The snazzy, fat-armed Race Face Next R cranks are plenty stiff enough, impressively low weight and not overly expensive
Two versions of Race Face’s high-end Next cranks are available, with a 60g lighter ‘SL’ version optimised for XC and trail, and the beefed up Race Face Next R model here that’s rated for full-on enduro racing and e-bikes. Despite the rating, the Canadian-designed product still weighs the same as many XC-specific cranks.
The arms are hand-made in British Columbia using unidirectional carbon and bolted to a 7000 series alloy axle. The two parts join with Race Face’s proven Cinch interface, which is a self- extracting system, whereby (unusually) both crank arms are bolted to the 30mm spindle, rather than one side being bonded. This allows a degree of future-proofing to any BB or axle size changes, or even the ability to swap arms between bikes.
Cinch tightens with an 8mm Allen key bolt, and a plastic bearing preload dial (that uses a tiny Allen key bolt) takes up any play in the system. The stiffer 30mm axle leaves less space for bearings, but Race Face seems to have ironed out any issues with durability on its bottom brackets, since we’ve seen equivalent bearing lifespan to most brands on newer Next products. The brand now also offers a double-row, externally sealed unit with special coated bearings, seals and sleeves for even more weather protection, but it’ll only work with BB92 press-fit frames.
On lighter Next SL cranks we’ve seen problems with pedal eyelets coming loose in the carbon. No surprises then, part of the Next R extra weight is for combating this exact issue; achieved via a beefier alloy pedal thread insert like the brand’s DH-rated SixC crank.
We had zero issues with damage, or even any small niggles with creaking and loosening, and we have had a high-mileage local tester ripping around on Next R cranks in northern conditions for over a year with no problems.