Race Face Next XC crankset £369

Beefy but light cross-country cranks

BikeRadar score 4/5

Race Face’s stunning new all-carbon Next crankset is a lightweight all-rounder that has made a great first impression on our testers.

Those big, broad hollow carbon crankarms and integrated driveside steel axle feel rock-solid underfoot. Add the proven log-proof ‘Team’ CNC chainrings, plus rubber anti-chip tip caps (£20, 16g) for extra protection, and you’ve got a very robust set-up.

The arms also make a resonating sound when you change gear, which reminds everyone that you’re running a very expensive pair of cranks!

At 750g it’s still noticeably lighter than similarly priced carbon sets or even some high-end aluminium cranks. Shimano XTRs weigh 52g more but cost £69 less than these.

The new EXI offside crank attachment system is a whole lot easier to use than older Race Face tapered splines. The new triple wiper sealed, Phil Wood grease-filled bearings are proving a lot more durable than previous Race Face sets, too.

Carbon fibre cranks generally rely on internal aluminium spines for strength and rigidity, but RaceFace have dispensed with internal reinforcement here.

Instead, the arms are pressure-moulded and the core is then removed to save weight. With the sheer amount of pressure exerted on the material, RaceFace are able to produce a very stiff and strong crank. The pedal inserts are bonded in a way that guarantees they won’t loosen or creak, they say.

It’s still early days for this particular piece, though, so we’ll have to see how it holds up.

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