16 March, 2016
The Sram Force 1 crankset is one of the higher end options for running a 1x drivetrain. Made out of unidirectional carbon fiber, the Force 1 cranks are durable, efficient power transfer and sharp responsiveness. Sram offers these cranks in either GXP or BB/PF 30 spindle and a range of crank arm lengths ranging from 162.5 - 177.5mm. Another nice option about these cranks is that you can use the 110mm spider that comes with the cranks or it also allows for a Sram direct mount chainring as well. Wolf tooth, Raceface, Oneup, Absolute Black and Sram are some companies that make wide narrow chainrings for these or other cranks. Chainring sizes range from 28t -52t, allowing this crank to be used for Cyclocross, Gravel, Road, Triathlon, Backpacking, etc.
I've been on the Force 1 cranks for just over four months and adding up the miles. I have it set up with a 42t Sram X-SYNC wide and narrow chainring. Between hitting the gravel mountain roads in Colorado and the dirt fire roads in California, I haven't had any uses with chain drop or chain slap. The 1x set up still allows for the same ratio as most 2x drivetrains but saves weight and creates simplicity. These cranks are also great because it allows for a better chain line. When your converting your bike to a 1x set up, using a 2x crank can sometimes cause conflict with your drivetrain chain line. Along with chain line, easy set up is the fact that these cranks are light. The Force 1 cranks with the BB30 spindle and 42t chainring come in at 591 grams. Sram also offers the Rival Cranks for a 1x set up which are made out of aluminum, $100 cheaper and about 140g heavier.
There are only two small complaint's that I have with these cranks. First, the cranks for me were a bit of a pain to install. There was a 5mm washer that was included but it was a bit to big and without it the slack adjuster couldn't take out the needed slack. I needed to find a washer 2.5mm washer for proper set up. But once I got the right washer the cranks set install and set up very easily. The only other complaint is the way the slack adjuster on the non drive side crank arm. There is a slight gap between the BB and adjuster and when riding gravel or other off road surfaces the dirt gets trapped in-between there. It is almost impossible to fully clean without taking the cranks off or by lightly spraying the hose around the BB. These two small complaints don't affect overall performance of the crank and only applies to the BB/PF 30 spindle option.
For proper set up make sure the black washer stays on the outside of the crank like pictured.
The Sram Force 1 Crankset has the lightweight needs along with reliability that you can rely on whether your out training or out on the course. With the 1x set ups becoming more popular, the use of these cranks are ranging from Triathlon to Cyclocross and everywhere in-between. The stiffness of the carbon allows for a direct power transfer from the cranks to the wheels. Whether your looking into upgraded your cranks or converting to a 1x set up, the Sram Force 1 cranks should be highly considered for your build.