First Look: Crankbrothers Mallet E Pedals and Highline Dropper Post - Eurobike 2015

Aug 26, 2015
by Mike Kazimer  
Eurobike 2015
Crankbrothers' new Mallet E is a shrunk down version of their popular DH pedal with a few new features.

Crankbrothers Mallet E Pedals

Shortly after the announcement of their new Stamp flat pedals, Crankbrothers revealed their completely updated clipless pedal line that they hope will set a new standard for reliability and durability. Crankbrother's CEO, Gaspare Licata, said that he's worked to implement more stringent testing and quality control measures in an effort to put the company on a fresh path, one that places a priority on long term performance.

All of Crankbrothers clipless pedals, even ones that remain visually unchanged for 2016, have been updated with new internals that include Enduro cartridge bearings, custom Igus bushings, and an additional external seal to go along with the dual-lip internal seal that was already in place. The new internals are designed to help keep the pedals spinning smoothly even after months of weather that's the polar opposite of what Crankbrothers employees regularly enjoy in sunny Laguna, California.

On the World Cup DH circuit the Mallet DH pedal is a common sight, and with the new Mallet E Crankbrothers is hoping to make their mark on the enduro race world. The pedals are 12% smaller and are claimed to weigh 419 grams, 50 grams less than the Mallet DH. A polyurethane 'traction pad' is located on each side of the clip-in mechanism, a feature that's designed to give riders the ability to adjust how much their shoes contact the pedal body, ensuring that there's minimal interference when clipping in or out. Available in electric blue or black, the Mallet E will retail for $165 USD.


Highline Dropper Post

Crankbrothers' Kronolog dropper post has been moved into the archives, replaced by a completely new post called the Highline. The cable actuated post can be stopped anywhere along its 125mm of drop, and houses a sealed, nitrogen sprung cartridge that's supposed to be maintenance free for at least three years of usage. After that, if for some reason it does need service, the entire cartridge can easily be removed in a matter of minutes. Crankbrothers worked closely with Igus, Trelleborg, and Jagwire to make the post's small parts – bushings, seals, cables and housing – as high quality as possible to keep it running smoothly no matter how nasty the weather.

Dropper post levers sometimes seem like they were created by designers with abnormally shaped thumbs – there's no other way to explain some of the strange shapes that have emerged over the past few years. Luckily, it looks like Crankbrothers' designers have avoided that issue with a clever lever design that allows it to be mounted above or below the bars. The lever is attached to a sphere that can be rotated in all directions before being tightened down and locked into place, allowing for much more customizable position than anything else currently on the market.

Initially the Highline post will be available for 30.9 and 31.6mm seat tubes with 125mm of drop, but it's possible that a 150mm version could emerge in the future. The final weight, including the remote, cable and housing, is expected to be 580 grams. The post has a three year warranty, and will retail for $350 USD when it arrives in early 2016.

Eurobike 2015

Eurobike 2015
The Highline's remote lever has a huge range of adjustment in all directions, and can be positioned above, below, or on either side of the handlebar.
Eurobike 2015
No tools are required to attach or detach the post from its cable actuated activator, simplifying installation, and potentially making it possible to run the same post on two bikes with the purchase of a second lever assembly.


MENTIONS: @crankbrothers




117 Comments

  • + 80
 This is their third attempt at a dropper post, really hope they get it bang on this time.
  • + 17
 Actually it's their second, the joplin was mavericks design that they bought.
  • + 6
 Very true, yet the Speedballs always worked better than the Joplins, go figure. At least this one doesn't have a serrated edge moving across a wiper seal.
  • + 3
 If it's like the Kronolog but without the horrible wear issues it's gonna be a banger!
  • + 3
 i think i got the only joplin (4) that ever that worked! i got it second hand for the south african equivalent of like 35 pounds second hand and it was trouble free for over a year before i got a new frame and needed a different diameter post
  • + 2
 Will be interested to see how this plays out. 2 of my Kronolog's have broken. Love Crankbrothers though, they will come out with something great for sure.
  • + 3
 I have had a joplin 4 for 5 years and haven't had any issues with it. I just do a tear down and cleaning every season and rebuild with new blocks every couple years and its been flawless.
  • + 24
 @freestyIAM You sir have a very rare & special seatpost. It should be returned to Crank Bros. for their (empty) wall of fame.
  • + 6
 one thing CB always got right with their droppers was the remote. i bought one for the KS i have. works great.
  • + 2
 I didn't mean my comment in a bad way. Maybe I did something wrong with the handling of the Kronolog's and it was my fault. But I am excited to see how this new post turns out. Will continue to buy their products.
  • + 1
 I'm right there with you. Only I'm still using my Joplin. I'm convinced I'll hand it to my son as his birth rite.
  • + 3
 I bet the packaging is going to look fantastic. My mallets stopped working for a while but then they started working again. The dropper that came with my bike lasted for 2 seasons with zero issues... that is until it took a direct hit on an overshoot. Overall, I'm satisfied with CB's gear... and their packaging.
  • + 3
 Exploding dropper post in 5-4-3-2-1...
  • + 2
 I have a Joplin 4 ($150, Pricepoint; 2 months before Kronolog debut) - no problems until an April trip to Moab where it developed a small amount of play. Nothing major, but I dread the day it dies - $300 for a dropper I hardly use is gonna be tough.
  • + 69
 all crankbrothers products can be classified as pre-production...
  • + 3
 Google Beta...
  • + 3
 curious, i've run cb eggbeaters for the past 6-8 yrs and recently this past year switched over to the cb candy 2 and have never had problems with any of these cb products. but i've always heard this stigma of their stuff being junk. can you explain in more detail?
  • + 11
 gman -I think you are running their only reliable products. Wheels, dropper posts, and even early gen mallets have been garbage. Their rep of innovative looking poor quality/reliability products is legit unfortunately.
  • + 14
 “…new standard for reliability and durability”
“…long term performance”
“…pedals spinning smoothly”
“…maintenance free for at least three years”
“…high quality as possible”

Wait a minute, this is a Crank Bros. article, isn't it?

[re-reads article title and scratches head]

BULLSHIT. BULLSHIT. BULLSHIT.
  • + 26
 analogy of the day-
crank bros : pedals
avid : brakes
  • + 1
 the needle bearings in my mallets lasted about a month before I had to remove them. Still use them without'em but hopefully the bearings they are using now are reliable. Never liked needle bearings.
  • + 3
 analogy answer: $hit parts that people still buy for unknown reasons
  • + 33
 I'm here for the bloodbath
  • + 11
 Shits about to go Michael Bay
  • + 32
 Oh look more crap that will break
  • + 15
 Quit on this brand years ago. I wanted to like them but literally everything I bought from them broke in short order (pedals, multi tools grips etc) and their customer service never helped. Might be a good product but with no 150 plus option I'm not interested. Would like to see a 160 plus option at some point so I can get the seat fully out of the way on the legit steep stuff without having to use the seat post clamp
  • + 23
 Crankbrothers and "reliability" are not words that fit together in reality - every crankbros product I've ever owned has failed in spectacular fashion shortly into owning it. My last set of mallets snapped in midair over a jump 10 rides in, crankbros didn't return my warrenty email. I gave up trying to get new pedals and just bought some shimano dxs. The crankbros sweatshirt someone got me threaded itself in less than a month. I've seen snapped pedals, seatposts, you name it. BEWARE! Crankbros might be the shittiest and most overpriced blowhard company in mountain bikes. They make Walmart quality parts that they try to pass off as high end. It sickens me that a company with a reputation for producing the bare minimum in quality is still in business. At least evil makes sick bikes that work really well for a bit before imploding but crankbros products just look pretty in the box then fail almost immediately. Spend your money on parts that work right rather than overpriced dogshit that could catastrophically fail on you in any and all situations.... Worst company I've ever dealt with...
  • + 18
 Ha! tell us how you really feel
  • + 8
 They make me want to invite the whole company onto a private plane to meet up with their bros at some made up product launch party somewhere then I'll jump out with the only parachute and because of the sheer amount of toxic terrible ideas floating around in the design department's heads the wings of the plane will almost certainly fall off just like all their products and then we won't have to deal with this hyped up anodized dogshit year after year after year.
  • + 5
 Friends don't let Friends ride crank brothers.
  • + 1
 I have a crank brothers seat post and it isn't even machined to a consistent diameter... The further down I push it into the seat tube the more force it requires (which is A LOT). I could have machined it better myself in high school shop class...*EDIT* Oh and it doesnt hold my seat tightly at all...
  • + 23
 the Crankbrothers Jopalog seatpost offers 125mm of perfectly controlled FAIL
  • + 18
 Prankbrothers at it again.
  • + 13
 "The new internals are designed to help keep the pedals spinning smoothly even after months..."
ok, I guess that's an improvement, measuring life in months rather than previous CB life: days if you're lucky (though my mallets lasted single-digit hours). Shimano and everyone else are measuring life in years.

The post: "that's supposed to be maintenance free for at least three years of usage."
yeah, supposed to. I wonder if their old posts were 'supposed to' work without constantly being rebuilt. That's probably 2 years and 6 months longer than any CB product has ever gone without failure, even their multi tools. If the cost was $100 I might take a chance. At the same price as products from companies that actually have a history of making stuff that doesn't fall apart nearly instantly...
  • + 14
 There are 2 types of people in the world: Those who love CrankBrothers b/c it's pretty, and those who love Shimano b/c it works.
Too bad Shimano doesn't have a dropper post... yet
  • + 9
 Too bad shimano doesnt buy marzocchi
  • + 10
 I'm really enjoying these comments. In fact, I skipped the article and went straight for the gold. Amazing this company stays a float with so many haters.
  • + 2
 Because people like me make their purchases before asking pinbikers advice cause we were at one point new and didn't know what to do. Though ive been on my mallet dh for a year and a half now and no issuss so far so I can't really complain.
  • + 2
 there's a lot of people out there that like Crankbrothers, they are not the Pinkbike commenting type though... at least in my community.
  • + 1
 I had some pedals, never did it for me. And I put a headset on a frame and was laughed at by my mechanic for buying it. No terrible experiences, but I've never heard any glowing endorsements. Stuff looks great, though.
  • + 6
 They really got their work cut out for them. There's lots of established players in the dropper post segment that are all reliable. It's like buying a Manitou Mattoc over a Pike/Lyrik or 36 but you pay as much if not more for it. Fool me one shame on you, fool me twice shame on me....fool me a third time.....let's hope I'm not that stupid.
  • + 2
 My Mattoc rules. Guess you've never used one?
  • + 1
 I got one sitting in the garage right now.......I'll take a picture just for you later on. The Pike and the 36 are on another level. Built way better and offer better damping.
  • + 2
 No need, I know what it looks like haha. I love mine. Tested pikes and 36's, owned marzocchi, and the Mattoc is just as plush, impossible to bottom, and to me it feels lighter. What sold me though was I got it brand new for $400 through a source Wink The cost sold me, the performance impressed me. Why pay $600 more for a fork that is only marginally better? 75% of my suspension on my two bikes is Fox, so its not like I'm biased either...
  • + 1
 BTW @Jhou sick SB you have man
  • + 1
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/12612071 here it is anyhow. Mine been having oil coming out of the damping side leg. Was plan on rebuilding it this year, but got a 36 and it's freaking amazing compared to when Mattoc was working.
  • + 1
 Its still too early for me to comment on the reliability of mine since ive only had it a month. So far its been amazing. I went with the expert and not the pro. But i have 3 friends who own them and have had no issues whatsoever. There is always lemons. My Fox 40 on my Glory is a problem child too. Just happens I guess.
  • + 6
 "All of Crankbrothers clipless pedals, even ones that remain visually unchanged for 2016, have been updated with new internals that include Enduro cartridge bearings, custom Igus bushings, and an additional external seal to go along with the dual-lip internal seal that was already in place. "

Ok I'm listening now.
  • + 1
 i just read "may not break as quickly"
  • + 5
 CB industrial design has always been good IMHO. Their products are always lustworthy from a visual perspective and these new parts are no exception.

I also think the new lever is a slick design that I might like to see sold on its own.

But, and it's a KK / NM sized but, every CB part I have ever purchased, owned, seen ridden, hell - even heard about has been a disappointment either from a functional or longevity standpoint or both.

If CB says this is their new focus, great - it will be at least a year of failure free, and multiple long term tests before I even consider a purchase of a CB product with moving parts. Good luck.
  • + 7
 Genuinely thought at first glance that "Mallet E" was some sort of electric pedal... so glad its not. Also had a Joplin dropper post.. sucked!
  • + 4
 Yeah, I bought one second hand and it's not tight enough so the seat constantly tilts back. Also it leaks oil a bit. On the other hand, I had their multitool for years and I can't complain.
  • + 2
 Mine wouldnt hold pressure, leaked oil everywhere, and would twist side to side.. gave up on it eventually Frown
  • + 5
 I've also used a CB multitool for years. No issues but the only CB product I will ever buy.
  • + 2
 Multi-tool is awesome! Tons of use, no issues. I had Mallets but gave them away, I'm a flats man...man. 5050 never appealed. Buddy had a Joplin and he appears to be one of the few that had no issues.
  • + 6
 The only CB product I've owned that hasn't fail is a multi tool and that's still going strong.
  • + 3
 You can't deny the product looks great... hopefully functionality and durability are on par with the looks. I've had limited issues with Crank product in the past and their warranty department always dealt with me promptly and appropriately.
  • + 3
 All the same people talking shit are gonna be the same guys who buy the product in the future...have anything better going on in your life besides trying to make a company look bad? I bet the guys talking shit on here are the internet heroes that read up on every review to come to their conclusions. Probably have never even tested the product!! Goons!!!

These guys come out with some really good products and quite obviously they are still around because they have a very big following....if their products were as bad as a lot of you say, I would think this small company would be long gone.
  • + 3
 you sir make total sense.... majority of the hate is old product or thinking they have current but actually is old stock after looking through there pictures. haters gonna hate lovers will love its the way it goes
  • + 2
 I think crankbros made themselves look bad. Two shitty seat posts, countless shitty pedals and shitty wheels. They have a long way to go to prove otherwise.
  • - 1
 Hm interesting...?

So what makes their wheels bad?

What is wrong with their peds?

And what makes their posts any different in terms of reliability then any other shitty post on the market. I can tell you they all are pretty shitty and all have lots of issues especially the Reverb..but ive had brand new ks levs out of box that dont work at all.
So explain your facts....or just be another one of those couch potatoes that love to give an opinion on product they havent used.
  • + 2
 Their pedals are known to have had crap bearings for ages. And the wings that hold the cleat are known to break as well. The Joplin I had was way less reliable that the reverbs I have had. I did not know anyone with a Kronolog but they don't make that anymore do they. They did not last at all. Freehub bodies on their wheels failed regularly. So much so that when my friend who owns a bike shop was given a pair to test by the rep, they came with a spare freehub body. He wasn't impressed. Again the issue is well documented.
  • - 2
 Hm....? So as stated you have never actually used the peds!! So no real viable info their. Have you had a look at what the top 100 enduro racers are currently running? Oh and keep in mind rebuilding these pedals takes half a brain and about 10 minutes of your time 25 minutes if you have never done it before.

Reverbs are a joke and fail within days/months of use..I personally rebuilld joplins and can say ive had some come to me after 3 years usage without any service which pretty much tells me what I need to know about that.

As for the kronolog...the design was clever for a mechanical post. However the fail point was the metal on metal binding when engaged and disengaged. It would create notches in the post. Still even those work very well when used right. Not something I can say that is trustworthy however. So with that said even though you have no actual knowledge of the product I can agree with you on.

So a rider for a bike shop wasn't impressed with a wheelset a rep gave him hahaha!! (Really? C'mon...what wasn't he impressed by? What wheelset was he using and what kinda riding does he do? A classic scenario for me is when people look at my wheels and say "those wheels suck" and I ask why? They say they bend and flex, I say what wheel did you try? They say a cobalt wheelset and I say "wow your a pretty big rider for that wheel" you should have been on a iodine or Opium. He says "Oh, well I think all the wheels are the same so they should be as strong as the next" Lol.... Obviously this is not 5 years ago...you know we are talking about current product correct? You are clearly talking about their wheels back in 2009 2010 models which did have some issues with hubs...mainly cause the freehub would lose seal where the freehub body and hub meet. All wheels from 2012 forward had a much different design. The hubs have zero issues and like most hub systems are made by formula.

So so far you have zero personal/statistical feedback other than what you friends or internet say. You haven't described a single problem other than saying "oh the issues are well documented" really im hearing all the same people saying the same things. Try the product and give a real world review and get back to me.

Me personally im a 255 pound rider and currently ride a 2015 devinci spartan carbon on cb idodine 3 wheels and a 2015 niner jet9 rdo carbon on 2015 cobalt 11 carbon wheels. I mash those wheels through all my local trails and have since buying them last year in Oct 14' have put well over 2100 trouble free miles on those carbon wheels up, down and side to side amd have put these wheels through the ringer. I have bought and tested many wheelsets bikes ect.ect and I can tell you going in with an open mind is the best way for things to kick you in the ass and surprise the hell out of you. I have had a few sets of Enve wheelsets and wouldn't trade my cobalt 11 carbon wheels for anything currently on the market.
  • + 1
 Id like to just chime in again and further help your case but the freehub issues were actually around 06-07 so yea....old stuff that again got addressed and fixed Smile 255 on the 11's you just keep on going. and also you gotta remember he is just "someoldfart"......
  • - 1
 Lol...right. Yeah we spoke with the engineer about the 15' carbon 11's before purchase and he says they have been tested to 315 mark with no issues. Seeing how I was one of the first to purchase and try these, I had to throw them through the ringer for sure. He says at my weight I will be fine to mash. He has been spot on. These wheels are super strong and look killer with the big 30mm depth almost look like 27.5 wheels cause the shorter spoke length position.
  • + 4
 3 year warranty seems extra legit... I foresee a ton of warranty claims in their future. CB quality or not, droppers aren't known for their longevity.
  • + 1
 The best warranty is the one you never use. When I read that many people say their warranty service is great, I wonder why that warranty gets tested so many times.
  • + 2
 Complete shite across the line, move on with your hard earned cash. Tried a lot of their product but they'll never get another penny. I'm surprised they're still in business.

"The only thing that has not failed me from Crank Brothers has been a t-shirt.".... classic.
  • + 2
 I can still remember when my mate rocked up with a kronolog post. It was the middle of a typical English winter. I pissed myself laughing when he explained how it worked. Told him i'l give it a month. To be fair it lasted 2 then went in the bin.
  • + 5
 Would never buy another product from this co. Period
  • + 1
 Thought it was an electronic pedal too. Push a button, your Magura seat post drops, your shocks open up and your pedals lock your feet in. Thankfully its not electronic pedals. After a new set of CB flats took a dump on me after, oh, I dont know, 4 miles of riding, I have never gone back to their products. Literally, the bearings dumped out.
  • + 1
 I'm not sure what all the negative hype is about CB. While I too have had their products fail on me, their customer service has been nothing but stellar. To the point that they have shipped me new pedals after 3 seasons of use, no questions asked. That alone has kept me using their products on my bikes.
  • + 2
 Crank brothers please note the reason I parted ways with my Joplin was there was no 150mm option. For those of us with extremely long inseams on XL frames please do bring the 150mm post to market, sooner rather than later.
  • + 0
 Wow! Another try at a dropper seatpost (i think its their 3rd?). With poor products and poor customer service, I guess you know where to turn to if you're looking to throw money away without getting anything in return other than having a paper weight.
  • + 1
 its actually the 2nd.....the joplin was just licensed from maverik shows how much you know about cb product jeezzzzz.. if haters gonna hate at least hate with correct facts
  • + 0
 thanks for the correction. that's what i thought. they had to license the first 1 coz they couldn't do it right. so they made their own version (kronolog) and that one sucked too. i bet this one would fail as well. haha.
  • + 2
 no they just bought the patent and used it, theyre identical to the maverick except for a couple small things that wouldnt effect the performance of the oil chambers. I had a kronolog for a year and half with zero issues but they are very touchy and need correct cable tension, and routing and zip tie location was crucial. This new one looks good because of it just being a simple cartridge inside. similar to a lot of the fork companies that make drop in cartridges. only time will tell i wont hate on things until theyre used. at least it seems likes cb's focus is on making durability number 1 instead of looks.
  • + 3
 been riding mallet 2s for 3 seasons straight...no idea what the bitching is about
  • + 2
 really gonna go with E just name them what everyone and their dog is gonna call them bloody mallet enduro and get it over with.
  • + 7
 How do you know E doesn't stand for Excrement?
  • + 4
 give them a chance ................... it might last 2 rides?
  • + 1
 I actually have legit experience over several years with both the Kronolog dropper and their pedals from original egg beaters to mallets to now mallet DH race... But I just enjoy reading all this more.
  • + 3
 Really polished those turds, Crank Bros.
  • + 1
 If crack brothers found themselves in a financial situation like raceface did a couple of years ago, I don't think anyone would give a shit. Enough said
  • + 3
 ENTER THE ENTIRE MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD OF HATERS. THAT INCLUDES ME.
  • + 2
 Is this an Onion article?? The only thing that has not failed me from Crank Brothers has been a t-shirt.
  • - 1
 All the negative Crank Brothers comments have made me laugh out loud! I didn't know they had such a bad reputation! I have 6 bikes all with CB peddles, I'll admit that some of them have fallen apart a bit sooner than what would be acceptable , but this new Mallet E looks pretty cool, I'll probably buy it. My problem is that I only use a couple pairs of shoes with all my bikes and have to have a cleat that works on everything and to switch out 6 sets of peddles to Shimano would cost a crap load.
  • + 4
 I think you answered your own question.
  • + 7
 "fallen apart a bit sooner than what would be acceptable"
"looks pretty cool"

^-- that's the definition of a CB product. When it comes to bike components they're Apple for the packaging and SuperCycle for the actual product
  • + 1
 Supercycle…nice reference!
  • + 1
 Ehh you could get shimano pedals for the 6 bikes for about the same price that Enduro especific pedal is (in the slx range)
  • + 1
 i like crankbrothers, run many of their pedals problem free. will probably buy these for my trail bike.
  • + 0
 Another new dropper that only comes in stealth, looking like the industry has decided frames without stealth routing are passe.
  • + 2
 The lever looks very smart.
  • + 1
 Been really happy with my 2015 Mallet 3's. No problems so far but we'll see what winter does to them.
  • + 1
 My specialized command post thumb actuator is still the best out there; it looks and feels just like a shifter.
  • + 1
 Or you could just buy some time mx6 pedals and be happy for years to come....
  • + 1
 this is too true, time pedals are much better
  • - 1
 Not really anymore, recent MX are not servicable, at least you can't change spring or arch, or that's the parts that can fail.
Otherwise axle and bushes are above CB: reliable and strong.
  • + 0
 @Mac-Aravan they don't really need to be serviceable seeing as they never seem to go wrong... everyone i know who uses time have never had to service them or change them as they've never broken and for most of them they are still running as good as when they were bought, definitely looking at getting some for myself (using shimano DX at the moment)
  • + 0
 I bent one spring after a few rides so no they are not bulletproof. I was able to fix it but it would be easier if you can service them like other time XC
  • + 2
 350 dollars for a crank brothers dropper lol
  • + 0
 for the love of pete, there is a whole arena full of crap over there... move slowly away from the CrankBrothers booth and don't go back...
  • + 1
 It looks nice...but not going to fit my frame though...damn it.
  • + 1
 But why use a sealed nitrogen cartridge instead of air with a valve????
  • + 1
 how do you un-clip with spikes on the platform?
  • - 1
 I'll consider buying Crank Brothers components after they decide the working life of a pedal should be longer than a McDonald's burger wrapper.
  • + 0
 Can I just buy that lever? Not sure they can screw that thing up... But everything else, staying as far away as possible
  • + 0
 Are they going to offer steel cleats instead of brass ones cos they round off and are generally shit after walking anywhere
  • - 1
 Everything I ever bought from them was pure rubbish. Buying stuff from them at those prices is considered undeserved support.
  • + 1
 Enduro cartridge bearings... thats so enduro!!!
Do they come in orange??
  • + 2
 Enflouro colours only.
  • + 2
 YAY!!!!!
  • - 1
 crankbros but they don't make cranks
  • + 2
 Funnily enough, they did briefly, once upon a time - however, people purchasing cranks at that time looked at the alternatives (any of them) and went off in that direction...
  • + 1
 Yeah I remember them they were a bonded stainless steel item. I know it wasn't a successful product for them but with that name they should have some cranks in their line up.
  • - 3
 Saw their stuff today at Eurobike. Zzzzzzz...

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