Race Face Atlas 35 Ø 50 mm Stem Long-Term Review

https://live.staticflickr.com/4521/38544894011_d888c48580_b.jpg

Gemini Xera light_0609

The stem is quite big and probably is be quite strong.

Race Face Atlas zero rise 50mm_0031
RaceFace Atlas stem 35Ø 50mm zero rise_1596

Map of Whistler bike park on the sides.

Race Face atlas ø35 0rise _20170512_185939180

Cons:

  • I had issues with the bolts loosening, and the Loctite 243 disappearing, I’m not sure why, but maybe I am pushing the stem to extremes with the temperature changes, and the Loctite gets worn off, most of the traces were gone. I had to check before, during and after the ride to make sure it was secure, other wise I would risk the bars spinning, which happen several times, and when getting the bike out from room stem home to outdoors in -10C this was not the case with Renthal apex 35 stem as long as I used Loctite 243, the only times I made it loosen was without Loctite or not cured with big temperature change, I have tested this on the Apex stem I Intentionally Did not put Loctite 243 with the Apex them the stem spun on the steerer, at a day with rapid temp change, it got to 25C, but it did not other places where it had Loctite on. I also experienced this in the winter when I just installed it and Loctite did not cure. But with The Atlas Stem it would happen even with Loctite cured, It did not handle this well even with Loctite 243.

I can’t know if it’s a combination of the materials used in bolts,stem, or and the clamp design, but the difference was huge.

The Atlas Stem is made of 6061-T6 aluminum.

I haven’t tried changing the bolts yet, So I haven’t tried Titanium bolts, I don’t know how much it will effect the issues I experienced. I know many are satisfied with this stem, But they might not be using it to the extremes I am, with the temp changes.

  • The bolts don’t have good tolerances in the head, so there will be some play between the hex key, I had the same experience with all other Race Face Bolts, on Turbine Dropper, Atlas Cranks.
Race Face Atlas Stems_3641
Race Face Atlas zero rise Ø35 50mm_1117_DxO

Not for ”weight wienies”, 9 grams heavier than the Renthal Apex, it’s quite a noticeable difference, when I hold them, but not a a huge difference, but it all adds up.

weight-Race Face Atlas zero rise Ø35 50mm _1123
Cockpit_3603
Cockpit nr2 Kloppe Onstadkrysset 4 km_0574
Kloppe i Tårnet Åsermarka_1930

If any one has tested this stem with aftermarket bolts, Titanium bolts, or have any knownlage to share about it, feel free to comment on this.

I have of course not tested it in a lab, or special tools so can’t have precise findings.

https://www.raceface.com/products/details/atlas-35-stems

Cane Creek Crank Preloader – Review

I have used it since summer 2018.

There is a huge difference is how smooth the Cane Creek collar spins vs the original preload collar from Race Face, making it easy to adjust the preload. the original Race Face collar with a tiny weak wood screw. But the Collar from Cane Creek was a big improvement, to the Robust Race Face Cranks, they served me well and took some abuse, but the collar and screw always annoyed me. So far I haven’t found anything negative about it.

Cane Creek Preload Collar on Race Face ccrank_5506
Cane Creek Preload Collar on Race Face ccrank_5506
Crish King - Race Face Turbine- Cane Creek Preload Collar_2857
Chris King Threadfit30_4511
Chris King Thread fit 30_20180927_113708


Cane Creek Preload collar on Race Face Atlast crank_5499
Cane Creek Preload collar on Race Face Atlast crank_5497

The Titanium bolt bolt has also stayed secure for months, but I had to adjust the preload, it doesn’t loosen up fast like on the original Race Face preload collar, it can stay secure for months, so it’s more secure than the original preload collar.

The bolt has no signs of wear in months of use, which was not the case for the wood screw on original preload collar, which rounded off after fast.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0349/7357/products/canecreek_20cinch_x1024.jpg?v=1550619242

The gold thread ring is not used for Race Face cranks, but for Sram cranks.

Cane Creek Preload collar on Race Face Atlast crank_5503
Crank arm_20180927_110352

Flickr Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmi3PwY3

Product Page: https://www.canecreek.com/product/crank-preloader/

I got mine from https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/products/cane-creek-alloy-preload-collar-with-ti-bolt-for-30mm-spindles

Race Face Turbine – I returned 4 dropper posts

Race Face Turbine & Easton Haven dropper posts licensed tech from 9point8, cut 9point8 claim the tech is the same but not the materials or tolerances, and not made by them. But I can’t know if these issues will happen with both or if it’s just bad tolerances from Race Face.

Both of the replacement droppers had issues:

brake stopped working on the two replacement posts.

The bolts rounded off way too easy on all 4 of them.

a crunchy sound at end of bottom travel, on the two replacement droppers, I could also feel, it was rough, like there was crushed metal or sand in there, but the seal was intact.

long very noticeable scratch on the same place on the station.

Foam ring failed on one of the droppers, moved the foam ring to apply

Sram Butter/Slickoleum, but this is not a surprise, they eventually wear out they are not strong, but I was careful, but even so it snapped.

Frlickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskRPzcwh

The dropper has a side to side rotating play, which Is annoying, but not noticeable while riding, But the play is bad, play leads to premature wear, noises.

But the play in the station is considered normal, But my next dropper should not have this.

Verdict:

I need to try something different. I desidedon a refund.

There are many options, there is so much I am researching but now it’s the time for dropper posts.

I can’t recommend this dropper due to these issues, the issues came after only a few months, so This is unacceptable.

8 moths review: Race Face Sixc 35 800mm 20mm handlebars

I won’t go too deep with technical stuff and specs, which have already been mentioned in other reviews, here are my experiences with these bars so far.

The bar dampen vibrations well, the bar feels great, it was a huge improvement from 720 Bontrager race lite bar and stem.

Enough flex but not too flexible:

Some flex can be felt if you get some weight on the bar, for example with some front wheel trails moves, but nothing too crazy, but on the trial when shredding hard, there is no awkward feeling, these handlebars feel great, the defenitly dampend vibrations, but they won’t eliminate vibrations completely, that’s impossible, with narrow studded tyres, rough winter conditions can cause a lot of vibrations which will be felt even with silicone grips, I have not tried wider studded tyres yet, But I am quite sure it would improve degrease vibrations, but for summer riding, these bars have been greatm they dampened vibrations well, combined with silicone grips, they were a good combo, but harder you ride mroe dampenign you woudl want, So that’s why I have ordered Rev grips.

Survived several crashes:

The handlebars survived several crashes, I have jumped off these two skatepark ramps, and landed on the handlebar, no damage was done, I rode hard for several months later and no cracks.

I have also crashed while climbing a bike path, due to my joint slippage issues I accidentally did a brutal turn to the left and lost control of the bike, and the bike slammed hard down on the asphalt, there was no damage to the bars, but I bruised my shoulder.

I have noticed some white spots on the end of the bar, it’s probably just clear coat damage, it only happened on one of the two bars I got.

I have been riding through summer & winter, and the bars performed well, some say to avoid carbon in the cold, I have been riding in at least down to -10C, without any issues so far.

Cockpit nr2 Kloppe Onstadkrysset 4 km_0574
Gemini Xera light_0609

These bars are a great choice if you like colour matching bars for a custom build or improve the look of your current bike, but the white/silver look will fit any bike.

Race Face Atlas zero rise 50mm_0031
Exposure Lights Six Pack MK9
Renthal Apex 35 bolts wear_0744
E Thirteen dropepr post remote 17J V10SS

Some other reviews:

No need for me to mention everything every other review mentioned So you can read these reviews too.

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/race-face-sixc-35-bar-atlas-stem-review-2015.html

Product Page: https://www.raceface.com/products/details/sixc-35-20mm-rise-bars

Flickr Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskZz3qZS

Race Face Turbine X1 Dropper post remote Revised Long term review

The remote has a well-designed clamp, there are 2 threaded holes for inward-outward adjustment to get the lever positioned perfectly.

The lever is ergonomic feels great feels to use it. The lever diagonal groover, for improved grip, I have not experienced any issues with my finger slipping along the lever, but it can slip down or up the lever, so holes or multidirectional grooves would work better, But So far I have not experienced any issues with this, the grooves in the lever are helpful.

 

 

 

Taken apart:

here you can see the 2 bearings.

The barrel adjuster is very fragile, it can easily be bent or kinked, It’s likely this will happen in a crash if the housing forces it to bend, but it’s so weak you don’t need a crash for it to fail, I never crashed so badly that the barrel adjuster would bend.

Check out Peter Verdone’s post about remote:

the barrel adjuster on his remote snapped.

https://www.peterverdone.com/bullshit-engineering/

 

A closer look at the lever:

The bearing measurements:

Outer 10mm

Height 3mm

Inner6

Flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm6h8Mih

So far I’ve not had a crash where there was an impact on hte lever, So I can’t comment on this at this point.

 

 

Race Face Turbine VS Atlas cinch cranks

For me, the fastest & easiest solution when the awful Shimano M552 cranks failed, was to get turbine cranks. The cranks on my trek 6300 bike failed, so I de sided to switch to my trusted Turbine crank, plus crisp King bb, so I decided to try Atlas cranks, I thought I would notice the difference, and I did.

I am about probably between 72-80kg, I ahven’t been on a scale in a long time (but this number varies on how much stuff I got in my backpack, I have not weighed  in a long time, so I am probably heavier now.) with all the gear on

I have read reviews saying that there will not be noticeable differences, that was coming to a heavier reviewer, but pink bike review stated that there was a difference, their review is good so take a read d: https://pinkbike.com/news/race-face-atlas-cinch-crankset-review-2016.html

The crankset is quite similar looking, but there are several differences, the turbine cranks look pretty similar to the Atlas cranks, but the Turbine have a lot more material shaved off in arm where the bolt is & on the tip,  the is also a difference in how much material is shaved off behind the crank, the Atlas has more material near the pedal.

Both of the cranks have a nylon preloading, which has a small Allen screw, which was easel rounded off even though I was very gentle.

Chris King Threadfit 30 Rf Turbine oct 2017 Upgraded 2010 Trek 6300_0098
RaceFace Atlas Crank_3942
Bad seals_2072Edit

So as soon as Cane Creek Preloader came on the market I ordered it for all the cranks.

Here is a pictures of it installed.

Cane Creek Preload collar on Race Face Atlast crank_5497
On the Atlas Cranks
Cane Creek Preload Collar on Race Face ccrank_5506

And on Turbine:

Crank arm_20180927_110352
Chris King Thread fit 30_20180927_113708

Turbine:

Race Face Crank boot _0641
Chris King Threadfit 30 Rf Turbine oct 2017 Upgraded 2010 Trek 6300_0086

for commuting, or xc/light trail, these cranks were stiff enough, but on rougher trails, I could feel the difference in stiffness or another technical riding. I think turbine cranks have a good stiffness compromise & of lightweight.

Chris King BB 30 & Race Face Turbine_0628
The crank ground on a concrete wall, I was unharmed, it did not even hurt.
My right shoulder slipped turning the bars to the right, resulting front wheel dropping off a wall, and me falling down with the bike about 1 meter on concrete.
the reach dérailleur hit the top of the wall & grinding along it, the fork first went off the wall to the right but the rear was grinding it eventually fell down and the fork hit the wall and eventually, the whole bike went down with me.
16mm cap, self-extract bolt, washer
On the bike
Rf Turbine Dirtyu _0320

 Atlas crankset:

Bad seals_2068edit

First ride with Atlas cranks:

Even before riding the cranks on the trail I could feel the difference in stiffness, just by a quick test in being on the bike in the kitchen, I tested a lot of positions, but then I took it for a spin on the trails some days later.

The first ride on the trails, I felt the difference, even though my frame is quite flexible in the BB area.

I could feel that the Atlas cranks were stiffer while riding technical trials.

Race Face Alloy 30mm spindle_5494

  • The bolt has bad tolerances, causing wear, this is the case for both Turbine & Atlas the cranks of course
Drivetrain_3908
Race Face Atlas
New bolt on Race Face Atlas crank
New bolt installed 31 may 2019, tolerances are still not great.

Verdict:

I think turbine cranks have a good stiffness compromise & of lightweight, so perfect for a commuter bike or for lighter riders.

I am all for everything that gives me better control, and stability, which both Turbine and Atlas cranks gave me over the cheaper much more flexible Shimano cranks I have ridden in the past.

Turbine Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskzamsxQ

Short term Review: Shimano Deore XT M8000 with Race Face Narrow wide

On 10speed Formula/Bontrager Freehub:

If I use the 42T cog on the cassette the chain will fall off when back-pedalling, but when I shift up to 37T cog the chain stays in place no matter how hard I pack pedal.

On Hope Pro 4 freehub:

the Pro 4 free hub, is 11 speed compatible, which means it’s wider, and comes with a spacer,and with 11speed cassette, the  cassette is closer to the frame/more outwards to the right, which gives a better chain line, so the backpedalling issues is gone,Unless you backpedal at unrealistic speed,then it will fall off,but I have done 180 U turns in 1stgear(42T) and the chain never fell off.

So if your rear hub is compatible with a wider freehub,you should get one.

Huge noise reduction when riding:

The first thing I noticed after I upgraded to 1×11 is that all the slapping ,banging and scraping noises are gone from my bike.25185797391_0cfdb76e37_o

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The narrow wide chain-ring will make more sound than the triple chain-ring,  but when ring in rough terrain or jumping, the noise is a lot less than a conventional triple ring set-up would make.

With this set up i used uncut CN-HG701-11 chain.

Shimano Deore XT M8000 I-Spec B shifter:

26307676250_68f1a4b4fd_b25193088823_b2f5dda76f_b

There is big  difference in the force needed to press to press the small trigger(up shift),but I got used to it after days ,and it did not feel as hard to press, and I like the shifter feel,I get less accidental shifts this way.

The change in gear is instant like promised.

The possibility to shift by bending you finger and do a finger kick motion,which you can’t do with Sram shifters.

(like this(https://youtu.be/7HvJma35fZA) to push the lever/trigger is gone, as the Shimano Deore 10 Spd had.But for me this is a acceptable compromise.

But there will be no accidental shifts

Down shifting:

  • smooth lever-action.
  • There is huge difference in the force required to push the triggers between SL-M610 &  M8000 , so if you plan to upgrade a kids bike you might want to let the kid try it out first,but for the youngest I recommend getting SL-M610 or something similar.
  • you can shift down 4 gears

The I-Spec B shifter will have rotational play,because of the pin system, it’s not avoidable.

The screw came with a lot of  Blue thread-locker,so needed to try few times until I finally got it tight without loose shifter.

But the adjustment screws did not,so you have to buy thread locker for them, I used Loctite 243.

The rear Derailleur:

25023025415_969c733b3d_c

11-26T M8000 Cassette  & RD m8000 with original link & trek ABP hanger

 

Pros:

  • A lot stiffer Clutch system, which is good.
  • Very smooth,fast shifting movement.
  • Esy to service, as long as you got magnetic bowl, and are careful with the round seal fo the spring assambly.

 

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Race Face Narrow wide:

The chain will not fall off no matter how hard I ride, if it falls off you must be crashing really hard.

There is some drag when pedalling but this is not noticeable when riding, the chain still wants to be on the ring for about a half of a second, but this is impossible to avoid with Narrow Wide.

If you want video proof that narrow wide works watch this video by Seth’s Bike Hacks

Me unboxing the 36T chainring

Down 50 degrees stairs test:

Steep stairs

set up used in test: 2010 trek 6300 1 x10 36-11T cassette Shimano SLX Shadow Plus, with 36T Race Face Narrow Wide chain ring.The chain dropped when it was in 24 Tooth cog, but when I tried in 21 cog it stayed on. Even on stairs that were not that steep probably 40 degrees,the chain fell off.

Pros of 1×11:

  • You get all the gears you need if you just select the right chairing for you.
  • a lot quieter drive train
  • dropping the chain is rare unless you ride in low gears down steep stairs.
  • No front chain rigns to deal with
  • easier to clean the drive train,less dirt & mud on the drive train
  • if you want to sue a chain guide, you can use a single ring chain guide which will be more secure,and look better
  • if you use a wide range cassette with a 9T cog you can get the a pretty high gear as you could with triple rings,but with 11-42 with 36T cassette I get a pretty good range,but once I get on the 1km flat straights I will run out of gears

Cons of 1×11: There are no real cons riding 1×11 it will have faster wearing cassette and chain of course,but that’s not a reason to not upgrade. the 37 and 42 cogs are the fastest wearing cogs, because of the bigger chain angle.

the cassette & chainring wore out at the end of the season like it did with 10×3, maybe few weeks sooner wear. I don’t have to shift as often and skip so many gear so often,so I get less side to side wear on the chain,by using 1×11,so the chain growth will be less.

If i changed the chain,a lot earlier, the cassette and ring would have lasted longer,but I had no spare chains,but I have a stock of chains now.

The Rear derailleur cage will have visible wear, with 1x  setup,because of the chain line the chain will hit the plates,but its not a big deal.

 

I absolutely recommend Both the Xt m8000 drivetrain and the Race Face Narrow Wide single chaining.

If you are not sure which gear ratio you need:http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com/

Flickr Album: Shimano DeoreXT M8000

Flickr Album: Race Face