For 2014, Crank Brothers has completely redesigned their rim profile across their entire wheel collection, especially their carbon rims which are now taller and wider. The internal rim width is now 21mm (from 19mm on the previous version). This increase in height and width has allowed Crank Brothers to increase the strength to weight ratio by 50% so the wheels are much stronger and stiffer than before.
Shown here are the new versions of the Cobalt 11 29 wheels and the all new Cobalt 11 27.5 wheels. Moving foward, there will not be a 26″ carbon wheelset from Crank Brothers. The Cobalt 11 wheels will come fully compatible out of the box for varying axle sizes. They will come set up with 142mm spacing in the rear and 15mm for the front but they will also include 135mm end cap for the rear and 9mm adapter for front. Skewers are not included any more since they don’t want to make people pay for something they aren’t going to use.
Crank Brothers utilizes real world testing with their carbon wheels and they have racers from the Bianchi UCI World Cup team for wheel development and they get great feedback. One of the Team Bianchi racers just won the U23 World Championship on Crank Brothers wheels. For their DH and AM wheels, Crank Brothers incorporates the talents of none other than Norco International Team Riders Jill Kintner and Bryn Atkinison as well as Richie Schley and Hans Rey.
Availability for the new Cobalt 11 29 and 27.5 carbon wheels will be early 2014. Weight for the wheelset is:
Cobalt 11 29 – 1545 grams
Cobalt 11 27.5 – 1425 grams
MSRP for the Cobalt 11 is $2200 (for either 29 or 27.5).
For their aluminum wheels, the price has actually gone down for 2014 with Level 3 wheels coming in at $900 and Level 2 wheels going for $600. Availability for the new 2014 aluminum wheels is November 2013.
Crank Brothers wheels have always been very high tech and slick looking. We are happy to seem them continue to make improvement and carbon wheels are hot right now. We look forward to getting a closer look at these wheels in November.
For more information, check out: http://www.crankbrothers.com/