These cranks have just got on with the job

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 8

Race Face Atlas cranks

Product:

Race Face Atlas 165mm cranks review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£159.95

With short crank arms, 165mm in this case, you don’t actually have much choice. Essentially you’ve got Shimano and SRAM mid-tier options. Or Race Face.

>>> Best mountain bike cranks: buyer’s guide

Why get short-arm cranks? To improve pedal clearance on low BB bikes. (Why have a low BB bike? Because they are awesome, that’s why.)

Speaking as someone who weighs 72kg wet through (which is quite frequently when riding in Pennine England) I’m not going to make any grand statements about the stiffness of these cranks. They don’t flex under me and that’s all I can say.

race face atlas cranks

Atlas cranks are pricey but look great and perform flawlessly

Perhaps the main question to answer with these cranks is: why go for these 165mm length cranks over the cheaper offerings from Shimano or SRAM? For me, the answer is two-fold. I don’t like the proprietary spider/cinch design of Shimano or SRAM. And I don’t like the aesthetics of either Shimano or SRAM cranks, particularly as they get scraped and worn. Race Face cranks actually seem to improve in looks with a bit of battering. Well, in my opinion anyway.

Is it worth paying almost twice as much for a regular cinch chainring system and the Race Face styling? No. It’s not. It’s a foolish notion that is very easily countered. But I’m, a human being and thus not always logical.

The fact that you can keep the crank arms if you swap to a new bike with a different bottom bracket standard is nice (you will need to buy a new spindle admittedly).

For the past six months or so these cranks have just got on with the job. No creaks. No excessive dropped chains. No tightening of the preload collar required. I did fear that the cutaway latticework on the backside of the arms would be a mud trap but that hasn’t proved to be the case. Mud seemingly doesn’t get flinged in that trajectory.

Niggles? Anything with a 2mm Allen bolt on it has no place on a mountain bike. In this instance, it’s the plastic preload collar. I get the idea behind it (2mm = DON’T TIGHTEN IT MUCH) but life isn’t like that is it? You can barely tell it’s not-loose before you’ve rounded out that sucker. I haven’t actually done this yet. But I’m bound to aren’t I?

Details

Weight:690g with 32t cinch ring
Arm lengths:165, 170, 175mm
Colours:Black, blue, green, red
Chainring options:24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42t
Spindle:30mm
Material:Forged 7050 aluminium
Contact:silverfish-uk.com