If you are looking to shave a chunk of weight off your bike, add some mechanical bling and have deep pockets, then the Cane Creek EE Cycleworks Brakes are one of the best options. Here is our review
Located in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Cane Creek is an employee-owned company that manufactures a variety of high end components, many of which are for mountain biking. EE Cycleworks brakes are road product in the companies portfolio and are high end, very, very light calipers available in both direct and standard mount standards.
The EE Cycleworks caliper features a very industrial aesthetic that I really like – it screams raw function, with no unessicary material added for aesthetics. So just how light are they? The single mount pair we have here come out at a mouth dropping (mouth dropping if you are a bike nerd) 80g for the rear and 82g for the front. To put that into context, the new Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 calipers hit the scales at 326g a pair, roughly 163g each. You don’t need to be a Count Down champion to see that the EE calipers are half the weight!
As an added bonus the EE Cycleworks brakes will also render your wallet much lighter too, retailing at £319 each, which if we make the same Dura-Ace comparison, is also double, with Shimano’s R9100 calipers retailing for £318 a pair.
What makes them so light then? In addition to the no unessicary material, industrial aesthetic, the EE Cycleworks brakes are constructed from high grade aluminium, titanium and stainless steel alloys. The design is not just the result of a hill climb obsessed weight weenie taking dremel to a pair of Dura-Ace calipers, this is well thought out piece of industrial design, with several clever features that are superior to features found on the big brands.
Firstly, pad insertion – The brake pad shoes are designed so that pads can be slid and popped into place without the need for those annoying grub screws, every discerning cyclist has rounded out at some point in their cycling lives. Regarding pad compatibility – the shoes are for Shimano, with Cane Creek recommending Swiss Stop pads. I have also used ENVE black and grey pads and these worked fine.
Secondly, adjustment, which is tool free. There is a twistable link, which can be used to centre the caliper and a substantial quick release lever, making wheel insertion and removal really easy. There is space for up to 28mm rims and EE Cycleworks brakes are also compatible with Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM shifters too.
How do they perform?
I have used both the single and direct mount versions of the EE Cycleworks brakes and taken them down long mountain descents. Both perform very well indeed and the stiffness of the caliper is commendable considering how ridiculously light it is. Modulation and power is good and right up there with other top end calipers from the likes of Campagnolo. However, Shimano has really raised the bar, with it’s new Dura-Ace R9100 brakes, which it claims are 43% stiffer than before. While I cannot verify the exact figure, when jumping between bikes equipped with the different brakes, it was hugely noticeable. The new Dura-Ace brakes are twice the weight, but much stiffer in their feel and action.
The caliper features nylon bushings that can wear out when exposed to crap covered lanes and it is for this reason I would suggest you don’t use the EE Cycleworks brakes on your winter bike. Not that you would considering the price.
One final word on the price. Before you commit to ridiculing the decadent cost of EE Cycleworks brakes, consider how you much you might spend saving 163g on a bike frame. Moving from a mid level frame to a top end S-Works frame often results in a similar saving but typically costs £1000.
Cane Creek EE Cycleworks brake are and excellent product that is a great way to shed a significant lump of weight off your bike. With regards to braking performance they are up there with many top end calipers, however the new Dura-Ace calipers offer noticeably superior performance. That said, they are twice the weight, so decide which suits your needs.