Race Face Ride XC crankset review£100.00

Bargain single-ring package

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SRAM might have started the whole chain-safe single-ring revolution but Race Face is the brand that’s grabbed the idea and spread it as far and wide as possible through its crank range. That includes the Ride XC package, which delivers a proven durable axle and arm with quality single-chainring – and even a bottom bracket.

Race Face’s forged Ride XC cranks have been around for years, gradually evolving to their current adequately stiff, acceptable weight state. If that sounds like we’re damning them with faint praise remember that these cranks considerably cheaper than the nearest opposition.

While it had some teething troubles at first, the splined EXI axle standard has also gradually evolved to become a consistently secure and quiet system that runs without issue as original equipment on a huge number of the complete bikes we test. The bottom bracket bearings are sound too and even if you need a different standard to the conventional threaded cups supplied at least you’ve got something to barter with.

The narrow/wide ring mounted onto the one-piece drive-side arm and spider is a proper top quality laser-etched piece, and the complete package is available with 32- or 34-tooth rings. The Ride’s spider is also double- or triple-ring compatible but there’s no 30mm axle option.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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