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Race Face Confronts Carbon Crank Problems With Era Update

race face eraCarbon crank arms get a major upgrade with the new Race Face Era; (photo/Race Face)
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Say goodbye to heel scuffs and crash damage. The latest carbon cranks from Race Face level up their durability — and still come with a lifetime warranty that covers crashes.

Somebody in Race Face’s design department has been paying attention. The new Era carbon cranks give riders the lightweight feel they expect — while reducing the risk of damage from crashes or heels. Add to that the durable pedal inserts and pedal boots (with sweet color options), and you’ve got a recipe for next-gen carbon cranks.

Race Face Era Crankset: Heel Guard & Pedal Inserts

Many cyclists eventually accept heel scuffs on crank arms as unavoidable. Others will try to prevent damage by adding protective sleeves or stickers, but that’s always been an aftermarket solution.

Race Face decided extra protection is worth it on the manufacturing end — and that a weight sacrifice is too. To that end, its new crank arms come with stainless steel plates for shielding the carbon underneath.

But that’s not all, as Race Face seeks to live up to the claim of producing the “strongest, stiffest, and most durable carbon crank ever.” Every crank out there can and does live through heel scuffs, but a pedal insert breaking out of a carbon crank is a lot more drastic. So Race Face redesigned those for the Era, too, bonding them directly to the carbon layup.

race face Era Crank pedal boots
Jazz up your style with pastel-colored pedal boots; (photo/Race Face)

Then there are the adorable pedal boots, which offer even more protection by slipping onto the ends of the crank arms. Of course, the boots and the cranks themselves let riders add a little style by choosing from eight colors for the boots and seven for the cranks.

Race Face offers crank arms in 165, 170, and 175mm lengths. Q-factor is 176mm when ridden with a 136mm spindle.

race face era crank heel
To address heel scuffs, Race Face has added steel plates to crank arms; (photo/Race Face)

Race Face Era Crankset: CINCH System & Weight

The CINCH system — one of the key parts of Race Face cranks — remains available with the company’s new carbon cranks. The company designed the proprietary interface to make swapping out chainrings quick and easy. On the Era, riders can choose their own crank arm, spindle, and chainring, and then mix and match with various CINCH direct-mount rings and multi-ring spacers.

Era crank arms should be backward compatible, allowing riders to carry over and reuse old parts.

Like previous CINCH cranksets, the aluminum spindle is 30 mm in diameter. Builders can orient the system around either of two chain line options: “Boost 148” standard 52mm, or a wider 55mm stance for downhill or freeride builds.

What does all this mean for the weight?

Race Face’s 170mm arms and 136mm spindle weigh in at 408 g. Add 177 g to that from a 32T Shimano 12-speed chainring, and 18 g for the crank boots.

That baseline build comes together at 513 g total, or just over a pound. That’s measurably heavier than the Next SL G5 cranks, but the Era seems aimed at riders looking for durability on tough trails — even at the cost of a little extra weight.

Race Face Era crank arm colors
Beautiful beasts: Era crank arms get a splash of color; (photo/Race Face)

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