Race Face Atlas FR X-Type Crankset Review

Pro Reviews

External BB: The BB has maintained a smooth rotation over this season.  It has neither crunch nor hard spots when rotating.  After a season of riding, the bearings feel about as good as when they were installed.  Though the bearings aren’t as smooth as some external BB bearings I’ve felt, but for FR/DH/DJ, who cares! The bearings haven’t shown any signs of loosening up or giving out.

Crank Arms: The crank arms themselves were never an issue.  They have shown no obvious signs of flex.  Granted that could be because I am running 165mm crank arm, 170 or 175 might show some flex, but Remember, I’m 235lbs, I break things and smash things, and I’ve felt no flex in these cranks.  The cranks also minimally rubbed against my show ans so, as you can see in the pictures, they still look great.  Even after 3 straight days of Whistler in the rain.  Talk about a sand paper job to the bike that was.  Though I am mainly impressed that these cranks have held up so well for slope style and a bit of dirt jumping.  After 4 months on a 4x bike, which has very little give for error, the cranks still work great.  The crank have taken a couple good dings as well, see the pictures.

Ring: I decided to run a single 38T and 36T ring on the Atlas FR cranks and with out a bash guard on either.  Unfortunately the ring did not take any major direct hits over a seasons worth of riding but at Northstar and a few mishaps in other places there were plenty of smaller rocks that came at like a spider monkey.  The ring never bent or, warped or lost a tooth.  Everything has its braking limit, but the Race Face ring that comes on the cranks is very strong.  Not the lightest though.  If you really wanted to weight weenie it up you’d probably want to replace the ring with an e.13 of lighter weight.

Pedal Threads: I probably installed and un-installed pedals six or seven times this summer and have never had an issue with the threads on these cranks arm.  Even with forgetting which way loosen up and probably doing my fair share of over tightening.  It appears so far, that even with out pedal inserts or pedal washers aluminum for these cranks is incredibly strong.

Installation: Unlike some of the complaints lodged against the Diabolus Crankset installation of the these cranks was very easy and did not require a large amount of torque.  The external shells of the bottom bracket screwed in nice and smoothly, and most of the way just finger tightening them. The cranks went together with no fuss.  I read over the instructions and tried to use the suggested spacing guide for my bike but ended up having to take the cranks on and off several times to get the ring to align properly with the upper pulley on my F1.  This is obviously not a Race Face issue, rather a busted and fixed frame issue.  I was very happy the install/un-install of these cranks is easy.  It also put the RH crank bolt though the ringer so to speak and it hasn’t shown any warping where the allen wrench fits in.  Stripping the 8mm crank bolt head is a hell on earth I never want to repeat again.

My One Issue: The self-puller cap.  Where did it go?  It backed out and fell off somewhere on the trail?  Oh, did someone forget to put lock tight on it?  Well yes I did, but so did Race Face.  I know what your thinking but this is obviously a common issue.  So common in fact that a friend of mine riding with me when I noticed this one was missing has an extra self puller cap because he found it on the trail in Santa Cruz.  So, come on Race Face, do us a favor and either figure out a better way to secure the self puller or put some industrial strength lock tight on it so peeps like me don’t have this completely irritating issue that is so easily solved!

At least the self-puller cap is just that.  It does not effect the RH crank bolt which has not shown any signing of loosening up with the cap missing. It sucks it feel out, but really it is more irritating than anything thing else.

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  • GreenLightGo says:

    Losing the self puller cap – happened on my RF crankset as well. It was rough going to get the crankset off and a new cap costs $18. Soured me on RF for a while (minus my older Turbine square tapers which I love).

  • DDDDDHHax says:

    haha that cap would suck if i lost mine. i got the 09 version so hopefully they fixed it by now. :P.

    yeah i striped my crank arm were the pedal gos so I’m getting an insert put in one side. hope the other side doesn’t fck up also tho.

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