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Return of the Race Face Turbine

September 11th, 2010 [print] Go to comments

I’ve been riding a set of Race Face Turbine cranks since 1999, and they still perform like the day I got them, along with the RF taperlock titanium bottom bracket I bought at the time.  These originals were machined in Canada, before RF decided to start out-sourcing a lot of their products to China.

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Well, after a few years absence from the market, the Turbine model is returning!  And although they still have a look similar to the older ones, they’re totally different.

The original Turbines used a classic square-taper bottom bracket, back before integrated spindles had ever been thought up.  The 2011 models, of course, are going with the integrated spindle, only you can have it made of North American-sourced titanium, or cheaper (heavier) steel.

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(image copyright Jacob Gibbons Photography)

The other obviously change is the 4-bolt chainring pattern, one less than the classic version.  They come in double-, triple-, or double+bashguard chainring combos.

I haven’t yet found where they’re made; hopefully they machine them in Canada, just like the good old days, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were out-sourced to China like everything else.  If you look around MTB forums, you find a lot of issues with RF cranks these days, with many older riders lamenting about the high quality of the older Turbines, back when quality control was better, and everything was made in-house.  If Race Face knows what’s good for them (and their customers) they’ll get back to making their own products, and stop with the low-rent Chinese vendors.

For now, though, I’m happy to see the return of the iconic Turbine brand.  Unfortunately, my classic cranks and BB are in such great shape, I have no reason to drop a few hundred dollars on the new ones.

For more on all of Race Face’s new products, check out Pinkbike.com

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