eecycle works eebrake
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Tested January 27th, 2009


eecycle works eebrake

  • Cost: $519 MSRP (without brake pads)
  • Unique industrial design
  • Exclusiveness; different
  • Excellent performance
  • Made in the USA
  • Light weight: 162 grams (pair) without pads; 182 grams with Dura Ace pads
  • Very easy to change out brake pads (for those that have alloy trainers and carbon racers)
  • Adjustable reach to fit many bikes

This is a review of Craig Edward's latest creation, the eebrake. Craig was originally known for his "Sweet Wings" cranks that came out during the early '90's. They were superlight cro-mo cranks that featured an integrated bottom bracket design that has since been copied (incidentally, he is also working on a new and lighter crank due later this year). In any case, his manufacturing and design talent can now be found in these stunning new brakes.

Installation
Unfortunately, the brakes didn't come with pads so I purchased a Dura Ace set. Installing the pads was incredibly easy; the holders have wide tolerances that make it easy to slip the new pad in--which you do at an angle. You then pivot the rear section down and snap them in to place. The holders have a "no-screw" feature that makes it easy to install or replace. Yet the pads definitely feel secure. These brakes would be ideal for folks that like to switch between training wheels with alloy braking surfaces and carbon rims for racing.
The rest of the documentation was a bit daunting but proved easy once the front set was installed. The major hurdle is you need to remove a retaining nut to free up a the bolt that fits into the fork or rear stay. The retaining bolt features an eccentric design that allows you to pivot the bolt up or down, extending the "drop" of the brake if needed. It also allows fine-tuning for out of true wheels. Luckily I didn't have to remove too many links from my Nokon cables (PIA alert) to fit these brakes in place of my Zero Gravity Ti's.

Dialing in the brake pads was on par with any other brake set, and the cable length was easily adjusted (though different) with the large barrel adjuster.

Weight
Thanks to Zero Gravity, who really disrupted the space about 5 years ago, there is now a lot of innovation and choice with brakes, ranging from the ultra expensive to some great stand-byes.

On my scale, the eebrakes weighed 164 grams without pads and 184 grams with. For comparison, my Zero Gravity Ti's were 2 grams heavier. Below are actual weights for these two along with MSRPs and claimed weights (pads included) for other brakes that folks may be considering. (Note: Zero Gravity produces excellent products and has fantastic customer service. I fully support their products. Additionally, I own Zero Gravity Ti, Negative Gravity Ti, and Mavic SSC brakes).

 

Brake MSRP Weight $/gram
AX-Lightness Orion  $1,600 144  $11.11
M5  $   740 202  $  3.66
eebrake  $   519 184  $  2.82
Zero Gravity Ti  $   430 186  $  2.31
Negative Gravity Ti  $   400 230  $  1.74
Dura Ace 7900  $   440 284  $  1.55
SRAM Red  $   295 265  $  1.11
Campy Record Skeleton  $   300 275  $  1.09
Dura Ace 7800  $   235 314  $  0.75
Mavic SSC  $   190 310  $  0.61

As you can see, the eebrakes are toward the upper end of $/gram. This being said, Shimano 7900 is certainly raising the price bar on "mass produced" brakes. And if you are paying $440 for Dura Ace, suddenly $100 more doesn't seem so far out of the question.

Performance
I think the closest comparison to the eebrake is the Zero Gravity Ti. Zero Gravs have stood the test of time with great industrial design, incredible light weight, and very good stopping performance. How would the eebrake compare?
From my testing, the eebrake provides superior braking performance (much stronger braking), good modulation, and a slight decrease in weight. They also have a much stronger return spring; the return spring helps "snap" the brake lever back into place and creates a very stable and secure feel. This feature would be very useful with TT brake levers that rely on cable tension versus return spring. And, as stated, braking performance was excellent.

What's truly amazing, though, is that despite it's 5-pivot design, there was no flex or "slop" in the brake. I find this incredible because each pivot should introduce some degree of "play". Yet there was none with this remarkable brake set.

Design

These brakes do their functional job extremely well; I don't think there really is a set of better stoppers out there. This being said, this brake isn't for everyone. They are very expensive. And they have a polarizing look; some may think it's ugly, others might think they are beautiful. As my friend said, "They aren't brakes. They are artwork"--I couldn't agree more.
On my carbon Cervelo R3, I found these brakes to look a bit out of place; something so classy and mechanical on a modern black carbon frame. Where these brakes would truly be at home is on a classic lightweight steel or Ti frame--Schwinn Paramount, Indy Fab, Colnago, Moots, or Cervelo Prodigy. It would be outstanding to see these calipers on the latest Reynolds 953 steel frames.

Summary
These brakes offer outstanding performance, a unique look, and exclusivity--but at a price.
If you are lucky enough to afford components in this price range, the eebrake is a compelling choice.

Value: 3 stars 
Overall: 3.5 stars; if you can afford it, these are different yet work marvelously and are extremely light.

 

 


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