Bikerumor, he worked in the bicycle industry, living and breathing bicycles since 1995. He is based in Anaheim, California, Frazelle is an avid cyclist of all disciplines, camper, father to 6 children, husband, musician and self-proclaimed retro-grouch.

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I really don’t get the whole 5Dev thing. A fool and his/her/they/their money are soon parted.

its the poor man’s cane creek titanium cranks haha.

Supporting local economy, American workers making quality parts. These are buy once a lifetime crank set.

“buy once a lifetime crank set” – do you really believe people are going to be making compatible chainrings for your entire lifetime. Maybe you should order a pack of 10 or 20 of them right now.

If I bought a set, I’d say yes, I would buy up on chainrings. Maybe not 20, but yeah, a few spare.

Definitely winning for one of the most unattractive crank out there…

5DEV are so rad. The go down all the wayh to 135!!!!!!!!!

Looks like a copy of the SRAM/Autodesk crank featured on BR a couple years ago.

Shut up and take my money.

Definitely different and a five year warranty looks good. As far as the aesthetics are concerned, not really a big fan. When I owned Hurricane Components, we designed our ZEKE cranks using the “form follows function” idea, with a smooth and flowing “ankle friendly” outside shape and we took the weight out of the backside of the cranks.

Holy cow! Those are so awesome.

How quickly those cranks have become an icon. You can spot them a mile away. Looks and function.

Yeah that’s great but what’s the Q factor on their cranks? That’s a very important number

Has anyone actually had noodly cranks? I’m 180lbs and push ~1500 watts and have never had a single crankset that felt noodly. Even square taper. Frames maybe but really think noodly cranks is a bike industry marketing fabrication. Cool looking cranks.

You’ve certainly flexed cranks. You just aren’t feeling it. Everyone has a different ability to judge that

Seems there are stories popping up about this crank snapping. My Little Bike Shop in Toronto is going off on a rep from 5Dev.

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5DEV Factory Tour + CNC Machined Gravel & MTB Crankset Review! - Bikerumor

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