Every once in a while, a product comes along that manages to blend old school and new school in a seemingly perfect way. Judging by how long it’s taken Cane Creek to catch up with orders for the new eeWings crankset, I think they might have hit the mark.

Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes

Ever since Cane Creek announced the modern successor to the Sweetwings, the Fletcher, NC company has been swamped with orders. Clearly, the idea of a crankset that super light but more importantly, super stiff and more durable is a popular one. Even with a price tag of $999 (without a bottom bracket or chainring), they’re still flying off the shelves.

Naturally, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on a set as well.

Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes

Stepping in where Sweetwings left off, the eeWings are almost completely made from titanium. Because of that, Cane Creek claims that they are in the same weight class as high end carbon cranks, but 20-30% stiffer. They should fare better on rock strikes as well.

Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes

To make it all work, the cranks use a one piece left arm and spindle, that has a toothed interface with the driveside crank – a bit like the Campagnolo Ultra Torque cranks. However, the interface is at the outside of the spindle with a giant 10mm fastening bolt that pulls the two pieces together.

Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes

As you might imagine, it’s pretty important to get this bolt to the proper torque, which is why there is a bright yellow sticker on the bolt from the box. You must torque this to 52 Nm. Not sure I would leave this one to calibrated arm torque measurement.

Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes

Since everything is titanium, you should apply Ti-prep to all of the contact points. Conveniently, a tube of the Finish Line stuff is included inside the crank box.

Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes

The crank utilizes the three bolt SRAM Direct mount standard, but a Wolf Tooth Components chainring just seemed like the right fit. WTC sent out a 34t SDM Boost chainring which came in at 74g and sells for $69.95.

Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes

Actual weight

The cranks themselves came in at 399g for the whole assembly, minus a chainring and BB for the 170mm arms.

Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes

Bottom Bracket

I’ve been waiting to use this Wheels Manufacturing BSA30 bottom bracket for something special, and I think this qualifies. The BB features large sealed bearings, additional outer seals, and comes in angular contact bearings (pictured, $74) or Ceramic Hybrid ($125).

For a list of compatible bottom brackets, check out this matrix put together by Cane Creek. Note that the cranks are not compatible with standard BB30 or PF30 bottom brackets. In order to use eeWings on either BB30 or PF30 frames, you must use one of the outboard bearing conversion bottom brackets to get the correct width.

Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes Hands On: Cane Creek eeWings titanium 1x crankset for mountain bikes

Overall, the installation went pretty smoothly. The cranks include detailed instructions which are pretty straight forward – just make sure to pay attention to the spacers needed based on your BB. Since this was a threaded BSA30 installation, I needed a 2.5mm bottom bracket spacer on the driveside which wasn’t included with the BB, plus the 1.75mm ee spacer for the spindle on the driveside. I’m particularly impressed with how freely the cranks spin even on a brand new bottom bracket.

Next task is getting these out on the trails and seeing how well they actually hold up in the long run – stay tuned!

canecreek.com

43 COMMENTS

  1. Got a chance to see these beauts in real life and sweet John Tomac’s Ghost are they awesome. The box they come in weighs more than the cranks I bet.

    And I believe they have a 10 year warranty too. Plus the preload guy is alloy which is a nice touch…

  2. Curious about heel clearance on these. My wallet would appreciate ruling them out on account of their looking like Race Face Next SLs (which my duck feet have been doing their best to wear a hole through). If they’re like Rotors, on the other hand, I may be in trouble.

  3. Zach, it’s a shame you couldn’t fit this onto a titanium hardtail. Why don’t you send them to me to test on my Salsa Timberjack Ti? I checked the BB compatibility and they will fit. I also happen to use 170mm arms! Thanks in advance.

    • The real gain in stiffness over comparable carbon cranks is the spindle. And the titanium spindle, as designed, is stiffer than the aluminum spindles used on carbon cranks. AND material properties are only part of the stiffness story — design (i.e. cross section and shape) can plan an even bigger role.

    • Right? Carbon fiber is an engineered material.

      Never mind that the wheels on any given bicycle flex all over the place. And we’re worried about crank stiffness? *eye roll*..

      The do look sexy, though.

  4. Wow, those are seriously addicting to look at and want at any price. Being a power guy though, unless Stages can bake their meter to Ti, not ever happening

    • Why would you want a stages on such a beautiful set of cranks? That’s like putting a sticker of Calvin peeing on a ford symbol on a Ferrari.

      Just get an SRM, which makes a sram compatible powermeter. And they’re bombproof. Only bike component period that can last 3 full season on a Pro Tour level rider’s bike then can be passed down to a regular pro’s to use for another 10 years easy.

      A crank with a Ten year warranty shoudl only get a Powermeter with the same longevity. Not a stick on.

      • I totally get your point but if I could get theses they are not going on a NAHMBS build. They will be ridden, raced, and trained on. Why not have the best of form and function? SRM’s are the gold standard but rarely seen on mountain bikes and, I am more than happy with Stages and their customer service. Plus it is the least obtrusive. Seeing Calvin pee on a ford sign on a Ferrari would make me laugh.

    • So interestingly enough, the instruction sheet that came with this crankset has a little blurb, “If this eeWings Crankset is equipped with a Stages Power Meter, please refer to the Stages instructions.” We haven’t seen or heard that announced as an option, but this would lead us to believe it may be coming.

      • Interesting indeed. I contacted Stages and challenged their engineers to pull this off, and they responded to send my request to Cane Creek, “you never know what may happen.”

  5. If I thought bb standards were forever then it could be a worthwhile investment. But I can only imagine 5 years from now we’ll be on something new and these will be obsolete.

    (ok, who am I kidding, there’s just no way I could convince my wife these are a good investment, lol!)

    • Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Life’s to short to ride crappy cranks. Get EE’s and start enjoying the finer things in life!

  6. i use sweet wings cranks and they are more than stiff enough and are actually very light indeed… anyone wishing to get rid of their sweet wings please make a note here for me to buy them…

  7. And the elephant in the room….the original versions of these broke….like constantly, to the point where finding a used pair is Impossible. This is a poor application of this material.

    • The overwhelming majority of the original SweetWings were made from chro-mo, not Ti. I’ll bet a few things have been learned since then.

    • Well thats the age old American tradition of buying luxuries one can’t afford with a credit card. All good as long as those minimum payments are made.

    • There’s almost no point shipping a mtb crank with either of those these days as the variations in bikes are so wide. When they said limited production they wren’t kidding either, there have been less than 10 imported to canada so far.

  8. The powermeter version is now available for those so inclined.
    Do the eewing cranks provide any practical/ noticeable improvement over a set of Sram X01s? The flex difference I guess?
    I’m coming up with a weight difference of around 57 grams or so. I’m WW but not quite that much!
    Thx.

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