Cervelo Diet – Ultimate Mods for the Ultimate Bike – Part 2 – Easton EC90 Cranks

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Easton hits a home run, first time at bat!

  • EC90 Cranks: MSRP $699.00
  • Ceramic Bearing Bottom Bracket: MSRP $199.00
  • Crank: 170, 172.5, 175 arm length, 53×39 chainrings (compact coming soon)
  • Crank weight: 574 grams including end cap
  • Ceramic Bottom Bracket Weight: 102 grams. Total 676 grams
  • 5 year warranty

Of all the upgrades, I was most excited about Easton’s new carbon cranks. I’ve been using 9-speed Dura Ace with FSA Superlight Cranks (543 grams with bolts) and the reliable and light Dura Ace Octalink bottom bracket (175 grams). The combined weight of 718 grams seemed hard to beat; most of the newer 10-speed crank/bb’s actually weigh more. But since I switched to 10-speed recently, I wanted a crankset that was optimized for the 10 cogs. Easton’s crank was the one that was lighter without being quite as cost-prohibitive as some of the competition. Better still, the EC90 crank and bottom bracket weigh a total of 676 grams, a savings of 32 grams.

How does it compare?
So how can you objectively measure the relative worth of these cranks without riding them? To try and quantify this, I looked at the weights and MSRPs of the latest high end standard sized cranks (the FSA K-force Light TI was not compared because it is only available in compact). I then gave 100 points to the lightest and 100 points to the least expensive with proportionate weighting to each. Each crank is then graded relative to the best in class.

In the end, it’s very clear that there is a huge price premium for ceramic bearings; the jury is still out if the maintenance is worth the claimed reduction in friction. However, and more importantly, along these two judging criteria, the EC90 with standard BB has the best overall score. With the ceramic BB, it comes in at 3rd.

Looking purely at $/gram, the EC90 with standard BB slips to 2nd with the Ceramic BB version still at 3rd.

Not a bad empirical showing for the EC90.

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About the author: Twain Mein

Twain Mein is fascinated with the technology and gear aspect of cycling, and is a longtime product reviewer. Twain has been doing triathlons since 1987 and has been ranked in the Top 50 U.S. National Age Group on numerous occasions.


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Comments:

  • Anonymous says:

    If you wanted to optimise for 10 speed, how come you did not just go out and buy a couple of 10 speed TA chainrings? Those would also have shaved the 32g of your total weight?

  • Anonymous says:

    Err.. good point 🙂
    By sheer coincidence, I bought a used TA 54 toother for my tri bike and got it a few days ago. You must be psychic.
    Weight wise, it’s at 95 grams which is pretty much the same as the original FSA.

  • Anonymous says:

    The EC90 crank is now available in a compact 50/34t version. Same price as the standard 130BCD version.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m not so sure your math is right by figuring $/gm. Two hypothetical cranks: first, $2000 and 4000 grams. Second, $500 and 500 grams, great deal. First crank is $0.50/gm. Second is $1.00/gm. You’d choose the second, but it’s higher $/gm. You want low $ and low grams. I think you want to multiply not divide. (2000×4000=8,000,000 vs 500×500=250,000.) EC90 standard still wins.

  • Anonymous says:

    The calculation should be, “How much extra do I have to pay for a component to save a gram of weight?” So, if you have to pay $100 more for Brand X, but it saves you 20 grams over Brand Y, then the additional cost per gram saved is $100/20 or $5 per gram. You always have to compare the price and weight of two items to see what the additional cost is to save some weight.

  • Brad says:

    Now that you have a number of miles and over a year on the Easton cranks since the review…what are your thoughts…plus/delta?

  • Eric says:

    Error
    The ZIPP Vuma Quad weighs 560g WITH Bottom Bracket.

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