The Following is from the Uk courtesy of S&M Alex. I am reposting this because it seems few people have caught this post and there is some wrong information that is being posted. I did talk to the guys at S&M including Chris Moeller and this information seems totally accurate. I personally have a set of 1st gen's and we have a set of third gen's at Kore Bikes. Enjoy!
From S&M Alex in the UK
"Ok, itâ€™s taken me a little while to be able to do this but Iâ€™ve been wanting to for ages. Hopefully it will find itself onto Vintage BMX cos I have seen some of the guys over there get it wrong a few times.
When S&M first made 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?). "
1st to 4 gen PA cranks- side view
1st to 4 gen PA cranks- top view
1st to 4 gen PA cranks- pedal end
1st to 4 gen PA cranks- BB end
1st and 2nd gen PA spindle
My 1st gen 180's
Nbl 49a [ August 11, 2007, 07:54 PM: Message edited by: Nbl 49a ]