Race Face Turbine Review

Components Pro Reviews

Race Face Turbine ready for assembly

With the “Turbine” brand name, Race Face resurrected a line of beautifully color-anodized aluminium components. This line includes basically all the parts a skilled aluminium and carbon machine shop that just happens to be focused on bike components would be expected to manufacture and is described on the Race Face website so I won’t regurgitate. This review profiles the Turbine stem, seatpost, handlebar, cranks and bottom bracket.

Resurrection

It’s appropriate to toss words like “resurrection” around when talking about Race Face. The company abruptly closed its doors earlier this year without any signs of warning, for reasons documented in this particularly well-written article. This was a shock to industry insiders, to the bike-buying public and almost all Race Face employees, many of whom were cut adrift with unpaid wages and unreimbursed expenses. Fortunately, Race Face was rescued from the brink, employees rehired, production resumed and components (including the Turbine group) rolled out.

North Vancouver, BC

Even before this happened, the Turbine group had been gathering some buzz, what with its beautifully finished, polished “bad-ass black” simple refinement hearkening back to the good-old-days that geriatric mountain-bikers fondly recall. Many riders (I am one) might recollect lusting after the first Turbine LP cranks – ooooh red, CNCed so bling. This same lust may arise when looking at the new Turbine group.

New Turbine, old Turbine (LP)

At this point it’ll also be appropriate to disclose that I’m one of those riders who is hopelessly biased in favour of the look of Race Face’s components. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so you will have to figure out your personal lust factor. In my subjective opinion, even if the Turbine goods weren’t also grrrrr I’m going to tear your pants off sexy, objectively they’re a worthwhile consideration for an AM/XC bike as they’re functional, crafted and strong enough for intended purpose.

Whistler (Picture by Toby Salin)

Final Resurrection

This leads to the disturbing epiphany that in choosing simple components (stem, handlebar, cranks, BB, post) decisions are largely about looks. They’re simple and meant to be so. Assessments of performance is essentially binary; either they work or they don’t work (if they don’t work hopefully the component doesn’t catastrophically fail). So this is as much a feature as a review.

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About the author: Lee Lau

Lee Lau calls North Vancouver and Whistler BC home. He's had over 15 years experience riding bikes mainly in western North America and in Europe. Unlike many people who learned to ride bikes on North Shore trails, he actually enjoys riding (and sometimes bushwhacking) uphill.


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