Riders from the mid-1990s will recall Sweetwings, a boutique hollow steel crankset that came with equal parts light weight, chi chi looks and reliability issues. But darn were they light. And everyone wanted them. Then they disappeared. Then they tried to come back. eeCycleworks founder (and original Sweetwings designer) Craig Edwards rebooted the name, showed a prototype, and did extensive development work, then even he abandoned the project.

But the idea lived on, and now that Cane Creek manages eeCycleworks’ brakes and other projects, it was revived once again. Now, after many iterations and years of work, the all-new Cane Creek eeWings are here…

cane creek eeWings titanium crankset are a modern version of sweetwings for road gravel and mountain bikes

The new eeWings are full titanium, offering lightweight to match carbon, but in a far stiffer and more durable package. Weighing in at a claimed 400g for arms and spindle, Cane Creek says they’re 20-30% stiffer than premium carbon cranksets. As for durability, they’re offering a 10-year warranty on them and say they’re made to take the abuse aggressive mountain biking can dish out.

cane creek eeWings titanium crankset are a modern version of sweetwings for road gravel and mountain bikes Sweetwings crankset revived by Cane Creek with new eeWings titanium cranks

“Through the course of aggressive riding, you invariably hit your cranks against rocks and other trail features which causes structural damage to carbon cranks and can lead to them breaking,” said Sam Anderson, product manager for Cane Creek. “Titanium just brushes those hits off so the eeWings can withstand a lot more abuse than other high-end cranks and not end up structurally compromised or broken. At the same time, they are incredibly stiff so more of the energy you put into each pedal stroke makes it to the back wheel and helps push you down the trail.”

And, yes, they’re intended solely for mountain bikes, from XC to enduro. The spindle length and arm design are made for mountain bike standards. But there’s a good chance this is just the beginning and that we’ll see gravel, cyclocross and road options in the future.

cane creek eeWings titanium crankset for road gravel and mountain bikes use full titanium construction

They use a 30mm spindle made to fit BSA73mm, PF92/PF89.5, 392EVO bottom brackets, plus PF30 and BB30 bottom brackets with outboard bearing configurations. The claimed weight is more impressive considering they made a custom CNC’d alloy preload ring, upgrading from the usual plastic parts found on other cranks.

cane creek eeWings titanium crankset are a modern version of sweetwings for road gravel and mountain bikes

The spindle is a machined piece, then the non-driveside arm is welded to it. The driveside arm attaches with a bolt and uses a toothed interface (looks similar to Campagnolo cranks, except not centered on the spindle) to lock it into place.

They get a simple brushed finish to keep the titanium gray showing itself off. The logo is lightly etched on it, and you can buff any scratches out yourself to make it look new again.

How much do the eeWings cost?

cane creek eeWings titanium crankset for road gravel and mountain bikes use full titanium construction

So, how much does it cost to have the lightest, strongest crankset on your bike? Well, let’s warm you up a bit more first:

“When we first set out to make a crankset we knew we wanted to create something that really pushed boundaries and deserved the ee designation,” said Brent Graves, president and CEO of Cane Creek. “That meant not cutting a single corner, using the best materials regardless of cost and holding ourselves to the highest standards of testing and design, We’ve done those things and it’s resulted in a truly exceptional product that we’re all very proud of.”

Retail is $999 for the crankset, sold without chainrings. They use the SRAM direct mount interface, which means plenty of aftermarket options for round and oval rings from SRAM, OneUp, Wolftooth Components, AbsoluteBlack and others.

eeWings specs

  • Weight: 400 grams
  • Materials: Grade 9 Ti-3Al-2.5V titanium (crank arms), Grade 5 Ti-6Al-4V titanium (spindle, herth joint/chainring interface, pedal inserts), 7075 T-6 Aluminum (preload assembly)
  • 98mm spindle width
  • BB compatibility: 30mm spindle only; BSA73mm, PF92, PF89.5, BB30 (External Bearing Only), PF30 (External Bearing Only), 392EVO.
  • 176mm Q-Factor (same as Shimano XT, which means it’ll clear the widest chainstays)
  • Chainring compatibility: Compatible with X-SYNC Chainrings
  • Length: Available in 170mm and 175mm
  • Warranty : 10-year limited warranty

The new Cane Creek eeWings will be on display at Sea Otter Classic, and available for sale through Cane Creek dealers and on their website starting late April 2018.

CaneCreek.com

44 COMMENTS

  1. Reminds me of the cranks Syncros made in the 1990s that I lusted after for years, along with their sweet stems and posts.

  2. They look great, but for the weight weenies, aren’t they at least 50-70 grams heavier than race fext next sl g4, cannondale sisl2, praxis lyft?

    • I’ve got a set of Hollowgram SI that are 408g with a Raceface BSA30 spindle (164g left arm, 169 right). SISL2 run about 22g lighter per arm so that would be about 364g for that set. Next SL G4 with spindle I’ve seen scale shots at 368g for that setup. These Ti wonders are really beautiful, but I don’t think Hollowgrams get enough credit/coverage. Maybe because they are always bundled with Spiderrings which blows the price up to what these cost or more.

  3. will titanium really shrug off rock strikes etc? I was under the impression that it can be somewhat sensitive to stress risers.

  4. Sure, metal will stand up much better to physical abuse, but after spending nearly a thousand dollars those first rock strikes aren’t going to be any less painful to hear.

  5. These are so sexy that their shape reminds me of women’s legs. I’d first fawn over them but would love to have these on my ride. Hot dang.

  6. At this weight you’ll be able to carry a spare axle in your backpack. Or a complete rebuild kit with mini emergency cranks.

    • I rode a ti spline on profile cranks and there was noticable flex . You kind of had to preload them before doing a bunnyhop. So i would be seriously doubtful that these are as stiff as carbon or cromo cranks.

      • Greg is right: spindle/axle stiffness is driven by diameter much more strongly than by material stiffness. It’s trivial to design a 30mm aluminum BB spindle that’s stiffer than a 19mm or even 24mm steel spindle.Race Face NEXT cranks use a 30mm axle. Titanium is about 63% stiffer than aluminum, so it’s entirely plausible that this axle is 35-50% stiffer than an NEXT axle. (The Ti axle has the same OD, slightly larger ID, but higher modulus than the aluminum axle).

        BMX: Profile’s titanium crank axles have significantly thicker walls than their hollow steel axles. They’re slightly more torsionally flexible than the steel axles, but not to the degree that a human being could tell by bunny-hopping on them. You expected to feel a difference, so you did. It’s not your fault: human beings are terrible data acquisition devices, which is why double-blind comparisons are such an important part of science.

  7. Propeller made a small batch of Ti sweet wings, but couldn’t ever get production moving. I wanted a set so bad back then. Hope these work out.

    • Propeller cranks weren’t the same design as either. They were also some structural failures. They definitely had some sexy arms though!

  8. I don’t have any experience with the following, but SRAM contends that a 30mm spindle in a BB92 shell results in marginal BB bearing size and crap service life. Can anyone chime in?

  9. oh so nice…brings back the Sweetwings lust. They do look much beefier than the original. It’s all about those welds, bout those welds…

  10. your handlebars: titanium is supple and flexible, and the small weight gain is worth it to be rid of the fragility found in carbon bars.
    your frame: titanium is supple and flexible, and the small weight gain is worth it to be rid of the extreme stiffness found in carbon frames.
    your cranks: titanium is stiff and durable, and the small weight gain is worth it to be rid of the flex and fragility found in carbon cranks.

    to bring the weight down this far, there is no way these crank arms have a wall thickness that can outperform carbon’s stiffness per gram, nor durability per gram. i can’t wait to see these place dead last in independent testing at fairwheel bikes.

  11. the usual non-engineer comments that the companies claims aren’t accurate and of course the product won’t work as designed… so many expert opinions of something they’ve never seen or even touched let alone test in the real world… cane creek is a major source of quality parts and they have shown their ability to back up their claims… i have used sweet wings cranksets for years and never had any failures but i’m not a bash and crash type rider on mountain or road bikes… there are riders that are able to break any part they use while needing some reality training to understand that some finesse’ is desired if you intent to get home with the bike still functional… and if you think the price is too high please manufacture your own and let me know how much you need to make them a practical item… chris at sweet wings is a brilliant and visionary engineer and most of you aren’t…

    • Well as Engineer (mechanical) with experience in cycling (even if now quite some years old now)… I backup several claims saying that Ti is NOT the material for stiffness to weight you want to use for a crank in flexion and torsion. Aluminium is better at it it’s just physics mechanics and metallurgy, not really
      The fabrication is gourgious but the effort out there is just not worth. Putting the efforts to revive the eeCranks would have more interesting.
      Now if someone tells me “for the same weight they are more resistant”… now there is room for debates

  12. had several of the original sweet wings, rode them for 5-6 years (sold them when I sold the old bike). Flawless. And I am a pretty big guy. PLEASE make these in a 180mm, I will buy a couple sets…

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