On the rare occasion that I get emotional about the components that allow me to do what I do, it’s usually about the “doing,” not the component itself. I only love my 4-piston Shimano brakes because my hands don’t cramp into grotesque claws halfway down the trail. I only love my 200mm RockShox Reverb dropper post because I can stay low and mobile over my local trails’ many loose rocks. I also love rocks.
But I love the eeWings for very different reasons. There’s something timeless and simple about them. Their construction is simultaneously artisanal and barbaric. They were made using the old ways. No weaving, laying or bonding. Just stamping, cutting and melting.
And that starts to seem especially uncanny the moment you hold the eeWings in your hand. They weigh 400 grams. Lighter than the Race Face Next SL. An early version of the Next SL was once featured in a full-page print advertisement, sitting under a spotlight on a digital scale. The Next SL has a long legacy of light weight. It does not have a long legacy of durability, but the eeWings likely will. The rather nerdy video that launched with the eeWings includes Cane Creek CEO, Brent Graves, using the phrase, “off the charts” while in the background, some terrible machine is putting a set of cranks through untold horrors.
I haven’t cared this much about the strength or weight of the cranks I’ve owned since the waning days of the square-taper bottom bracket. Neither weight nor strength are that big a deal anymore. But the fact that the eeWings excel at both means I’m clearly not guilty of choosing a product only because it’s cool.
Besides, the eeWings aren’t without practicality. For one thing, Titanium ages well. My three-year-old eeWings still look like Doc Brown’s DeLorean. But when I look at the carbon power-meter cranks I ran for about three months, they kinda look like Elwood’s Bluesmobile.
Also, the eeWings use a three-bolt SRAM direct-mount chainring interface. That was a genius decision. Several aftermarket chainrings are made with that standard. In the absence of the good ol’ non-branded 104mm 4-bolt spider, the SRAM configuration is the closest thing to universal. I pretty much had my pick of options, and I picked a Shimano-12-speed-compatible Wolf Tooth oval ring. There are also little touches like the alloy bearing preload ring and the oversized, finely threaded 10mm bolt that holds it all together.
Maybe I’m going on about all this because I’m trying to justify the $1,050 price. But I don’t really think about the eeWings’ features all that often, or what they mean on the trail. I do think about the cranks themselves, though. And I’m proud to have them on my bike.
Photos: Ryan Palmer