EB13: Crank Brothers Wheels Get Wider, Lighter Rims & More, Cockpits Updated
Crank Brothers‘ wheels get a complete overhaul, with new wider and lighter rim extrusions, updated hubs and lower prices. Cockpit parts also get a revamp, with fresh graphics and a few functional updates that also shed grams.
The wheel lineup gets simplified, now with just the Cobalt (21mm, XC), Iodine (23mm, Trail) and Opium (26mm, FR/DH). No more Sage. All of the rims get about 2mm wider with deeper cross sections and shorter sidwall bead heights. That allowed them to remove the central rib, which saves weight, and
makes them about 50% stronger gives them a roughly 50% improvement in strength to weight ratio for the carbon rims and 15% for alloy ones.
The sidewalls now taper in just a bit and have a much shorter interior wall. This sheds weight, too, and likely reduces pinch flats and dinged rims. And that ain’t all…
The overall weight savings are somewhat offset by the wider design, but not completely. The 27.5″carbon Cobalt 11 wheels drop down to 1425g and 1550g for the 29er. That’s down about 100g for the 29er. No more 26″ Cobalt 11.
Rim widths progress naturally through the line from 21mm to 23mm to 26mm. These are
external internal widths.
The carbon rims for the Cobalt 11 gets similar updates, but the cutaway shows a more dramatic reshaping. The original, on the left, had a central rib and used small bladders in the molding process…which remained after construction. The new ones get much thinner walls but a bigger cross section so they don’t give up strength. They also get a new production method that compresses around a firm mold that’s then burnt out, leaving very smooth interior walls with no added weight.
Like the alloy rims, it keeps a sealed tire bed, so no tape’s required to go tubeless.
The hubs get a slight rework visually, and have updated pawl springs, but the big improvement is that they swap easily between any axle standard with end caps.
They’ll ship with all options, and there’s also an XD driver body available.
Prices drop by $50 for the 3 ($900) and 2 ($600) levels, but the 11 remains at $2,200.
The cockpit parts get cosmetic updates and streamlined SKU counts. The Cobalt 11 carbon stem (right) loses the wedge system and drops down to about 110g for the 100mm. It uses loose alloy inserts on the clamp face, nothing bonded in.
The Iodine 2 & 3 (left) both get a standard pinch bolt clamp on the steerer rather than the band, which lowers stack height and weight.
The 132g Cobalt 11 carbon riser gets matte black graphics, and the Iodine 11 goes completely matte black. Seat posts get similar graphics updates and new bridge that goes between the rails that makes it easier to keep the saddle centered during setup.