Race Face Turbine Crankset Review

by 13

The Race Face Turbine Cranks have been in the Race Face range for a fair old time and are designed as a no nonsense, do everything crank.

  • Brand: Race Face
  • Product: Race Face Turbine Crankset
  • From: Silverfish UK
  • Price: £199.00 cranks, £66.95 chainring
  • Tested: by Ross Demain for 6 months

First featuring in 1993, the now 30 year old cranks are designed to be tough, durable and stiff but without a huge weight penalty.

The new ones then. Manufactured from 7050 aluminium, the turbine cranks are forged for strength and then have excess material machined away to keep the weight as low as possible without affecting stiffness or durability. They’re designed to be light enough for XC, but durable enough for trail and all mountain riding. 

Available in three different lengths – 165mm, 170mm and 175mm – and either 52mm or 55mm chainline options, the Turbines come with a black anodised finish, and we’ve had a set of 165mm cranks on test since February to see how they perform. 

Along with the cranks we were also sent a matching chainring and BB. The chainring is made from forged 7075-T6 aluminium and connects to the cranks using Race Face’s direct mount Cinch system. Available in 30, 32 and 34 tooth options, this test set was supplied with a 30 tooth ring. The arm threads onto the spindle using an 8mm hex and then any slack is taken up with a preload collar. Weight for cranks, spindle, chain ring and preload collar is 588g on my trusty kitchen scales.

The supplied bottom bracket bracket is a Race Face BSA CINCH 30mm. Designed to fit RF’s own cranks, the BB uses 6806 retainer bearings that are packed with waterproof grease and also have wiper seals to keep water, mud and dust out. The machined cups come supplied with all the spacers you might need and there is an internal plastic guide sleeve for additional weather proofing.

Installation

If you’ve ever fitted a set of cranks in the past then installing the Turbines is nice and straightforward. Thread the BB on with the required amount of spacers,  install the chainring, get the non-drive side crank arm in position then tighten everything up with an 8mm hex. Once you have this tightened to the correct torque, you then wind the preload collar on to take up any play and then tighten in position. Simple. The Turbines were fitted to a Deviate Claymore and I had no issues whatsoever with getting them fitted.  

Performance

I’d been looking to try 165mm cranks for a while so when the Turbines turned up I was keen to give them a go. Who wouldn’t want extra crank clearance for techy climbs and getting the power down in rough sections?! So first things first, how do they feel compared to my usual 170mm’s? Well, in a nutshell, different but the same. 

There is a slight difference in pedalling the smaller circles, but it’s not huge and unless you’re swapping between bikes with different lengths all the time then it’s pretty much fit and forget. Have I noticed any particular loss in power? No. Have I noticed any extra clearance? Definitely yes. Pedalling in ruts or over obstacles where I’d expect to clip a pedal / crank arm, I’ve carried on pedalling along without issue way more than with my previous 170mm cranks. 

In day to day use the Turbines just get on with what they need to do. There is no perceived flex whether landing sprinting, grinding up climbs or when landing drops and jumps. They give a good direct feel for getting on the gas and so far are still going strong.. 

They were fitted back in February and have been ridden anything from two to seven times per week since then in all weathers and the BB is still spinning nice and free, with the sum total of maintenance being re-tightening the preload slightly as the lock screw had loosened a bit so there was a tiny amount of play.

The chainring is showing signs of wear but no more than to be expected and despite having a good few rock strikes , the cranks are still looking pretty good. The only real wear is on the drive side crank where due to the angle I run my front foot, the anodising has been worn off  and angled alloy of the crank has worn and become a smoother radius.

Overall

There’s not really much to fault with the Race Face Turbine crankset. It offers plenty of options, is well priced, a decent weight and has so far proven to be dependable and durable. If you’re after a new crankset, or fancy a change from the big two drivetrain brands then it’s well worth a look. 

More Reviews

Orbea Occam LT M-Team review

The Orbea Occam LT is an engaging ride. It requires and rewards an accurate rider who…

Abus AirDrop MIPS helmet review

The Abus AirDrop MIPS is a well made and designed helmet that offers great levels of…

Book Review: Potholes and Pavements

Some years ago I met Laura Laker and she seemed to me to be an essentially…

Orbea Laufey H-LTD review

It's just as well the Orbea Laufey H-LTD handles so well because if we turn our…

Nevis Range Mountain Resort, Scotland

Whistler: A Singletrack Destination Guide

Graubünden | Singletrack Magazine Destination Guide

Crans Montana MTB Destination Guide

Review Info

Brand: Race Face
Product: Turbine Crankset
From: Silverfish UK
Price: £199.00 cranks, £66.95 chainring
Tested: by Ross Demain for 6 months
Author Profile Picture
Ross Demain

Ad Sales Manager

Ross pairs his childlike excitement for bikes with a complete disregard for the wellbeing of his ribs, or his rims. Best known for riding cheeky trails, his time is also spent trail building in his local woods, drinking beer, eating pies and entertaining his two children.

More posts from Ross

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Race Face Turbine Crankset Review
  • Onzadog
    Free Member

    Do they weight anything?

    Pauly
    Full Member

    Weight is mentioned 3 times but we don’t know the weight.

    Come on STW, you can do better!

    lovewookie
    Full Member

    https://www.bikeradar.com/news/race-face-turbine-crankset/

    weight, Q factor, upgraded from 2mm to 3mm pinch bolt…..

     

     

    b33k34
    Full Member

    Whenever I see a review of a crank that isn’t Shimano I have to wonder why anyone would buy them. Shimano’s hollow tech construction seems to means their cranks are lighter AND stronger. They’re also cheaper. And Shimano’s pre-load and cinch bolts are quick, easy and reliable.

    Although the RF stuff now has a preload adjuster rather than relying on you using the right number of easily lost rubber washers, the main 8mm bolt still has to be torqued up to 50Nm with a big Allen key you probably don’t have out with you on the trail if it has managed to come loose.

    nickc
    Full Member

     the main 8mm bolt still has to be torqued up to 50Nm with a big Allen key

    And still uses a proprietary 30mm BB, I’m using a SRAM press fit BB, and a set of Truativ cranks from a old bike, but as soon as the bearings wear on the BB the whole lot is going to be replaced with Shimano and a 24mm BB. Anything else is just not as reliable IMO.

    Andy
    Full Member

    The 24mm axle RaceFace chainsets (Ride, Aeffect) I have used have been bombproof. Never saw the point of 30 mm axles and tiny bearings.

    voodoo-rich
    Full Member

    Still running my square-taper, 5-bolt, polished silver Turbines, with a Wolf-Tooth narrow-wide ring. Cranks must be 25 years old now… indestructible.

    singletrackross
    Full Member

    Apologies, no idea how the weight was missed out! Updated now and FYI weight is 588g on my scales for cranks, chain ring and preload collar. Ta.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    In fairness, if you’ve absolutely got to have a non-24mm stupid bloody BB size, it should definitely be a raceface one. And obviously not a raceface carbon one. So that puts the Turbine in a pretty select group

    benpinnick
    Full Member

    And obviously not a raceface carbon one

    I have Era cranks, they are awesomes. Im please to say the no quibbles lifetime warranty hasn’t been tested.

    vmgscot
    Full Member

    For balance, GF has these Turbines on her 2015 Yeti SB5c – took some abuse but still running fine on the same BB and bearings from when built (Hope PF46 30mm).

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    I ended up with the turbine as a warranty replacement for the sixc. I’d be wary of raceface carbon cranks in the future so I can see why the era has a no quibble warranty. Aren’t they 485 grams or something close? So there are alu cranks coming close to that without the risk.

    lovewookie
    Full Member

    Older turbines were about 570g for the arms and axle. assuming the 20g saving on the new ones is on the arms, brings them to 550g, still a way off the carbon ones. ERA are 415g for the arms and axle similar to next R, while next SL are around 360g with the axle.

    Aeffect are about 590g ish apparently. though the difference seems noticable holding both in the hand, it may just feel that way due to how the weight is distributed between a steel 24mm axle vs alu 30mm axle.

    I have aeffect on my hardtail, turbines on my FS and next SL waiting to swap out the turbines once a replacement 143.5mm  axle arrives as the Q factor of the 134.5 next is a lot less than the turbines and they hit of the chainstays of my Tallboy 3.

    I’ve always liked the aesthetic of the alu cranks.The SL will be my first carbon cranks. we’ll see how long they last before something comes loose.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.