455 grams with 40-tooth chainring
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There’s a bit of a yada-yada factor when talking about a lightweight crankset. It really only has to tick two boxes to be considered good. Box one: it’s light. Box two: it’s stiff. So how does the EC90SL crankset from Easton differentiate itself?
It turns out there’s another box that needs to be ticked: it’s versatile.
Easton’s Cinch system allows you to quickly swap out chainrings by loosening the crank bolt and a lock ring. It’s quick and easy, and it means you can switch between a 1-by set up and a 2-by set up, or just change your chainring size depending on the ride you’ll be doing. It takes about five minutes total to swap a ring using the Cinch system, and you’ll need an 8-millimeter Allen wrench to remove your crank, as well as a Shimano-style bottom bracket remover tool (Like Park Tool’s BBT-22) to remove the Cinch lockring.
The EC90SL is compatible with just about every major road BB standard too, so there are plenty of bottom bracket configurations to choose from. But there’s one bummer about the threaded BSA bottom bracket: you’ll need a special tool to install it. The Race Face Cinch BSA bottom bracket tool is made specifically for installing Easton and Race Face bottom bracket cups. It cost me about $30 at the local bike shop. Of course, this is only a problem if you’re running the threaded bottom bracket option.
Even over the most chattery cyclocross courses, we never dropped a chain because Easton’s narrow-wide chainrings provided excellent chain retention. Granted, we never got the ring coated in late-season slop, so we can’t speak for its efficacy when bogged down, but in dry, bumpy conditions the chainring held on fast.
Upgrading your wheels is perhaps the most vital weight-saving step you can take, but for less than half the price, you can cut grams with the EC90SL and gain a stiff crankset with versatility thanks to the Cinch system.