Race Face Cinch Turbine Cranks - Review

Jun 23, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
Pinkbike Product Picks

Race Face Turbine Cinch 2014 review

Race Face Cinch Turbine Cranks

Race Face's Turbine cranks have long been a mainstay in the Canadian company's lineup, a do-it-all aluminum offering designed for trail or all-mountain riding. The 2015 version of the crank has undergone a number of changes, the most notable being the switch from a traditional fixed spider design to Race Face's Cinch system. This system allows a single ring to be mounted directly onto the crank arm, or an aluminum spider can be installed for riders who want to run a two or three chainring setup. Adaptability is the name of the game here - the cranks can be configured to work with every current bottom bracket standard, and the 30mm aluminum spindle can even be swapped out to make the cranks work with fat bike spacing. The forged aluminum crank arms themselves have also received a makeover, with more material removed from the backside of the cranks, and an updated outer shape that's more rounded and free of sharp edges. Weight (32t ring, no BB): 626 grams. MSRP: $269.99. Colors: black, red, blue. www.raceface.com
Details
• Intended use: XC / AM / Enduro
• Forged aluminum and CNC'd arms, aluminum 30mm spindle
• Removable spider
• Sizes: 170, 175, 180mm
• BB options: BB92, 68/73 BSA, PF30
• Direct mount ring options: 26/28/30/32/34/36t
• 2x ring options 104 BCD - 22/36, 24/36, 24/38. 120 BCD - 26/38, 28/40
• 3x ring options 24/32/42
• Colors: black, red, blue
• Weight: 626g (175mm cranks with 32t direct mount ring)
• MSRP: $269.99 USD (as tested)

Race Face Turbine Cinch 2014 review

Race Face Turbine Cinch 2014 review

The deep indentations on the back of the crank are designed to keep the Turbine's weight down without compromising strength. The arms are attached to a removable 30mm aluminum spindle, with multiple bottom bracket options available to let them work with every existing standard.



Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesWe were able to get our hands on one of the first production sets of the new Turbine cranks, and when they arrived we didn't waste any time before heading out to see just what they could handle. But before getting to the riding impressions, it's worth mentioning how easy the Turbines are to install. After the bottom bracket is pressed or threaded in (depending on bottom bracket style), it's only a matter of tightening the 8mm hex bolt on the drive side, spinning the non-drive side preload ring to get rid of any play, and then snugging the small hex bolt on the preload ring. It doesn't get much easier than that - even the most ham-fisted home mechanic should be able to figure it out. After a couple of rides we ended up adding a little more preload to get rid of the slight amount of play that had developed, but since that quick adjustment we haven't had to touch them again.

Out in the wild, the Turbines were flex free, and didn't ever issue any creaks or moans of complaint, whether we were stomping on the pedals to climb up an extra-steep hill or launching off of drops that are on the outer edges of what would be considered 'all-mountain' riding. While carbon may be all the rage these days, there's something to be said for the peace of mind that a well made set of aluminum cranks provides, especially when scraping and scratching through a trail filled with jagged rocks. As far as bearing durability goes, this spring in the Pacific Northwest has been unseasonably mild, without the wet weather that usually persists until July, so the Turbine's bottom bracket bearings haven't gotten the full torture test yet. However, they do use the same bearings that are found on the Next SL cranks we tested previously, and those still feel silky smooth even after a winter's worth of foul weather riding.

On the whole, the Turbine cranks strike a good balance between weight and price, and their adaptability further adds to this value, a bit of future-proofing to make sure that they won't end up collecting dust when the next 'standard' arrives.
- Mike Kazimer





81 Comments

  • + 45
 Raceface freaking nails the aesthetics and fit & finish type details on EVERYTHING. I think these cranks are gorgeous, and interchangeable hardware like this a fantastic idea. Great work. If I was doing a new build I'd put RF stuff all over it. Love the grips, the bars, the chainrings, the cranks, all of it.
  • + 13
 I agree , my current build is dripping with raceface stuffSmile
  • + 7
 RF for life. Not only are they Canadian but they make quality product.
  • + 1
 Just got my Atlas's and threw a Narrow Wide on and I'm a believer I feel totally confident with them under my feet
  • + 6
 A couple weeks ago I noticed my faceplate on my turbine stem was cracked(yes I use a torque wrench and do it under spec) on Sunday morning. I snapped a photo and sent it to RF to ask to buy new one 3 hours later I get email saying no problem it's free.
There was updated faceplate that is thicker by2x . It was couriered to me by Tuesday morning!! 0$
Great customer service..
  • + 18
 Those weight saving indentations look like the perfect place for wet, sticky heavy mud to build up and be a pain in the arse to get out again. Otherwise looking sweet.
  • + 14
 My thoughts too. Relatively easy to heli-tape over the back when they're fresh out of the box though.
  • + 7
 moto foam?
  • + 20
 Through our riding and testing of these new Turbine cranks we really have not seen the rear pocketing of the cranks 'collect' mud any more that a more 'traditional' crank shape. You would be welcome to cover the Truss pockets but we would not feel it as being necessary.
  • + 24
 If they were shaped like dinosaurs, it would be brilliant.
  • + 57
 If what was shaped like a dinosaur?

You know what, it doesn't matter. You're right. Shape the whole thing like a dinosaur.
  • + 4
 Maybe it's the perfect place to be covered with a Race Face sticker or two?
  • + 4
 … or maybe a tyrannosaurus sticker?
  • + 11
 When will RaceFace begin production on actual dinosaurs? Long-travel velociraptors will make mtbs obsolete.
  • + 8
 Still running my 2010 Turbines. In their second bike now. Have been through hell and back but they're still good. When i need to update I'll get the new ones. Although I don't see that happening for a long time.
  • + 6
 Next SL Weight: 425g (175mm cranks with 34t direct mount ring) MSRP: $560 USD (as tested, includes BB and chainring)
Turbine Cinch Weight: 626g (175mm cranks with 32t direct mount ring) MSRP: $269.99 USD (as tested)

So is shaving that .44lbs worth $300?
  • + 4
 The Race Face Turbine cranks may be the best value of all the aluminum all mountain offerings on the market. For people that want the best quality carbon cranks on the market, look no further than the Race Face Next SL's. And yes, that close to a half pound of rotational weight loss is immediately apparent.
  • + 2
 Thanks I was just about to post a similar price list. Perhaps also comparable are the SixC cranks at 650 grams (with bb) and $469. These new Turbines seem like a good value for the features - as far as nice cranks are concerned.
  • + 0
 So 626g, now need to figure out how that compares to my OEM X01 aluminum crank. Preliminary search on PB indicates the alu X01 crank is 655g. Yep, not worth it.
  • + 3
 I'm not sure rotational mass is really important here since the mass is close the axis of rotation............verses carbon 29er wheels. Now that would make a difference in rotational mass. Never the less, these are very cool cranks from RF. I will be buying a set.
  • + 8
 I'm digging these. Very clean look. And the retail price isn't bad at all.
  • + 6
 lets be honest, who pays retail price for anything mtb related?
  • + 2
 it's kinda is being that Shimano ZEE is only $150
  • + 1
 They don't really compare to Zee though. If we're talking weight, they actually compare a lot more cleanly to XTR. Add in what we can assume to be a bombproof warranty, and if typically strong, like RF components are, then you'll probably not even need that warranty. Remember, Zee, while nice, is only Deore level. There's still two higher end offerings from Shimano that compare over a lot more readily, XT and XTR.
  • + 2
 I don't like how they are all bb30 spindles on the new Rf cranks. They do make bb's for a euro shell or a bb91 type shell, but the bearings look sooo pinner. I've owned specialized with a proper pf30 shell and have gone back to Santa Cruz because I felt the shimano style euro bb's outlast a standard pf30 bb by far. Now they are stuffing a bb30 spindle into an even smaller bearing....
  • + 2
 The BB's easily outlast the standard 24mm BSA BB's. The 30mm spindle is a huge advantage for stiffness. Wonder why their cranks are so light and strong? Yep, that 30mm spindle has something to do with it.
  • + 1
 I understand that they are lighter/stiffer and manufacturing one crank and different bb's keeps cost down. But I don't understand how putting a 30mm spindle in a frame with a shell designed around a 24 spindle with a much thinner bearing will make the bearings last longer.
  • + 5
 Last year I had a specialized frame with a SRAM bb30 cranks and I replaced the bearings at least 3 times. Maybe I hosed it off to much. All the other bikes I've had (other than my dj has a Spanish) before have had shimano cranks and a euro bb and the bb's have lasted until I sold the bike. Just my personal experience, id be interested to know if that's not consistent
  • + 4
 @nekmtb, the bearings used in the Race Face CINCH (30mm spindle) BSA and BB92 BB's are exactly the same size as their BSA and BB92 24mm counterpart. RF went to larger diameter cups on the BSA and integrated the bearing race into the cups of the BB92 to ensure bearing life wouldn't be compromised by going to a 30mm spindle. Bearing life isn't an issue with the Race Face CINCH BB's.
  • + 1
 I guess I'm mistaken they sure look smaller. So the bearing sits outside the frame a bit?
  • + 2
 On the BSA, yes the bearing sits outside of the frame. On the BB92, no the bearing is completely internal as with a standard 24mm spindle BB92.
  • + 1
 Can you use these bb's to adapt a SRAM crank to a bb92 type frame?
  • + 2
 Cannot comment, but likely not as the Race Face CINCH BB's are designed to work with CINCH cranks which have a slightly wider spacing to ensure the cranks fit on BSA and BB92 style frames without issue.
  • + 1
 I want one, for a long time, but I think I'll stick with the old one, because I like a 24mm steel axle. Combined with my Hope Steel BB.
  • + 1
 Nekmtb, email enduroseals.com. They have adapters, but mines were a GXP version. It sure about BB30.
  • + 1
 One more question the next carbon cranks are bb30 only is it the same spindle/bb system. Unfortunately for me I have "wear issues" with every part of my bike. I know RM uses bb91 and pretty much uses RF wherever possible and they wouldn't make a bike that was sub par in terms of durability. Thanks for the info!
  • + 1
 @nekmtb, not entirely sure about the question you asked, but I think you're asking if the spindle is the same on the Next SL as on the Turbine? If so yes, they utilize the same oversized 30mm Aluminum spindle as the Next SL cranks. The Rocky Frames are using BB92 which we have BB's to fit our CINCH cranks to. Thanks.
  • + 2
 Reviewers have overlooked one aspect of the cinch Turbine: RF chose to use a huge Q factor on these. Turbine q factor = About 180 mm on a 73 mm spindle. By comparison, the 'wide' version of the XX1 cranks are 168 mm, and the narrow version XX1 is 156 mm I think. I'm not sure why the Turbines are so much wider-stanced than the Next SLs or other cranks on the market. I wouldn't want to run the cinch turbines with my wider pedals (spikes, wah wahs) because with a low BB bike i'm already clipping things when pedaling out of a turn, but YMMV.

To be honest I've never paid much attention to q factor since it just wasn't an issue on my various Shimano, E13, raceface cranks (incl the older Turbine).
  • + 1
 I've been using this RaceFace turbine cinch. It is stiff However my bike is only compatible with BB92, the BB cup does not fit inside the frame. The cinch bottom bracket is horrible. It has more drag and creaking noise. I replaced it twice it similar problem occurred after 3 months. I'll stick with my XX1 chainset for now.
  • + 1
 The guys at SRAM that designed their terrible 3-bolt spider mount need to take a good hard look at the Cinch system. Or even some old M950 XTR cranks. Race Face is getting everything right these days.
  • + 4
 Dear raceface please make a clinch version if atlas fr's and sixc Smile
  • + 4
 I bet they are working on it because the Cinch system rules.
  • + 2
 six c pls
  • + 2
 Patience, padawan.
  • + 1
 I want it right meow
  • + 2
 your request has been granted
  • + 1
 I'm still riding 3x9...will it work for me? I think about swapping the whole group but not yet. It would be nice to have a crank ready for future change ...
  • + 1
 Yes, the 3x setup comes with 24/32/42 chainrings.
  • + 1
 I have these. They're legit. I'm running a 28 tooth with a 1x11. Pretty stiff and with the direct mount rings they look super clean.
  • + 1
 Raceface = exceptional value, quality, and products that simply look great! Other companies need to take note. Lead or get out of the way...Raceface is leading!
  • + 2
 Awesome. I have last years turbine cranks and love them, can't wait to try these out.
  • + 3
 Just found my next crank set.
  • + 2
 when are they going to make a damn dh cranks with the ring and carbon ones for dh . cmon six c carbon
  • + 1
 I came across this video tipsperformance.com/how-to-install-bottom-bracket that helped me out.

Cheers.
  • + 1
 really good looking and solid cranks, been using one for 2 weeks now on the new santa cruz nomad Big Grin
  • + 1
 Hi there just looking through some old posts to get some advice on some new cranks for my new nomad and replace my existing e13 cranks - what BB are you running on your nomad that is threaded and takes 30mm cranks please
  • + 1
 @jezw - Race Face has a BB that allows their 30mm Cinch cranks to work with a threaded BB.
  • + 2
 When will an 83mm spindle be available?
  • + 2
 Wow, only ~60g more than xx1's, and it's aluminum? Yes please!
  • + 2
 Will those direct mount chainrings fit XO's without the spider now though?
  • + 7
 Race Face will be releasing a SRAM compatible direct mount narrow/wide ring that will use the spider pattern of SRAM cranks. That ring will be available in the next couple of weeks!
  • + 2
 They are a different pattern. Just sell those XO's and get a set of Next SL's! You won't be dissapointed. Quite a noticable difference between my XO's and my Next SL's.
  • + 2
 What is the "noticeable difference?"
  • + 4
 First of all, the rotational weight loss is immediately obvious when pedalling. The cinch system allows the cranks to have less drag, yet keeping them tight. No creaks or other noises either like XO's are infamous for. The direct mount chainring feels more positive as well. The cranks are def stiffer than the XO's too. Couldn't believe the difference until I tries them. Best cranks on the market, no question.
  • + 3
 You're kidding right? Rotational weight immediately obvious? Chainring feels more positive? What have you been smoking? I call B.S.
  • + 0
 yes bud not to mention xos are 250 and next are about 600 . i hope they make rings for xo soon. red pls
  • + 1
 Raceface, Make a Green Monster version and TAKE MY MONEY!
  • + 2
 165mm?
  • + 1
 Even though these are a steal, I'd still have E*Thirteen Cranks.
  • + 2
 Wow Raceface rocks.
  • + 1
 26 single ring?
  • + 2
 From the details section of this post:

Direct mount ring options: 26/28/30/32/34/36t
  • + 2
 yeah that blows my mind too. who needs a 42t cog? and it's a cleaner set-up. won't be switching out my old atlas cranks anytime soon and will probably go with next's when i do but these sound like a great option. very forward thinking and race face is doing some great innovating lately.
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