Titanium Sweet Wings, a real life unicorn

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Titanium Sweet Wings, a real life unicorn

The Ultra Rare Titanium Sweet Wing crank prototypes.

Titanium Sweet wings

Titanium Sweet Wings cranks from Sweet parts have long been one of the industries true unicorns.  Everyone seems to remember them or have a story about them, but speak with old timers, search the internet and you'll never find a confirmed owner or even a single photo of them.  Until now.  

Ti Sweet wing cranks

To tell the story let's go back about 30 years to the mid 90's.  Founders Craig Edwards and Kent Carlson were producing Sweet Wings, some of the most sought after CROMO cranksets in industry and looking to take the next step.  So, they decided to experiment with titanium. 

In 1996, Ti metal company Timet produced a small batch of special heat treatable 15-3-3-3 tubing for Sweet parts.  Enough to make 4 or 5 prototype cranksets for testing.  A few sets were destroyed in the production process leaving just a couple to survive for testing.  Given the difficulties in producing the ti cranks they knew these would never go into production.  But since Interbike was around the corner and they had a completed set, the cranks were taken for display.    Virtually everyone who saw them wanted them, but no information as to when they would be available or what pricing would be was given out at the show.  They were merely a proof of concept.  Then very shortly after Interbike, Sweet Parts closed and Craig and Kent went on with their usual 9-5's and the titanium cranks were lost to time. 

For nearly the next 30 years there were lots of stories told about the cranks.  Everything from they were stolen at Interbike to they were destroyed in a fire.  But nobody knew for sure what happened to them.   Flash forward 30 years and it turns out to be far less exciting than any of the stories.   They had simply been safely tucked away all that time, and only recently re-discovered in Kent's storage.  

Titanium sweet wings cranks

These are the 2 surviving sets.  Both 175 and with a slight difference in the ano finish, the first being an oil slick S, and other being a more solid purple S.  

Ti and cromo sweetwings

For comparison here is one next to the standard Cromo Sweetwing crankset.   You can see a clear difference in the finish in addition to the obvious spider differences.  But beneath the surface there was a huge weight difference.  

Cromo Sweetwing crank weight

At 485 Grams including the spindle, the Cromo Sweetwings were considered to be a light crank. 

ti sweetwing on scale  

But the titanium version shaved 172 grams, which would have made it one of the lightest cranks of it's day.  Hell, even by todays standard this is a crazy light crank coming in amazingly close in weight to the worlds lightest production crank, the THM Clavicula SE (300 grams).  

sweetwing and eewing cranks

Eventually 30 years later Craig would get his chance to put an updated version of this crank into production.  Craig designed the titanium EEWing crank for Cane Creek using what he learned from the original prototypes in addition to another 30 years of experience.  Not quite as light, but one of the stiffest and strongest cranks on the market today.  

sweetwings, tiwings and eewings

If you want to know more about the Craig, Kent and all the Sweet Parts components as well as the modern day components he has designed, check out our in depth interview with Craig Edwards


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