This spring CrankBrothers are holding their largest product launch ever. In addition to new handlebars, stems and seatposts, they’ve redesigned their Candy and Eggbeater pedals.
Of the two new designs and eight new models, six feature a new zero-maintenance bearing system that’s backed by a five-year warranty.
Previously, CrankBrothers acknowledged that their pedals required yearly rebuilds; an approach that was hard to justify when products from competitors like Shimano required barely any maintenance.
The new pedals are each offered at four price levels – 1, 2, 3 and 11 – and will be available later this month.
Re-baking the Eggbeater
The Eggbeater is the product that put CrankBrothers on the map in 2001. Over the years it’s had slight modifications, but nothing like this latest revision. The 2010 pedal looks the same and works the same way. It still features its signature minimalist body, benchmark mud clearance and fast entry, but the axle, bearings and body are all new.
Previously known as the 4ti, the top-of-the-line eggbeater is now 11
Gone are the inboard bushings in the 3 and 11 models. In their place are needle bearings, which are responsible for a negligible weight gain. Throughout the line, the two-piece bodies of the pedals now screw together, making them impermeable to water and grit, and protecting the bearings.
Axles have been redesigned so they no longer have the sharp steps or bearing seats that previously caused stress-risers and in some cases failures. The steel spindles exceed the CEN guidelines twice before failure, while the titanium spindle of the 11 model passes the JIS standard. It still carries a rider weight limit, but this has increased to 200lb.
Eggbeater's two-piece body design threads together to create an air- and watertight seal
The Eggbeater 11 is a pedal for a ‘dream bike’. It costs (£379.99) US$425 and is claimed to weigh just 174g per pair. The spindle, body and wings are titanium, and the pedal features CrankBrothers’ new airtight bearing and body design and a five-year warranty.
Moving down the range, the Eggbeater 3 is CrankBrothers' workhorse high-performance pedal. It weighs 278g per pair and uses investment cast wings and a stainless steel body. The spindle is twice as strong as the CEN requires and 150 percent stronger than the previous model. It comes with a five-year warranty and costs £94.99 ($120).
Eggbeater and Candy now share the same spindle, which is 2mm shorter than the previous standard spindle and 2mm longer than the short spindle. There isn't a new 'short spindle' option
On the level 2 pedal, one of the cast wings is replaced with a stamped version to bring the price down to £69.99 ($90). It also uses an inboard bushing instead of bearing, but retains the air and watertight design. The bushing gives it a lighter claimed weight than the 3 at 272g. It comes with a five-year warranty.
The entry-level Eggbeater 1 pairs the old body, bearing and wing design with the new, stronger axle. Because it doesn’t have the watertight body it doesn’t get the five-year warranty. It costs £45.99 ($60) and weighs just 256g.
The Candy looks sweet
While the Eggbeater’s redesign is subtle and more structural, Candy’s new look comes out and smacks you over the head. You’ll instantly notice that all of the plastic resin is gone, save for on the entry-level Candy 1. It’s been replaced with a sharp looking machined aluminium clamshell body, which achieves a similar end to the threaded Eggbeater body.
The two aluminium body pieces press over a stainless steel or titanium centre spring holder, which subsequently seals the bearing compartment from external contamination. The bushings are gone from the 3 and 11 models, and replaced with needle bearings. Tolerances have been tightened across the board and there's a new spring.
Candy 11 is the flagship of the line. Its titanium spindle is 150 percent stronger than the previous version, allowing CrankBrothers to bump up the rider weight limit to 200lb. The retention wings are cast titanium and it’s available in gold only to match the 11 group. The Candy 11 has a claimed weight of 226g, costs £299.99 ($375) and comes with the new five-year warranty.
The Candy 3 features the same aluminium body, but with investment cast steel wings and a new stainless steel spindle that’s 150 percent stronger than the previous version. This pedal weighs 304g, costs £94.99 ($120) and comes with the five-year warranty. It's available in blue and black to match the new Cobalt and Iodine component groups.
Candy 3 is the new workhorse all-mountain pedal
Candy 2 features stamped steel wings, the new spring, machined aluminium body and sealed bearing compartment. It uses an inner bushing instead of a needle bearing, yet still carries the five-year warranty. Candy 2 weighs 296g and costs £69.99 ($90).
The entry-level Candy 1 pedal has a one-piece resin body and the bushing and bearing system from the old models. It does get the new 150 percent stronger axle, new spring and tighter tolerance standard though. The pedal costs just £45.99 ($60) and has a claimed weight of 262g per pair.
CrankBrothers' entry-level Candy 1 promises a new level of durability and value
New pedals usher in new focus on durability
CrankBrothers hope that, by addressing the issue of bearing contamination by water and grit, their redesigned Candy and Eggbeater pedals will establish that the company are not only design-conscious but build for toughness too. All of the new pedals are subjected to an underwater pressure test where the bearing compartment is pressurised to 10psi and then submerged in water. If any air escapes, the pedal fails the test.
Both pedals also feature a new three-tiered platform adjustment system to fit different shoe sole designs – an aftermarket accessory kit that’s made up of rubber bumpers that build up the sides of the pedal. This should bring an end to the home-made solutions you may have seen on the racing circuit, where riders use duct tape or other material.
CrankBrothers believe the work they’ve done takes both pedals to a new level where they can be installed and forgotten about. Time will tell if the new designs can meet the long service interval benchmark set by Shimano, but riders who choose CrankBrothers pedals shouldn't have to worry about them for at least five years. That gives the brand a serious incentive to get it right first time or be forced to do plenty of warranty work until 2015 and beyond.