Here's a name you probably haven't heard for a while – Middleburn Components. Yes, the British manufacturer, best known for its RS series of cranks, got in touch with BikeRadar last week.
Just like a call from a long-lost friend, hearing the Middleburn name brought back all sorts of memories, but at the same time we realised how the brand has slipped out of view for today's mountain bikers. Luckily the Hampshire-based firm have been grafting away on a host of new projects to push the Middleburn name back out there.
Mono TT thick/thin chainring
Narrow-wide, thick-thin, whatever you want to call them, this latest generation of chainrings have taken transmissions another leap forward since their introduction. Now Middleburn have joined the chain retention game with the Mono TT.
Machined from 7075 T6 alloy, the rings are available in a four-arm 104BCD format in 32t, 34t and 36t sizes. There's also the choice of two finishes – a regular anodised black or a hardcoat finish that Middleburn claims is up to four times more resistant to wear than a regular anodised ring. The hardcoat rings are also said to provide better lubrication due to their super slick surface.
Pricing sits at £45 for a black ring or £47.50 for a hardcoat version, that's directly in line with Hope's £45 Retainer Narrow/Wide Chainring, which is also UK-made. Our 32t hardcoat sample tipped the BikeRadar scales at 55g – not the lightest but it feels reassuringly substantial.
Thru-axle bottom bracket
Middleburn also produce an outboard bottom bracket, once again it's 100 percent British made. As well as being compatible with Middleburn's own X-TYPE cranks, it also works as an upgrade for Shimano Hollowtech II chainsets or any other cranks that use a 24mm axle. The machined alloy cups are fitted with pre-greased sealed bearings that are shielded for longevity.
These are also fully serviceable, meaning they could save you dosh in the long run. Our sample bottom bracket matched the claimed weight of 90g .
In the pipeline…
We've been told to expect new cranks, hubs and even wheels from Middleburn in the not-too-distant future. We'll bring you more info as soon as we get it, as well as reviews of the products above.