Plastic chain guide pioneers e*thirteen have merged with The Hive, the parent brand of crankset company Fifteen.G Offroad, Chub Wheel Goods and carbon road brake specialists REVL.
All of Fifteen.G's products will be rebranded as e*thirteen, and there are said to be plenty of new parts in the pipeline, including the downhill crankset pictured here – more on this below.
Based in Petaluma, California, The Hive was set up in 2008 by industry figures who had previously worked for the likes of Truvativ, Formula Brake and Mountain Cycle.
Massachusetts-based e*thirteen was founded in 2001 by Dave Weagle, the man behind Evil Bikes (which he later sold in order to concentrate on e*13) and the dw-link suspension design. Instead of the traditional aluminium plates, his chain guides used lightweight yet bombproof polycarbonate bashguards. They proved immensely popular and ended MRP's near-monopoly of the downhill chain device market.
Following the merger, Weagle is no longer directly involved with e*thirteen but will apparently "share his thoughts and ideas" with The Hive. Most of e*13's staff are expected to be retained, with some making the move to northern California. The Hive’s George Dubois and Greg Thrash will take over the engineering/design side of the business.
The Hive announced the merger with e*thirteen in a press release, which said: "Independently, both companies are dedicated to designing and manufacturing industry-shaping cycling components. Together, we’ll build on our shared philosophy of strong engineering principles and quality manufacturing to deliver even greater innovation to a discerning customer base."
New downhill crank
The first product of the merger is a new downhill crankset, which should be available by the end of July. Made from 7050 aluminium, with a 30mm heat-treated chromoly axle, it's said to weigh 870g (165mm arms, including bottom bracket but without chainrings).
The Hive are hyping it as "finally a lightweight DH crank without strength sacrifices". However, with Shimano's rival Saint chainset weighing in at 1086g, including BB, two chainrings and bashguard, the weight doesn't seem that light to us.
There's a choice of three chainring configurations: single e*thirteen Guidering (available in one tooth increments from 32-40T, in black, silver, blue, red, green and purple, 36-72g); 24/38T double (small ring bolts directly to large ring, 138g); or 22/36T double (130g). The doubles are nine- and 10-speed compatible.
- Forged and machined arms
- Polygon interface between axle and crankarm, which is said to eliminate fretting corrosion, preventing creaking and loosening.
- Titanium-nickel hybrid axle coating for extra durability.
- Oversized BB 6806 bottom bracket bearings.
- 68/73mm and 83mm BB shell versions.
- 165mm, 170mm and 175mm lengths.
- RRP: US$349, including BB and installation tool.
For more information, visit http://e13bythehive.com.