Thursday, April 19, 2007

Crank Brothers Revisited

I sometimes ask myself why I keep writing this blog. Most of the time, I do this because there's nothing to write about, and it feels like the blog has run its course. So far, something has always come along to re-inspire me for a few days. Occasionally, it's remembering that not having anything to write about never stopped me before. Wednesday, it was an e-mail from Andreas in Switzerland.

Andreas reads the blog and knew from my recent rant about wasteful packaging that I use Quattro SL pedals on my road bike, so he had some questions about the pedals, which he's thinking about buying. It’s always cool to hear from someone who finds the blog interesting, especially from so far away.

Hell, I often can’t find anyone in my own house who wants to listen to me, but a guy in Switzerland will read what I have to say. Thanks, Andreas.

Speaking of Crank Brothers, I sent the customer-service folks a link to the earlier blog post, and received the following reply:

“We certainly respect your point and share your concern. Most of our other pedal boxes use recyclable materials, and we are taking steps to improve the Quattro packaging. We will soon phase into using recyclable cardboard for the Quattro, eliminating the plastic case entirely. If you would care to send back the box, we will reuse it.”

I may have my greenie moments, but they’re not acute enough to make me repackage the plastic monstrosity and then haul it to the post office and pay to send it back. By the time I heard from Crank Brothers, I had grumpily chucked the thing.

Nonetheless, it’s good to know that they’ve recognized the problem and are working to change the Quattro box.


Jeff said...

My question about the Quattro is this...Why the extra platform around the egg beater? It just seems like extra weight to me. I've tried egg beaters on my mountain bike, and didn't feel like I needed more platform. It does look pretty cool though...

My wife just got some Egg Beater SL's for her road bike. It was packaged really nice, and made you feel like you were getting something really special.

On the other end of the spectrum, I bought something from Surly once, and it came in a brown paper lunch bag that was folded over and stapled shut. It was done in a tasteful funny way though...

Tim said...

From what I understand, the platform was designed to provide more support and prevent hot spots caused by the much smaller contact patch of the Egg Beaters. From what I can tell so far, there's something to that.

I've used Egg Beaters on my other bikes for years, but I have noticed hot spots on the ball of my foot by the end of really long rides, even with my good Sidi shoes. The longest ride I've done on the Quattros was only 31 miles, so I can't say for sure, but they did seem to be a bit more comfortable.

As for the packaging, I felt the same way, initially. I fell for that "wow" factor as I unpackaged the pedals from the cool-looking box. But I immediately wondered what purpose the plastic shell provided, and when I started to flatten everything out for my recycling bins, it really hit me that the shell was a huge waste.

The could at least label it with a recycling code number so that consumers would have the option of keeping it out of a landfill.

Great pedals, though.

Andreas said...

cheers mate :-)

and yes, eggbeaters can be painful. i had them on my roadbike and did some 5+ hours rides... ouch... and my shoes aren't that soft either! that's why i'm considering buying the quattros.

never had the same problems on the mtb tough, more diversity i suppose.

gwadzilla said...

my Jamis Exile came with some Crank Brothers El Cheapos

I may not even ride with them

not a good way to recruit someone to your product

they look cheap

I fear they would not last a ride

linda morgi said...

I guess that decides me thinking about putting eggbeaters on my bikes. Never had any pain problems with the Shimanos - and the couple of grams don't matter.

aidee said...

I've just stumbled upon B&I, so in this respect please keep up the interesting writing. Any bike blog is one blog worth visiting :-)