There aren't many things in BMX that remain unchanged after over 30 years. In fact, I could probably count on one hand how many components have remained steadfast for more than a single decade, let alone three. Topping that short list would be Profile Racing’s 48-spine 3-piece cranks, arguably the most popular BMX cranks to have ever existed. Dating back to 1979, the original Profile crank is still available in its original configuration, the only difference being a swap from a logo decal in the center of the arm to a stamped design that can't be rubbed away from constant pedaling. Although the 48-spline design has yet to really evolve over time, the skill level and intensity of riders who prefer Profile products certainly has, and while the classic race cranks can still withstand the abuse of many, there has been an increasing number of riders going bigger and farther, which can mean bent or broken arms and spindles. To help keep todays modern rider cranking in confidence, Profile beefed up their traditional design to create the new Column crank.
Based off of axles from 70's drag cars, the Profile Race crankset uses 4140 chromoly for the arms and a 4340 chromoly spindle for maximum strength. As strong as they are, if you're jumping 30ft dubs or down a 15 set, the traditional 19mm spindle might make certain riders nervous, so what Profile did was take the time-tested 3-piece design and added 3mm of diameter to the spindle and arms, adding substantial strength to your drivetrain while keeping the weight at a manageable level, thanks to the 22mm "GDH" (gun-drilled hollow) spindle with 7075AL bolts. Good luck twisting the spindle on these! In addition to the larger diameter spindle, the Column cranks feature stronger pedal and spindle bosses, and also ditches the increasingly obsolete sprocket boss, meaning the Column cranks are only compatible with spline-drive sprockets. Unlike many 2-piece cranks, however, you can install your sprocket on either side, thanks to the continued use of the traditional 3-piece design.
The Profile Column cranks are available now from Dans Comp and all Profile retailers, including Profile themselves. Retailing for $182.99, you can choose from gloss black or chrome (add $31) in sizes ranging from 160mm to 180mm. If you're a real weight weenie and are running 160's to save weight, know that you could potentially be losing pedal stroke power to save less than 1oz, so choose your size accordingly based on your height and how you ride. If you really want to save weight, Profile offers a 22mm titanium spindle for a measly $169.99, which can also be purchased at a slightly lower cost if you're buying the whole crank set all at once. For more insight on the Column cranks, check out the introductory video here, and for information on all of Profiles products, head on over to www.profileracing.com now.