With Shimano yet to offer its benchmark XC/trail cranks in a single-ring version below XTR level, Race Face is hoping to muscle in with the new Turbines, which sport a splined ‘Cinch’ interface that lets you run a direct-mount narrow/wide ring (or a removable spider with up to three chainrings if you prefer).
An oversize 30mm axle adds stiffness but the cranks are still compatible with standard threaded BB shells (68/73, 83 and 100mm) as well as the press-fit BB92 and PF30 standards. If you opt for the threaded BB, you’ll need a BSA BB cup tool.
Fitting involves torqueing up a single bolt on the drive side, SRAM-style, and hand-tightening an adjuster on the non-drive side to preload the system (like Shimano, though here it’s a ring between the crank arm and BB, not a removable plastic dial) and is relatively straightforward.
Once on, they feel good and stiff underfoot and the narrow/wide ring does its usual sterling chain retaining job. At 628g on our scales (without BB) they’re a decent weight for alloy cranks too – something achieved not by hollowing out the arms but by forging and machining a latticework of ‘pockets’ on the inside of the arms. We were worried these would fill up with mud but they haven’t clogged so far.