Being Frank – My Cane Creek Favorites

Brent Graves
Brent Graves – President and CEO

Favorites, everyone has them. Craft beer, James Bond actor, MotoGP racer, burger joint, and even offspring (but parents can’t admit that) — everyone has favorites. While all of the Cane Creek products, particularly those born during my tenure, are special to me, some climb into my Favorites category.

I have been a titanium fan for more than twenty-five years. Titanium’s properties are great for numerous bicycle applications, it takes skill to fabricate, it is relatively uncommon, has the most possible finish options (brushed, media blasted, polished, anodized, painted), and is very durable and corrosion resistant. Though the natural color of titanium is super cool to my eyes, I have to say one of my favorite products is the eeWings Raven. They look so freakin’ hot that I can overlook that painting titanium is blasphemy to most.

I have written before about quality in the details, and the BB preloader that we designed for the eeWings is a great example. Machined and anodized aluminum with a titanium pinch screw make the perfect complement to beautiful titanium crank arms – or our competitors’ carbon arms. We certainly were not going to use a plastic part with a wood screw!

Inspired by Craig Edwards’ eeNut, the eeBarkeeps are a pair of machined aluminum plugs for your handlebars. They clamp in place and resist damage better than plastic end caps and grip ends. They fit most any bar (drop, flat, or riser) and are a great complement to carbon bars. They don’t weigh any more than the cheap plastics bits that can fall out with the first spill. Lastly, I think it is silly for someone to build a dream bike and not have an option of a quality end cap to finish it off.

Here’s a secret: the Hellbender70 headset works just as well as our legendary 110. If you don’t want to pay for the higher polished finish and satisfaction guarantee that comes with the 110, the Hellbender70 is your choice. The heart of a headset is the bearing, and the 110 and Hellbender70 both use the same durable Hellbender bearings.

One of the most unnoticed and unappreciated parts on a bicycle is one of the most important. The lowly star nut resides in the steer tube, and it is what enables adjustment of the headset bearings. Actually, the star nut was the final piece that made the threadless headset possible almost thirty years ago. Before that time threaded headsets constantly loosened and pitted. This was a big problem on early mountain bikes before suspension forks. Riding one of those bikes with a loose headset would decimate one’s confidence while riding as it felt like the front end of the bike was going to fall off.

As a result of being hidden and overlooked, the star nut gets no love. So we created a premium star nut that has an aluminum nut and chrome plated star “wings” that resist corrosion much better and weigh less than the standard units.

Sure favorites can be expensive, but all of the ones listed above except the eeWings Raven are under $100 – many are just a fraction of that amount. My mentor once told me that it is relatively easy to make a cool product when cost is not a limiter, but the real magic is in creating something great while watching every cent. These favorites give proof to that adage and illustrate our commitment to not allowing any detail to be taken for granted.