Handbuilt Bicycle News



Paul Skilbeck

Monday 06 June 2016

Middleburn - Made in Britain

British crank company Middleburn, in business for more than 25 years, has firmly established itself at the higher end of the market, and offers both enduring favourites while also keeping pace with the constant change in industry standards.

Middleburn - Made in Britain
Middleburn RS8 2x mountain bike crank. Photo: Paul Skilbeck

This is a revised version of a previously-published story, in which photographs (below) have been replaced by short videos, between one and two minutes in duration.

A company launched on the wave of mountain biking 25 years ago, Middleburn machines all its products in a Hampshire workshop. The company has maintained a reputation for high quality components and great attention to detail throughout, and is known primarily for cranksets and chainrings. The finish and presentation of all their work exudes an enduring commitment to excellence.

Most popular among Middleburn’s range of mouth-watering cranksets is the RS8 X-Type 4-Arm Duo. Offered with ratios of 22T/36T, 24T/38T, 26T/39T, 28T/42T, off-road cyclists are well covered in almost every type of rideable terrain. Middleburn staff says the most common ratios used are 22T/ 36T or 24T/38T for the 29er and 26T/39T for the 26″. Weight for a 175mm crank with 26T/39T is 720g, comparable with Shimano’s XT M785 double. Notably, Middleburn offers a lifetime warranty on every crank arm it produces. This warranty extends to use in competition, including downhill and trials events.

Middleburn comes into its own with its Slickshift Hardcoat chainrings, which have a Teflon and ceramic impregnated coating that’s claimed to last up to four times as long as uncoated chainrings. Look out for an HBG long-term review a year or so from now. 

Another neat product on the Middleburn stand was their chain oiler. This is most popular when used for lubricating gear cable lines since it cancels the necessity of fiddling with allen bolts and removing handlebar tape to get the cable out. Simply blowing lubricant into the hole leaves the cable smooth and clean. The chain oilers come in 4 and 5mm cable sizes, are sold in sets of three which weigh 2.9 and 4g respectively.

For bike owners with a creaking BB30 bottom bracket, Middleburn's new BB30 Upgrade is for bikes with a 24mm axle. It replaces the standard bearings with a shield that is claimed to eliminate the dreaded crank creak. All-in weight for this bottom bracket and bearings is 96g.