FUNN Carbonation Solo Crank

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
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FUNN Carbonation Solo Crank
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Tested: FUNN Carbonation Solo Cranks

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Nick Zuzelski // Action photos by AJ Barlas

FUNN has been offering alloy components for years, but this season FUNN broke into the carbon game with their new Carbonation Solo crankset. Featuring their Solo narrow/wide chainring, this crankset is aimed at aggressive 1x-drivetrain riders seeking the performance and bling of carbon along with the chain retention abilities of a narrow/wide chainring.

Carbonation Solo Crank Highlights

  • Designed for XC / AM / DH
  • Arm Material: UD Carbon
  • Crank Length: 170 / 175mm
  • BCD: 104mm
  • Chainring Size: 30T, 32T, 34T, 36T
  • Chainring Material: AL 7075 Full CNC
  • BB Axle-Width: 68 / 73 , 83mm
  • Drivetrain Compatibility: 10 / 11 speed
  • Graphic Colors: Red / Blue / Orange
  • Weight: 750g including bottom bracket
  • Price: $429 (68/73mm bottom bracket), $439 (83mm

Review by Nick Zuzelski // Action photos by AJ Barlas

FUNN has been offering alloy components for years, but this season FUNN broke into the carbon game with their new Carbonation Solo crankset. Featuring their Solo narrow/wide chainring, this crankset is aimed at aggressive 1x-drivetrain riders seeking the performance and bling of carbon along with the chain retention abilities of a narrow/wide chainring.

Carbonation Solo Crank Highlights

  • Designed for XC / AM / DH
  • Arm Material: UD Carbon
  • Crank Length: 170 / 175mm
  • BCD: 104mm
  • Chainring Size: 30T, 32T, 34T, 36T
  • Chainring Material: AL 7075 Full CNC
  • BB Axle-Width: 68 / 73 , 83mm
  • Drivetrain Compatibility: 10 / 11 speed
  • Graphic Colors: Red / Blue / Orange
  • Weight: 750g including bottom bracket
  • Price: $429 (68/73mm bottom bracket), $439 (83mm bottom bracket)

Initial Impressions

Out of the box, the Carbonation cranks really caught our eye. The raw matte-carbon arms are beefy and stout and feature red pinstriping to match the anodized red narrow/wide chainring. Subtle but large branding logos are incorporated into the finish of the crank arms with a black-on-black color scheme featured on the outside of the crank and a white logo on the inside. Overall a very nice looking package.

FUNN decided to stay with the standard 24mm crank spindle as opposed to going with a 30mm spindle, which is becoming more and more common these days. The included bottom bracket is also black, which matches the cranks nicely and give the whole package a uniform and appealing look. The non-drive side crank arm is installed and tightened using an 8mm allen key and is self-extracting for removal.

At a claimed 750-grams (bottom bracket included), the Carbonation crankset feels fairly light, despite its beefy construction. We opted for the red anodized 32-tooth narrow/wide chainring, which nicely matches the red pinstriping on the crank arms. The chainring is mounted using a 104-BCD alloy spider.

On The Trail

After easily installing the Carbonation crankset, it was finally time to get some miles in. A good set of cranks is a set you can forget, doesn't cause worry on the trail and doesn't require constant adjustment or fiddling. We gave these cranks a proper break-in and flogging during a week long Whistler and Squamish trip, and we're happy to report we didn't have to touch them the entire time.

Obviously, we'd never expect a pair of cranks to dramatically change the overall feeling of a bike, but we couldn't help but notice a bit less flex with the Carbonation cranks mounted. The bike felt more responsive on the trail, specifically when pedaling and pumping through corners and g-outs. While not a huge difference, that little bit of extra stiffness with the Carbonation Solo cranks was still noticeable when compared to the alloy cranks they replaced. The narrow/wide chainring has done a good job keeping our 11-speed drivetrain on track and hasn't had a single issue, despite everything we've thrown at. It's worth noting, though, that this crankset and chainring was always used while utilizing a chainguide, so to which extent the narrow/wide chainring kept our chain from falling off the top, we can't say. But, since our guide doesn't use a bottom roller, we can say the chainring did its job holding on to the chain down there, without fault. Also worth noting, we tested this chainring in both 11-speed and 10-speed configurations, and it performed equally well in both setups, despite with the wider chain of the 10-speed setup.

Things That Could Be Improved

Despite an overall solid design, there are a few features that we feel could make the Carbonations an even better contender when compared to the competition. It would be nice to see a 30mm-crank spindle, as that seems to be the standard every other crankset is moving to for its increased stiffness and weight savings. Since this crankset uses a 104-BCD spider, users wishing to run a sub-30-tooth chainring are out of luck, as the minimum count these cranks will accept is 30-tooth. Perhaps offering a direct mount option would open the Carbonations cranks to a wider range of riders.

Long Term Durability

If you own carbon cranks and ride in rocky terrain, you know the beating these things can get. Unlike alloy cranks, carbon doesn't do well with sharp impacts. The Santa Cruz Nomad we used to test these cranks has a pretty low bottom bracket, which also didn't do the Carbonation cranks any favors. While we haven't experienced any major strikes or damage to the cranks, there has been some cosmetic damage. That said, running crank arm boots on any carbon crank is never a bad idea. Think of it as cheap extra insurance for your carbon goodness; no brainer. What damage these cranks did sustain was caused by rocks shooting up from the front wheel, leaving only cosmetic scars on the crank arms. Shoe scuffing hasn't been terrible, but is starting to show on the exposed carbon arms in an area we often see those thick, clear stickers on some other carbon cranks.

The narrow/wide chainring has held up well to wear and still continues to do its job without fault. Not a single creak or noise has been noted since installation and the bearings in the bottom bracket are still smooth. Since installation, we only recall tightening the cranks twice and have not had to deal with consistent re-torquing of the crank arms.

What's The Bottom Line?

The Carbonation Solo crankset has proven to be a dependable, stiff and great looking product. With hassle-free performance, we have enjoyed the Carbonations and feel felt like they are an added improvement to our test bike's drivetrain. As we stated earlier, a good crankset is one you don't have to think about or fiddle with. These live up to that expectation after a long summer filled with abuse. Despite the lack of a 30mm spindle design, the Carbonations performed well in all categories and were up to the task when it came to aggressive all-mountain and trail riding. However, with a total weight of 750-grams for the crankset, chainring and BB, they aren't the lightest carbon cranks available. At $429 MSRP, this crankset gets you out on the trail for reasonably less than a lot of other carbon cranksets out on the market, making the Carbonation Solo crankset an excellent value.

FUNN has done a good job with the Carbonation Solo, and if you are looking for a crankset that strikes a good cost-to-performance mark, this would be a good set to consider if weight isn't at the tippy-top of your list.

Visit www.funnmtb.com for more details.


About The Reviewer

Nick Zuzelski began riding motocross at a young age, a sport that would eventually lead him to the world of downhill. As a Colorado native, racing downhill, dual slalom, or a chill dirt jump session was never far away, and he eventually worked his way up the ranks to the Pro level. Now residing in Eastern Pennsylvania, he recently changed it up from the Rocky Mountain dust to East Coast loam, world class dirt jumps, and rocks... lots of rocks. If a trail has fast flow and some fun gaps, he is grinning ear to ear and getting after it. Living by the assumption that basically everything feels better with a short stem and wide bars, you can count on him keeping it real with a laid back attitude and flat pedals most of the time. Mechanical Engineer by trade, rider by heart, he enjoys riding it, finding out how it works, and making it better.

Specifications

Product FUNN Carbonation Solo Crank
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail, Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill
Arm Material UD Carbon
Arm Material Details
Arm Lengths 170 or 175mm
Bolt Pattern 4 x 104mm
Ring Options 30, 32, 34, or 36 Tooth
BB Shell Widths 68 / 73 , 83mm
Spindle Interface
Colors Carbon with Red, Blue, or Orange
Weight 1 lb 10.5 oz (750 g)
Miscellaneous Weight includes bottom bracket
Price $429
More Info

FUNN Website

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