The author ponders the awesomeness of Race Face’s new Turbine componentry.
Component maker Race Face has launched a revamped version of its workhorse Turbine alloy component group that promises to be both lighter than previous generations, and more affordable than their high-end carbon offerings. Comprised of a crankset, bottom bracket, wheels, handlebars, stem and pedals, the 2015 group puts much of the technology found on their top-of-the-line Next SL platform into a value-minded package.
Turbine drivetrain components a Cinch in more ways than one
Versatility is the name of the game with Race Face’s Turbine crankset. Its Cinch chainring mount system allows for 1x, 2x and 3x setups, while arms are available in a number of lengths. Even the bottom bracket spindle is interchangeable. Photo by Lee Lau
Race Face’s redesigned Turbine crankset adds the innovative Cinch interface to forged and CNC-machined alloy arms. Introduced on last year’s well-received Next SL crank, Cinch allows riders to configure the same cranks for either single, double or triple chainrings.
Turbine is basically a three-piece crank built around a 30mm bottom bracket interface. The three pieces—crank arms, spindle and spider—are interchangeable. Configurations are available in spindle—24 and 30mm diameters in a variety of widths; in rings—single rings as small as 26-teeth, and in 1x, 2x and 3x systems; and in crank arm lengths.
Cinch’s modularity makes “forward compatibility” more likely, giving Race Face the option of machining new spiders or rings to accommodate future standards and customer demand. This makes it a good bet for long term evolution.
The Turbine crank’s Cinch system is at it cleanest in the 1x direct-mount configuration that allows riders to run as low as a 26-tooth chainring. Photo by Lee Lau
In addition to offering chainring versatility, the crankset’s stout and stiff 30mm alloy spindle is also removable leaving the door open for Race Face to offer something longer in its stead—say a fatbike crank if that becomes a thing, or if/when standards change. With manufacturers like Trek and Cannondale playing with rear wheel spacing, offset and chainlines, the Race Face system makes adaptation a possibility.
Race Face’s narrow-wide chainrings alternate tooth width to match the chain and help keep it retained. Photo by Lee Lau
Unlike multiple ring 2x and 3x cranksets, single chainrings don’t need any ramps and pins to help the chain switch gears. Instead the narrow-wide ring’s job is to help keep the chain retained, and Race Face’s offerings purport to do just that.
Using the same tooth profile as its standard 104 BCD narrow-wide rings, Race Face’s Cinch direct-mount chainrings debuted on their Next SL crank last year and are compatible with the new Turbine as well. Available in two-tooth increments from 36- all the way down to 26-teeth, the system’s versatility becomes evident. Even mountain goats who’ve decried 1x systems as too highly-geared might even come around with gearing that low.
Race Face has upped their game when it comes to bottom bracket quality, and offer a myriad of press-fit and threaded configurations to accommodate nearly every frame on the market. Photo by Lee Lau
Race Face has rolled out a complete complement of threaded and press-in bottom brackets to accommodate countless press-in and threaded frame variations. After taking some hit-points on BB quality in the past, Race Face has made a conscious effort to up their game, moving to Phil Wood grease, using Ti-coated bearing races and installing triple wiper seals throughout.
2015 Race Face Turbine Components
Turbine Cinch Crank – As tested: 30-tooth, 175mm arms
- Lengths: 170, 175 or 180mm
- Color: Black
- Weight: 619g
- MSRP: $269.99
Narrow-Wide Direct-Mount Cinch Chainring
- Available teeth: 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36
- Colors: Black, red, blue
- Weight: 41g (26t) – 82g (36t)
- MSRP: $69.99
- Options: BB92; BSA 68/73; BSA 100; PF30
- Weight: 91g (BSA 68/73)
- MSRP: $59.99
Race Face Turbine Part 2
In tomorrow’s part 2, we’ll take a look at the Race Face Turbine wheelset, cockpit components, pedals and saddle.
For more information visit www.raceface.com.