Sonntag, 21. August 2016

What is stopping you?

"Wow, awesome brakes man, never seen those before!" This is a comment I hear quite often. Whether it is at the local criterium, the 24 hour race at the Nürburg Ring or whilst riding the mountains of Mallorca – a lot of people have been commenting on my brakes, enquiring how they are called or downright asking where they can buy a pair themselves.

These are EE brakes, made by Cycleworks, and perhaps the best mechanical rim brakes you can bolt onto your road bike. Obviously, they are extremely rare over here in Europe. That is the short answer. If you interested in the details, I suggest you make yourself comfortable, have a brew and read on.

Two years ago, I decided to rebuild my road bike. Accordingly, I started looking for new brakes. Previously, I had been using KCNC's C7 model. Though they are ridiculously light, they lack braking power and modulation, in my opinion. Furthermore, I felt that they proved sensitive to dirt and road grime – a bad thing when you live in the northeast of Germany and ride from early spring until the first snow falls. Thus, my requirements were high. The new brake should be light, easy to center, have a working quick release and last but not least have excellent breaking performance.
Enter Craig Edwards and his EE Brake.  It is seriously light, barely 200 grams for the set, including pads and mounting hardware. Compared to the 290 gram for a Dura Ace or 265 gram for Sram Red this is just breathtaking. When it comes to pure performance, Edwards did not cut any corners. The EE Brake is easily on the same level as the Dura Ace, displaying the same raw stopping power and modulation. Its quick release is simply ingenious and one of coolest features. Every time I have to take out a wheel, it makes me smiling. 

The EE Brake is also more aerodynamic, compared to a Standard dual pivot caliper. Racing myself and having bought into the philosophy of marginal gains, I appreciate the seconds saved here.

The centering of the brake is decent. You simple loosen a bolt, push the break gently into the right direction and tighten the bolt up again. However, in late 2014 Edwards released a new model of the EE Brake. A major improvement is the centering mechanism. Have a look yourselves.

Another change concerns the height adjustment. My EE Brake model (2010- early 2014) requires you to install the mounting bolt first. There are two mounting positions – a lower and a higher one. The brake arms themselves have only a small range of adjustment in height. This made the installation slightly more complicated. Edwards has dispensed with this feature and simply lengthened the brake arms.

Arguably one of the EE Brake's greatest features ist the design of the pad carrier. Pads are changed in seconds rather than minutes – all without the use tools. If you ride on alloy and carbon wheels, the EE brake will save you a lot of time. The only downside are the various sets of brake pads which lie around my flat, contributing to the cycling mess.

Being compatible with virtually any mechanical shifters, the brakes work with any SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo setup – even with the newer Shimano shifters, starting with the Dura Ace 7900. You can even buy a Direct Mount variant. My friend Batman will be delighted, now that he can upgrade his stealthy Canyon Aerorad.

This all sounds very good, you may say. But what is the catch? Why am I the only guy around here riding with these brakes? There are two main reasons for this. First, the EE Brake does not come cheap – costing 630$ for the set. However, Enve Wheels, Oakleys and Rapha socks do not come cheap either and a lot of people spend their money quite happily on those things, including me. Second, only few online shops do sell EE Brakes in Europe. Both reasons come down to the fact that Cycleworks is virtually a one-man show. Edward assembles the brakes by hand in the USA. Moreover, all parts are American-born, too. Considering these facts, it is no wonder that hardly any German roadie recognizes the EE Brake.

I hope you had fun reading my little story about the EE brake and Craig Edwards. Perhaps some of you will become proud owners too. Edwards deserves it.

Many thanks to Craig for the pictures, videos and support!
For more details on the EE Brake, please check

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