Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

New Crank Brothers cockpit kit

Posted by Matt | April 16, 2010 | 6 comments so far

Crank Brothers Cobalt stem
Well, aside from the fact that title was a bit of a mouthful, what do people think? Do you like this? I mean the image below, not my rather ham-fisted attempt at alliteration of course.

I rather think I very much do like this, a lot.

Crank Brothers have continued their seemingly inexorable push into the component market, to the extent I wonder just how much a fully Crank’d bike is likely to cost. It can’t be cheap. Starting with wheels, seatposts, pedals, QR skewers and headsets you can now add a stem, bars, grips and a seatclamp to the mix, creating the possibility of a full-on boutique bike.

Or, mix and match to suit your budget and aesthetic inclination. Personally, I like the idea and look of the new Cobalt stem you see above which takes a novel (but not unique) approach to clamping the bars and steerer tubes using expanding wedges. It’s an elegant solution which Thomson have tried themselves in the past but here it has been used to great effect to lever in some jewel-like colour contrast into quite a mundane item.

Are Crank Brothers the Apple of the MTB world? Possibly.

The new Iodine stems (not shown) are more adventurous in some ways, with an unusual (and visually not entirely successful) sliding faceplate which I think the jury may have to retire to consider at length.

Crank Brothers Iodine lock on grips

More successful are the Iodine grips which feature repeating Crank Brothers logos which appear to offer both a visual treat and a practical surface to hang on to.

Plenty more details across the web, but Bikeradar has a good round up if you want to find out more about the new Crank Brothers stems, bars, seatposts and grips.

Filed under 2010, News in April 2010


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 6 comments on ‘New Crank Brothers cockpit kit’

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  1. LordOnOne says:

    I’m steering clear of Crank Brothers products until they offer more than just looks.

  2. DaveW says:

    I agree with ‘is Lordship above. After trying 2 sets of Crank Brothers egg beaters and being disgusted at the poor design and resultant high servicing overhead (about 3 monthly during the winter, with new bearings and bits required) and the Mk1 ‘Joplin’ clamp seemingly being made of cheese, it amazes me that they ask what they do for their kit.

    I admit CB stuff tends to look good, but that really isn’t enough, especially when our bikes have to survive UK winters. Mind you, I’ve only ever seen the Iodine wheels in bike shops, never on the trails…

  3. tony says:

    I’ve been fairly impressed with my Joplin – so far. It does what it’s meant to, but I wouldn’t ride it though the winter!

    Iodine wheels are interesting in that they are a new manner of attaching spokes to rim. However they appear to me to be “over designed” and nothing like as elegant, simple and successful as traditional spokes. You won’t see me with any on my bikes!

    The new stems do look funky and seem more logical.

  4. Andy C says:

    As a shallow individual who can be swayed by form over function, they would look really neat on the Pace.

    I ventured into their world to buy the Mallet pedals as they were (to my eye) in a co-ordinating green colour for my khaki frame. They have been ridden a fair bit since January, and other than some anodising wearing off where the shoe is in contact with the pedal cage, they have lasted ok so far. I have to say that they have avoided the worst of the mud as the On-One (which saw most of the action in the recent mud fests) was fitted with Time ATACs.

    Looks like there’s less to go wrong with the stems and grips though, so if I fancy an upgrade over my Hope stem and Race Face bars, I know where to look. Prices don’t seem too horrendous, either (especially when compared with a decent Prada bag).

  5. DaveW says:

    AndyC said “an upgrade over my Hope stem and Race Face bars”

    I’d say that would be a definite downgrade on the stem, if not the bars Andy (I don’t recall which bars you have).

    Hope stems are amongst the best available, nicely engineered to work, be durable AND to look good – no gimmicks required. That is ‘bling’ to me.

    I don’t even think the CB stem and bars look that nice – is it just me? Maybe I’m being swayed by my previous CB experiences and their reputation in general.

  6. vicky says:

    wow, i just love that cobalt stem and the bars also. The colour amazed me so much…

    Really a high class product… just a little question, are there any colour more?

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