Author Lee Lau put Race Face’s 2015 Turbine components through their paces in Whistler, BC on his Transition Covert 27.5.
At 1820g (27.5-inch size) and $600 SRP Race Face’s stealthy Turbine wheelset keeps the weight reasonable without insulting your wallet. Photo by Lee Lau
The 2015 Turbine product launch marks Race Face’s first foray into the wheelset category, and by the looks of their $600, 1820-gram debut, their arrival is a welcome one. Available in 27.5- and 29-inch versions, the company—surprisingly to some—passed over making a 26-inch version to focus on emerging consumer demand for the larger diameters.
Rims dimensions are fairly conventional with a 21mm inner width, 25mm outer width, and 19.5 mm height. Twenty-eight straight-pull stainless steel bladed spokes are laced-up three-cross and affixed to the rims using brass nipples.
The wheels are delivered stock with a 15mm front hub and 12×142 rear but can be converted to a 20mm front and/or a 10×135 rear. Hubs run on Race Face-branded custom sealed cartridge bearings. The rear wheel’s freehub body has 3 pawls with 21 points of engagement and comes stock with a Shimano and SRAM-compatible 9/10spd freehub body. Race face also offers a SRAM XD driver freehub for 11-speed setups, as well as a tubeless conversion kit for aftermarket purchase.
The new Race Face 35mm Turbine handlebar and stem make for a stiff, stealthy and affordable cockpit setup. Photo by Lee Lau
Handlebar, stem and grips
As bars have gotten wider, we’ve seen more and more companies move to the 35mm bar bulge diameter pioneered by Easton. For 2015 Race Face offers a 35mm version of the Turbine handlebar ($79.99)—along with a matching stem—as an alternative to its existing 31.8mm bars.
The larger diameter bars allow for weight savings—20 grams over the 31.8mm diameter bar of the same width—while retaining stiffness as the effective lever gets longer. The 35mm Turbine is fashionably wide at 760mm, is crafted out of 7075 triple-butted aluminum and comes in either a 10 or 20mm rise version with 8-degrees of rearward sweep and 5-degrees of upsweep. The 31.8mm version of the Turbine bar is still available in a myriad of color, rise and sweep options.
The 35mm Turbine stem ($99.99) comes in 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90mm lengths can be flip-flopped for a rise of plus or minus 6-degrees.
Presumably named for the amazing flow trail in Squamish, BC, Race Face’s Half Nelson grips are cushy and comfy. Photo by Lee Lau
Rounding out the Race Face cockpit are their Half Nelson grips ($25.99). Available in come in 10 colors, these single-fastener lock-on grips are lightweight (92 .5 grams), thin and have a tactile comfort for those gloveless days. The one-fastener setup is secure and also particularly comfortable for resting your hand on the outside edge of the grip.
Photo by Lee Lau
Though they’re not part of the Turbine group, Race Face’s Atlas flat pedals ($179.99) compliment the collection nicely. Thin, reasonably light, and astonishingly well thought out, the pedals have a double concave shape which, coupled with their large surface area, makes for a supportive platform with extraordinary grip. Its spindles run on four fully-sealed cartridge bearings, and it also has a hidden pin/grease access port for easy maintenance.
Photo by Lee Lau
Also complimenting the Turbine group is Race Face’s Aeffect saddle ($89.99) offering. Flat-nosed with titanium rails, low weight foam, and an intelligent mix of soft and supportive areas, the saddle is both comfortable and relatively light at 236 grams. Its low profile also means that it doesn’t get in the way on downhills.
There’s much to like about the latest edition of Race Face’s Turbine group and other sundry components. From the ingenious interchangeability offered by the Cinch system, to the solid build quality and stylish color choices, Race Face has managed to bring the premium features of its higher-end product offerings to a more manageable price point. How much more manageable? The Turbine crank retails for about half of its Next SL counterpart. And unless you’re counting grams, most riders will find the Turbine’s value-to-performance ratio well worth the tradeoff.
More than just product, however, the offerings underscore that Race Face is a far different company than the version of it that went belly-up back in 2011. With a renewed focus on rider-driven design, an agile approach to market changes and a nuanced attention to shifts within cycling culture, it’s no wonder Race Face shows prominently on the radar screens of not only aftermarket customers looking to upgrade their rides, but OEM product managers who want to bring cachet and some North Shore/Vancouver steez to their product line.
2015 Race Face Turbine Components
- Sizes: 27.5- or 29-inch
- Weight: 1,820 grams (820 grams front, 1,000 grams rear)
- Freehub 9/10-speed Shimano/SRAM; SRAM XD Driver available
- Spokes: 28, straight-pull, three-cross front and rear
- Rim width: 21mm inner, 25mm outer
- Color: Black
- MSRP: $599.99
Turbine 35mm Handlebar
- Rise: 10 or 20mm
- Backsweep: 8-degreees
- Upsweep: 5-degrees
- Color: Black
- Clamping diameter: 35mm
- Weight: 270g
- MSRP: $99.99
Turbine 35mm Stem
- Available length: 50, 60, 70, 80 or 90mm
- Rise: +/- 6-degrees (reversible)
- Clamp diameter: 35mm
- Stack height: 39mm
- Colors: Black
- Weight: 150g (60mm)
- MSRP: $69.99
Half Nelson Grips
- Colors: Black, grey, white, blue, green, orange, yellow, turquoise
- Fixing: Single-fastener lock-on
- Weight: 92.5 grams
- MSRP: $25.99
Atlas Flat Pedals
- Colors: Black, green, red blue
- Weight: 351 grams
- MSRP: $179.99
- Colors: Black, Blue, Red
- Rails: Titanium
- Weight: 236 grams
- MSRP: $89.99
For more information visit www.raceface.com.