Keen observers may have spotted updated versions of Race Face's SixC carbon cranks on Santa Cruz's new Nomad earlier this summer, but this week marks their official debut at Crankworx Whistler. What's different about the new version of these made-in-BC cranks? The addition of the Cinch System is the biggest news, bringing a greater level of versatility by allowing riders to choose from either a direct mount chainring, a spider mounted single ring, or a 2x setup with a bashguard. The spindle is interchangeable as well, meaning that with the purchase of a second spindle the same cranks can work with either a 83mm or 68/73mm bottom bracket. The crank arms themselves are completely hollow, constructed from carbon fiber that's sourced from the United States before being laid up in Race Face's Burnaby, British Columbia facility. According to Race Face, the layup and actual shape of the arms has been altered slightly from previous versions to boost their overall strength, and the pedal inserts are now constructed from the same alloy as their Atlas DH cranks.
• Intended use: DH / AM / Enduro
• Carbon fiber arms, aluminum 30mm spindle available in 68/73mm and 83mm
• Removable spider
• Sizes: 165, 170, 175mm
• BB options: BSA30 (68/73 & 83), BB92/BB107 press-fit, PF30/PF30-83
• Ring options: Direct mount N/W single ring, 2x with bash, 2x no bash
• Weight as tested: 539g (175mm cranks, 68/73mm spindle with 32t direct mount ring)
• MSRP: $499.99 USD (cranks w/DM ring, no BB)
Race Face's Cinch system allows the SixC cranks to be set up in nearly every configuration imaginable, and even the spindle can be changed to accommodate different bottom bracket sizes.
|Installation of the SixC cranks was trouble free, which is what we've come to expect from Race Face's latest Cinch System offerings.The threaded external bottom bracket we used with our test pair does require the use of a BSA30 tool for installation, which is different than what a standard external bottom bracket uses, but it's common enough that most shops should have one. We have noticed that the larger extractor bolt on the driveside crankarm could use a torque check and a drop of Loctite to prevent it from backing itself off, but that should only take a minute or two. |
Crank arm stiffness isn't something that you typically think about during a ride, and the difference between two cranksets can often be muted by six inches of suspension and wide tires, but from the very first pedal strokes it was immediately apparent that the SixC cranks were much stiffer than the mid-range aluminum cranks that they replaced. After putting hundreds of miles and plenty of air time on them, these cranks have proven to be rock solid, without any flexing during hard pedalling efforts or when landing large drops and jumps. We haven't had to touch them other than to make a few preload adjustments on the first couple of rides - since then they've steadfastly done their job without even a creak of complaint. They've shrugged of a fair number of solid hits against rocks as well, suffering only a few surface scuffs where we expected to see much worse results. It's easy to see this becoming the crank of choice for enduro and DH racers looking to shave some grams without sacrificing strength, and while this level of quality doesn't come cheap, in this case you get what you pay for - a set of versatile, downhill worthy cranks at an incredibly light weight. - Mike Kazimer
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