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