Race Face Atlas Cinch Crankset - Review

Feb 2, 2016
by Mike Kazimer  
Race Face Atlas crank review


Race Face's Atlas cranks have been the workhorse of the company's lineup since the glory days of the freeride movement, back when telephone pole-high skinnies and massive road gaps were all the rage. The spotlight may have shifted from hucking to racing over the last few years, but there's still a demand for cranks that can take a beating, which is just what the third generation of this venerable crankset is intended to do.

The crankarms now use Race Face's Cinch interface, a change that allows them to accept direct mount chainrings, or (with the addition of a removable spider) be set up for 104mm BCD 1x and 2x configurations. Cinch also allows for axles to be swapped out, which means that if you installed the Atlas cranks on a DH bike with 83mm bottom bracket spacing, and later decided to put them on an enduro rig with a 73mm BB, a new axle would be all that was required, rather than a complete crankset.


Race Face Atlas Cinch Details

• Intended use: trail / enduro / DH / DJ
• Sizes: 165, 170, 175mm
• Forged 7050 aluminum arms
• 68/73mm and 83mm spindles available
• Weight: 170mm crankarms and 68/73mm spindle: 631 grams (700 grams with 32t direct mount ring).
• Colors: black, red, blue, green
• MSRP: $210 (arms only). $345 USD as tested - includes BB, 32 tooth ring.
www.raceface.com

The backsides of the crankset's forged 7050 aluminum arms have had any excess material removed, leaving six deep indentations of various shapes and sizes, a technique first used on the more trail / all-mountain oriented Turbine cranks that were released two seasons ago. The new construction technique results in a slight weight savings of 33 grams versus the previous version, and as far as stiffness goes, Race Face claim that the Atlas cranks are 12% stiffer than the Turbine crankset.

The crankarms are mounted to a 30mm, 7055 aluminum spindle that's available in 68/73mm and 83mm versions. Bottom brackets are available for all current 'standards'; threaded, BB92, BB107, PF30, and PF30-83. As tested, in a 170mm version with a threaded BB and a 32t direct mount ring, the total package weighed 792 grams and retails for $345 USD. Looking for a color other than basic black? The Atlas cranks are also available in blue, red, and green.


Race Face Atlas crank review
Race Face's Cinch interface allows for multiple chainring and axle configurations.
Race Face Atlas crank review
The arms are starting to get a little polished from shoe rub, but they're still spinning as good as new.


Installation / Issues

Getting the Atlas cranks installed was a straightforward affair, and Race Face includes clearly illustrated directions for riders who need visual reference to make sure they're on the right track. I would recommend checking the 16mm cap on the drive side to be sure Loctite has been applied and that it's snugged down – I've had a couple Cinch equipped cranks arrive where this wasn't the case. Why does this matter? Well, if that cap isn't securely in place, unthreading the 8mm hex to remove the crankarm will end up removing the cap instead of the crank. The 16mm size seems to be the unicorn of the hex key world, but luckily a 5/8” hex wrench will work just fine, and it's massive enough that it can also be placed by your front door instead of a baseball bat to ward off intruders. Race Face also offers an 8mm to 16mm adaptor that's much smaller and more portable than a full size wrench.

I do have one other small gripe, and that's regarding the screw that's used to secure the crank's preload ring into place. That little screw uses a tiny 2mm hex head that can easily be rounded out - it's best to read the instructions, take your time during installation, and remember that the screw really only needs to be finger tight. All the same, a larger head, or even going with a torx screw instead of a hex, would be a welcome improvement.


Race Face Atlas crank review
Weight has been shed from the backside of each arm.
Race Face Atlas crank review
The preload ring uses a tiny 2mm hex screw - it'd be nice to see this get a little bigger.


On the Trail

Once installed, the cranks were completely trouble free, and withstood all of the rough trails and hucks to flat that I subjected them to with zero issues. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to feel the claimed 12% stiffness increase over the Turbines out on the trail, especially since it'd take me a year's worth of eating bacon and drinking protein shakes to make my way into the Clydesdale category, but it turned out that the difference was noticeable, especially when standing up and stomping on the pedals.

Now, the Turbine cranks aren't flexy by any means – I have absolutely no complaints about them in that regard, but the Atlas cranks definitely take things up a notch, a fact that will be appreciated by bigger riders, or even smaller riders that like to go really big. No one wants to worry about their cranks shattering or bending after a rough landing, and with the Atlas cranks those type of thoughts never even crossed my mind. They're impressively stiff, with a very reasonable weight, especially considering how solid they feel underfoot.

What about mud collecting in the recesses on the back of each crank? I haven't had any issues with excessive build up, even in extremely sloppy conditions - I'd say this is a non-issue, and a quick blast with the hose is all it takes to clear out any stubborn dirt chunks that do manage to withstand all of the revolutions that happen during a ride. Regarding the bottom bracket, after a few months of use, months that happened to coincide with the wettest rides of the year, it's free of any play, but a rebuild and some fresh grease wouldn't hurt - it's not spinning quite as smoothly as it once was. That's a little quicker than I'd like, but then again, the conditions it was ridden in are about as nasty as it gets.


Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesFor riders looking for a stiff, strong, DH-worthy crankset that's light enough to be installed aboard an all-mountain rig, the Atlas cranks should be near the top of the list. The addition of the Cinch interface makes these cranks more versatile than ever, and they're still tough as nails. - Mike Kazimer



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128 Comments

  • + 78
 How is crank stiffness actually measured?
And what does "12% stiffer" actually mean?

I mean, I guess it's deflection under load, but what load? And what type of deflection? My point is that giving figures purely in % and with no reference to quantity or value is meaningless.

My bike is 17% better than yours
(but only when the performance dial is turned to the maximum)
  • + 22
 We have to make 1 assumption : we're talking about vertical deflection under load that affects also the spindle (standing on the pedals, 50kg on each pedal and the spindle is also twisted; 150kg on each pedal to simulate a landing; 120kg on the drive side so spindle not affected and 120kg on the non drive side so spindle is affected).

And "what load" : if 100kg gives a 3mm deflection at the pedal axle then 200kg gives 6, so you can have that 12℅ difference between 2 cranksets whatever the load is.

I agree we don't have enough information, but when I talk about those things with others it seems like I'm the only nerd interested. So maybe companies are doing us a favor... Or not
  • + 8
 I guess this crank is 12% stiffer than the older turbine. So they used the same load and mesure the deflexion in the same way.

But I agree they should describe the testing procedure, and all companies should have the same tests in order to compare all the products.
  • + 10
 This is how they measure hope I don't have to explain the point of what they mean by 12%

youtu.be/tNI4gs6sB7o
  • + 11
 @illestT, just smile and nod, dude. "Yes, 12%..."
  • + 1
 Each manufacturer will design things to be stiffer, flexier or whatever they want, so their engineers will claim something and figure out a test to see if they are right. This never means it will hold over to real world applications, but in this case, Mike says it's noticeably stiffer than the Turbines, so that is really all you can go on.
  • + 4
 Stiffness can be measured. Raceface tests to their own internal standards as well as JIS/CEN and other applicable international standards. They actually declare conformity to those standards officially. In their testing loads are applied and the displacement from that load is measured, which will give them a relative stiffness. I would assume that the 12% figure would be compared against old atlas.
  • + 5
 but this one goes to 11...
  • + 2
 Some cranks twist under heavy climbing loads, especially the old turbines (pre cinch) if using them with particularly wide flat pedals. Switched to SixC cranks for my all mountain rig and they are much stiffer. I have noticed in general that the carbon cranks that I have tried seem to resist twisting loads better than the aluminum cranks by at least 12%.
  • + 2
 There are different ways that a crankset can be "stiffer". Stiffer under landing loads, where spindle twist is the primary cause of deflection? Or stiffness under pedaling loads where the chainring can have an effect? And how does stiffness differ between the right and left arms when pedaling?

Saying something is stiffer without saying how it's measured is so ambiguous it's meaningless.
  • + 2
 @polarflux Old turbines were one of the flexiest cranks: www.mountainbike-magazin.de/test/parts/acht-mtb-kurbeln-im-test-fuenf-3-fach-und-zwei-2-fach-modelle.911866.2.htm#7

A Shimano XT or XTR is 60% stiffer than it (and significantly stiffer than a vast majority of others, including carbon ones), according to this test.
  • + 1
 The old one went to 11. This is even better! This one goes to 11.2!
  • + 5
 I'm studying mechanical engineering and I will try to explain whats effecting the stiffness of a crankset, please apologise my imperfect english.

At first the stiffness depends on the material parameters, e.g. carbon has a much higher e-modulus and g-modulus than aluminium. That means that a carbon crankarm in general tends to bend a lot less than the alu one. To visualize it you can imagine a crankarm made of rubber or made of steel.

Second point is how the crankarm is manufactured or reinforced. A alu crankarm that is forged is much stronger than a casted one. But i dont think that it is possible still to buy a casted crankarm these days Smile . And for carbon you can use many different layer structers and molding procedures...

The most obvious influence on the stiffness of a crankarm is its geometric parameters. How Big is the spindle ? How long is the spindle ? How is are the arms constructed ? And of course how long are the arms? I think it would be exaggerated to present you an example of a calculation, because you have to consider the torsional forces of the crankarms, the torsional forces on the spindle and the normal bending forces on the arms ( in the spindle wont be much bending because the bearings are very close to its end). But i would claim that the main inluence on the stiffness is the length of the arms plus its geometric parameters. And the torsion of the spindle, the bigger the diameter, the less torsion in the spindle.

Thats also the reason for the different stiffnesses of the drive side and the nondrive side: On the nondrive side you have to add the torsion of the spindle to your resulting deflection. Btw the chainring has nearly nothing to do with your feeling of stiffness.

I hope every question is answered theoreticly. For the results we have the tests Smile .
In addition to that, i changed my crankset on my hardtail from an old shimano one , deore or whatever, to a sram gx and it is noticably stiffer. But i think on my Dh rig i wouldnt have recognised it Wink
  • + 2
 @kamelfront maybe I didn't get what you were saying about casted vs forged Al but that has no influence on stiffness. As you said stiffness depends on geometry and Young's modulus (and aluminium's 70GPa is still the same whether it's casted or forged).

I spoke too quickly in my first post, I didn't mention the twisting we can see in zalgrath's video (arm torsion).
And what gives you the most the spaghetti feeling between that torsion and the vertical bending? So what's the most relevant figure they speak about with the 12%?
Haha would need some drawing to answer that. Maybe we can get help from @WAKIdesigns or @Protour
  • + 2
 That would be a more useful statement if mfgs could state how they are stiffener since there are multiple dimensions.
  • + 3
 I've said the word "stiff" in my head too many times... lost all meaning
  • + 1
 @Uuno your are right concerning the young's modulus of cast and forged alu. I meant the forged crankarm will withstand higher forces, not that it is stiffer Smile .

And because i was curious either i calculated a bit. On the geometric bases of the truvativ descendant and i used steel as the material for the spindle and aluminium for the crankarm. But the numbers are not absolutly precise :
in total, the point shown in the test in the video, which should be end of the pedal under normal circumstances, bends down 6,3 mm under a load of 200 kg on the nondrive side and 4,1 mm on the driveside.

The torsion of the spindle has an effect of circa 2,2 mm.
The torsion of the crankarm has an effect of circa 3,2 mm.
And the bending of the crankarm has an effect of circa 0,9 mm.

Numbers will differ a bit from pedal to pedal. For the calculation i took my nukeproof flats. I hope this schows a bit the relation of the different effects from torsion and bending.
  • + 3
 @kamelfront .... after all that science, all I could think of was "kameltoe"
  • + 2
 i had to google it Big Grin . But now i understand ( my first language is german)
  • + 3
 Maybe i should change my name
  • + 2
 Don't you dare!
  • + 22
 Hear, hear:
"All the same, a larger head, or even going with a torx screw instead of a hex, would be a welcome improvement."

True dat!
  • + 3
 I feel like torx is the best system, I have never had one strip. Allens always seem to be made to shallow
  • + 10
 Torx are ok until you have to find a decent quality bit that's a small size. Or until you're tightening up brake rotor bolts and the already twisted bit snaps and almost slices open your forearm. And yes I was using a torque wrench.
  • + 4
 I have experience with the next SL cranks with that same cinch system first off I NEVER had a problem, perhaps it was because I was sure to use a QUALITY 2.0mm driver as I had a nice MIP Thorp wrench left over from my RC car racing days, not that it takes that to have a nice alan tool, just don't expect an average L-wrench on a most likely overtightened bolt to pull off a miracle.
  • + 5
 Slotted mine out with the Dremel so a small screwdriver is all that's needed now.
  • + 3
 I installed some next SLs yesterday and I did think the allen was very very small, but it worked just fine
  • + 0
 That tiny screw is a total pain.
  • + 4
 Huge RF fan and long time customer. Their stuff is really good. That being said, that silly screw on the lockring is total garbage. On my Turbine Cinch cranks, that bolt was completely rusted in 5 rides. It stripped when I went to remove it and had to dremel a slot in it to remove it. I now have these Atlas Cinch cranks and it's the same crap bolt but at least it doesn't rust. Same deal with RF stem bolts. I just had a set of ti bolts arrive to replace the rusted bolts on my Turbine stem.
  • + 3
 I hope you have purchased a reputable brand for your new stem bolts. Yikes!
  • + 2
 I WD-40 the pants off anything that can rust
  • + 1
 The first tiny allen screw that messed up my life was the spring preloading screw on XT V-brakes...
  • + 1
 Your lbs probably has another bolt with a bigger head, I think I have a 3 or 4mm on my rf cranks and it tightens a lot better
  • + 22
 Too bad companies like specialized dont spec more raceface
  • + 9
 THANKYOU!! Someone said it! Specialized and others, get on it!
  • + 11
 Santa Cruz and Trek both stock RaceFace on their bikes.
  • + 7
 yeah i know santa cruz, never gonna ride trek, but spesh only specs their own shit which sucks. who the f*ck wants a ctd and a 60mm stem on their enduro? they put to much priority in pushing carbon on average riders instead of speccing their bike with quality components in alu builds.
  • + 7
 They used Raceface on the fat boys. They don't push carbon down people's throats. People actually buy carbon bikes. When you tell someone a bike is $5k the first response is either "5grand and no carbon? Lol Specialized" or "5grand? Where's the motor? Lol"
  • - 12
flag abzillah (Feb 3, 2016 at 3:10) (Below Threshold)
 I'm glad specialized doesn't spec their bikes with raceface.
  • + 10
 @MaxDeutsch - I guess the moral of the story is don't buy Specialized. The world will be a better place. Flame suit on...
  • + 2
 Race Face can barely keep up with production right now as it is!!!
  • + 0
 Some "16" Kona's will have Race Face cranks as shimano can't get the NW single ring thing figured out!
  • + 9
 So basically a SLX crankset, except 50g heavier, over twice as expensive, and with a silly 2mm hex bolt you will probably round after the second time you tighten it and it gets stuck in there?
Or if you compare it to the Zee, same things except then the Zee is like 50g heavier, but still at less than half price.

Don't get me wrong, the cranks look nice and I'm sure they are good, but what makes these cranks so great they are worth twice as much as other great cranks?
  • + 6
 A label.
  • + 7
 It's not over twice as expensive if you look at RRP. It's just that Shimano are so readily available as cheap grey import etc.
  • - 2
 Just googled the RRP and you are right. Hard to believe a Zee crankset normally costs €150, while all the online shops seem to sell them for €100 (SLX even goes down to €85). But even for full price, €150 for the crankset (bb included) + €50 for a new n/w chain ring, you're still paying €115 more for the RF Cinch.

For that money I can go to Germany to shred a bike park there for a weekend. So what makes it worth the extra money?

Even if lets say the Zee and Cinch were the same price, I would go for the Zee because I would be afraid the 2mm hex bolt would get rounded and stuck in there. That's why I'm wondering if there's anything more behind it than just "it's a good crank" like the review says.
  • + 4
 heavier and twice the price of slx was my first thought
  • + 0
 Shimano SLX+e13 guidering = 90e+30e


Atlas (cranks + chainring + bb)= 200e + 45e + 63e

internet prices from bike-components.de
  • - 4
flag mayha49 (Feb 3, 2016 at 6:00) (Below Threshold)
 The machined holes on the back side of the crank will just fill up with dirt/mud and negate the weight savings....Haha
  • - 1
 It's a lighter version of Saint, not SLX. Yes, they are pricey. You gets what you pay for (although that stupid allen screw is a major PITA, can be fixed just by swapping it out for a real bolt from the local hardware store).
  • + 6
 Fun fact: That bolt did actually use to be larger, but was changed for final production.

For all those stripping it: Stop using ball end tools in shallow bolts, that is your problem. Also, it only needs to be snug. Any more is overtorquing the bolt. This is explained in the documentation.
  • + 2
 Bah... I'm a gorilla when it comes to maintenance. Proper steel headed screw fixed the issue.
  • + 10
 The comparison you are using doesn't add up.

Shimano Saint is the comparable crank to RF Atlas. Both use higher end aluminum and are considerably stronger/stiffer than SLX or Zee
SLX cranks (XC/Trail/AM level) can be compared to RF Aeffect (which doesn't have a preload adjuster with 2mm hex), and Zee cranks can be compared to RF Chester or Respond.

Don't compare apples to oranges. It doesn't make sense.
  • + 17
 ^^^ thank you for correcting them! this is the Atlas crank, it's a DH Freeride crank. its meant to be bombproof. I would trust that 30mm spindle over any other crank on the market. the SLX is lighter because it's originally made to be a "trail" crank, that generally means it's intended for 120-150mm travel bikes. the Atlas is made for a 160-200+mm travel bike.

Atlas-$209.99 US MSRP-698 grams
Saint-$399.99 US MSRP-813 grams

Turbine-$199.99 US MSRP- 619 grams
SLX-$259.99 US MSRP-598 grams

"SLX is Lighter than Atlas" is like saying "a Prius gets better gas mileage than a Ford F-150"
  • - 1
 How do we know that the Atlas is stiffer than the SLX crank? I've seen SLX cranks on trials bikes (like Thomas Oehler) where they sometimes huck two storeys to pavement. Haven't seen an RF one yet.
  • - 3
 Don't know about the current version, but the previous turbine crank wasn't exactly stiff. Compared with Shimano XT, the numbers were 64 N/mm for the turbine and 102 N/mm for XT. I wouldn't be surprised if SLX was stiffer, stronger, lighter, and is cheaper than the new atlas. Regardless of the intended application. Raceface has some well thought out products, including their bars, stems, and dropper post. But my impression is the aluminum cranks have been orphaned.
  • + 2
 @dave-f is that system deflection or single arm deflection? Raceface cranks are stiffer as a system but not as stiff when compared as a single arm.
  • + 5
 The previous Turbine was less stiff for sure. The new Turbine with 30mm spindle and beefier arms is considerably stiffer. Again, not sure why you are comparing SLX to Atlas. You would agree Saint is stiffer than SLX no?

Atlas = Saint, Turbine = XT, SLX = Aeffect, and Ride = Deore.

RF aluminum cranks with the cinch system are light, stiff, and extremely modular. No other company is innovating in aluminum cranks more than RF IMO which is probably why they are getting so much OEM spec lately. Shimano hasn't added any tech or improvements in ages. Their stuff is nice for sure but hardly the end all be all.
  • + 0
 From personal experience, I would claim the new Turbines are significantly stiffer than the SLX cranks. Not as stiff as Saints however.
  • + 3
 Sorry covekid - Shimano hasn't added anything ground braking lately, because since they released the first SLX, no one has ever caught up on them. If you like fancy shmancy colors, be my guest, everybody's interesting in something, but if you are a plain dead, boring functionalist, the 2010 SLX is the best MTB crankset ever made. Strong, light, cheap, easy to install and great looking. It's the same with Rockshox and Fox. Two years ago people were like: look RS made Pike and where is Fox now? On charger-like damper technology since two-thousand-fukhing-six?!!!
  • - 1
 Nail meet hammer.
  • + 3
 Good discussion going on over here. Read several new angles to this such as stiffness and my wrong comparison. Also a plus for the RF cranks is the direct mount ring, so no more chain ring bolts you can lose halfway a ride (not that it happens often, but you'll see it will fall out on the worst possible day).

This is exactly what I like so much about Pinkbike. People with different opinions can share theirs, which will give you new perspectives of things. Without this comment section, purely based on what one person wrote about it, I would have said its a waste of money. But if it's rather comparable to Saint then Zee, it changes my persective for sure. If it really is as strong and stiff as Saints, but lighter than Zee, then you know it is a killer crank. But until no independent third party has tested the exact maximum forces it will always be speculations though.
  • + 1
 the only difference between my saint cranks and my slx ones is that the saint ones scuffed up much quicker im 90kg, lack skill and crash loads, ive yet to feel any flex in either cranks slx is the king of cranks
  • + 4
 Stiffness is a good number for marketing, but in the end if stiffness is enough there is no differences. No it won't you make sluggish if it flex 12% more as it's a spring basically.
I have owned SLX, old turbines, new aeffect, I can barely say there is differences between them when riding. Ah yes I can make one: aeffect use 175mm long crank casting differently drilled for 170mm, a pity.
Now if Shimano want to make a direct mount SLX version, be my guest, it is really needed for 28t and oval 30t rings. Oh and get rid of BB86 with its silly 41mm diameter, 42mm is the diameter to go as it match most of 42mm OD bearings...
  • + 6
 Pinkbike should add a table of q factor to cranks. Makes a big difference on how cranks ride. Narrower for climbing... wider for descending (obviously a generalisation).

www.murray-white.net/cycling/Cranksets_2-piece_road_triples.jpg

www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/what-is-q-factor-and-does-it-make-a-difference-187403

What specialized say on 1 website about pedalling a fat bike compared to what is said on pinkbike is just amusing.
  • + 1
 Raceface posts their Q factors, find it all here (PDF warning) www.raceface.com/comp/inst/Crank_Q-factors_and_chainlines.pdf
  • + 3
 i have an Atlas on my HT 29er and another on my DH rig. Flawless operation for years. Before my first Atlas, I went thru 2 SRAM X0 carbon cranks on my AM rig a few years back (i guess jumping and burly guy pedaling was too much at 200lbs???). They would separate the threaded insert from the carbon at the pedal. After the 3rd warranty crank from SRAM came back, sold it and got on the Atlas. Not a problem since. One crank is going on 4 years, the other on 2. I'd gladly give up a few grams for never having to think about it ever. I like set it and forget it components.
  • + 5
 I still have RF turbine square tapers. Made in BC. They still spin in near circles
  • + 2
 Just ordered and installed the lower end version called Aeffect crank and was ready to do battle with the infamous tiny allen screw, but this crank came with a spacer with an o-ring around it that pops into the left crank arm. Tapped it in, torqued the arm in and off to the trails. Don't know if this system is better or worse but so far so good.
  • + 1
 Yeah same thing, those are nice cranks too.
  • + 5
 Yeah race face cranks are great. Bomber, easy to install and remove and inexpensive.
  • + 1
 Inexpensive? I would pinch saints as the equivalent to this and they come in a fair bit cheaper when you consider that they come with a ring and bb
  • + 1
 Saints are around 100-150gs heavier. Worth baring in mind.
  • + 0
 @adrennan Saints are cheaper???

Atlas-$209.99 US MSRP-698 grams
Saint-$399.99 US MSRP-813 grams

Atlas cranks are lighter and less expensive, and on top of that they have the ability to run a direct mount chain ring.
  • + 2
 for the atlas you need to buy a bottom bracket separately and the chain ring. 210 is just arms and spindle. i could also compare to zee which is heavier for sure but way cheaper
  • + 2
 @adrennan
Atlas crank w/ BB and chain rings - $345 US MSRP
That's still 50$ less that the saints
I could also compare Saints to RF chester wich are heavier for sure but way cheaper
  • + 2
 Saint cranks including BB (no chainring) at Chain Reaction Cycles UK for $229.99 Australian dollars with free shipping! RRP $394.99.
  • + 3
 Been running the new RF Turbine BBs . 2 years without issues. This comment in response to the discussion about RaceFace BBs
  • + 1
 RaceFace, can we talk about the heel rub? Love the weight, Cinch system, bb flexibility, price, etc of my Turbine cranks but after a month of riding they already look like the ones reviewed here. Is there some law about crankarm to chainring clearance? It looks to me like there's a couple unused millimeters in there. For people who have to pedal with their heels in, 2-3mm of extra clearance makes all the difference.
  • + 1
 Hit up crankskins and get some protection.
  • + 3
 I have these on my patrol and they've been solid. I didn't like the idea of the preload ring during install, but it's been fine.
  • + 4
 Loving everything RaceFace makes! I can't get enough of it. I need more bikes to put their parts on Razz
  • + 1
 i have one, it works. im not afraid to smash it against rocks(installed on a 650b nomad so it does smash rocks). However rotational weight costs you more energy than static weight. that being said, pedals, wheels and cranks should be the parts you want to be the lightest.
  • + 8
 You would have to spin the cranks at some serious frequencies to notice weight difference of 100g :-)
  • + 5
 I put this on after my x-01 carbon broke on its maiden voyage. It is bullet proof.
  • + 1
 @norcal77 it's mostly wheels that are spinning ~260 rpm (rough estimate for 26" wheel @ 20mph) where you need to worry about rotational weight, and even then its really more about rim/tire weight (the further from the center, the more the mass affects acceleration/deceleration). With an average rider's cadence of between 60 and 80 rpm, the cranks and everything mounted to them will feel closer to their original weight, rather than being perceived as heavier due to rotation.

TL;DR you'll notice your wheels' rotational weight long before you'll notice any significant rotational weight from the cranks, unless you're the Flash (in which case, why ride a bike?).
  • + 2
 I'm no engineer, but how would cranks weight be different than shoe weight? It is pretty obvious wearing a 100g lighter pair of shoes on a climb.
  • + 2
 @LindLTaylor thx! wasnt trying to knock raceface, they have lighter cranks. just discussing the only potential drawback i could think of. cheers!
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli I'm no engineer either, but I'm pretty sure you'd notice a lighter shoe over a longer climb but not lighter cranks/pedals, because your cranks should be balanced around the spindle (The weight from one pedal won't cause the cranks to spin because the other pedal opposite of it). How long are your climbs?

@norcal77 No problem. You've got an awesome crankset on your hands. I wouldn't mind having one myself but they're mucho expensive and my Respond cranks do the job pretty nicely right now.
  • + 1
 I've got the old ones (2014?) and they really do seem industructable. Super timeless i-beam shape, and I got mine in raw so they'll always look relatively new. wish they'd have offered the Cinch when I got mine, but to be honest I doubt I'll go below a 30T.
  • + 1
 I´m a big fan from RF and bike dealer since 8 years and must say, they have a sick line up for this year, let´s be honest, RF Atlas Chinch is one of the best cranks on the market right now besides Hope´s. Who don´t remember the awesome Diabolous crankset? They worth every penny, i can bet, there are still some out there. Haters gonna hate just for the simple reason of money. This is easy: you have money = you pay / no money = keep your old zee/slx/saint cranks and go home. Now, focus on quality and performance, i know you will spend up to $ 300 bucks for a crank but you can be sure, you will get one that it will last for a very long time.
  • + 1
 Preload ring broke after about 10 hours on the new bike. Wouldn't be a big deal if they could be purchased without having to coach the LBS on what you are looking for and where to get it. Not impressed.
  • + 4
 These reviews always get me cranked
  • + 1
 Time for bed Oby! Smile
  • + 5
 These cranks are going to put raceface back on the map - atlas... map.... #puntrainfail
  • + 2
 TBH i like a good set of cranks as they are an important part of the bike, but seem to be over priced, especially the carbon ones...
  • + 2
 Love me some RF cranks. But I stand by my statement that the RF bottom brackets are complete trash. I've been through 3 of them in one year.
  • + 2
 +1

The bearings in RF BBs are garbage. Once the new one I installed this week goes, I'll either replace the bearings with Enduro's or try an Enduro or Hope BB next time. At least there are some options now.
  • + 1
 I just bought the SIXC set and was concerned about the horrible reviews regarding the BB. So, after a TON of research I contacted this company. I confirmed verbally with the owner that it would work and they are very high quality.

kogelbearings.mysimplestore.com/products/bsa-30-mtb-for-rotor-race-face-cinch-cranks

Cheers!!
  • + 0
 The New RF BB's are supposed to be better; but it is why I eventually got Chris King BB.
  • + 1
 I am running the Praxis Works M30 THRU... so far so good!
  • + 2
 @mayha49 - thanks for another option albeit it a bit pricey.

@SteveDekker - I would be all over a King bb if they made a threaded 30mm

@gooutsidetoday - good to know that Praxis is working for you since they recommend it only be used with Praxis cranks. Nice to have another option.
  • + 3
 I've never had any issues with my bb's but I do take care of my bikes. My ride and evolve are still both going strong.
  • + 2
 @TheFunkyMonkey it's specifically designed for the Cinch cranks... www.praxiscycles.com/product/m30thru-bb30pf30-73mm-mtb

@mhoshal I am meticulous with my bikes! lol
  • + 1
 Stick a Hope 30mm BB in....Having been through 2 sets of RF BBs in a very short period of time I won't buy them again. The BB has taken a beating but is still smooth as day 1
  • + 2
 These are tough cranks. I snapped a pedal by clipping a tree at speed and the cranks were perfect after. That is strong!
  • + 3
 I want a purple option! Waaah!
  • + 4
 Hope.
  • + 2
 the adjustable spacer is awesome. I have it on my sixc, and my turbines and it works really nice.
  • + 2
 I honestly think raceface should bring back the diabolus line it was the best product they had.
  • + 5
 Diabolus stems mounted to an old seatpost make great hammers.
  • + 1
 Mounted on my Fatboy (that means they are availabe with 100mm axis what is an interesting fact) and make me happy all ride !
  • + 1
 id be fine with an extra 100 grams for these over carbon knowing these surely won't snap under me
  • + 0
 Carbon is actually stronger than alu. And it is not like these cranks are going to bend when something goes wrong: if it goes wrong they are most likely to snap.
  • + 2
 Worth a watch: youtu.be/xreZdUBqpJs
  • + 3
 That's what people keep saying, and I'm sure it's true in some aspects, but there are WAY more snapped carbon cranks than aluminum that I have seen
  • + 2
 When Next SL came out, Raceface claimed that they engineered the spindle to twist before the arms snap. I would assume they did the same here.
  • + 0
 @ibishreddin : from what ive heard the quality of Carbon bike parts seriously went up a couple of years ago. Also carbon is mainly being used to push limits of how light something can be (because carbon has a better strength to weight ratio as steel and alu). If you'd make a part just as light with alu or steel it would be much weaker.

But no one really seems to use carbon to make things stronger without having the weight penalty. Let's say average weight bike that would last for 50 years of decent usage. I think it has two reasons, first of all because no one would spend 3 times as much on for example a carbon frame when it is at the same weight as much cheaper alu frames. Second of all because cycling companies wouldn't want us to ride the same bike for the next 50 years because they would have no income after that one bike they sold us. Same from the buyers perspective though, we always want better and newer parts and bikes. I don't think any of us would still ride a bike from 1990 if we'd still have it and it would be in decent shape. Okay maybe as a nice vintage commuter, but not for serious and hard trail shredding.
  • + 0
 www.vitalmtb.com/videos/member/Sketchy-quarry-line,30815/Piotr-Szwed-Szwedowski,4579

A relatively small crash at the beginning of the video reveals a pedal ripped out of a the cranks. And supposedly raceface make the strongest carbon cranks. I don't know what the same crash with aluminum cranks would show, but I put money that they wouldnt fail, maybe bend a bit, but not fail.
  • + 1
 That looks ugly indeed, but as long as we only see one case of failure it doesn't mean it is bad. Any product could have a production failure that has slipped through the quality check. Or for all we know these cranks have been throug several seasons of DH WCs on it and some Rampages aswell. Or maybe it damaged during a bad crash or while the bike fell off the balcony. Just one case doesn't mean it's a bad or weak product since anything will break if you really want it to.
  • + 1
 Install was a... piece of cake...
  • + 0
 Anyone else had crank arms like these chew their ankles up?
  • - 2
 the teeth on my chainring have snapped off after one year on the 30 tooth version
  • - 1
 now all they need to do is make a BB that lasts longer than 5 minutes
  • + 1
 Hope make one. Smile
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