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5DEV Manufacturing facility Tour + CNC Machined Gravel & MTB Crankset Evaluation!






Final yr, I made a visit all the way down to San Diego to go to the manufacturing facility for 5DEV. As a result of I’m native to them, they reached out to ask me to their facility to strive a prototype of their new gravel cranks… they usually stated that they have been going to chop them on the CNC machine whereas I waited.

Um… yeah, thanks!

5DEV is the youthful bike division of a bigger, and extra established machining firm referred to as fifth Axis. fifth Axis is a frontrunner within the manufacturing of advanced elements for the aerospace and medical industries.

The co-founders of fifth Axis/5DEV are cyclists which were mountain biking for over 30 years. With the scarcity of elements throughout the pandemic inflicting large wait instances to obtain new elements for his or her bikes, they determined to begin constructing their very own stuff.

All the merchandise 5DEV affords are designed and manufactured in-house out of aerospace-grade billet aluminum utilizing a patented tooling system utilizing environment friendly processes whereas managing the design and building from the begin to the end.

After I bought all the way down to the San Diego space, I met Will Talbot at their facility, and we began the tour.

5DEV chainring blanks
Chainring blanks

The 5DEV Manufacturing facility Tour

The power, though neat, clear, and fairly organized, initially appeared like a typical, albeit, high-end machine store. As I walked via the 5DEV workplace space the place I bought to satisfy among the behind-the-scene 5DEV crew, I began seeing bits and elements that I really acknowledged… in different phrases, bike stuff. This was going to be enjoyable.

We walked out of the 5DEV workplace space, and again into the store. We wound our means via a maze of (what appeared like) numerous CNC machines to get to the one that may be reducing the brand new cranks.

5DEV Gravel prototype Cranks
My Gravel Crank arms will not be completely carried out.

5DEV did many of the machining on the pair of crank arms that I used to be to take dwelling previous to my arrival. As soon as I bought there, they put them again within the machine and let me watch them end the method.

The crank arms went into their fifth Axis proprietary tooling they usually queued up the machine. It was enjoyable watching the CNC machine do what it does, placing the ending touches on the cranks.

The machine effortlessly lower the ultimate form of the arms whereas smoothing the entire edges, and threading the spots for the chainrings and pedals. It actually didn’t take lengthy in any respect.

I bought the arms proper off of the machine and will probably be utilizing them on the bike as they’re, with the uncooked aluminum and no end. They’re as fairly as they appear in particular person.

5DEV Cranks On the Bike

The prototype Gravel Cranks us the SRAM 8 bolt sample to connect the chainring, They didn’t have any chainrings for these cranks after I bought the arms, in order that they despatched me dwelling with a set of their Path/Enduro cranks and their 12% oval chainring for my Surly Krampus (that I introduced with me).

However there are two chainrings accessible on the web site now, referred to as Street Gravel Basic Chainrings in 40t and 42t.

5DEV Gravel Cranks weight

Precise Weight

Each the prototype Gravel Cranks and their Path/Enduro Cranks are made from 7075-7651 billet aluminum. They’re constructed to be each mild and robust. The Path/Enduro cranks weigh in on the claimed weight of 525g (w/ 30mm spindle) with the Gravel Cranks weighing in at 491g with a 29mm spindle.

There aren’t quite a lot of beauty variations between the 2 totally different cranks. However, upon nearer inspection, you may see the refined variations between the Path/Enduro and Gravel cranks.

The Gravel Cranks have barely extra refined corners and additional chamfering on the sting of the arm going additional up the arm from the pedal to in direction of the extraction bolt. Plus rather less materials across the base of the arm (on the extraction bolt) on the Gravel Cranks. These few areas of eradicated materials are the supply of the 34g lighter weight distinction on the Gravel Cranks.

They each use Chromoly metal crank bolts with self-extracting {hardware}. The Path/Enduro in addition to these Gravel cranks include a 5-year guarantee.

5DEV Path/Enduro Cranks

5DEV Enduro Cranks on the trail against a tree

The Path/Enduro cranks that I put in on my Krampus have been put in with no hitch. I’m nonetheless utilizing the Race Face backside bracket that was on my bike already, and with a single 2.5mm spacer on the non-drive facet, and the chain line was excellent. I’m working the 175mm crank arm size and their small 12% oval, 28t chainring (outdated knees and occasional bikepacking hundreds) with a Shimano XT 11-46 cassette.

Since I’ve put in the Path/Enduro cranks on the Krampus I’ve put roughly 500 miles on it within the final 6 months. In that point, I’ve not had a single subject. The alloy bearing pre-loader that comes with the cranks, hasn’t loosened up over time, like others that I’ve used previously.

5DEV Enduro Cranks purple close up

The cranks don’t really feel like they’ve any lateral or “noodly” motion. They really feel stiff, whereas delivering the ability on actually exhausting efforts, and really feel mild when spinning. They usually look superb.

The aesthetics remind me of the aftermarket “blingy” crankset choices that have been in abundance “again within the day”, just like the Kookas, Hersheys, and Prepare dinner Brothers, besides that 5DEV will get it proper. Like actually, actually proper.

5DEV Gravel Cranks (prototype)

5DEV Gravel Cranks on Incanto.jpeg

The Gravel Cranks I obtained to check, have been introduced dwelling to make use of on my gravel bike Dream Construct. They turned out to be the right cranks for the Masi Incanto Ti. They actually popped on the construct, being a spotlight on the completed product.

5DEV Gravel Cranks on the trail

These cranks have a 170mm arm size with an 8-bolt chainring mounting interface which will probably be on the manufacturing cranks. The Path/Enduro cranks have the extra widespread 3-bolt interface.

5DEV prototype Gravel Cranks on white fence

In the meanwhile, I’m utilizing a Wolf Tooth Powertrac Elliptical 38t chainring with it.

5DEV prototype Gravel Cranks muddy
5DEV prototype Gravel Cranks in LA

The construct was accomplished again in early December 2022, and to date I’ve about 300 miles on these cranks. They’ve actually been flawless. The end on the uncooked aluminum I obtained has remained un-scathed even with a 25-mile mud-fest I’ve carried out beneath their belt. To this point, they appear to be holding up rather well.

Retail Value

Path/Enduro Crank retail: $499 ($349 for 135mm and 140mm)

Path/Enduro sizes: 135mm, 145mm. 155mm, 160mm, 165mm, 170mm, 175mm

Gravel Cranks: $499

Gravel Crank sizes: Each 170mm, and 172.5mm will probably be accessible first, with 167.5mm, and 175mm to comply with. Extra sizes coming Summer time of ’23.

Chainrings: $99 (spherical, 6% oval, 12% oval)

Colours accessible: Clear Uncooked Anno, Black

Spindle sizes: 30mm increase or 29mm “DUB” increase

In Conclusion

5DEV prototype Gravel Cranks on bridge

With my having the distinctive alternative to experience each cranks within the related disciplines, I can safely say that I might completely suggest both of these cranks. The 5DEV cranks provide not solely nice efficiency however to date, appear to be dependable whereas including a wild aesthetic to your present steed, taking the bling degree up a notch.

5DEV Cranks is providing made-in-USA, boutique merchandise that seem like well worth the cash. The cranks not solely provide the look of a boutique handmade product, however ship on the efficiency facet as nicely. That’s actually what you need in a crank – mild, good energy switch, a match that stays tight, and a kick-ass look that provides to your bike’s swagger. The 5DEV cranks try this in spades.

Take a look at the opposite items that 5DEV has to supply by hitting the hyperlink beneath.

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