SEA OTTER CLASSIC 2010 – Crank Brothers did more than just launch new components at Sea Otter, they let it be known that they are moving forward as a design-centric company.Â Of course, they’ll still be paying attention to functionality, as these new products attest, but what shines through is the care they’ve taken to not only color-match and coordinate their various series of components, but they’ve ensured that they’ll match other popular parts, too.
Working in tandem with SRAM and Fizik, the new Crank Brothers colors will match the Design Your Ride colors of SRAM, Truvativ and Avid components as well as Fizik saddles, letting you dial in your ride’s style.Â Oh, and their new parts are gorgeous, too.
On the functionality side, they’ve improved their existing Candy and Eggbeater pedals, and the new seatposts, handlebars and stems look like they’re ready to rock whatever trail you wanna throw at them.Â Hit ‘more’ forÂ mix of real-world photos from our own camera and their press-ready glamour shots, along with all the specs, weights and options…
For 2011, Crank Brothers is doing away with the various naming schemes like Ti, 4-Ti, etc., to indicate the level of price and performance. They’re still using Cobalt to indicate XC, Iodine for All-Mountain, Opium for DH/Race and Sage for Freeride. For the new components, they’re only introducing Cobalt and Iodine sets so far (hint, hint). As for price/performance, they’ve instituted a simple number system:
1 = entry level
2 = mid-level upgrade
3 = performance
11 = dream bike lightweight super-cool stuff
Of all the new parts introduced, nothing is as eye catching as their new Cobalt 3 XC stem.Â Not only is it super lightweight, but it’s a truly unique take on a stem.Â It uses a wedge and plunger system to clamp onto the bar and steerer tube, and the twin ring retaining system for the handlebar is very nice.Â It’s made of 7075 aluminum and is set up for use with up to a 50mm rise handlebar, and it’s been CEN tested to withstand 100,000 cycles each in and out of phase (not totally sure what that means, but they said there’s no rider weight limit, just keep in mind that it’s for XC use).
The wedges and plungers (gold bits in pic above) are held onto the stem by a small spring coil (pic on left) that connects the pieces on either end of the stem.Â Crank Bros reps said it was easy enough to replace, and it’s more for convenience than necessity…the stem will work without it.Â They said this design eliminates the risk of overtightening or over-torquing the bolts, making it very simple to install.
All of their new parts use the same size Torx bolt, so one tool would make adjustments across your bike if it’s fully equipped with CB’s items.Â The Cobalt Stem comes in the four colors shown above.Â Claimed weight is 127g (100mm) and it’s available in 80, 90, 100, 110 and 120mm lengths.Â MSRP is $130.
So this stem is pretty light and trick, but it’s only a level “3” component…how can they improve it?Â Well, Crank Brothers’ lead designer says they’re working on a Ti version that’ll go to 11.
For all-mountain and freeride bikes, there’s the Iodine stems.Â Both use full faceplates rather than the twin ring system, but switch up the style and handlebar clamping method (both use the wedge/plunger system to grab the steerer tube).
The Iodine 2 is the mid-level all-mountain stem that uses a standard bolt-on faceplate for the handlebar.Â It’s made of 7075 aluminum, comes in either Black/Orange or Black/Silver and weighs 175g.Â 65-120mm lengths available.Â MSRP is $90.
The Iodine 3 stem comes in the Iron base color with Black or Blue color options for the slide-on faceplate and wedge/plungers.Â Claimed weight is 169g (100mm), also comes in 65-120mm lengths and retails for $130.
The Eggbeater pedals get a fresh new look, with stronger spindles and a new spring design with tighter tolerances throughout the line, plus new outer bodies that include a built-in customization feature.Â (above, clockwise from bottom right is the 1, 2, 3 and 11)
It seems a lot of pros were wrapping duct tape around the pedals just outside of the wings to provide a small platform between the pedal and the shoe.Â For 2011, the Eggbeater 2, 3 and 11 will come with a small rubber band that can be replaced with thicker sleeves that’ll cover the outer section (as well as one for the inside).Â Various thicknesses will be offered for a more cosmetic solution to the bit of vertical play that is common with Eggbeaters…especially as the cleats wear.
For the performance levels, you’re looking at upgrades across the various levels (weights are per pair):
Level 1 – 256g ($60) – Inboard bushing, outboard cartridge bearing, stamped wings, 2yr wty
Level 2 – 272g ($90) – upgrades: cast outer wing, air/water-tight internals, 5yr wty
Level 3 – 278g ($120) – upgrades: cast wings, needle bearings replace bushing, tighter tolerances
Level 11 – 174g ($425) – upgrades: Ti spindle and inner wing, 200lb rider weight limit
The Eggbeater’s spring design gets overall tighter tolerances to eliminate any play, and for the top three models, the internals are encased in a threaded shut outer body that creates and air- and water-tight seal to protect the bearings.
With the Candy pedals, you get a couple more color options.Â With the Eggbeaters, the assumption is you’re matching it with Cobalt items, where as with the Candy you’re getting color options to match both Cobalt and Iodine components.
Like the Eggbeaters, the entire Candy line gets a new, stronger spindle, tighter spring tolerances and overall weights are slightly down from prior model year…with the Candy 1 coming in 32g lighter than the old Candy SL.Â Pictured at the top right in all black, it starts off the line and is the only one with a full resin body.
Level 1 – 262g ($60) – inboard bushing, outboard cartridge bearing, stamped wings, 2yr wty
Level 2 – 296g ($90) – upgrades: CNC aluminum body, orange or silver colors, 5yr wty
Level 3 – 304g ($120) – upgrades: cast wings, air/water tight body, needle bearings replace bushings, blue or black
Level 11 – 226g ($375) – Ti spindle and wings, 200lb rider weight limit, gold color
Like the Eggbeaters, the Candy 2, 3 and 11 will have shoe tread contact sleeves that’ll notch into the recessed areas on the aluminum bodies.Â Note the differences in the shapes between the 2 (orange) and 3 (blue), the little extra machining takes bit of weight off the body.Â You’re probably wondering why the 1/2/3 weights go up along with the levels, and Crank Brother’s lead designer Tim VanGilder says it does go contrary to what they’ve done in the past, but you’re getting a much more robust pedal with better bearings and features as you move up the price scale.
Crank Brothers’ new handlebars have one the widest ranges of options for sizes and rises versus their other components. All alloy models have a five-year warranty, carbon versions have two.Â Here’s the quick rundown:
Level 2 (black, 6061 aluminum):
Cobalt Flat – 600mm wide, 245g, 8mm rise, 0Âº upsweep, 6Âº backsweep ($50)
Cobalt Rise – 680mm wide, 308g, 15mm rise, 5Âº upsweep, 6Âº backsweep ($50)
Iodine Rise – 680mm wide, 360g, 30mm rise, 5Âº upsweep, 6Âº backsweep ($50)
Level 3 (iron, 7050 aluminum):
Cobalt Flat – 600mm wide, 180g, 8mm rise, 0Âº upsweep, 6Âº backsweep ($80)
Cobalt Flat – 680mm wide, 230g, 8mm rise, 5Âº upsweep, 6Âº backsweep ($80)
Iodine Rise – 680mm wide, 238g, 30mm rise, 5Âº upsweep, 6Âº backsweep ($80)
Level 11 (carbon fiber):
Cobalt Flat – 600mm wide, 132g, 8mm rise, 0Âº upsweep, 6Âº backsweep ($120)
Cobalt Rise – 680mm wide, 160, 15mm rise, 5Âº upsweep, 6Âº backsweep ($120)
Iodine Rise – 680mm wide, 178g, 30mm rise, 5Âº upsweep, 6Âº backsweep ($120)
The “flat” bar, shown in the center and bottom of the photo above, has a slight rise that basically sets it level with the top of the bar’s wider 31.8 OS center clamp section.Â The photo above show the three finish options, 2, 3 and 11 from bottom to top.Â Below, the different rise options:
Crank Brothers’ new seat posts have a three-piece clamp that uses a free-floating center piece to keep the side loads from bending the seat rails:
The carbon fiber Cobalt 11 seatposts have matte and gloss sections that provide visual cues as to insertion level (and add style).Â At launch, there are no Iodine level rigid seatposts, but they’ve improved the shims on their Joplin drop posts and gave them an extra inch of travel.Â All models are available with both a straight and 20mm offset seat clamp, as shown a couple pics up.Â Cobalt seatpost eights and specs are:
Level 2 – 267g (31.6mm, straight, 350mm), 7075 alu, 5yr wty, black/silver, $80
Level 3 – 234g (31.6mm, straight, 350mm), 7075 alu, 5yr wty, iron/black or iron/blue, $120
Level 11 – 157g (31.6mm, straight, 350mm), High Modulus Carbon w/ alu clamp, carbon/gold, $220
All three models are offered in 350mm and 400mm lengths with 27.2, 30.9, 31.6 and 34.9 diameters. They’re set up for 7mm rails, but a 7x9mm rail clamp kit is available.
Two new locking grips are on offer, the foam Cobalt (74g/pair) grips above, available with blue, gold or silver lock rings, and a Kraton rubber-gripped Iodine model (97g/pair) in black or orange.Â MSRP is $25/pair for either model.