A Rotor 3D+ crank review

About a year ago we built up a Giant TCX Advanced SL cross bike with Rotor 3D+ cranks with 50/34 Rotor Q-Rings and it is now time to talk about the experience.

For this cross bike project we went with the 110BCD option on a 175mm crank, but if we wanted to use these cranks on a non compact bike setup that could easily be handled with a simple spider swap. Rotor's cranks also are well known to fit a big variety of bottom brackets and that meant no headache on our end. To complete the package we decided to go with the Q-Rings the brand is famous for, versus their round offerings. The cranks themselves are machined from a solid billet of Al 7075 T6 aluminum to make them strong and stiff and they are triple drilled to make them lighter, thus the name 3D we assume. The cranks are further machined on the outside to make them as light as possible. We believe the + indicates that this model is even lighter than the regular 3D edition. Total weight for our 3D+ cranks with rings, bolts and the steel bottom bracket spindle was right at 688 grams. There is also a titanium spindle offering that reportedly shaves another 37 grams off. The Rotor crank 3D+ setup we had on our bike was very stiff and that was obvious - in a good way. I also could not imagine anyone complaining that they would need more stiffness in that area.

During this year the bike has been ridden hard with a variety of wheels and tires, but the cranks were never swapped out and had to work all the time. The graphics on the cranks look still as crisp as they did when they were first installed, and considering the wider Q factor of them that is somewhat surprising. I also expected that with all that body English on that cross bike, that the shoes, rocks or barriers would leave some marks on the graphics, but that has not been the case. The black and silver graphics are quite distinctive and while I personally like them very much and think that they'd go with most bike color schemes, they might be a bit much for some cyclists who might prefer a more stealth offering.

Initially there was a concern if the Q-Rings would change how the bike was going to be ridden, but that was quickly forgotten as riding the Q-Rings felt surprisingly normal. But I am more of slow cadence masher on the bike and so that might not make me the most ideal Q-Ring tester. When folks ask me how they feel, I usually describe them as kind of normal. What that means is they feel like standard round rings to me.

When we first had these cranks in our hands we fondled them for a while as they are truly quite magnificent.

Set up with the 50/34 Rotor Q-Rings we did many 1.5 hour plus outings on this setup.

Early on this bike was ridden with Madfiber wheels and Challenge tubular tires, but this Hed Ardennes /Continental setup saw the most miles.

It is a very cold and dirty job, but someone has to do it.

The Rotor 3D+ cranks after a hard weekend in the mountains with rain, mud, dust and more rain.

See you on the other side my friend. The red cap shown here can also be had in black.

The non drive side of the Rotor 3D + crank setup.

The bike as it currently is built.

With all these carbon cranks offerings now out there it would be quite easy to jump on that carbon bandwagon, but with these beautiful Rotor 3D+ cranks you can buck that trend and still be cool. They are like fine pieces of art and I would enjoy these cranks on any of my bikes.

Crank length options: 150, 155, 160, 165, 170, 172, 175, 177 & 180 mm
Q-factor: 148mm
MSRP: $690 (cranks/bb no rings)

All images © Herbert Krabel / slowtwitch.com