Archive for 20th November 2013

Race Face Turbine Fatbike Crankset

My 2012 Salsa Mukluk 2┬ácame stock with an e*thirteen XCX fatbike crankset, and while this has worked well for two years, the variety of other fatbike-compatible cranksets on the market had me wanting to try something different. I also haven’t been particularly fond of the bottom bracket design, particularly after ruining one set of bearings after a bit of a lake ride. Race Face, a stalwart brand in mountain biking, now manufactures a number of their cranks in configurations that support 100mm bottom brackets just for fatbikes.

After finding a surprisingly good deal on one of these cranksets and the chainrings that I prefer I ordered it, and in a bit of time this afternoon between work and a group ride I got it installed. After tonight’s ride I’m quite happy with the purchase. This crankset has a much more traditional bottom bracket with a well-known seal design, and unlike the e*thirteen includes a sleeve connecting the two cups, which should help keep contaminants out of the bearings.

This setup ended up being the following items:

  • Race Face Turbine Crankset for Fatbikes (100mm bottom bracket shell), 175mm arms, for 175mm rear hub spacing.($182.99)
  • Truvativ Trushift Chainring, 22t, Aluminum, 64 BCD ($13.99)
  • Truvativ Trushift Chainring, 32t, Steel, 104 BCD ($20.00)
  • FSA Torx Chainring Bolts, Alloy, Black ($17.50)
  • BBG Bashguard, 104 BCD OVAL, 32t ($26 shipped, but taken off of e*thirteen crankset.)

The total for this was $234.48, and I’m hoping to sell my functional but unwanted e*thirteen crankset to offset a bunch of this cost.

At 951g for this entire crank setup (versus 879g for the e*thirteen) there is a slight weight penalty (72g) for moving to this crankset, but as this is a fatbike I’m not particularly concerned. This amount of weight will be absorbed by extra clothes that I wear or food that I carry. The complete bike, with bottle cage and pedals (but without bike computer) comes in at 32.4 pounds with this crankset, which I think is pretty reasonable for a fatbike where weight isn’t a primary concern.

Tonight’s test ride at River Bends showed that this crankset seems to work as expected. It does what a crankset needs to, was sufficiently easy to set up, and moved the chainline outboard far enough to provide about 5mm of clearance between the chain and tire when in the 22t chainring / 34t cog combination. (Photo) This is the lowest gear that I have on the bike, and while it isn’t a very common combination for most riding, it’s useful in winter or inclement conditions when needing to move slowly and steadily through very difficult conditions. With the e*thirteen crankset there was a bit less clearance, resulting in more gunk being scraped off of the tire by the chain.

I have high hopes for this crankset, but based on what I’ve seen thus far I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.

(Yes, I know the derailleur is mounted high… That’s still the original position compatible with 44t outer rings, but due to the shaping of the derailleur and the slightly more outboard chainline of the Turbine crankset leaving it this way allows me to use almost the entire cassette when in the 22t chainring.)