Race Face recently unveiled new, wider 35mm handlebars and stems, plus saddles, at Crankworx. That collection was the first major new product download since the company’s restructuring.
Now, they’re dropping the second round, and it’s a doozy! Led by the all-new, amazingly light Next SL carbon crankset, they’re also adding wheels.
The outgoing Next SL cranks were light, but used specific BCD’s with an integrated one-piece carbon arm and spider. The new Next SL cranksets become a modular system that’ll quickly change from single to double to triple, and they’ll offer all three. The other side of the “modular” story is that it’s only coming as a 30mm spindle, but they’ll offer bottom brackets to make it work any frame…
The system uses completely independent pieces, which not only lets you mix and match exactly what you need, but it also lets you replace any single piece breaks.
The rings/spiders slide into a grooved spline then held in place with a lock ring tightened with a normal internal BB tool (any shop will have one). They call it their CINCH system.
The arms are all UD carbon, and the system weights are the same as the old models but are way stiffer. But, because their new single rings are direct mount, they can have a 1x system weight as low as 495g including bottom bracket.
Production versions will have protective tape on the sides to prevent heel rub from damaging the carbon. And it’ll be fuller coverage than in the past, where they found that partial coverage missed the NE on the logo, leaving only XT visible…obviously not what they want on their cranks!
The new double chainring spider has a wider chain line to work better with current cassettes and help get the two rings centered on the cassette the way a traditional triple is. It’ll come in 104/64 2x and 3x and 120/80 for SRAM 2x chainrings. Race Face will offer rings (unchanged) for both BCDs.
The other big change is that it’s now only available with a 30mm spindle that works with any bottom bracket standard except Trek’s BB95. It uses a 134mm long spindle, so it’s wide enough to accommodate virtually any BB shell on the market. but Race Face makes BB solutions for any frame, even PFBB86/92. That means it’ll work with a normal BSA using their external BB cups that fit BB30 bearings.
It’s so modular, it can even swap spindles to accommodate their two fat bike spindles. They’ll be user swappable as the spindles (either for 165/170 or 190 rear spacing) come with puller bolts kits to remove and install the spindles.
There’s more to it than just saving weight. The benefit to them is that they can manufacture just a single crank arm set and it’ll work with any chainring or spider. It also lets them quickly machine new spiders or rings to accommodate future standards or customer demand.
The direct mount single rings will have 26-36 tooth options in even numbered increments. They use a wide/narrow no-drop design and say it’s so good you don’t need a chainguide unless you want to prevent crash drops. And they’ve designed it to run equally well with 10 or 11 speed chains. Not ready for a new crankset? They’ll also offer their wide/narrow chainrings in a 104BCD in select sizes.
Available at launch, meaning now.
They also offer a direct press-in bottom bracket bearings (BB30, PF86) with a central sleeve to help protect them from moisture that finds its way into the frame via the seat tube, cable ports, etc.
New Turbine wheels for XC to AM uses straight pull bladed spokes in 27.5″ and 29er. It’ll come with a 15mm thru axle front and 12×142 rear, with conversion parts available to run QR rear.
Rims have a 21mm inside width, 25mm outer, and 19mm height. They’re tubeless compatible, and they’ll offer a tubeless kit and XD driver as aftermarket options.
Hubs are their own, with full sealed cartridge bearings and a three pawl mech.
Price point is around $600, making them a good upgrade over a basic no name OEM wheelset or as a budget replacement. 1800g and 1880g depending on wheel size.