We Install & Test Ride The EC90SL 1x Carbon Crank From Easton

Are you considering a 1x setup and looking to save weight and improve performance? The EC90SL carbon crank from Mudgee Classic partner Easton could be the answer.

It wasn’t that long ago that crank arms were up there as some of the heftiest and heaviest components of a bike. Those old-school, cotter-pinned steel cranks sure did look good with their mirror polish finish, but gee they packed some weight.

The Easton EC90SL crank arms are at the complete other end of the spectrum to the steel brutes of yesteryear. With high-tech carbon and a hollow construction created using the company’s proprietary manufacturing technology, the crankset is one of the lightest available.

High quality craftsmanship and a unique tooth design, the Easton chainring and carbon crank arms have proven faultless during testing.

The unit we are testing today weighs in at a shade over 500g fitted with the company’s 42T chainring.
Installation and setup is literally a cinch, with the EC90SL system using Easton’s ‘Cinch’ crank / chainring interface system. One of the easiest crankset fishing methods we’ve used, this system allows for the very simple direct mount of a 1x ring or 2x spider onto the crank which is held in place by a splined bottom bracket tool (ParkTool’s BBT-32—around $20 online.)

With the lockring tensioned to 40nm, crank installation was simple and straightforward thanks to the instructions and 5-step diagram included with the packaging.

The crank suits a BB30 axle and slots together via an eight-lobed recess. The two sides are pulled together via an 8mm hex key incorporated as a captive lock nut.
With the crank tensioned and chain fitted, it was time to ride the 1x setup.

Back to the installation, and pedals were fitted—along with the supplied flat washers to help protect the crank. Pedal thread is via a clean, quality-looking aluminium insert embedded in the end of each crank.

Fitting the Easton carbon crank to the test bike—an original 3T Exploro gravel machine—markedly helped reduce the overall weight of the build. With the 42T round chainring driving the 10-42 cassette, acceleration was swift and gearing perfectly capable for a wide range of applications. Equally at home on road and gravel, the ratios proved to be a good balance when tested over terrain that ranged from lose, gritty gravel through to smooth blacktop bitumen.

The 1x Easton EC90 carbon crank fitted to a gravel bike.

For those after higher-speed and more road-specific riding, the chainring is available up to 50T. Conversely, for those keen on tackling looser and steeper terrain, a 38T is available.

One of the advantages of the Cinch system is ease of swapping out chainrings. And with RRPs ranging from $132.50 (for the 38T) through to $159 (for the 50T), it wouldn’t be out of the question to have a few options on hand.

The cranks are available in lengths from 170mm to 175mm, the Q-Factor—the width between each pedal thread—is 149mm and the cranks offer a clean, slick and complimentary look.
To the all-important chain holding qualities, and I’ve not experienced a dropped chain while using the Easton system.

With a more pronounced and prominent tooth profile, Easton say they aimed to achieve “a more positive chain roller engagement”, and this certainly rings true when riding.

Popular 1x setups have many advantages including less weight and simplicity. Easton direct mount rings use a new narrow/wide design specifically tailored to road/cx/gravel applications. The individual tooth profile has moved to a more directional-specific design with a slight forward angle to each tooth.

Overall, the system is incredibly easy to install, is quiet, smooth, reliable, and very additive to the aesthetics of the bike. Looking to save weight, ride a more reliable chainring, and pimp your ride? This crankset option comes highly recommended.

Through extended use on both road and trail we are yet to have the Easton crank set up drop a chain. The carbon cranks are super light and the chainrings are (literally) a cinch to install with the correct tool.

Available Lengths: 170/172.5/175mm
Ring Sizes: 38/40/42/44/46/48/50T
RRP: From $449

Fore more, and to purchase, visit https://www.ridefoxaustralia.com.au/

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