Race Face Next XC Cranks Review

Pro Reviews

Construction
The Race Face NEXT XC all carbon crankset has big flat, and broad, and hollow cranks arms that have a very subtle carbon patterning to them. The patterning is really only noticeable to close inspection, and looks a bit more like someone took a cross section of a rock crystalline structure, showing off large phenocryst (crystals).

During the construction process, the crank arms have all unnecessary material removed from the center core, so they have none of the typical internal aluminum spines that most carbon cranks use. They use a pre-impregnated proprietary carbon material that is sourced from the North American aerospace industry, and supposedly is the same material used on the much delayed Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The composite material is cut it into the required shapes, and it is then laid up around a core, cooked at temperature, and compressed under 8 tons of force! How the core is removed is a trade secret.

The pedal and spindle inserts, and the CNC CrMo spindle is molded and bonded in place for strength, lighter weight and durability.

Installation
The new EXI interface external bottom bracket system is easy to install or remove with standard tools and has a fully adjustable chainline. The bearing cups are triple wiper sealed, and the bearings are filled with Phil Wood grease, which should provide good long term durability.

Installation steps:
1) Lube the threads of each bottom bracket cup, insert the drive side BB cup and tighten it to 47 N-m, insert the non drive BB cup and tighten it to 47 N-m.
2) Lube the race on the crank arm spindle, insert the spindle with its nifty guide cap into the BB, give it a few taps so that it lays flush against the bottom bracket, remove the spindles guide cap.
3) Lube the spindles spline and the non drive side crank arms threads, put on the non drive side crank arm 180 degrees to the drive side crank arm, tighten it down with a torque wrench with a 8mm socket to a monstrous 61 N-m (it takes a lot of turning to get it there).
4) Done!

Next » Impressions

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • hardmtnbiker says:

    Nice review! I still have the old Turbines and also run the Dues X-type with 180mm cranks arms on my SS. One thing I can tell you is the RF stands behind their products and they have been happy to replace/warrenty parts as needed. I will buy these cranks if I build a new XC or trail bike but don’t think I would ever need to replace my old RF cranks because they are built to last.

  • Jens says:

    Hi,
    Are you forced to use RF’s bottom bracket or could i keep my CK BB?

  • pastajet says:

    No you can use any of the industry standard X-Type external bottom bracket…

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