Strengths: Stiff, light (for aluminum), looks awesome, relatively inexpensive, comes with a BB, good customer service
Weaknesses: Poor bottom bracket spacer design, poor spindle design, nearly impossible to service, BB wears out quickly, creaky
Bought this crank to use on a custom steel 29er hardtail in a 1x9 setup and fell in love with it immediately. It just looks so slick with the matte black finish and machined arms, and a matching black ring. Setup seemed simple, and the included tool made installing the bottom bracket a cinch. I had no issues with it for...maybe...two months? Then the honeymoon ended. First, I started breaking spacers. e13 includes plastic spacers to size out your BB shell properly, but for some reason they started snapping, which would cause the BB to shift under load and actually made the chainring bite into my chainstay a couple of times. I took it to my LBS, and that's when another issue arose: this crank is IMPOSSIBLE to remove. We're talking me and another guy working together, a breaker bar over a big Allen wrench, the frame is twisting...gives me chills thinking about it. Thought it was just that it hadn't been lubed properly on install, or had been over-tightened, but that flew out the window...when I broke a second spacer. Then a third. Finally called e13 and the guy (Charlie?) informed me that yeah, those spacers weren't designed for thin steel BB shells, so they jump over the shell and snap, "sometimes." He recommended using a metal spacer instead, which they don't supply and nobody makes in the same size. Eventually found one from an old FSA BB and threw it in, which seemed to solve the problem, until the BB just wore out. Not even a single season out of a bottom bracket is kind of a bummer, especially when they are proprietary, cost $60+ and you have to order them from e13 directly because nobody stocks them. Got my new BB, installed it (again with the breaker bar, excessive force, etc.) and all was well, for two rides. Then it started to creak. A month into the second season, it creaks like an old man, to the point that I'm embarrassed every time I ride in a pack or pass someone on the trail, and have had more than one comment along the lines of, "maybe you should tighten that thing up." Well, unfortunately, the spindle (which is properly spaced, I can assure you) bottoms out on the opposite side, so I actually can't tighten it any more. Besides which, overtightening might cause it to freeze up completely, leaving me up the proverbial creek sans paddle. And then there's the issue of the e13 rings wearing out very quickly and causing chain suck, but since this is about the crank I'll leave that out. Overall, I have become exhausted trying to make this crankset work, and I'm looking for a replacement. Unfortunately, there's nothing out there that looks as good, except maybe Middleburn, which doesn't come in 34T.
I recently bought these and they have worked great. I originally just bought the cranks without the bottom bracket. My plan was to upgrade to the Kris King Cermaic BB. Come to find out e13 is propriteray and at this time KK does't make one. Overall good crankset for the money
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2012
Strengths: This carnk is stiff. Went together smoothly. No probs. Bearings excellent. Chainline as Specified.
Weaknesses: It may be i'm lighter then others who bagged on this cranks integrity. Used over a year & a half & have never had the (left) arm come loose. Every ride has a hill climb. Maybe it's because i use w/ a Rohloff.
Other than that nearly unavoidable creak when i stand-up (only), this is a viable product. It is recommended based on those experiences.
I was looking to try something other than the Stylo 1.1 I've used a few times on my last couple bikes, my requirements were lightweight, rigid, and reasonably priced. I had considered modifying one of the new XT cranksets but after doing some research on the e.thirteen I really wanted to give it a shot. The larger spindle with its polygon interface and the beefy BB should be bullet proof for a larger rider like myself.
When it showed up at the LBS I went through it when I dropped the bike off, it is a very nicely packaged kit with the BB tool, nice instructions, and everything you need for an easy install. The guys at my shop hadn't installed an e.thirteen crank in a couple years and they remarked at how much better the new crank set is right out of the box compared to the older kits. Handling the BB and crankset in your hands its appearant that these are very nicely made. The machining is nicely executed, nothing garish or over the top, just appears to be done only where it needs to maximize weight loss.
The first ride on the new set and the bearings seem a little stiff, after about 30 minutes of constant pedalling and they really opened up and spin freely now. Based on comments from other users this seems to be the norm for these particular bearings. The most noticable thing when you start hammering on them is that the crank arms are stiff. Granted these replaced a modified stock OE Shimano set but there was a huge difference in arm stiffness and power transfer.
The icing on the machined aluminum cake is the weight loss when replacing stock cranksets when running a 1x9 or 1x10 set-up. On my bike I run the e.thirteen with an MRP BB mounted 1.x chain guide and a RaceFace single speed 34t chain ring so the weight savings are huge over the stock 3 ring crank and front der. The new crankset weighs in at a very svelte 575g, compared to the 800-850g boat anchors on most $2k or less bikes thats a huge drop. Sure you could pony up another $400 for an XTR and save another 50 paper clips in weight but seriously, is it really worth the upcharge?
For $250 or less you really can't beat the e.thirteen XC/SS crankset, show up with something different than everyone running XT or Stylo's on your next group ride.
Similar Products Used: Shimano SLX, XT, Truvativ Stylo 1.1, stock Suntour cranks, etc.
Bike Setup: 2011 Camber Expert, X7 set up 1x10, plenty of upgrades.
a Cross Country Rider
from Toronto, Ontario
Date Reviewed: July 25, 2011
Strengths: They look slick.
Weaknesses: Crank falls off. Bottom Bracket explodes if you're a masher, bottom bracket destruction scores your crank, and its all proprietary.
I went with EThirteens on my bike on recommendation. The price was right as well.
After about 4 rides they started to creak. The creaking was fine for a long while and the cranks never gave me any problems.
When they do fail, they fail big time. Crank arms that fall off without loctite, damage to your crank shaft. If you don't have specific ethirteen parts, your day is over.
Just spend the money and buy tested and true equipment. Rare equipment is loaded with cool factor, but if you're racing, go with something that's easily serviceable with parts that are readily available.
Strengths: Super stout, looks cool, dedicated SS crankset (they also offer a triple), outboard bearings
Weaknesses: not super light, Left crank arm comes off unless you loctite it and torque it down (don't use grease as the directions tell you to!)
Super stout crankset (with BB), from a smaller brand with, NO FLEX! A great value when compared to XTR and other top end cranks with the same strong, light characteristics. The installation instructions say to grease the threads for some reason, but if you do the L crankarm will loosen after a few hard miles, which happened to me on the first ride. I got home and cleaned the grease away and used blue loctite instead and really torqued in on there and have had no issues since the first ride. Solid setup at a great price (if you don't over grease it ;)
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 8, 2011
Strengths: Solid machined build with outboard bearings
Weaknesses: sharp edges on crank arm
This crankset feels as solid as it looks. The oversize outboard BB bearings and axle make for a clean set-up. They feel directly engaged with each turn of the cranks and much stiffer than any other cranks I've used. I will be trying them on my geared bikes next.