Race Face join the now long list of companies licensed to sell their own Micro Spline compatible cassette body to fit Shimano’s new standard. The Micro Spline freehub was developed by Shimano to work with their 12 speed cassettes with 10 tooth top gear; namely, the XTR M9100, Deore XT M8100 and the SLX M7100. The Race Face Microspline cassette body, compatible with their Vault hubs, uses oversized bearings, meant to improve freehub durability.
Race Face Micro Spline Cassette Body
Many Micro Spline cassette bodies use 6802 bearings, measuring 2.38mm. Over the past year, RF have performed extensive testing with the Rocky Mountain/Race Face Enduro team, leading them to conclude that these relatively smaller bearings in the Micro Spline cassette body just weren’t as durable as their current Vault HG and XD cassette bodies.
Everyone wants more range and compatibility but it sucks when that comes with an unwanted durability compromise. To accommodate larger ball bearings and improve durability, Race Face have designed their Microspline cassette body to work around the geometry constraints of Microspline. They have opted to use the same 6902 and 15267 bearings used in their HG and XD cassette bodies. These measure much larger at 3.97mm and 3.5mm so should last longer.
Race Face aren’t the first to upsize the bearings in their Micro Spline freehub. White Industries opted for 6902 bearings in their XMR freehub, and Tairin Wheels of BC use even bigger 6001 bearings in their new Mugen silent hub. Look out for a comprehensive list of manufacturers making Microspline compatible freehubs coming soon.
Pricing & Availability
The new Race Face Micro Spline compatible cassette body works with 28H and 32H Boost RF Vault hubs, including the Easton Cycling Vault hubs. Vault cassette bodies are now available from RF dealers and direct from Race Face for $95 USD. Microspline-equipped wheel sets will be coming later this spring.