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Race Face are known for pushing the boundaries of component manufacturing and at the forefront of their development is their carbon crank technology. Manufactured in Race Face's Vancouver factory the cranks use a proprietary manufacturing technique and hand laid carbon fibre to produce a product which is not only ultra-light but also ultra-strong and is yet to matched in the cycling world.

For 2012 Race Face has taken their SIXC carbon crank and pushed it further out of the reach of the competition. 4.5mm chainring tabs have been added to increase strength as well as cro-mo pedal inserts for when those landings are not as smooth as planned. On top of that Race Face have also added a removable granny ring spider for perfect single ring set-up and 3mm of chain line adjustment.

Here is what Pinkbike.com thought of them when they fitted them to their test rig and fired them down some large hills.

Word: Brad Walton

Race Face SIXC Crank Details

  • Purpose: all-mountain/downhill
  • Hollow core carbon construction
  • CrMo steel axle and pedal inserts
  • Removable granny spider
  • Weight: 646 grams (w/ BB and 36t ring)
  • Lengths: 165, 170, 175mm
  • BB options: 68/73mm, 83mm, BB92/BB107 Press-Fit, PF30 conversion or BB30 conversion
  • Manufactured in Canada

Light And Strong?

If you can justify the cost of these, you're likely the ideal user. Maybe not the ideal option for riders who are on a tight budget, the SIXC cranks are a high-end component intended for riders who want some of the lightest and strongest arms out there. Practicality has met it's match. Weekend warriors on a budget, bashers, smashers, and crashers, and anyone with a financial plan best suited to canned beer need not apply. Race Face has engineered the SIXC cranks to be the ultimate packaging of strength and weight by utilizing a hollow, layered carbon fiber design. These are built to surpass the stiffness and strength of any other material, all while doing so at a significantly lighter weight. They are strong enough, in fact, that Race Face has no qualms about them being used to downhill racing, let alone the burliest all-mountain riding that you can likely subject them to.

And that is exactly what we did with them. From shuttle runs on the track, to sessioning hidden super-booters in the forest, we've put these lightweight carbon cranks through the ringer. Below, you can find out how they fared.

Downhill Approved - 83/165mm Options

With carbon at the forefront of bike technology these days, the industry's push to gain consumer confidence outside of the realm of spindly cross-country components has resulted in a barrage of new era composite designs that largely eliminate the need for excessive reinforcement for use in heavy-duty applications. Just like the interior of a carbon bike frame, the SIXC cranks utilize a hollow molded design, created by a proprietary process developed by Race Face. Layers of carbon fiber laminate are laid into shape by hand around a cromoly steel axle and pedal insert, with the lay-up then put into a machine that applies heat and pressure to mold the carbon into it's permanent shape. Afterwards, all unnecessary material is removed.

The SIXC's intent is immediately apparent in the basic components of the crankset - it is the only carbon crank on the market to utilize both a steel axle and steel pedal inserts. These hard-wearing cromoly components provide a robust platform for bottom bracket bearings, as well as for long-term durability at the pedal interface. While the crank is designed for dual-ring use, the removable small-chainring spider allows for ample compatibility with most any chain guide, and the updated 4.5mm thick chain ring tabs should be burly enough to shrug off even the worst abuse. Adequate testing in the aggressive all-mountain department has led Race Face to produce the SIXC in downhill crank spacing and lengths for 2012, with 83mm and BB107 options in 165mm lengths now available.

Pinkbike's take:

While aggressive riding and lightweight components seem contradictory, the SIXC cranks promise both. Lighter than the Atlas alloy crank and just as stiff and strong, they provide a sturdy platform for experienced aggressive riders. The SIXC's sport a beautiful, yet subtle look that commands attention on any bike. We're also head over heels for Race Face's single-bolt crank mounting design, which proves to be trouble-free time and time again. Although capable of pursuits in freeride, Race Face recommends the SIXC's usage for all-mountain riding and DH racing, and we couldn't agree more. The only reason we leave the SIXC arms out of the freeride and everyday downhill use genres is it's susceptibility to abrasion. This is a crank for those riders who take great pride in their rig so they can enjoy a flawless ride every time. Take care of your bike and it will take care of you. -Brad Walton

Check out the full review over on www.pinkbike.com here

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