It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Race Face’s line of components. All my mountain bikes, whether Fat or Slim; whether used for sandy washouts, hard-packed desert dirt, or crumbly, gnarly mountain trails are equipped with RaceFace chainrings, handlebars, and crankarms. Their components are light, strong, dependable, colorful, and look cool. For my enduro bike, a Yeti SB6c, I decided to run the RaceFace SIXC 170mm crank arms (actual weight: 520 grams including RF 32T chainring. 451 grams + 69 grams respectively. Includes spindle.) rather than the slightly lighter RaceFace Next SL G4 (actual weight: 462 grams including RF 32T chainring. 382.4 + 79.6 grams respectively. Includes spindle.)
RaceFace bills their carbon fiber crank arms as the lightest in class, in the world. This is an accurate boast as they are certainly light and stiff. Additionally, their top-of-the-line components are manufactured in-house in Vancouver, Canada. Below are the specifications for the SIXC:
• Hollow carbon fiber crank arms
• 30mm spindle with CINCH spline interface
• CNC-milled spindle that 20% stronger versus 7050 aluminum
• Removable spider allowing for maximal convertibility between various
• CINCH system’s spindle interchangeability allows use of crankset on
68/73mm and 83 mm frames, plus the RF BMX spider and spindle
• BB options: BSA30 (68/73, 83mm), BB92/BB107, PF30/PF30-83
• Spiders: CINCH Direct Mount, 104/64mm (BOOST option available)
• CINCH Direct Mount: chainrings up to 36T
• Chainring options: Direct Mount Narrow Wide single ring, 2x with bash
guard, 2x without bash guard
• Size: 165, 170, 175mm
• Claimed weight with 32T Direct Mount: 525 grams
• Black colored crank arms with decal color options: silver, turquoise,
• Designed for: AM/Enduro/DH
I installed Hope Tech’s PF41 30mm CINCH compatible, stainless steel bottom bracket (76.2 grams) that’s engineered to utter simplicity and is easy to install, into the Yeti BB shell. RaceFace recommends their own press fit BB92.
Having ridden on RaceFace crank arms for years, I noticed the same attributes on the SIXC versus the Next SL G4 crank arms; incredible stiffness with no lateral slop/play under hard pedaling. They transmit pedaling power efficiently throughout the entire power train and are very durable. In addition, acceleration is instantaneous due to their enhanced stiffness. When landing steep drops, the arms are unforgiving, they remain stiff and silent without wobble. Rock Solid! They’ve survived a few crash-landings with minor scruffs, and numerous rock strikes without incident. My only beef with RaceFace is the cheap and thin crank arm boots designed to provide partial protection from those annoying pedal strikes, which are unavoidable on some of the trails that sport “trials-like” rock protuberances that are happily awaiting the unsuspecting mountain biker. A few hard strikes and they must be replaced at $9-11 per pair. I’m very cognizant of pedaling and back-pedaling techniques required to navigate boulder fields, yet I go through 4-6 pairs of boots annually. RaceFace could readily design slightly thicker, more durable boots.
I’ve read numerous rider comments stating problems faced with spiders or BB loosening, yet in my years of riding and installing RaceFace cranks, I’ve never experienced a single issue. If properly installed in the right BB shell, they don’t come loose and if the spider is fastened securely, to proper torque, it’ll stay snug for years. I always use a small amount of Loctite 242 on those fittings. When installing components like BB’s or headsets, always use an appropriate caliper to measure the inside diameter as some manufacturer’s may fabricate their tubing to different tolerances, which in worst case scenarios, will require reaming if sized on the smaller end. I’ve not experienced this issue but some components fit into those tubes more readily than others.
I ride my bikes, primarily, along the steep, rocky trails in Arizona, and RaceFace SixC crank arms have never faltered in performance and in my opinion, represent money well invested. RaceFace rules the trails!
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