by Marc Basiliere
June 24, 2014
Alloy strength and gobs of options at a happy price
Introduced last summer (and reviewed in Issue 89), RaceFace’s Next SL crankset debuted the company’s Cinch system. Built around a 30mm spindle, Cinch’s removable spiders allow for the mounting of direct-mount single rings as well as double and triple spiders and rings. Because both arms can be removed, spindles can also be swapped- accommodating 68mm/73mm (standard), 170mm, and 190mm bottom bracket shells. Given the large spindle, external (BSA) bottom bracket cups are slightly oversized to maintain bearing life. BB92 and BB30 models are also available.
As lustworthy as the the Canadian-made Next SLs are, the price put them (and the Cinch system) out of reach of most riders. For 2015, RaceFace brings the platform to a wider audience with an alloy Turbine model. With forged and CNC’d arms, the Turbine is approved for everything from cross-country through all-mountain and enduro use.
Available with twelve combinations of one, two, or three chainrings, the Turbines should be able to meet most any present or future gearing need. Single-ring models, in even sizes from 26-36t, mount without a spider and make use of RaceFace’s chain-hugging Narrow/Wide tooth geometry.
Those stout alloy arms are available in 170mm, 175mm, and 180mm lengths, anodised in black, red, or blue. Strategic laser etching should keep heel rub from being immediately apparent. For those keeping track at home, it’s time to check your math: we come up with nine hundred seventy-two possible arm/spindle/chainring/BB combinations. A la carte sales should help to keep the local shopkeeper from pulling their hair out.
Despite being OK’d for big riders and aggressive use, the Turbine crankset weighs in at a claimed 626g (175mm with 32 direct mount chainring). Our samples came in right on the money: 617g with a 30t, plus 89g for a 68/73mm BSA bottom bracket and single spacer for a 706g total. For comparison, a carbon fibre SRAM X01 crankset with BB weighs a claimed 700g and the alloy X1 a claimed 800g (though, to be fair, an aftermarket direct-mount ‘ring will drop both SRAM weights considerably). Doubles and triples will weigh more.
UK crank pricing is not yet available, but Stateside the crankset sells for $270 with a direct mount ring plus £39/$60 for the bottom bracket. As you can see, we have a set on test now and will be back before long with our thoughts…