Text By Brien Kielb
As part of their continuing resurgence in the freestyle world, GT is rereleasing two of its most famous cranksets right on the cusp of 2017. While their last offering of the infamous 4-piece Original bar caused some controversy in the world of street riding, there's no disputing the history of both cranks in their previous incarnations, but just like every aspect of BMX technology, GT has improved their hits from the past while still keeping the look that the old guys loved. Whether you're a fan of current team members like Albert Mercado or Brian Kachinsky, or still worship The Lord and The Lumberjack, GT's new Power Series cranks in aluminum or chromoly will be a perfect fit on your ride in 2017.
GT's first Power Series cranks had their time in the sun in the mid-80’s. The original Power Series aluminum cranks were one of the first alloy cranks to hit the market with a pinch bolt design, as the only other aluminum cranks available were of the Shimano and Sugino configurations, featuring small arms and even smaller spindles that really didn't work for BMX. Built with beefy, forged arms, a dual pinchbolt design and sealed bearings, the Power Series cranks quickly became a hit with both racers and freestylers alike, as they were much stronger and stiffer than even their chromoly competition. After their discontinuation in the mid-90's, a company named Primo came along and improved on their design with what they called "PowerBite" cranks, which is as obvious of a callback as you could make. GT is taking back their design, but with a few modernizations, of course; no longer is the spindle 19mm and unnecessarily threaded, as it’s been bumped up to 22mm. The arms themselves have been beefed up as well, feature LHD/RHD/guard sprocket compatibility, and are topped off with steel pedal inserts to reduce the chance of stripping your arms out. The finishing touch was a laser-etched logo as opposed to the old school screenprint that wore off within a few weeks, so surely no one will be confusing these with another company’s product.
The GT Chromoly Power Series cranks have a slightly different story as far as their lineage goes. It’s no secret that GT had the original Power Series cranks manufactured by Profile, as reliable crank producers were far less common in the early 90’s. If you’re gonna have someone else make your product, why not go to the best, right? A common misconception, however, was that GT and Profile cranks were identical, aside from the logo stamped on the arms. While both cranks featured the tried & true Profile 48 spline spindle & interface, the GT arms had a slightly more square shape, which freestylers dug & believed to be stronger. These were eventually replaced by the Overdrive cranks, but if you still long for the slim & slender 19mm setup, the new GT cranks feature the exact same shape as their predecessors, still features the flush mounted hardware, and now works with either RHD or LHD.
The GT Power Series cranks in both chromoly and aluminum are available now at all GT retailers, although many stores have already sold out and restocks are coming in the very near future. Both cranks will be available in 175mm lengths, and as far as colors go, both cranks will be available in either black or high-polished/chrome. If you’re concerned about weight, the chromoly version will save you a few ounces at 28.9oz, while the stiffer aluminum version tips the scales at 34.3oz. Both cranks will retail for only $129.99, which is crazy when you realize that these originally retailed for $155 over 20 years ago. For up to the minute team & product updates, check out GT on Instagram @gtbmxfreestyle, and for more info on all of their products, including the 2017 complete line, head over to www.gtbicycles.com.