Easton EC90 SL Cranks review

Quick-change cranks

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Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £400.00 RRP | USD $350.00
Cranks only
Easton EC90 SL Cranks

Our review

High-performance carbon cranks with the convenience of the Cinch system
Pros: Light and stiff, easy chainring swaps
Cons: It’s not cheap, without rings
Skip to view product specifications

Easton’s EC90 SL cranks share their exchangeable chainring system with sister company Race Face, which debuted the design.

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Called Cinch it allows road, cyclocross or triathlon users to swap between single or double chainring setups, or alter single-ring sizes, in no more than five minutes.

It’s based on a light, aluminium 30mm axle, which is fixed into the non-driveside crank. The driveside crank has a ring with oversized splines behind it and the chainrings fit on to it.

Single rings are an all-in-one direct mount, narrow-wide tooth design, which does away with a separate spider and its bolts, whereas double chainrings bolt on to a forged aluminium four-arm spider with each bolt securing both rings in a 110mm BCD (bolt circle diameter).

After dropping the ring or rings into place, the Cinch lock ring is tightened by a Hollowtech splined bottom bracket tool securing them to the crank.

The BB30 axle slots in to the crank’s eight-lobed recess and, using an 8mm hex key, is torqued tight with a captive lock nut. This means that to swap chainrings, for example, at a cyclocross race after practicing on the course, you only need two tools and it’s easily achievable in no time.

The cranks are of hollow carbon construction and include a high-quality aluminium pedal insert. They’re straight and broad with a tapered rhomboid profile, and look utterly purposeful. Available in lengths from 170mm to 175mm, their Q-Factor (horizontal width between pedal attachments) is 149mm.

My 172.5mm cranks, including the 30mm axle, preload adjuster and cinch lockring weighed 340g. The four-arm spider with Easton 52/36, 11-speed rings weighed 238g making a total mass of just 578g.

Easton also offers 53/39 and 50/34 double-ring combinations and 40- or 42-tooth singlerings, plus a range of low-friction bottom brackets to fit almost every frameset. My PF30 68mm Cinch bottom bracket weighed 113g.

I tested the EC90 SL cranks with a Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 groupset (replacing a Quarq Elsa RS carbon crankset) with Dura-Ace 9000 chainrings. The overriding feeling throughout the test period was how rigid the cranks and chainrings felt, easily a match for those I had removed.

Whether putting maximum torsional stress through it when hammering uphill in the big ring, doing full gas standing starts or bothering the village speed limit with a signpost sprint, the EC90 SL ran true. I haven’t noticed any hint of deflection that could cause chain rub on the front mech, and shifting has been perfect.

It is possible to switch other cranks from single- to double-ring setups and back again, however, the simplicity and speed of the Cinch system is a real selling point.

The EC90 SL’s low weight and high performance are a very satisfying bonus but, as ever, it does cost.

Easton EC90 SL Cranks
The cranks have a hollow carbon construction and a high-quality aluminium pedal insert.
Adam Gasson
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  1. One ring or two: The cranks take a direct mount, narrow-wide single chainring or two chainrings attached to a four-arm aluminium spider.
  2. Stiffer than most: Only available with a 30mm axle the EC90 SL cranks have great lateral and torsional stiffness thanks to their oversized diameter.
  3. All change: The driveside crank can be quickly removed with an 8mm hex key and the chainring(s) with a splined tool.

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £400.00USD $350.00
Weight 172.5mm
Brand Easton

Features

Crank lengths 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm