Let’s talk about these eye-popping eeBrakes
[SCENE: A house in suburban Melbourne. The sun beats down outside. A baby cries in the next room. A bicycle-cycling journalist idly browses the internet before he is suddenly rendered mute, immobile, awestruck. His eyes widen, trying to drink in everything all at once.
There is, you see, a colourful new limited edition brake from the Cane Creek-owned eeBrakes. It’s lightweight and niche and it costs altogether too much money.
In a sudden flurry, our protagonist opens a new tab in his Netscape Navigator and urgently taps the opening salvo in a workplace Slack chat:]
Iain: James. James. We need to talk about those bonkers Cane Creek eeBrakes. The greatest thing I’ve seen all day? I think so…
CT Global Tech Editor, James Huang: Sure … and as far as rim brakes go, the eeBrakes are some of the absolute best I’ve used. Fantastic power, incredible control and lever feel, and I personally love the function-over-form design.
Those colours, though? Er, I’m not so sure.
Iain: WHAT DO YOU MEAN. The colours are literally the best thing about them. They’re pink and turquoise and purple and silver. You’ve lost it, mate.
James: Hold on. Cane Creek is pitching these as a perfect match for the rainbow-anodized version of their eeWings titanium cranks, which might be true. But what if you don’t have those? Could be cool if you have a bike with a totally neutral palette, but otherwise… :face_vomiting:
Iain: … OK, fine. Fair point. These’d clash like anything on my road bike, but on, say, a titanium frameset … I’d go for that.
But appearance aside – I’ve never used these brakes. How much better are they than something from Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo? Do you get extra tyre clearance? Any other perks?
James: There’s actually a lot of clever engineering going on here. For one, they’re crazy light, and the reason they’re so light is because all of the pivot points are fully boxed in so there’s hardly any flex even when you’re braking really hard. Minimizing the flex is how you get such good, consistent control, too. Pad clearance is really good so as to minimize rubbing, too, but the linkage geometry brings the pads to the rim pretty quickly for faster action, and then amplifies the leverage from there so you get a lot more stopping power than you might expect given the caliper weight.
That said, they’re a little quirky. Careful setup is key. If you get it wrong, they actually feel pretty crummy, and they’re more sensitive to variations in rim width than conventional dual-pivot calipers.
Iain: Probs worth pointing out that they’re not cheap, right?
James: Well … no. But isn’t it customary in the cycling industry to pay more for less?
Without question, we’re well, well into the realm of diminishing returns here. But I’ll readily admit that these work so well that I’ve bought a set for myself in years past. Caley owns a set, too.
Iain: And you’ve got those cranks.
James: What cranks? I have no idea what you’re talking about.
James: These are not the droids you’re looking for.
Iain: OK, so you raise a valid point about the colours probably clashing with everything. Just one reason why I will never get these brakes. But goddammit these are batshit and I love that they exist.
James: No, Iain, you’re going about it all wrong. It’s not that you should never get those brakes. It’s that if you do get those brakes, you also need to set aside enough money to build an entire new bike around them.
Iain: I should never have sold that Moots. I’d be Peak FlashyBoi.
Now, James, here’s the thing. For me, these brakes’re in the same category as those rasta Paul skewers from a few years back. They’re overpriced. They’re whimsical goods for the wealthy. But there’s something cool about them, even if I have a thick vein of consumerist self-loathing just thinking that…
James: They’re not overpriced, Iain. You’re just underpaid.
Iain: I’ve been saying it for years.
James: It’s ok, Iain. Surely it’s just a matter of time before Cane Creek releases a red, silver, and blue set of these to match your Ritchey. You might want to start saving now, though…
Iain: Sure. I guess for now, I’ll just have to live vicariously through all the #savetherimbrake types that are going to be absolutely frothing about these. That’ll be fun.
An awkward silence descends.
Iain: Well, James, thank you for enlightening me about these stupid ugly/cool brakes. It’s been a trip. And well done Cane Creek. Keep doing bonkers things.
James: Any time, Iain. I’m here for you.
The Cane Creek eeBrakes EI TD edition are available for preorder now until November 21, and expected to ship in early December. They’re available in direct mount or regular formats, and will set you back a modest US$680 for a pair. Go nuts.