Based in Laguna Beach, California, Crankbrothers is a brand driven by solving problems its founders experienced out on the trails. Its first product was a tyre lever that protected your knuckles from the dreaded spoke scrape.
Now, probably best known for its pedals, Crankbrothers also makes some of our favourite multi-tools and mini pumps and has found its way onto the cutting edge of wheels and components too.
For XC and CX racers, the Egg Beater 11 are some of the lightest and best mud-clearing pedals on the market. Sitting at the top of the range, the Egg Beater 11 are made almost entirely of titanium except for the stainless steel spring. The open design makes for instant engagement and leaves nowhere for mud to gather. The lower end versions offer the same design and internals but replace the titanium with less exotic (read: expensive) materials.
They come with brass cleats which allow for 15 or 20-degree release angles depending on which cleat you bolt to which shoe. The pedals themselves spin on needle and cartridge bearings which offer improvements over the bushings used in previous versions, in terms of durability and performance. Better still, they are so simple to service, a six-year-old could get the job done.
The Crankbrothers Candy essentially takes the Eggbeater and adds a small platform around the cleat assembly for added stability and surface area as the trails get rougher and steeper. Occupying the brand's trail segment, the textured 6061-T6 aluminium wing is better suited to withstand rock strikes than the cheaper resin versions found lower in the range — plus it's lighter too.
The Candy 3 offers the same engagement mechanism which means as soon as the cleat finds the spring, you’re connected to the bike, and with the open design, there is still nothing to hold mud. The pedals also come with the same brass cleats which offer 15 or 20-degree release angles.
The Mallet Enduro is based on the brand's uber-popular DH version but features a slightly smaller and lighter platform. The concave pedal body is made from lightweight 6061-T6 aluminium, and is not only coated in polyurethane but also features six adjustable pins around the edges, to make sure you don’t slip a pedal when things get extra rowdy.
In the middle, you’ll find the same four-sided mud-shedding spring engagement, which interfaces with the brand's multi-release angle brass cleats. Knowing that enduro bikes and their components live a hard life, the internals consist of Enduro (brand) cartridge bearings, Igus bushing and an external seal to ensure the trail stays on the outside.
For many riders, when we talk about mud clearing and four-sided engagement, their eyes glaze over, because the last time they clipped into a pedal, they were wearing lycra and riding a bike with 580mm wide bars. For those riders, a flat like the Stamp 7 is just about as good it gets.
With a 6061-T6 aluminium platform, the Stamp 7 comes in two sizes to provide the best possible amount of grip for your foot size. The sizable concave pedal body is 13mm thick and sees ten adjustable pins around the outer edge to grab onto the tread of your shoes.
Crankbrothers Synthesis wheels are a unique take on carbon mountain bike wheels, using the tunability of the material to customized stiffness and compliance. The result is a more compliant front wheel and stiffer rear wheel. With a more compliant front wheel, it allows to grab and flex (a little) to better track the ground rather than skipping along while also reducing harshness through the hands. At the same time, the back is stiffer to better contend with impacts, snappy cornering and help the bike track better.
The Synthesis comes in three different versions; DH, E and XTC with each following the same compliant in the front stiff in the rear ethos. Not only do the layups differ, but the rear wheel also sees four more spokes and a deeper and narrower rim profile. Each is also available with a Crankbrothers hub, or the Industry Nine Hydra.
Crankbrothers also offers the Synthesis wheels in an alloy version which utilise a similar compliant in the front, stiff and snappy in the rear combo without the hefty price tag. Beyond the rim physically being made of a different material, the alloy synthesis features a hooked rim bed, and a slightly narrowed sidewall — internal rim widths are the same as the carbon version.
Available in XCT, Enduro and E-bike specific versions, like their carbon compatriots, the Synthesis Alloy wheels come with either a standard Crankbrothers hub, or the uber quick engaging Industry Nine Hydra.
The Speedier Tire Lever was the first product Crankbrothers ever produced. The deluxe tyre lever sees a knuckle protector to keep your mitts safe from the spokes.
Once it's time to remount the tire the Speedier Tire Lever also features a mountain hook, which clips over the edge of your rim and allows you to slide the lever around the circumference to mount the tyre, just as you did to remove it.
The F15 Multi-tool is a full-featured multi-tool that comes with a sleek magnetic case. Beyond just making for a classy looking tool, and protecting the contents when not in use, the case can also be used as a handle for extra leverage when required.
While it's called the F15, the tool actually has 16-tools inside, with hex bits ranging from 2-8mm, a T25 Torx, Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, spoke wrenches and a chain tool. For those keeping score at home, this is in fact only 15, but you’d be forgetting the most important of the bunch, the integrated bottle opener.
Crankbrothers Y16 takes a rather novel approach to trailside tooling, rather than taking on the usually swiss army flip out format that is the norm for pocketable tools the Y16 opts for a workshop tri tool design. The tri-tool design gives superb grip and ease of use when carrying out repair compared to a flippy floppy multitool.
Somehow Crankbrothers has been able to cram almost every tool you would need into the tool. A comprehensive hex selection from 2-8mm, screwdrivers, Torx, chain tool, spoke keys and even a spring-loaded CO2 inflator. Everything is securely mounted in a neat frame.
Although the M series multi-tools look a bit like your standard fold-out piece, this tool is surprisingly well thought out, and something you will find in many a Bike Perfect staffer's riding kit. The sidebars which come in a range of anodized colours are texture for added grip and they are also low profile to help you turn hard to reach bolts.
Measuring 89mm, the tool is long enough to shift a tight bolt and features hex wrenches from 2-8mm, a Phillips and flat-head screwdriver and a T25 Torx head.
A high volume pump with an easy to read gauge will change your riding experience for the better. Not only will you be able to inflate your tyres with fewer strokes, but you’ll also be able to dial in that perfect tyre pressure.
For the Klic, Crankbrothers flipped the traditional pump gauge setup upside down, moving the gauge to the top of the pump handle so you can actually see it. With a universal head which plays nice with Presta and Schrader valves, the pump sees a magnetic hose attachment, and the hose itself is held inside the pump with magnets too.
For getting tubeless tyres setup, the Klic also features a removable burst tank, to blast those difficult tyres into the bead.
While flats are becoming increasingly less common thanks to tubeless tyres and inserts, they still happen, and when you do get a puncture, you’re likely going to be on the side of the trail pumping for a while.
A high volume mini pump moves more air with each actuation and is ideal for mountain bike tyres. With the stowable hose and flooding t-bar handle position, the Klic HV makes quick work of beefy tyres. The hose attaches to the pump with magnets and can inflate with both Presta and Schrader valves. Crankbrothers does make a slightly more expensive version with a gauge, but it only reads in ten psi increments, which isn’t all that accurate — save a few bucks and go gaugeless.
Crankbrothers was an early pioneer of the dropper post, and the mid-range Highline 3 is a perfect example of how far the brand has come in recent years in terms of reliability, durability and of course drop.
The Highline three comes in drops raining form 80-170mm and 30.9, 31.6 and 34.9mm diameters. The main difference between the Highline 3 and it's more expensive Highline 7, is the latter uses an emulsion-based cartridge system which doesn't separate the gas and the oil. In contrast, the 7 uses a wind tec cartridge. Even still, it’s smooth, consistent and stiction free.
Inside the post sees Igus LL-Glign bearings and keys, Trelleborg seals and comes out of the box with Jagwire cables and housing.
Lightweight, stiff and pretty darn flat is what we look for in a set of XC bars, and the Crankbrothers Cobalt 11 ticks all three boxes. Made from carbon, they come in two widths, 680mm and 720mm.
Both come in 8mm and 15mm rise varieties, while the skinny bars have 6-degrees of back sweep and the wider have 9-degrees. With a 38.8mm clamp diameter, the bars are claimed to weigh 155g (680mm).
The Iodine 3 are Crankbrothers' alloy all mountain bars, ideal for those who love riding steep chutes and spicy terrain. Only available in a 720m width, they see 30mm of rise, 9-degrees of back sweep and are claimed to weigh 290g.
Being metal instead of carbon, they will withstand a bit more crash damage, and see cutting guides on both sides.
The updated Iodine three grips see a large portion of the embossed Crankbrothers logo replaced with knurling to provide max purchase whether you’re wearing gloves or not. The Kerton rubber is grippy and dampens well, while the tapering at either end provides some much-needed support for your hands.
With collars at either end, there is no way these are going to spin on a hard landing, but make sure your multi-tool has a T10 Torx head; otherwise, you won’t be able to make adjustments on the go.