I'm proud to say that I have ridden for the first time in Europe the Ciamillo Gravitas crank prototype today !
I have completed a road ride with my cycle cross bicycle: 2 hours alone at 32km/h AVS.
No issue has been recorded during the ride, which is a good thing for a prototype.
But I would like to share with you the impressions of the elite level cyclist that I am, rather than any other commercial opinion or advertising. I know, that's really hard to be objective ! But I'll try...
The prototype arrived yesterday. This is the blue that all of you have already seen.
I was very excited to receive it, because all I had seen was the base and the carbon tubes (during my last visit in Atlanta in November).
And I have been really impressed when I opened the box: the quality of this stuff, the incredible weight and the stiffness. The weight is correct: 390g !
Then, I tried to set it up on my bike, a BSA30 bearing was installed, exactly the same that is on Ted's bike in Atlanta.
But it seemed impossible to work, the spindle was too short. Since it was the morning in France I couldn't call Ted for a help (OK, never mind it would take 5 days to get a reply ). So, I found the solution by myself with removing the bearings seals, and it worked like a LEGO !
Since it was a very rainy day, I have decided to wait for the next day to test the crank...
So, this morning I went out for a 2 hours ride. The tools in the pockets just in case... An I rode. After just 1 acceleration I had to say: "where's the crank ?". That's a strange feeling, there is like no weight left, or just on the chain rings ! On a second bigger acceleration I realized that the crank was not only light, it was also simply the stiffest I had ever tested (definitely stiffer than the Rotor 3D that I had until monday on my bike with the same chain rings).
Then, the rest of the ride has only been a pleasure.
I had not a power meter on me, but I know me quite well and I pedaled at 500-600W during 1-2 minutes several times in order to pedal at very high speed with a strong rear wind (my speed during theses efforts was between 60 and 70km/h).
Now, I know what a stiff crank is, and I want absolutely keeping that stiffness on my racing bike.
Stiffness is avoiding loosing power in material deformation, lightness is avoiding loosing power in the rotation of the crank arms.
The last time I felt a such improvement has been when I changed my Cosmic carbon wheels by an ENVE wheelset. The improvement was probably better with the wheel change, but this is to illustrate that I felt a real gap with the existing cranks available on the market !
After the end of the ride, I checked the crank and everything was perfect. The bearings are now in place so that I have been able to tighten more the bolt that is maintaining the 2 half spindles.
So, I called Ted today to share my opinion as a cyclist. And, as a cyclist we want something reliable. So, I'll continue to test it before placing orders for my customers. As a cyclist, we want something easy to setup. So, I'm waiting for an adjustable bolt that will preserve the bearings and avoid the crank to have any play. That should be solved very easily with just a little longer spindle.
A last thing that I loved was the interchangeable spider. When you remove the crank, the spindle is going out by itself. What a good improvement !
On my Rotor cranks I hate changing all the time my chain rings. With a such crank, it's very easy to change your chain rings: I'll have 2 spiders: one with a 54/42 for flat rides, and the other one in 110 will be 53/38 for the mountain. That will be changed in 2 minutes.
It recalls me that a good product is often simple.
So, what's the next step ?
I'll continue to ride this crank. I feel very confident in the product, despite it's a prototype.
Ted has launched the production and he's going to make stiffness and reliability tests with machines.
The colors of the blue pins should be replaced by black or red anodized, and make the crank for many people (not all of course !) the most beautiful available on the market. I'm sure that you'll prefer the crank with aero chain rings.
We cannot be sure at 100% that there will not have any problem on the product, but as a cyclist, I felt very confident all the time during the ride, and if there's a drawback to signal, this is how we are going to be able to supply the crank with the exact spindle lengths and shims widths... Ted will make it possible, he just needs time.
Tonight, I'm sure about one thing... if Ted has been dreaming for a long time swimming across the oceans with the dolphins, since January 2013, Ted is back with us !
Please continue with the feedback as your experience with the cranks continue.
Cielo by Chris King Cross Racer
On the feelings on the weight, I would say that there's the about same gap between a Shimano 105 crank and a Sram Red crank, than on a Sram red crank and this Ciamillo Gravitas crank.
I can explain that because if we cut the arms of a conventional crank and compare with the Ciamillo crank arms, the weight gain is located mainly on the arms, not on the spindle.
And engineers know very well that the arms of an heavy crank require a lot of energy to be turned at 100 RPM. I mean that the overweight is not only in translation (climbing and acceleration) but it's also about accelerating the rotation of a mass at 60-100 RPM.
So, the riders who want to improve the efficiency of their bikes should not only consider that this crank will allow only a 90g gain and they can save these 90g on cable housing or quick release change... That's actually wrong ! A good crank makes energy savings with a better stiffness and lightweight.
That's the case of this prototype.
- Tinker, Taylor, Tart
- Posts: 1998
- Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:00 pm
- Location: Sydney, Aus.
Sorry but I'm afraid I just do not believe there's noticeable wattages increases to be had (especially WITHOUT a power meter) from a change of cranks.
But that's true that if I ride once a week, my feelings are not precise at all and I would not be able to see any difference between for example a Rotor 3D steel and a Rotor 3D Flow whereas the stiffness is different.
On the Ciamillo crank the stiffness is really noticeable. It's like if the arms are on rails, perfectly guided in the axle.
Of course the difference of wattage will not make me a champion but it's reasonable to imagine 0.5 to 3 watts saved at 40km/h thanks to that stiffness, and a few other watts thanks to the lightness of the arms.
On stiffness my view is "just need enough" and any further is a matter of feel, not efficiency. Crank flex is mostly elastic and lossless.
Since last tuesday, in 7 days I have already ridden 460 kilometers (on flat roads and hard hills) with it and it appears as an excellent product.
The first deliveries should start early now !
Please find the pictures on my Cervelo S5. It doesn't looks strange with an aero chain ring sets on an aero frame !
For me, the PTS technology (locking carbon tubes) is allowing great improvements in terms of weight and stiffness.
My prototype is in 175mm (392g) and I suppose that a very stiff version under 350g (170mm) can be designed within the next few months.
What I like also is the interchangeable spider. That way we'll be able to ride both flat roads and mountains with a minimum of maintenance.
In the future, a lighter spider (in carbon fiber) may also be designed to save a few grams again ! This one is already light (39g).
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