Within the cycling industry, it’s somewhat rare to see manufacturers develop mid-level “workhorse” components rather than expensive, attention-grabbing products that few riders can truly afford. Most often, we see these over-marketed high end pieces developed, tested, and released, then only years later does that technology “trickle down” to a more affordable bracket. Thankfully, the forging gurus at Praxis Works have defied these trends with their TURN cranksets.
You won’t find the TURN Zayante or TURN Girder sitting on a shelf with ridiculous price tags. Specialized found enough value in the TURN brand to spec these cranks as original equipment on no less than ten of their 2015 bike models; all reasonably priced, high value rigs made for cyclists who ride. FairWheel and other aftermarket retailers are happy to carry products like TURN because of the high degree of trust we have in the manufacturer; that they have taken the time to develop a truly reliable product whose function smoothly integrates into the whole experience of cycling.
What makes TURN cranks so subtly exciting is no one feature, but the whole package. Taking a look at the complicated state of the the modern crankset and bottom bracket, it’s difficult to draw clear conclusions to which design options are best overall. The fact is, there are a staggering number of current standards, each with their own supporters and detractors. As an emerging crankset manufacturer, Praxis made an intelligent decision to create a system that, while unique in some dimensions, allows for compatibility with five of the most common bottom bracket shell designs – BSA (English threaded), BB86 (common on Scott, Giant, Lapierre, and others), BB30, PF30, and Specialized’s proprietary OSBB. Already well-regarded for their high performance cold forged chainrings and problem-solving conversion bottom brackets, it’s no stretch of the imagination to expect Praxis to fill in the space between with their inhouse produced hollow forged aluminum cranksets. These cranks feature those same chainrings, with bottom brackets modified to fit the wider 30 mm spindles of the TURN M30 system. With a longer spindle than traditional BB30 cranksets, the TURN allows the bottom bracket bearings to be very widely spaced. With the exception of BB86 systems, this places the cartridge bearings completely outside of the frame shell. Frame tolerance issues such as creaking and premature bearing wear are thus avoided as Praxis can now use their own precision-machined cups to house their high quality cartridge bearings.
TURN crank arms are formed using Praxis’ proprietary hollow forging process which uses massive pressure to align the aluminum metal grain while retaining an interior pocket in each arm for weight savings. The finished product finds itself in a similar realm to Shimano’s highly regarded aluminum cranks – both strong and lightweight, while being relatively inexpensive to manufacture. The attached machined aluminum spindle is unique in its own right. All other mass produced 30mm spindled cranksets use a consistent diameter. Praxis borrows from Sram’s dependable GXP design to create a step down (to 28 mm). The benefit of this system is that the non-drive side bearing is securely sandwiched between the spindle and crank arm, eliminating the need for a delicate and/or complicated bearing preload adjustment. If the intelligent design of the crankset isn’t enough, the included Praxis rings should add enough value to excite just about any avid cyclist. An aftermarket Praxis chainring set sells at retail for $160-170, while the complete TURN system starts at a mere $349 – only just over twice the cost of the chainrings alone.
A recent comprehensive crank test by FairWheel confirmed what we had already guessed to be true; in total stiffness (which could be defined as efficiency of power transfer from rider to drivetrain) the affordable Turn Zayante road crankset outperformed nearly every other high-end crankset in the test. Due to its higher overall weight, it rated not so well in our stiffness-to-weight category, but these results certainly create some anticipation for a higher end TURN crankset when Praxis decides to “trickle up” the technology of this workhorse line.
Complete Turn Zayante Install Instructions
Prepare the bottom bracket and frame for installation. Lightly grease the bore in your BB30 or PF30 shell. The plastic PF30 adapter sleeve will be needed only if your frame has a 46mm PF30 bore. 42mm BB30 bores do not require this adapter. Installation is the same for either shell type. Whether or not the PF30 adapter is used, you will need to lightly grease the non drive side cup’s sleeve.
Ensure that there is ample copper anti-seize on the drive side cup. Praxis bottom brackets are shipped pre-coated with anti-seize.
Using a suitable press (such as this Park HHS-2), carefully press the non drive side cup into the frame, ensuring that is pressed in as straight as possible. If the non drive cup is not pressed in straight and even, damage to the frame or bottom bracket could result. Press the cup in only to the point where the rubber o-ring just touches the frame – Do not press it in all the way.
Using the Praxis bottom bracket tool and a 3/8” ratchet handle, thread in the drive side cup and tighten it until it bottoms out on the non drive side.The second tool and an additional ratchet handle will be required to prevent the non drive cup from turning.
Ensure that the crank spindle is lightly coated with grease. Insert the drive side crank arm and spindle into the bottom bracket. The non drive side of the spindle is stepped and will stop when it contacts the non drive side bearing.