2014 Race Face Next SL lightweight carbon fiber mountain bike cranksets

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…

2014 Race Face Next SL lightweight carbon fiber mountain bike cranksets

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.

2014 Race Face Next SL lightweight carbon fiber mountain bike cranksets

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.

2014 Race Face Next SL lightweight carbon fiber mountain bike cranksets

2014 Race Face Next SL lightweight carbon fiber mountain bike cranksets

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!

2014 Race Face Next SL lightweight carbon fiber mountain bike cranksets

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.

2014 Race Face Next SL lightweight carbon fiber mountain bike cranksets

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.

2014 Race Face Next SL lightweight carbon fiber mountain bike cranksets

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.

2014 Race Face 30mm BSA bottom bracket solution

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.


2014 Race Face Atlas mountain bike wheels

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.

2014 Race Face Atlas mountain bike wheels

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.

2014 Race Face Atlas mountain bike wheels

Hubs are their own, with full sealed cartridge bearings and a three pawl mech.

2014 Race Face Atlas mountain bike wheels

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.


  1. MotoPete on

    RF is listing a 51mm chainline for the single ring crank, which seems wide. How does this wear and track when shifting into 42T? But then what do I know…. still riding 9 speed with a 45mm chainline.

  2. MuMu on

    Great concept on the crank. The ability to change out spiders and axles to meet future and current standards is very smart.

  3. Race Face on

    Tcov- Q-factor is 167mm

    Thanks for the positive comments – we put tons of thought and effort into this new Next SL crankset and its Cinch system…..we agree that having a crankset that has options is great for the rider and for future drivetrain developments.

  4. Willis on

    Sweet looking cranks…. Worried about their durability though, have had 2 sets of broken next SLs. Granted I broke mine at the Chainrings tabs and ow they are gone… It’s a shame they haven’t fixed the chain suck issues on their geared rings..

  5. ccolagio on

    +1 for using a standard BB tool for removal of the spider interface! its always nice when designers dont make you buy a new style tool!

  6. JasonK on

    I just spoke to Race Face on the phone. They told me that a crank, BB axle and single spider/ring would retail for about $500. BB cups (for the 73mm BSA BB on my bike) would be about $40 on top of that. Furthermore, I was told that distributors would have these in stock in 1-2 weeks.

  7. Kark on

    Nice work Race face.. modular, common tooling. light.. :thumbsup:
    This is going to replace my xtr crankset when I go 1x. (soon)

  8. Race Face on

    Willis – Sorry to hear that you had the previous generation of Next SL cranks fail at the tabs. While most cases of broken tabs on our carbon cranks was a result of bolting to the tabs without the use of our shims, we did still see some tabs fail with proper setup. Outside of this issue we rarely hear of any issues with any of our products in the field. The new Next SL has undergone a very lengthy field and lab test, so we’re confident in the durability of the new cranks. We understand that shit does happen, so we stand strongly behind our products and back them with one of the longest warranty periods in the business.
    Which chain suck issues are you referring to? We haven’t had any chain suck issues since the 1st gen 9 speed Turbine rings and most people comment on how well our Turbine 10 speed rings shift.

    JasonK – MSRP stateside is $459.99 for armset, $499.99 for armset and DM ring and $599.99 for armset with 2x or 3x rings. BB will have an MSRP of $59.99. We expect to start shipping to distributors by October 1st, but your LBS might see it before then if they haev it on pre-order with us direct. Thanks!

  9. JasonK on

    Thanks, Race Face person, for the pricing and delivery date clarification. And you guessed correctly that I’m in the US. I’m pretty excited about these cranks…I’d be proud if I were a Race Face engineer.

  10. Race Face on

    You’re welcome JasonK person. We’re pretty stoked to finally get to talk about these cranks as we’ve had them under wraps for quite some time!

    Drop us an email at components@raceface.com with any questions you have (bikes, beer or life). We’re always happy to help answer whatever questions you may have!

  11. nick on

    the best bit about the cranks is RaceFace answering the questions on the board here. awesome.

    Can you please answer the chainline question from MotoPete?

    i think i will have a full RF kit on my new 1x bike!!!!

  12. Willis on

    @race face

    Yes I think I got one set of 3×9 rings under warranty but after that I foolishly bought 3 more ring sets each time with the promise of these are “fixed” and better.

    Last year when I switched my bike to 2×10 Race Face was not even a consideration. I’m sure you’ve “fixed” your rings now but I’m not willing to take the risk monetarily.

    I was at one point a huge fan of Race Face but the poor turbine rings have soured me on the brand…

    For record I’ve owned the following parts on my bikes over the years:

    2x Turbine LP Isis cranksets
    1 x signature XC bb
    1 x signature FR BB
    1x diablous headset (warrantied once)
    1 x diabolus stem
    1 x diabolus post
    1 x diabolus bar
    1 x Deus post
    2 x Deus cranksets
    1 x atlas direct mount stem
    1 x Next SL crankset
    Countless rings

    Good on you guys for resurrecting the brand and everything I’m just not sure I want to risk the money now..

  13. Ezra on

    XX1 cranks are significantly cheaper, have a narrower chainline and a low q-factor option. Spider is interchangeable with XO as far as I know.

    These look great though and the weight is very impressive.

  14. Nick S on

    When I find the cash under the couch cushions, I’ll be picking up these cranks in a heartbeat. RaceFace products have always treated me well, and I wish that my current ride had some RF love… I loved my Turbines on the last bike I had; was sad to see them go, as I really didn’t see any options I loved from RF that would have made me happy on my XC bike. Excited by the fast that I could go single ring in the winter yuck of the PNW and then go to a double for long days in the backcountry during long summer days.

    Willis– While its just one rider’s opinion/experience, I had NO issues with chainsuck on the newer model Turbine rings. Shifted perfectly for me, even when I shifted like crap. They were rock solid for me. In fact, when the Sram rings die on my Epic, I’ll be picking up Turbines to replace ’em.

    Great to see how far this company has come since they closed down shop a few years ago.

  15. Kark on

    @Willis, that’s hard luck on the chainsuck. I know first hand how shitty that can be, but my own experience with suffering a couple yrs of it on a Klein Attitude back awhile when I raced XC was that RF rings flat out solved my chain suck problem.

    Everything else stayed the same, and I had tried several manufacturers rings but Race Face rings sorted it right out. (Ringle rings were good also if I remember correctly but were harder to find and more money)

    Not trying to be a fanboy, (and I could call them out on the bearings in my old Atlas BtmBrkt) but RF have earned some faith from me over a couple decades of beating shit into the ground.

    Now if they’d make me a 80mm Turbine stem I’d be grateful. ..RF, you listening???

  16. Jimbrowski on

    WOW….No one here can see that Race Face completely knocked off the Cannondale SISL2 cranks. Keep in mind the hollowgram cranks can be used for MTB as well. Oh yea the Cannondale crank is lighter and is made of all aluminum…not carbon. Year in and year out Cannondale creates and item that will be adopted by other brands in some way, shape or form. Where are my Cannondale guys at?


  17. Dominc on

    well, i think it’s high time someone took cannondale at their own game, and added some bb flexibility. Clearly the c’dale stuff is half decent, have you seen the resale value on ebay? These are basically half the price at a competitive weight. We’ll see if designed for mtb first makes a difference over hollowgrams being designed for road first (original magic motorcycle model notwithstanding).

  18. unravelled on

    I wonder if it will be possible to use a Cannondale Hollowgram spindle to bring the chain line and q-factor down…

    I’m staring at an unused 131mm spindle on my desk…

  19. nsp234 on

    Yes, that’s what I wonder as well: Is the Spline interface on the axle the same as the one Cannondale is using? Maybe the nice RaceFace person can answer that question?

    Anyway: Kudos to RF for producing one of the most beautiful cranks out there!

  20. Trail Hog on

    Nice looking crank and I’m so glad it’s light and cheaper than the Cannondale crank. I was just checking out the Race Face site, i’m so glad to see the new crank is 2×10 with a bash guard. Will other bash guard fit on there?

  21. Race Face on

    @nick: One of the engineers/brains will get back to you and MotoPete on the chainline question in a bit. That’s a question they’ll know best!

    @haromania: Yes, since the cranks have an interchangeable 30mm spindle they can be built up with spindles to accommodate 165/170mm rear ends and 190mm rear ends. We even have a really neat trick to fit the cranks with DM ring onto a 190mm rear end FatBike while using the 165/170mm spindle to give you a super narrow Q-Factor for 190mm rear ends.

    @unravelled: Since the spindle is fully removable, there’s a good chance you’ll see a spindle with a more narrow Q-Factor released down the road. The great thing with these cranks is that we can release new spindle/spider/DM ring options down the road as the market demands it. Email us or ask your LBS to ask about it, if there’s enough demand we can definitely look it!

    @nsp234: That’s a question for one of the engineers/brains here, we’ll try to get you an answer on that later.

    @Jeff: Black, black or black are the current colour offerings for the DM ring. As I said above though, if the demand is there we can definitely look into it!

    @Trail Hog: We offer a 3×10 spider in the 104/64 BCD to fit all standard 104 BCD bash guards.

    Thanks for all the comments, we’re happy to keep answering any questions you may have!

  22. Race Face on

    Willis…sometimes issues of chainsuck are not always a product of the rings themselves but can be magnified on certain frame designs….will not go further on that here but we would ask for a chnace to win you back to our rings with the stellar shifting of our newer 10 speed Turbine rings. We have had rave reviews from riders and product managers about our Turbine rings as being the best RF rings ever.

  23. RF Engineer/brain on

    @Motopete/Nick – The DM ring CL is identical to the single ring options we’ve been selling for use on 104BCD spiders for years. Internally we’ve got quite a few guys running this with XX1 and it works seamlessly.

    @nsp234 – I can’t recommend using our spindles in Cannondale cranks or vice versa but the interface is quite similar.

  24. jeff on

    Unless I am missing it….can I use this crank with the Chris King standard threaded cups on the fatbike, or is this system designed to use your own proprietary bottom bracket?

  25. K11 on

    QUESTION – is there an option to fit standard 68mm threaded BB, for 1x cyclocross set-up? thanks. looks like this could be in demand.

  26. RF Engineer/brain on

    @Jeff – CK threaded BB’s are for 24mm spindles. As such, you have to use ours or another 30mm BSA option (Zipp, Rotor, E-13 etc).

    @K11 – there is no setup that we would say is approved for this. You could mount it up like a mountain setup but your CL and Q would be way wide for a CX bike.

  27. g on

    RaceFace- can you give us an idea of the time frame for the release of the aluminum turbine version of this system? Will that be available in 180mm? Will you please continue to offer your bars and stems in 31.8, or are you abandoning that in favor of 35? Thanks!

  28. jeff on

    I’d just like to say thanks to Race Face for answering my (probably stupid) questions by email. I’m sure you guys are swamped, and as such I do appreciate you taking the time. Jeff

  29. Race Face on

    @g: We cannot comment on the release of an aluminium version of the CINCH system. We tend to leak teasers of new products through Facebook and Instagram (@raceface604) so if you follow us on there you’ll get a sneak peak of things to come! We’re definitely going to continue with our 31.8mm line up, so fear not!

    @Mark @ GRAVELBIKE: Saw your email and flagged it, so you can expect a response later today. As you can imagine things are pinned here at RF!

    Thanks for all the questions and feedback guys. Keep them coming!

  30. Guus on

    Real awesome looking cranks witgh a stunning weight, I probably will get one of Europes first and cannot wait to test their stiffness and strength.

    For the record, I will use it on my Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 carbon which recently replaced a Cannondale Scalpel 29’er carbon, at this bike I used a Hollowgram Si SL with XX1 spider which was definately heavier then 495 Grams incl. the Bracket.

    Very nice to see Race Face keeps in touch this much via the comments posted above.

    I will post my review via the Bike-wizard Facebook page and will use the set with a custom made E-maxx XX1 design diamond coated chainring.

  31. Guus on

    Also very nice to see is the Race Face support for market demands, I can indeed also imagine the need for a shorter axle to outline the chainrings perfectly with a XX1 Drivetrain, but we’ll see about that.


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