Regarding Alexedge's and Johnny Rad's comments about the surface machining, my guess would be for the 'look'. It's surprising how many people like that 'machined' look. I remember visiting the 'HOPE' stand at the London Cycle Show and they have various parts with the same surface machining style and the stand is always busy with people commenting on how great they look. On a personal note, I like it as well
It definitely looks different
- not sure if I like it or not. However, one of the first things I learned as an apprentice machinist oh so many years ago is that the smoother the surface, the stronger it is - bumps, sharp edges, anything like that are just focal points for stress and are perfect places for fatigue-induce stress risers to turn into cracks. In this case, I doubt that would ever happen, as the cranks look extremely strong, but based on the way I was taught, GOOD machining means making things SMOOTH.
I wonder if the tool marks are not just for looks - the could be intended to create what we in the motorcycle industry call "tuned flex" - perhaps to make the ride smoother, more like a carbon crank? I wonder if someone from Extralite could chime in and give a hint at their reasoning for this surface finish. I'd also like to know if that surface was cut with a ball end-mill, which would make the tool marks more like 'waves'.
Either way, I still want to buy a set - but depending on my feeling when I get around to the purchase, I might have the surface machined smooth and then polished before powder-coating or plating....