New Race Face Era Carbon Cranks Add Stainless Heel Guard + Lifetime Warranty (Crashes Included)

What are all of the reasons for not running carbon cranks on a mountain bike? Heel scuffs? Damage from crashing? Broken pedal inserts? Race Face is tackling all of those concerns head-on with their new Era carbon crankset.

Race Face Era heel scuff guard

Stainless Steel Heel Guard

One of the most visible changes to the new Era crankset is the addition of a stainless steel heel scuff protection plate. Heel scuffs on crank arms have been a fact of life for many cyclists – even on aluminum crank arms. Some try to preempt the damage with protective stickers on the crank arms, but Race Face is taking the protective concept to the extreme.

Race Face Era stainless heel guard

Like you’d see on many carbon frames, the carbon Era crank arms have integrated stainless steel plates to protect the carbon – no additional stickers required. These plates should arguably be more durable than most crank materials, and the plates wrap around the sides of the crank arms for comprehensive protection.

Race Face Era pedal inserts

Stronger Pedal Inserts

Heel scuffs are one thing, but breaking the pedal insert out of a carbon crank is another story entirely. In an effort to make the Era their “strongest, stiffest, and most durable carbon crank ever,” Race FAce claims to have redesigned the pedal insert and bonded them directly to the carbon layup.

Race Face Era pedal insert

Additional protection is then offered through a new pedal boot which slips onto the end of the crankarm.

Race Face Era crank arm boot colors

Race Face Era crank colors

The pedal boots are available in 8 colors while the crank arms themselves are offered in 7 different color options to mix and match to suit your build.

Crank arms are offered in 165, 170, and 175mm lengths and a 176mm Q-factor when used with a 136mm spindle.

Race Face Era preload ring

The preload adjuster has been slightly redesigned.

Race Face Era Cinch spindle 136

CINCH Versatility

One of the best features of Race Face cranks has always been the built-in versatility of the CINCH system. Choose your crank arm, your spindle, and your chainring. Then still have the option of switching things up in the future. With the same crank arm and chainring interface as prior CINCH cranks, the new ERA crank arms should be backwards compatible.

Race Face Era cinch chainring

CINCH cranks use a threaded lockring to clamp down on the chainring, making for quick swaps.

Like previous CINCH cranksets, the spindle is 30mm in diameter and made from aluminum.

Race Face Era shimano 12 speed chainring

When it comes to chainline, Race Face gives two options – 52mm with a DM chainring, or 55mm with a DMW chainring.

Chainline 52mm – 136 Spindle + DM Ring / 55mm – 136 Spindle + DMW Ring
Q-Factor 176mm including Pedal Washers
Includes Pedal Boots, Washers + Spindle Spacers (Chain Rings + Bottom Brackets sold separately)
Axle Material 7050 Aluminum
Crank Arm Material Carbon + Stainless Steel Wear plate
Spindle Diameter 30mm
Weight 483g complete crankset
Weight Conditions 170mm Arms + 136 Spindle + 32t Chainring + Washers + Spacers

Race Face Era actual weights

Race Face Era Actual Weights

As shown above, the 170mm arms and a 136mm spindle weigh in at 415g. A 32t Shimano 12-speed chainring adds 79g, and the crank boots check in at 19g. Without the bottom bracket you’re looking at 513g total. The standard 68/73mm BSA threaded bottom bracket with all the spacers above weighs in at 91g.

That makes the Era a bit heavier than the Next SL G5 cranks, but it’s really more appropriate to compare these to the Rally R cranks which these seem to replace. The Era is built for burlier riding in mind, but is still light enough for XC builds for riders who prize absolute durability over the lightest weight possible.

Race Face Era carbon crankset

Lifetime Warranty (Crashes Included)

Some of the biggest news here might be the new Lifetime Warranty policy that includes crashing. You have to be actually riding your bike while crashing for it to count though – the warranty will not cover crashing your bike into your garage while on top of your vehicle. But the new Lifetime Warranty will cover most of their hard goods including Wheels, Pedals, Handlebars, Stems, Cranks, Chainrings and Static (non-actuated) seat posts.

For more details on the warranty or to start a claim, check out this link.

Pricing & Availability

Sold as crankarms and a spindle only, the Era crank is priced at $499. The cranks are currently available in all three crank lengths, but only in black with the other colors available in the future. Chainrings, colored pedal boots, and bottom brackets are all sold separately, but the cranks do include black crank boots and stainless pedal washers in the box.

raceface.com

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23 Comments
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Seraph
Seraph
1 month ago

I’m guessing these are a spiritual successor to the SixC cranks of yore.

Matt Inc.
Matt Inc.
1 month ago

Steel heel guards?! 100% unnecessary IMHO. Set your shoes/cleats up correctly and you won’t rub – problem solved. If you are rubbing your cranks, you are wasting watts. This ‘feature’ is the crankset equivalent of a spoke protector on your cassettes.

Gabe
Gabe
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Inc.

Must be nice to have small feet. Or ride road bikes. With how dynamic mountain biking is and how large my feet are they will rub from time to time regardless of proper setup.

Matt Inc.
Matt Inc.
29 days ago
Reply to  Gabe

Small (or large) feet can be set up properly with cleats not to rub, or if you prefer flats, be sure to run pedals with a wider axle. Occasional rub? Sure… but does an occasional rub warrant a scuff plate? Overkill.

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Inc.

Possibly one of the worst hot takes in a sea of terrible hot takes typical of the Bikerumor commentariat.

If you have feet over about size 42 or 43, you’re going to scuff your cranks occasionally, whether you ride clippess or flat. It’s called finessing the bike. Try it sometime.

Matt Inc.
Matt Inc.
29 days ago
Reply to  Roger Pedacter

Congratulations on your snarky response! Occasional rubbing does NOT require a scuff plate. Occasional does not wear away carbon. Big feet? Set your cleats up wider or get pedals with a wider axle. And try ‘occasionally’ being nicer to somebody who points out an observation and an opinion of over-correction for ill bike fit.

satanas
satanas
29 days ago
Reply to  Matt Inc.

^ This is dangerous rubbish. Cleat position should be set to optimise your biomechanics – not to prevent cosmetic damage to cranks. I’d much rather scuff the cranks a bit than destroy my knees, but I suppose YMMV…

Matt Inc.
Matt Inc.
29 days ago
Reply to  satanas

Dangerous rubbish?!! In my 30+ years of cycling, I’ve never seen a NEED for somebody’s heels/ankles to rub the crank arms for biomechanical reasons. Plus, if you are rubbing your heels consistently enough to warrant some sort of metal shield on the crankarms, you are wasting watts… sorry, not sorry – that’s just science! Scuff your cranks every now and then, fine bro. Rub with every pedal stroke? Learn how to set your cleats up correctly, or get wider pedal axles if you’ve got giant feet.

Nik
Nik
29 days ago
Reply to  Matt Inc.

I’ve size 48 feet, cleats as far out as possible, axle shims too if needed. When pedaling I don’t tend to noticeably scuff the crank arms, but when I’m riding level cranked, or dipping in and out of rollers, weight shifts etc. they do scuff. I’ve only ever worn through one set of Xt cranks (drive side), but I have worn through a NDS chainstay with a combination of techy riding and UK wet grit.
I don’t use carbon cranks for this reason, but these plates are IMO a good idea as for me, it’s just one of those things.

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
29 days ago
Reply to  Matt Inc.

Now, after reading your responses, I have to assume English isn’t your first language and that proper bike fitting isn’t your first or second language. You should fit your bike around your body dynamics, not the other way around. Typically that means pedal float and/or repositioning on flats will cause *most people that have been correctly fitted* to rub the arms occasionally. Over time, yes, that will cut through paint or ano. No one that checked you said constant rubbing of the cranks was good or that the arm protector on these was an absolute requirement to prevent the cranks from failing. Apparently, you do though. Which is weird, Mr. “That’s Science” guy.

You don’t like these? Great. Don’t buy them. But don’t suggest stupid fit solutions just to avoid scuffing the arms. And yes, what you are suggesting IS STUPID. Sorry, not sorry, that’s *actual* science. Not “how to avoid scuffing your arms” science.

Matt Inc.
Matt Inc.
28 days ago
Reply to  Roger Pedacter

Perhaps you should read your response, as you just confirmed my point and argued it for me… thanks! Over time occasional rubbing wouldn’t be an issue… constant rubbing will be. How obtuse must you be not to get that I’m saying this is an unnecessary ‘feature’ on these cranks?

If you’re a constant crank-rubbing oversize foot person, you know what? Don’t by carbon cranks! Furthermore, don’t expect a carbon crankset to have a ridiculous ‘scuff plate’ on it to satisfy your ill fit, or massive feet. The vast majority of riders do not ‘need’ to set the Q-factor so narrow it forces rubbing!

News flash for you: When you are wasting watts scuffing every pedal stroke, those who don’t will be passing you and winning a race. Or they’ll simply be happily enjoying parts that last because they bought something that doesn’t have a ‘feature’ they don’t need.

Feel free to hurl more insults if you like, but I am quite confident wasted energy is not ideal. Go ahead and refute that science, Roger… I’ll wait for your comical banter.

Clay
Clay
24 days ago
Reply to  Matt Inc.

Ok so occasional scuffing, let’s say you scuff your crank 1% of the time. For the sake of argument let’s say you do 100rpm and ride 100 hours a year that’s 6,000 rubs. What person given the choice would rub something 6,000 times a year against a carbon part when they have a choice not to? That’s 1% is probably not wasting a meaningful number of watts or affecting your race results but does at best makes your cranks look bad at best makes them fail early.

Matt Inc.
Matt Inc.
24 days ago
Reply to  Clay

Clay, here’s an analogy that might clarify my POV: what would you prefer… a cut on your arm with a BandAid on it? Or would you rather have no boo-boos at all, by solving the real root of the problem and not getting a cut in the first place? This sort of ‘hack’ solution is for the constant rubbing, and though I applaud your maths… we have no way of establishing how much ‘comes off’ with each rub. If there’s a way that doesn’t adversely affect fit, what not rub at all! But here I go talking about cleat positions and/or pedal axle widths again…

The distilled gist is that I think there are smarter, more clean-looking, more efficient, lighter and simpler solutions than sticking a steel plate on carbon cranks to protect from scuffs.

Joe Bond
Joe Bond
1 month ago

Gold nitride titanium would be a lot more blingtastic.

Will Ferrule
Will Ferrule
29 days ago

Boutique cranks are fine, but not for me; the cranks that come with just about any bike, from cheap to pricey, work just fine. If I had carbon cranks on my mountain bike, I’d worry about the cranks more than anything else, even with so-called scuff protection. Just sayin’.

Cheese
Cheese
29 days ago

So not made in BC any more?

Bubbrubb
Bubbrubb
29 days ago

I’m 150lbs and I’ve snapped a RF pedal insert out, resulting in a bad crash. So now the claim is, “trust us, its stronger now” with nothing else to back it up? No thanks, I’ll never ride RF again. If anyone is curious, RF Sixc, insert snapped in bike park on small feature landing. RF did not cover under warranty.

Douglas Herington
Douglas Herington
24 days ago

Everyone is talking about the heal guard and not the $500 price tag. For $500 you can get a USA made CNC aluminum crankset from 5devo or Ignite Components. I know they are heavier, but I’m not building a XC race bike.

alloycowboy
alloycowboy
17 days ago

The stainless steel insert was a nice touch, they should have given the same treatment to the crank boots.

rob
rob
16 days ago

Any thoughts on how they compare to SRAM’s XO1 cranks? Looking at the literature, on RaceFace’s website the Q-factor is 170. Where did 176 come from? Thanks!