Modern tech, bikes, and components were lost on me over the previous few years. Sure, I talk about all that here at “work,” but in my personal life, I have spent more time looking backward, not forward, with bikes. Maybe it was because all the major manufacturers wanted journalists (if I can even call myself that) to review new gear that wouldn’t hit consumers for another year or so. Or perhaps I felt like there was inherently more to learn from the past than new tech and its marginal gains mantra.
Having spent a lot of time curating a few vintage builds, re-evaluating my own stable, and pouring over old bike catalogs, there’s something about the aesthetic found in the 1980s and early 90s mountain bike components that hits the nail on the head. Be it the eeWings cranks, those nifty Cyber Cranks, or these Engin Cycles Port Royal cranks, what’s old is new again in terms of design silhouette.
When I first saw these cranks, I immediately felt like they were an homage to the first gen M700 Deore cranks by Shimano, which did in fact come in black. (Ritchey Commandos were specced with an all-black Deer Head group!) Yet, the thing I liked about them the most was the slim profile, 30mm spindle, and the fact that Engin Cycles, a framebuilder I hold in deep regard and respect for, machines these in Philly!
I’ve had the Engin Cycles Port Royal Cranks ($575) on my Starling Murmur for a while now and finally have some thoughts I can share with y’all, so read on below for a quick review…