Crank Brothers’ iconic pedal design quickly became a hit, but its wheelset lineup has taken a little longer to spin up to speed. For 2014 the unique twin-paired spoke design remains but the rims have changed dramatically for the new, third-generation design. Still available in Cobalt (XC) and Iodine (all-mountain) versions, they will be hitting the trail at new price points too.
The first priority for the redesign was the rim. The new shape is 2mm wider across the inner width and the sidewalls are 1.7mm shorter which improves impact resistance and allows for a tighter seal on tubeless beads. The rim’s depth has increased as well, eliminating the need for the internal I-beam brace. It also shortened the spoke lengths by 4mm. The rims also receive a shot-peened finish that Crank Brothers says improves fatigue life by 15 percent. They are then anodized and laser-etched.
Crank Brothers hubs have been in production since 2010 and the company says they have a less than one percent warranty rate. All the hubs have convertible axles and ship with different end caps. The Cobalt front hubs can run QR or 15mm axles, while the Iodine hubs can use 15mm or 20mm. A SRAM XD driver for the rear hub is available aftermarket as well. They spin on sealed cartridge bearings with a three-pawl, 21-tooth driver.
The Cobalt and Iodine 3 wheels are available in 27.5 and 29 for $900 with a two-year warranty. The Cobalt and Iodine 2 wheels will retail for $600. If you’re looking for 26-inch wheels, they are available in the 2 trim level only.
The new wheels are shipping to dealers now or you can order straight from Crank Brothers online.