S&M Bikes Alex at radbmx.co.uk wrote:
The Prince Albert crank they took the Boss crank
design and tried to solve the problem of them breaking at the pedal
end. They did this by piercing the pedal boss, making the cranks arm
pierced at the end (hence the name). They used the same spindle as Boss
cranks (I think) and they were made in Florida by Greg Esser, the BMX
racer. These cranks were first make in 1994 and I donâ€™t know how
many of the first gen were made. The design didnâ€™t really work
cos now the crank arms broke at the BB end.
The second Gen design was a simple progression: pierce the BB end as well. The name didnâ€™t really work but hopefully the cranks would. The design was better, but there were still problems with the spindle. The splines had a smaller Outside dia than the 19mm bearings and they were quite deep (S&M wanted to make them different and try to stop the hit and miss alignment with profile splines). The deep spline and smaller dia spindle made them weaker and they broke.
The third Gen PAs were very close to the second but they used a profile style spindle. The spindles were a little different because they used a smaller bolt to thicken up the wall of the spindle. This worked fine and the spindle problems were sorted out, but there were still some lingering problems with the crank arms. Now that the BB boss was bigger (for the profile style spindle) the piercing at the BB end clipped the inside wall of the arm tube so they sometimes broke there.
The forth and final PA had a bigger overall size of crank arm to give clearance for the piercing at both ends. This really did seem to make for a strong crank arm, but these were only really used for warrantee replacements and they werenâ€™t made for sale (As far as I know).
Itâ€™s a shame because S&M went to an awful amount of effort, trouble and expense to make good cranks and it really bit them bad. In the end, they decided that other people (profile) make great cranks at a good price so they wouldnâ€™t bother.
I prefer the first gen cranks. They are very clean looking and the arm isnâ€™t too big. I first held a pair of the first 50 in 1994, but they all got sent back because they were made wrong and the arms didnâ€™t line up (jinxed from the very start?). I have been waiting to get a set of gen 1s since then, and I finally did last week.
Heres a pic of 1st through 4th Generation S&M Prince Albert cranks...red being 1st.
1st and 2nd generation spindle
S&MAlex at radbmx.co.uk wrote:
Thanks for asking about using the PA info, but do feel free to take it.
Ive just checked out the links you sent me, thanks for those. That is quite some find that bloke had. He really got lucky with the cranks.
I had seen loads of stuff written about PAs that was wrong so I wanted to put down some facts, just to help people out. If it will be usefull to have it on your site then feel free to take it. Thanks loads for asking, but Im happy for it to go where ever it will be seen. Maybe put a credit to me on there somewhere but that is no big deal. Did you see the one I have done for S&M forks too? Id like to do one for some of the frames but they changed so much, esp in the early years, that it would be very hard.