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The new Turbine Cinch cranks from Race Face are an affordable, lightweight alternative to their Next carbon cranks. These little beauties embody some seriously creative ideas for keeping things lightweight, durable, and compatible to your bike.

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Specs

The new Cinch system essentially allows you to choose whatever bottom bracket you fancy and whatever driveline you want. There are some restrictions, however: presently there are no Race Face-specific bottom brackets for BB30, BBright, Specialized, OSBB, or BB386. There are, however, fit kits for those bottom brackets. Race Face does have specific bottom brackets for BSA, BB92/107, and PF30. The only frames that are not compatible with this crank are ones who use the Trek BB95 standard.

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Race Face offers a wide variety of chain ring choices. You can go with a 1X, 2X, or 3X system. And even once you’ve made a choice, you’re not locked in. The Cinch allows you to swap things around.

For this review, I opted for the dedicated spiderless direct mount for my Bronson. Weight weenies will be happy with this one: a spiderless setup brings its weight down to 675g in all, including the bottom bracket and chainring.

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Made from 7050AL, the Turbine crank is super tough. The milled back pattern keeps things stiff and light, without sacrificing a thing. You’ll note that the pedal end of the crank keeps as much material as possible, while near the spindle weight is removed within the profile of the crank (pictured above).

Installation

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Installation of the Turbine uses a very clean and easy visual approach. Gone are the size 3 font instructions that require an atomic microscope to read.

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I seriously love these instructions. They’re easy to follow, and more importantly, they’re in order.

To complete this task, you’ll need the RF BSA 30 tool, since a regular BB tool will not fit. You’ll also need a torque wrench and 8 and 2mm hex tools.

One thing to keep an eye out for as you’re installing the crank (since I got this wrong): on the BB instructions you’ll see three spacers. You’ll also notice that two of them have those info boxes above them. To clarify: those two spacers come out when you’re installing it on a 73mm-spaced frame. For some reason, I thought all three were supposed to come out. So yeah, that should save you a bit of a headache. Installation takes about 10-15 minutes, including removal of the old crank and adjusting the preload.

Out on the Trail

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I installed the Turbine on my Santa Cruz Bronson, along with some other juicy Race Face gear (like the Turbine wheels). I have to say, I was really surprised at the immediately-apparent improvement that these cranks provided. Being a heavier guy, I can always feel how stiff a crank really is, especially on the climbs. I have also been known to dust bottom bracket bearings (which consequently is why I service mine quite frequently).

Anyhow, I am very impressed at how well the Turbines performed. I run a 1×11 XO1 drivetrain and I noted a big improvement in the smoothness of the overall drivetrain.

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I really appreciated the added booties over the crank arms for the additional protection. Cool fact: they’re available in a variety of colors (black, gray, red, blue, orange, green, turquoise, and yellow) and if need be fit over some other brands’ cranks.

During my time with the Turbines, I had no issues with them at all: they are rugged, durable, sexy-looking, creak-free and uber stiff. They also transmit pedaling forces very well.

Although I only installed these cranks on my Bronson, I could easily see these cranks making their way on another bike or two of mine. The best part here is the ability to swap out spindles for wider bottom brackets.

I am happy to see a great product like this from Race Face. I’m Canadian, and when great Canadian gear gets produced, it just makes me proud.

MSRP, crank: $269

MSRP, bottom bracket: $60

Thanks to Race Face for providing the Turbine Cinch Crankset for review. 

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