Saturday, January 9, 2010

ohh crankbrothern where are thou II

The "droit de réponse" is sacred, thus here is, via the one and only James Huang of Cyclingnews, the Crankie's response. But to put my suffering in perspective, this is the bike I should have ridden this weekend, but cannot, because I don't trust the pedals and cleats.

"Hello Gildas,

Here’s the response to your blog posting (and letter) from Crank Brothers:

Wow, that is strong feedback. Thanks for forwarding it. He's clearly passionate about the products he uses, and I seriously hope we don't lose a great customer like him due to appearance of the product. We welcome this kind of feedback and take it to heart. Carl, cranbrothers' co-founder and Senior Mechanical Engineer reviewed the photos and Gildas' comments with me.

Those are not cracks in the cleats. Rather, they are "knit" lines in the forging, which is where the material flows together during the forging process. In one of Gildas' photos, the forging is very slightly incomplete (looks like a crack but is just where the material didn't completely meet), but even this cleat will never crack there. Furthermore, these "cracks" as he calls them, are in non-critical areas. Carl and I don't think our company has ever seen a cracked cleat, as the brass alloy is very tough, strong, and not notch-sensitive. We do not consider the cleats pictured to be a danger.

Gildas is mistaken to think that we've ever made any of our cleats out of an "al alloy" (aluminum alloy). They have always been brass. But to answer your question, he is correct that the earlier cleats were prettier. Actually, the prettier cleats were made by our first vendor, but the brass alloy was not as long wearing as the slightly rough-edged cleats that were made by a second vendor. The rough-edged cleats are actually better, but for sure, they aren't pretty, and it's something we should - in fact, we have - improved. Our first vendor currently makes pretty cleats out of the longer wearing brass, so I don't think we'll see the ugly any more.
The ragged edge on the cleat is from where the forging excess was cut (stamped) off. Yes, it's ugly, but it's not a functional problem. With some use, any part of it that contacts the pedal bars will polish over time.

Regarding Gildas' comment regarding the ugly weld on the pedal, we'd need to see a photo of it to evaluate his comment, but we take what he wrote seriously and we are hard at work improving our pedals as part of our ongoing development. The welding process has actually been improved since the egg beater c first came out on the market. I actually wonder if Gildas may have a different model of pedal, such as the investment cast egg beater sl, that he's mistakenly comparing against the new set of egg beater c...

It is true that we now include the smaller race cleat with all of our egg beater pedals. There is no difference in durability. It just lightens the overall system weight, which we have found to be very important to the eggbeater user. It is made of the same strong brass same as we use in our premium cleat which were formerly provided with the egg beater pedals, and still offer separately and include with candys, mallets, etc. The only difference is the shape and weight, and with the premium cleat, there is a washer for adjustability which is not available with the more minimalist race cleat.

James Huang
Technical Editor


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ohh Crankbrothern, where are thou?

Crankbrothers has long been one of my favorite brands... But it looked like they hired someone that went a bridge too far in cost cutting. Frankly, it's fucking dangerous.

The pedal has also got problems, dangerous problems, that will be the focus of a second post.

Here you allready start to see the problem...

Hair line crack on one cleat...

You must be fucking kidding crack on the other one... Better checks yours...

In ye old english, this kind of of finish is called "crap" or "shite"... The person who moulded this does not give a mangly donkey's turd about his work, or is so underpaid and/or underage to know what the fuck he is doing...

This is the original... The manufacturer probably kissed every single cleat coming off the line.
This is just the begining, I'm going to X ray them to see inside - and someone is going to lose their job, somewhere .

Below is my letter of complaint to Crank brothers:


Dear Madam, Sir,

I have been riding Eggbeaters "C" for about four years, oldest pair, on my training bike is over 50 000km old. Only needing a refit after a head on with a motorbike - that destroyed the motorbike, my bike, my helmet and broke my leg. Only the pedals survived.

These pedals are used for training, going to work (50km daily commute now), cyclocross and Ironman triathlon. They are by far the best pedals I have ever used. And I've worked for a bike shop, so I've tested a lot of pedals. I’ve even got your pump!

I have been pushing members of my team and friends to use Crank Brothers. But after opening the box of my latest pair – you have lost a customer.

- Cleats: too small, NOT in premium brass as stated on box, but of an AL alloy of some sort. Badly moulded, and one is FUCKING CRACKED. Yes I’m entitled to this kind of language, because if a cleat breaks, or unclips, when I’m going 100km/h plus downhill – it could, and in this case probably would, FUCKING KILL ME.

- Pedals: Who welded this shit? Looks like the bloody intern… Or seeing they are now made in China ( Taiwan or Korea before, where workers are protected – memory fuzzy) by some primary school kid? The soldering is also not finished and in the wrong place. In fact, it looks like a bloody good breaking point on the wings, the kind of thing that could KILL ME. Don’t get me started on the finish that looks like powder coating and I prefer not opening the darn things.

- Box: nice.

How did you go from making a sub 100euro pedal that I could snap chains with, yet open by magic in a head on accident, to this inferior SHIT? This is madness? NO, it’s the sound of me returning the box for a refund, a complaint to French and English consumer services and nice pictures going on my blog and to every rider, blog and publication I know. I don’t want people risking their life for a bit of corporate greed. I will forward this to you, of course.

Yours, pissed off, ordering SPX from Shimano.

Gildas Dubois