It’s hard to believe that just last year RaceFace closed their doors. Judging by the comments on the forum at that time, there were a lot of disappointed mountain bikers out there. Fortunately the brand lives on under new ownership and many of the new products that were under development at the time survived. I recently got a chance to test the latest 2×10 Turbine crankset + bottom bracket and I’m happy to report RaceFace is back!
Construction & Finish
RaceFace is known for their I-beam crankarms, a design profile that provides exceptional strength and stiffness (I-beams are also used to construct massive buildings so there ya go). The crankarms are first forged from 7050 aluminum then machined to remove excess material while adding signature styling. According to the company, the Turbine cranks are “are light enough for XC yet strong enough for AM use” which means these parts are designed to take serious abuse without weighing down your rig.
I took a minute to weigh the Turbine crank parts before installation and found the whole set tipped the scales at 822 grams. That compares pretty favorably to the carbon SRAM X0 crankset which weighs about 65 grams less. In fact, the RaceFace Turbine bottom bracket shaves about 15 grams off the weight of the SRAM.
The Turbine chain rings are completely CNC-machined from 7075 aluminum and out of the package they are GORGEOUS. These chain rings just feel dialed with crisp edges and an airy weight in your hand. All the parts are available with a neutral gray finish (shown) or black (officially, “bad ass black”) or you can go with the flashier red version.
Beautiful Turbine packaging.
Installing the RaceFace Turbine 2×10 on my Santa Cruz Tallboy was a snap. The bottom bracket screwed in smoothly and I was done with the whole procedure in less than 15 minutes. I did have an issue with the Turbine chainring bolts – they’re Torx bolts, not hex (I realized this after I stripped the first bolt or two). On my first test ride one of the bolts came loose and I lost it on the trail; fortunately replacement bolts aren’t hard to find. Call me old-fashioned but I chose hex bolts for the replacements.
Pedals went on smoothly and held firm throughout testing. The Turbine features a self-extracting crank bolt cap for easy removal with an 8mm hex wrench.
On the trail
I swapped out my SRAM X0 crankset for the Turbines about mid-way through my Cohutta 100 training which meant TONS of miles on the Turbines in a short amount of time. All told I easily clocked 500 miles, including the 100-miler itself at the end of April. The SRAM set-up I replaced featured a 26/39T configuration while the Turbine sports a 28/40T which was noticeably more tiring – but it forced me to ride faster! Not to worry though, RaceFace offers 26/38T and 30/42T options.
The Turbine cranks produce ultra-precise shifting – noticeably quicker and smoother than my X0 cranks. The expertly machined inner ramps and perfectly scooped teeth produced snappy shifts and solid engagement, even in panic-shift situations.
The RaceFace bottom bracket is holding up well with no noticeable creaks or added resistance, even after dozens of dusty, maintenance-free miles.
The aluminum crank arms have lived up to their all-mountain-capable billing with few noticeable scratches or gouges. I’m actually very surprised considering how many miles I’ve ridden on these cranks, completely exhausted. I tend to make a lot of mistakes toward the end of long rides and the rocky trails of north Georgia can be unforgiving. Even the teeth on my big chain ring have held up incredibly well – not a single chipped or missing tooth.
The bottom line
RaceFace has earned a great reputation for high performance parts, especially among those looking to upgrade the stock components on their ride. The Turbine 2×10 offers exceptional shifting and durability in a package that won’t weigh down your bike or your credit card bill ($320 MSRP). Looking to modernize your drivetrain? Look no further than the Turbine 2×10.
Thanks to RaceFace for providing the Turbine 2×10 crankset for review.