Having been around mountain biking for sometime I have been blessed and I guess cursed with many products, some good and some… well, let’s just leave it at that. Anyhow, in this review I want to talk about a great mountain bike crank that will not break the bank or just break period. The Race Face Atlas crank is designed for all-mountain and light freeriding plus it’s a solid crank for clydesdale riders.
The Atlas shares the same X-type bottom bracket as both the Deus and Evolve cranks. Installation is a breeze and I recommend adding some loctite to the threads and torque the bolt to the correct value of about 30-50 ft/lbs.
In terms of performance, the first thing you’ll notice about this crank is that it feels very smooth underfoot with a solid feel and no noticeable twisting. You can really put the power down with these cranks and even if you’re a clydesdale you won’t notice any flex while climbing. Shifting is crisp and positive with very little chance of a mis-shift thanks to the Shimano-like stainless steel ramps and pins on the rings.
Despite the great crank arm strength I don’t recommend power shifting with this crank – you could bend a tooth or two. I did a fast power shift with my Race Face Atlas and noticed afterwards when I was cleaning that I did in fact bend a tooth. That being said, I’m sure most riders won’t encounter this through the course of normal use.
There are a few Race Face Atlas options this year with a beefier version called the Atlas Freeride. You can order the Atlas with 22,36, bash or 22, 32, bash or a triple – your choice. The Freeride is available with 4 different options depending on your needs.
After a whole season of crossing rivers, logs, dirt, mud, and the occasional squirrel (just kidding), my Atlas shown very little signs of wear on the rings and the bottom bracket bearings are still top notch. Bottom line: The Atlas is a great all-mountain crank that shifts flawlessly and keeps performing. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the Race Face Atlas again – though I probably won’t need to since the thing is so darn durable!