When was the last time you saw welded, hollow cranks like these? While it’s not a new idea, it’s not something that has been done very often and, despite the advantages, it’s very hard to get right. Cane Creek today launches this set of ‘eeWings’ welded, hollow, titanium cranks with a fair amount of confidence. Mostly because it hired the guy behind ‘Sweet Wings’ who successfully made some very lovely welded steel cranks back in the 1990s.
As we say, the concept isn’t new and there have been hollow, welded metal cranks before – from Syncros, Bullseye and the aforementioned Sweet Wings. They’re hard to make strong, true and durable, but it has been possible. And the benefits are considerable – low weight, high stiffness and, if made right, good durability too.
Cane Creek has gone full-on into this project, producing a high end crankset that it reckons weighs in at a mere 400g while also claiming to be 20-30% stiffer than premium carbon cranks. Quite a tall order.
And these cranks aren’t just spindly light XC cranks designed to be stiffer than spindly light carbon XC cranks. Cane Creek is pitching the eeWings to “keep up with the rigorous demands of the most aggressive trail and enduro mountain bikers“. And despite all of that, the claimed weight comes in at 400g for cranks, spindle and adjuster, but no BB or chainring. (By comparison, SRAM’s new hollow carbon XX1 DUB cranks and BB spindle with a 32t chainring weighs in at 422g.)
Cane Creek says “eeWings are designed to keep up with the rigorous demands of the most aggressive trail and enduro mountain bikers – though they will benefit any rider who puts a premium on durability, stiffness and weight. In fact, Cane Creek has such confidence in the eeWings’ quality and durability that they are backing the cranks with a 10-year limited warranty.”
The cranks have a titanium 30mm spindle and are compatible with BSA73mm, PF92/PF89.5, 392EVO bottom brackets as well as PF30 and BB30 bottom brackets with outboard bearing configurations.
The eeWings also include an new CNC machined aluminium preloader that is compatible with multiple other high-end 30mm spindle cranks – providing a more durable solution over preloaders from other manufacturers, which are often made from plastic or, apparently, cheese.
“When we first set out to make a crankset we knew we wanted to create something that really pushed boundaries and deserved the ee designation,” said Brent Graves, president and CEO of Cane Creek. “That meant not cutting a single corner, using the best materials regardless of cost and holding ourselves to the highest standards of testing and design, We’ve done those things and it’s resulted in a truly exceptional product that we’re all very proud of.”
The eeWings were developed in collaboration with revolutionary components designer Craig Edwards. Edwards joined Cane Creek in October of 2016 as part of an exclusive deal for the company to take over manufacturing and distribution of his ultra-light eeBrake. In the 1990s it was Edwards who developed the original Sweet Wings hollow welded cranks.
eeWings come in a brushed titanium finish with only a minimalist laser-etched graphic on the face of the crank. The lack of graphics will allow riders to use Scotch-Brite or a similar abrasive to remove small scratches and blemishes that accumulate in the finish over time and use.
We asked a few more questions to preempt the inevitable and here are some quick answers. Yes, the pedal threads are welded. They are available in 170mm and 175mm. No plans for fat bike (or anything aside from MTB) at the moment and, yes, the chainring setup is compatible with SRAM X-Sync.
The cranks will retail for £999 and will be available through Cane Creek distributors such as Extra in the UK in a month or so.
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