After inviting us in for a tour of their headquarters and some quality time with the team, Crank Brothers ran through their 2014 product line in depth. Most of the story was on the completely redesigned wheels they debuted last week, but the cockpit parts get technical and aesthetic updates, too. The big news is that the stems are lighter, stronger and easier to use, and the entire range has been updated with graphics and finishes to match the rest of their line.

Starting with the XC-oriented Cobalt, the stem has done away with the wedge in favor of a standard two-bolt clamp. The basic look is the same -it’s as sleek as ever- but it’s now lighter and stiffer.

Read on to see the full collection…


Two versions will be offered, the Cobalt 3, which uses a new alloy that’s stiffer and helps it drop about 15g, and the Cobalt 11, an all-carbon stem with nested nuts for the front bolts so no alloy bits had to be bonded in.


It’s also 15g lighter than before, putting it at a claimed 109g for the 100m, making it among the lightest MTB stems available.


The Iodine stem will come in 2 and 3 trims, also, with the 11 just getting a carbon faceplate. The 3 maintains an alloy piece, but both use a new four-bolt design that makes them 30% stiffer. The steerer clamp is shorter, too, for lower overall stack height, and they’re now available in a 50mm length.


Click to enlarge all spec sheets.


The Cobalt handlebars have also dropped a few grams and get new finishes.



The Iodine handlebars just get cosmetic updates.


Unlike the stems, there is an all-carbon “11” for the Iodine bars.


All of their handlebars have the rise and sweep numbers as well as cut marks printed on them.


The Opium DH bar carries over unchanged except for graphics and finish.


The Iodine grip gets new grip texture to improve durability. The Krayton rubber lock-on design is 130mm wide and weighs in at 95g (claimed) for the pair. Retail is just $25. The Cobalt foam lock-on grips remain unchanged.


The Cobalt seatposts remain the same save for graphic/color updates to match everything else. Below, the four updated groups shown with the full family:




  1. Two issues with CB. Seatpost…rails of saddle interfere with carbon if you try to tip nose down very far. The stem doesn’t pinch sufficiently on carbon steerer. Two things happen, one it doesn’t clamp on a RS plug so it is constantly becoming loose, two this also causes the carbon steertube to bulge out in the unsupported area…

  2. @ Booth – Thanks for the informative and useful comment.

    CB isn’t for everyone, but as for me I love their pedals and power pump. I honestly don’t understand why there are so many a-hole trollish comments about them that are completely worthless to a decent conversation. Yeah, you, Booth.

  3. I haven’t seen a stem that can’t we switched upside down without uninstalling half a cockpit in about… 15 years? Their multi-tools are ok. Its the only thing in their cataloge that is wuite average, the rest is quite improvable.

  4. @Steve @ G4G, I have their pedals and love them. I have their Cobalt 11 stem and Cobalt 11 seat post… After having constant issues with their stem, I sent it back… they replaced with a new one and again it could not hold the bar in place at and above the recommended torque. Their explanation was several stems had similar issues which was due to a clear coat issue. The Cobalt 11 seat post cracked in a single ride, which they replaced as well and also sits in my garage now. I dont want to find out what happens to a leg after a hollow carbon seat post enters it.

    Thomson you’re my trusted cockpit company.

  5. I had an older style CB multi-tool. The Loctite failed, and I ended up with a pocket full of bits….all of which were rusty. I use their pedals out of familiarity, but that will probably end after this set fails.

  6. Not bad looking stuff, but a fail on the XC bars width. Most XC racers like their bars at least 720 mm, and more like 760+ mm these days. 680 mm is from about three years ago.

What do you think?