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The Easton EA90 Cranks are part of its CINCH line-up, giving customisation of gear ratios while offering huge amounts of stiffness and a 30mm diameter axle. It works out a pricey package, though, and not the lightest either.
Easton has used Race Face's CINCH technology for the EA90s, resulting in a modular system for choosing the front ratios for your road, gravel or cyclo-cross bike. You buy the cranks and rings separately, with options to be able to run 1x or 2x systems and swap easily between the two should the need arise.
The rings use a direct mount spider option (as you can see here) and they slot onto the splines on the rear of the drive side crank. They are then secured together by the tightening of a lockring.
Inside the box you'll find clear instructions of how everything fits together and there are also plenty of video tutorials available online. I had the whole job done in literally half an hour.
Unlike most standard chainsets, which have the axle attached to the drive side crank, the Easton's is attached to the non-drive side which is then positioned inside the frame first. The drive side is attached by aligning the splines on the axle with those on the crank and tightening the bolt.
Any side-to-side play is taken care of by the pre-load ring.
In use the cranks feel very stiff and when hammering hard on the pedals for a sprint or a climb there was no detectable flex. To be honest, though, they didn't really feel any different to the Shimano Ultegra chainset they replaced on the bike.
Size options are the usual 170, 172.5 and 175mm lengths, and they are also compatible with the CINCH power meter.
They have an rrp of £119.99, but don't forget if you want a 2x setup like most road bikes do then you'll need to factor in another £159.99 for the chainrings, or £79.99 if you want to go down the 1x route.
For the 2x setup that's £279.99 in total, with a weight of 774g all in (545g for the 172.5mm cranks, 229g for the 50/34t rings/spider). That is just £20 less than the Praxis Zayante Carbon M30 chainset which uses a similar direct-mount ring design, but its carbon cranks mean it weighs just 614g (48/32t option). The alloy Alba X option is just £150 including rings.
Putting the AL90s into context against a standard chainset like the Ultegra R8000, the Ultegra is £249.99 and just 679g.
Obviously, the Easton is all about versatility and flexibility, and that is going to increase manufacturing costs. If you use one bike for a lot of different types of riding, something that is more common now that we are seeing a huge amount of gravel/adventure bikes being pressed into pretty much every task apart from racing, then the EA90s make sense. You won't be disappointed by the quality either, they really are top notch when it comes to the overall finish.
High performance crankset for those who want the flexibility to fiddle with their gearing choices
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Easton EA90 Cranks
Size tested: 172.5mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Easton says, "The adapability of CINCH. The performance of alloy.
'The impressive versatility of our CINCH system comes to our EA90 performance aluminum crankset. The EA90 ticks all the boxes for today's gravel, CX and road rider. Limitless ring combinations in 1x and 2x, a 30mm alloy spindle, CINCH power meter compatibility and BB options across all relevant frame standards. EA90 is a welcome addition to the Easton CINCH family, quite possibly the most versatile cranksets you will ever own.'
It is a very well-made crankset which offers huge amounts of versatility, although you pay for it.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Finish Matte Black Ano
RING CONFIGURATIONS (SOLD SEPARATELY)
DIRECT MOUNT 47/32, 46/36, 46/30
53/39, 52/36, 50/34, W/ REMOVABLE SPIDER
SINGLE DIRECT MOUNT 38T, 40T, 42T, 44T, 46T, 48T, 50T
CHAINLINE 129mm SPINDLE 45mm W/ 2X, 47.6mm W/ 1X
MATERIAL EA90 ALUMINUM
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Super-stiff cranks and easy to install.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pricier and weightier than some of the competition.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There aren't that many direct mount options out there, but the Praxis Works options I mention in the review offer similar builds for less money.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? If I needed the flexibility then possibly, but there is some stiff competition out there.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The EA90s perform well, and they are very well engineered and manufactured, which does go a long way to justify their price, but they aren't as competitive as some.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!