Race Face's family of carbon components is growing, this time with the addition of the Next R group. Splitting the difference between the cross-country oriented Next SL and the downhill-oriented SixC groups, Next R (R is for Rally) is for riders who are pushing things harder than a traditional XC rider, but don't need the bulk and excess weight that typically accompanies products built to withstand the abuse of full-on DH riding—in other words, a good portion of the riding population.
The new Ripley LS decked out in full Race Face Next R regalia.
Next R Wheels
The Next R is Race Face's first carbon wheelset, built around the same oversized Vault hub that's found on the Turbine wheels
we had excellent luck with last season. That hub delivers a super-quick 3-degrees between engagement points thanks to the two sets of offset pawls and the 60 tooth drive ring.
The carbon rims measure 31mm wide internally, and have a depth of 24mm. Race Face experimented with different rim profiles, and settled on that particular rim height due to its ride characteristics—it was strong enough to meet their impact standards, but not so stiff that it delivered a harsh, jarring ride. Each of the rim's 28 spoke holes are offset by 4mm to create nearly equal spoke tension between the drive and non-drive sides. That offset also means that only one size of spoke is needed for the entire wheelset, and five spares are included, just in case.
Total weight for the 27.5" wheelset is claimed to be 1680 grams, and the 29" set is said to check in at 1765 grams. To top it all off, the Next R's price of $1500 USD is on the more reasonable side of the spectrum for carbon rims laced up to high end hubs.
Next R Cranks
The Next R cranks are the enduro-oriented spawn of the Next SL and the SixC cranks, with a light weight of 495 grams, including a direct mount 32-tooth chainring, and a spindle and pedal inserts that are designed to withstand aggressive riding. The cranks are handmade in Canada from carbon sourced from the United States, which is something of a rarity given the sheer volume of carbon products made in Taiwan or China. Available in 170 or 175mm lengths, the Next R cranks with direct mount chainring retail for $549.99 USD. The cranks alone retail for $479.99.
Next R handlebar
The Next R carbon handlebar's graphics tie in with the cranks and wheels, and at 210 grams for an 800mm handlebar (they can be trimmed by up to 50mm) they're about as light as it gets. 10, 20, and 35mm rise options are available, and the MSRP is $169.99 USD.
Race Face Cinch Power Meter
That's right, Race Face is entering the power meter market. Their device works with almost any Cinch-interface cranks, and relies on strain gauges mounted inside the spindle. With a claimed battery life of 400 hours, charging it will be something of a rarity, but when that time comes there's a USB port that's hidden underneath a rubber cap. Accuracy is reported to be +/- 2%, and the total weight penalty is said to be 65 grams over a standard spindle. MSRP: Cinch Power Meter Spindle 134 AM (w/o cranks) - $599.99.First Impressions
The Next R group certainly looks the part – the wheels are nicely understated, with a mix of gloss and flat black details, and the cranks manage to appear both stout and
svelte. So far I only have a few hours on the new group, and that time was on mostly smooth, soft trails, so other than being able to relay the fact that they've survived one ride without any issues, it's much too soon to comment on durability. There are months of muddy, rocky rides in the Next R components' future – look for a full review once they've been sufficiently pummeled.