Race Face Next SL G4 crankset review£330.00

Class-leading lightweight crankset

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Race Face’s premier lightweight crankset is now even lighter and stronger.The Next SL G4 uses Race Face’s modular Cinch system, which allows for a variety of chainring mounting options for single or double chainrings, as well as for direct-mount compatibility.

The Next SL G4 with 175mm crankarms and a 32t direct-mount chainring installed weighs in at a paltry 440g (not including the threaded BSA 30 bottom bracket tested alongside it.)

The Cinch system allows this crankset to accept a variety of chainring combinations
The Cinch system allows this crankset to accept a variety of chainring combinations

Weight savings in a top-end product like this is a matter of marginal gains.

Race Face achieved weight savings over the previous Next SL crankset by redesigning the contours of the hollow carbon crankarms and through the use of lighter threaded alloy inserts for the pedals. Even the splines on the 30mm spindle were drilled out to save grams.

Despite the weight-weenie fetishism that goes into manufacturing these cranks, they are still approved for everything from XC to enduro racing.

On the trail, the Next SL G4 never left me wanting for stiffness. The hollow carbon crankarms are notably stiff when leaning the bike through turns. They’ve also proven their durability by shrugging off repeated rock strikes.

I tested this crankset with the stock 32t chainring with SRAM’s 11-speed XO1 drivetrain along with the new 12-speed Eagle XO1 group. In both instances chain retention was good and the drivetrain ran smooth and silent with the narrow-wide Race Face ring.

The Race Face Next SL G4 crankset is strong, impressively light and quite expensive
The Race Face Next SL G4 crankset is strong, impressively light and quite expensive

The price is high, but this lightweight carbon crankset has proven its worth. If you want a light and stiff crankset the Next SL G4 delivers.

On top of its performance, the versatility of the Cinch system and ability of these cranks to fit threaded as well as press-fit standards make them an investment you can easily carry over from one frame to the next.

Josh Patterson

Tech Editor, US
Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Age: 35
  • Height: 170cm / 5'7"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 72cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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