Over the past few years, we’ve published plenty of words on Ciamillo’s Gravitas crankset, watching it go from concept to prototype, test model to near production. But the project was plagued with minor issues and eventually became too much of a financial burden on Ted Ciamillo’s small operation that he had to pull the plug on it in order to save the brake business.
Or so we thought.
Turns out he’s been working on it all along in stealth mode, secretly machining away at the cost, complexity, debugging, warranty, creaking and torsional flex issues that arose over the project’s long development cycle. Now, according to Ted, this latest version 3.1 addresses all of those issues and is once again putting the project back on the road to production.
Earlier versions were seeded among loyal customers, who agreed to provide feedback in exchange for some of the earliest samples. Those riders apparently found some common concerns – mainly creaking and gradual loosening of the parts, which created warranty nightmares since the entire crankset had to be replaced to remedy any issue.
Ted told us he believes the creaking from original units was coming from the interface between the two spindle halves. The load from pedaling would eventually stress the alloy sleeve’s bonding epoxy and bolt system inside the spindle, which would eventually allow some movement and uneven orientation between sides. So, now it’s a full length, one-piece spindle.
On the original, the carbon tubes were more exposed, which didn’t put as much material overlap between the alloy base and the carbon tubes. That lack of overlap would allow for a bit of torsional flex, and eventually that flex could wallow out the socket a bit, which also led to creaking. The new one’s base is twice as long, allowing it to better handle the torsional load, and the sockets’ wall thickness is also greater, making them more robust, too.
Keep in mind, all of the original design considerations were made in an effort to make the lightest possible crank. Now, durability and manufacturing ease took more precedence, but it’s still wicked light…
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