I recently had the chance to test out the NS Modular Compact Aero Crankset from Vision.

I first noticed the crankset when it was introduced at the final Interbike trade show in Reno, Nevada in 2018. Sometimes, the smallest things and components can be a show stopper, and to me, this crankset was a show stopper!

The crankset just looked cool and very efficient. I was surprised when the rep at the Vision booth told me it was just a mid-range crankset. I was blown away on the design and sleek appearance of the new Vision NS Modular Compact Aero Crankset.

There is a segment of new road bikes that have come on the market recently which included some semi-aero bikes. In 2019, the  SoCalCycling.com Team was slated to ride the new Bottecchia 8AVIO frames, so I figured this would be a great crankset that would match the bike really well as it had some semi-aero properties.

Since Bottecchia uses a BB386 press-fit bottom bracket and the NS Modular Compact Aero Crankset are set for BB386 it was a perfect fit and makes for a super clean and seamless look.

After getting to spend some time on the NS Modular Compact Aero Crankset, I really liked and noticed how stiff the aero crank arms are, which are made of 6061 alloy. For someone who doesn’t use the small chainring very much, I could really feel the difference in just how stiff the cranks were for being aero bladed arms.

When putting the NS Modular Compact Aero Crankset to the test on my bike rides, I was impressed with the stiffness of the crank arms and power transfer that made getting on top of the gear and propelling the bike forward easier. The shifting with my Shimano Ultegra shifters worked flawlessly and smoothly in transitioning from the small and big ring and the terrain changed.

Aside from having aero bladed arms the NS Modular Compact Aero Crankset also uses a carbon aero dish spider fairing. Not only does the crankset look cool, but it also sounds awesome when you are shifting the gears on the bike. It just sounds fast, kind of like a rear disc wheel when you’re shifting cogs in the rear.

The NS Modular Compact Aero Crankset comes in a compact gearing range, so I was surprised not to see a 53-55 large outer chainring option. Maybe Vision and FSA have a chainring that is hiding somewhere on the Vision and FSA web sites that could be an added option. However, the cranks use a modular set to allow for swapping out different chainring sizes.

The Vision NS Modular Compact Aero Crankset is one of those “Big Bang for the Buck” products that could be easily overlooked. The retail on the NS Modular Compact Aero Crankset starts at $259.90 US and can add something for someone who is looking to upgrade their bike and a little aero advantage without spending too much money.

One disadvantage is that the NS Modular Compact Aero Crankset isn’t set up for power. However, there are other options such as using a pedal system that has power, a Stages Power Meter or a power meter that can attach to the crank near the pedal for someone looking to geek out on their wattage.

With a lot of newer road bikes having semi-aero or full aero designs and components, the Vision NS Modular Compact Aero Crankset is an affordable and great way to upgrade your bike.

Key Features:

  • Dish spider
  • Rigid aero arms
  • Solid forged alloy 6061
  • Forged 7050 30mm spindle

Technical Specs:

  • Carbon Aero Dish Spider
  • Rigid 6061 Alloy Aero Arms
  • BB386 Alloy Spindle
  • Double Chainring
  • 110 Bolt Circle
  • Compatible with Shimano, SRAM and Campy 10 speed
  • Weight 869g

For more information on the Vision NS Modular Compact Aero Crankset,  please visit visiontechusa.com.  Vision NS Modular Compact Aero Cranksets can also be purchased at your local bike shop.

Review by Frank Sarate, SoCalCycling.com