Pacenti Licenses eeCycleworks’ Crank Design, Brings eeCranks to Life!

EE Cycleworks eeCranks Sweet Parts Sweetwings 3

The most recent pre-Pacenti iteration, shown in Calfee's booth at NAHBS 2012.

The long awaited resurrection of “Sweetwings” cranks is here!

If you’ve followed the saga, you know eeCycleworks founder Craig Edwards has been toiling away on the eeCranks for more than five years. The crankset, which takes the fabled Sweetwings design of years past and makes them stronger, stiffer and lighter, has been so close to production it hurts, but repeatedly been subjected to poor manufacturing partners and other setbacks.

The most recent of which was Edward’s recall of several older eeBrakes, his bread and butter product. That event caused enough delay, capital drain and heartache to put the cranks project on the backburner.

That is until Kirk Pacenti was introduced to Edwards through Fair Wheel Bikes, who’ve been big proponents of the eeCranks. Pacenti has a full machine shop, and FWB suggested they get in touch. One thing led to another, and a deal was struck that licenses the design to Pacenti for a fixed amount over time, at which point he’ll own the IP. In the meantime, Edwards will continue to provide design expertise.

eeCycleworks eeCrank prototype circa 2010

Prototype, circa 2010. Note the tall spider.

Craig told us a big part of his interest in making a deal is that it allows him to focus on design. His words:

“Design is my passion. Manufacturing and running the business are just necessary evils to be a will to do what I want to do. I spent five years trying to bring the crankset market, but I had to deal with all sorts of problems and poor manufacturing partners. Then we had the recall. At the end of the day, I’m just a one man show and it was too much.”

In Pacenti’s hands, things seem to be moving along briskly. He’ll be machining them in-house in his Tennessee workshop, and final tooling is en route. Preproduction samples for final testing should be ready at the end of January, and if all goes well, the first batch of 100 units will ship by the end of February. And yes, the design has changed a bit from what you see above. Pacenti told us Edwards had it 98% complete, but through testing they found a few ways to improve its performance.

“There’ll be some changes,” says Pacenti. “Rather than a three piece design, it’ll be two pieces. The non-drive arm and spindle will be one piece. The driveside will have a draw bolt (like a self extracting bolt) to tighten them together.

“We’ve also tweaked the spider a bit to get the spacing between chainrings right and to avoid chain rub between rings on a compact when a rider cross chains small to small. You shouldn’t ride that way, of course, but we want to make sure it’s not going to have any rub. It has a 170 BCD for the big ring and 110 BCD for the inner ring. The 170 spacing is a little controversial, but it lets us make a much lighter ring that’s as stiff or stiffer than what else is out there because the ring is supported at the teeth. Praxis will be making the rings for us, but it’ll be our proprietary (read: exclusive) design.

“(Overall) we think it’ll test better than the original design. If all goes well, we’ll have preproduction samples in late January.”

Pacenti says he’s targeting end of February but is cautious to name a date. It’s been a very long work in progress, and things could extend a bit more depending on final test results, which could push some potential customers over the edge. So, if you’ve been holding out for five years, just know in advance you just may yet need a bit more patience.

MSRP is likely to be $850, and target weight is around 613g for cranks, compact rings and threaded BSA style bottom bracket assembly…possibly lighter as they make final changes. The spindle is 32mm and designed to use an outboard threaded bottom bracket. They have designs to make it work with BB30/PFBB30 frames, too. Oh, and it should test plenty strong enough for mountain bikes, too. Pacenti says those will likely use standard BCD’s for off the shelf rings. That could mean some pretty lightweight 1×10 groups!

Interested? They’re taking pre-orders now. Email Pacenti or wait until the website goes live at PacentiCycleDesign.com.

Comments

Andy - 12/18/12 - 10:12pm

“Design is my passion” doesn’t seem to cover the aesthetical aspect of design. They may be quite functional, but those have to be the ugliest set of cranks I’ve ever layed eyes on. Soz, the paint job can’t save em..

Mark W. - 12/18/12 - 10:16pm

it is now a race to see which actually makes it to the market first, this or the ciamillo crank. both of which have had people waiting for years.

Xris - 12/18/12 - 10:19pm

Depends on if Camillo decides to offer the same customer service it always has, which is zero.

dwiz - 12/18/12 - 10:34pm

long awaited, never available, so nichey and boutique-y……five years in the making. Waiting to get this stuff? You’d better be ready to wait another long period of time. While I appreciate pushing the technology envelope, this kind of stuff rarely sees the light of day. You’d probably see a UFO first. Just look what became of the brakes

greg - 12/19/12 - 1:18am

what became of the brakes? ee brakes are currently available and fantastic

stratosrally - 12/19/12 - 1:55am

Kirk Pacenti knows a good idea when he sees one – big fan of his endeavors, especially all he did for 650b. I may not make enough money to ever be in the target market for those cranks, but I find them dreamy…

Mindless - 12/19/12 - 2:23am

170? No bashguard? $850

Is it for San Francisco and NY hipsters?

CJ - 12/19/12 - 2:26am

2 Words- Magic Motorcycle.

Broke 3 of those crankarms BITD. But they were sure light and trick.

mudrock - 12/19/12 - 3:18am

Those 170 bcds are for road only. The offroad cranks with standard bcds will take bashguards.

Mike - 12/19/12 - 7:27am

eebrakes are amazing and I’m sure the eecranks will be as well. The reason they are taking to get so long to get to market is because he cares about putting out quality products. If you can’t appreciate that then keep buying that sh!t from China.

bin judgin - 12/19/12 - 9:27am

lol @ your ignorance. “Sh!t from China”

Asian manufacturing is of the highest league available on earth, and the only reason any of it is ever dodgy is because the people ordering it have no QC or no desire to QC their stuff past a self-deluding point.

Max - 12/19/12 - 10:26am

Looks like Rotor 3D(+) Crank with some (little) changes in Design.

A Texan - 12/19/12 - 10:54am

Our local weight weenie sweetwings and propeller crank owner/hoarder probably already has a set of these.

SeeJaneBike - 12/19/12 - 11:19am

I guess the only reason why you would purchase these cranks is if your frame is BSA. Otherwise, you would buy the lighter, stronger, no testing issue, Cannondale SiSL2 crank – for about the same price. What exactly is advantage here?

dwiz - 12/19/12 - 11:39am

from what i’ve seen taiwan carbon manufacturing has it dialed in…..do they have their pitfalls yeah probably so…who or what doesn’t….then maybe explain why most if not all things carbon (i mean from every industry A-Z) has it done over there. Again i can totally appreciate the in house/US manufacturing/entreprenurial spirit of this stuff, but the bottom line is that it will be as rare as seeing Bigfoot…a very small fraction of the cycling world (other than those within earshot of these guys) will ever take the chance on something that appears to be kind of elusive ( i see this stuff ending up like sampson drivetrain/parts and stuff)…its out there but just a light sprinkle

Jacob - 12/19/12 - 1:01pm

I do really love stuff like this from small independent manufacturers but it rarely has the same reliability as the major players and usually costs twice as much. Rotor and Cannondale already offer a good product with a good track record and it will be interesting to see if these guys can do the same.

Gregg C - 12/19/12 - 2:07pm

@A Texan – LOL! I’m guessing you’re referring to Matt K? I saw his collection, do want.

WannaBeSTi - 12/19/12 - 2:29pm

Kirk, come see me at RCB…
We gotta figure out a way to make em work on my bike.

Chicken in a Biskit - 12/19/12 - 2:53pm

These fit right in with everything at Fairwheel bikes. Everything they sell you could pretty much complain that there is an option from a larger company that produces everything in Taiwan or China thats as light, stiff, etc.

But thats not the point. Things that are produced in small batches by people who are passionate about the details have a fantastic appeal to me.

If you don’t care about that, the stuff made in China and Taiwan works fine.

Jose - 12/19/12 - 3:01pm

“Stiffer than anything out there” …? Somehow I feel D/A 9000 is stiffer.

nsp234 - 12/19/12 - 3:46pm

Will the spider be fixed? I ilke the idea of swappable spiders, just like on the cdales… (not those with the ring integrated in the spider, dont get me wrong)

Mindless - 12/19/12 - 5:56pm

I have a really hard time trying to justify ANY crank over XTR. Weight savings are marginal, but XTR is frigging bulletproof. It is a critical interface point, I would much rather save weight elsewhere for the money.

SLX for a trail bike, Saint/Zee for bigger hitting.

Unless you build a showroom, cost no object, weight weenie ride – why use anything but Shimano for drivetrain? Apply your $$ on better wheels, fork, saddle, etc..

Riley - 12/19/12 - 8:45pm

SHIP IT!

BMANX - 12/19/12 - 9:29pm

I am in on these for sure. Email already sent and will go 110 BCD. I have asked if standard 110 BCD rings will work with these. This allows for a lot more options than going with the 170 BCD option. 110 BCD might allow for some light weight Fibre-Lyte rings as well.

Icarus - 12/19/12 - 11:37pm

Another commodity item. Can anybody name a small company that actually produces racing components? What is the point of this cranket? Take photos and hang it on the wall? Very sad all the great small companies have been replaced by “boutique brands”. Everything is so dumbed down. Extralite, frm, leo and all the other small italian manufactures are the last survivors of what cycling is supposed to be.

MBR - 12/21/12 - 10:21am

“The 170 spacing is a little controversial” Yes, indeed. How much weight does this save? if you can afford $850, then you can also afford even more… the why not just machine/cast/forge the entire drive side out of one piece and save even more weight?

Ol' Shel' - 01/03/13 - 6:44pm

You really can’t beat asian hollow-forging.

I wish you could, but the technology has left CNC behind.

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