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  1. #1
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    Move over Saint, there's a new player in town!

    Check Out the New 2009 Raceface Atlas FR cranks

    They look freaking awesome!

    Makes my Blue steel ones look quite dull now....

    "Tired of hollow promises? Light but strong, Atlas FR cranks weigh 40g less than Shimano Saint, while maintaining equal strength and stiffness. Engineered for riders wanting a lightweight FR/DH crank. These cranks are manufactured in Canada using OPTIM-AL, an alloy 20% stronger than 7050 alloy, so no need for pedal inserts.

    Whether dropping in big or vying for a spot on the podium, your prayers have been answered. Atlas FR is the new standard."
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  2. #2
    wait...what?
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    sweet stuff

  3. #3
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    Sounds like they're just sore that they can't make hollow-forged cranks. Hope the new RF "x-type" cranks have a better interface than the old taper-lock ones. Stiffer than hollow saint cranks? I find it hard to believe they can approach the stiffness to weight ratio of a hollow-forged design. RF (and truvativ) cranks aren't "bad" (the RF interface leaves a lot to be desired IMO), but you'll never get the same stiffness to weight ratio as a hollow design. Making hollow forged cranks takes some serious machinery though.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  4. #4
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    Aaaaaannnnndddd...and, I hope that they are FAR less flexible than the previous iterations of their stuff. Yeah the color is cool, but only for the bling factor crowd. Me, I want function as well as some small bling factor because my bike is not entering a fashion comp lol.

  5. #5
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    The BB interface still probably sucks though...

  6. #6
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    Is that Brett Tippie?

    If so...sold.
    Northstar 2008 Riding Crew

  7. #7
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    I talked to the RF guy at Interbike about these. I told him about my DH team and he said that's exactly what they're designed for. Never heard back from him. Honestly if we had gotten an offer I would definitely give them a try. But in the mean time I'm not sponsored by Shimano, but that's still what I'm using.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Sounds like they're just sore that they can't make hollow-forged cranks. Hope the new RF "x-type" cranks have a better interface than the old taper-lock ones. Stiffer than hollow saint cranks? I find it hard to believe they can approach the stiffness to weight ratio of a hollow-forged design. RF (and truvativ) cranks aren't "bad" (the RF interface leaves a lot to be desired IMO), but you'll never get the same stiffness to weight ratio as a hollow design. Making hollow forged cranks takes some serious machinery though.
    WTF does it matter if they're hollow on the inside, or "hollow" on the outside? It's missing material that makes it lighter. That's it! Did anyone ever see the inside of a hollowtech crankarm? Not Shimanos pics either. Just wondering? I haven't.

    These are DH cranks that go on bikes with 8" of softness front and back. If you can jump on your bike and tell me you can feel the "flex" in the crankarms then you're full of $#!+. How do you know it's not the BB spindle, the suspension, flex in the frame? You're riding a frame made of weaker aluminum (6061) that's less than .050" in the thinnest area of a double or triple butted tube than what the cranks are made of. And they're SOLID aluminum! To say that you feel the cranks flexing is you're imagination being sold to advertising.

    There's some science behind bike components and there's a lot of advertising too. Everything in the bike industry is followed by the "Stronger-and-lighter" quote.
    Is it a coincidence it's in this ad? Nope! FWIW, I looked to see if they used that line after typing it.

    Don't take it personally. I'm *****ing to everyone, but quoting you cause of some of the points you listed.

    Fahn
    Hubbard Bike Club

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn
    WTF does it matter if they're hollow on the inside, or "hollow" on the outside? It's missing material that makes it lighter.
    Larger diameter = larger moment reaction arm. With a constant moment your reaction force is smaller. So you get less stress on your bottom bracket and your frame.

    Which again is why I think Shimano is better. However, that doesn't mean I wouldn't give these cranks a try (but I ain't payin' retail bub!). All the theory in the world can't do crap against testing.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=Ithnu]Larger diameter = larger moment reaction arm. With a constant moment your reaction force is smaller. So you get less stress on your bottom bracket and your frame.

    QUOTE]

    True , very true

    However i think we need to look at this in a real world situation. People will say that the hollow forged saint is stiffer than the non hollow atlas. Maybe this is true, when the force is in the region of 3500-4500 psi. Subject that kinda force to your body and your dead. I have the atlas FR, my mate has the Saints, and honestly there is no noticable difference in flex or stiffness due to the force on the cranks that a human can generate. I prefer the Atlas FR because im fan of Raceface Products, espically their cranks. never have i had a problem with busted Crank axle interfaces or loosening issues. Muscle them on the first time and ive never needed to touch them again

  11. #11
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    It's just better in so many ways.
    Ground Steeze. @iggy_strbac

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilikemybike011


    It's just better in so many ways.
    How bout giving us a real world reason? Not lab condition reason

  13. #13
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    Uh oh, Larry Fahn is grumpy again. Sure he'll soon be blowing up on the people in the Pa forum too.

    As far as the RF cranks go, unless they do something about the interface, it will be a no-go. Plenty of dealers and users alike got it about them, that they are not a superior or lateral move from Shimano's cranks. Hell, even Truvativ has a better interface.

  14. #14
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    They could have all the pretty colours in the world, and I still won't run them.

    Why?

    RaceFace's crank/axle/bearing interface system is crap.
    Using that one bolt to both mount the crankarm and preload the bearing is a bunk design, and they are just using pretty colours to cover it up...

  15. #15
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    hmm.. i just dont understand why everyone has it in for the RF C/A/B interface, i just dont see whats so bad about it. Ive installed multiple RF cranks for my mates, Run 2 pairs meself, and have NEVER had problems with stripped threads, ruined splines or loosening cranks, neither have my buddies cranks. Sure you need a breaker bar to install them the first time but after that, they NEVER give me problems. A bit of extreme pressure grease on the axle taper, loctite on the crankbolt, and bobs your uncle and fannies your aunt, they sit quietly and do their job perfectly. In no way am i panning saints, theyre great cranks, but IMO are more of a pain to set up than RF cranks. Well each to his/her own i spose, i personally will always be running RF stuff caus it never gives me problems, if only they offered the atlas FR in a Straitline blue, id snatch a pair ASAP

    Even still, John Cown, Darren Berrecloth, Paul Bass, lacondeguys and nathan rennie never seem to have a problem with them, and lets face it, they ride harder than most people, myself included.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptordude
    Is that Brett Tippie?

    If so...sold.
    I think that is Tippie! Woo-hoo!

  17. #17
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    I had RF cranks once and they were always coming loose and making noise.

  18. #18
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    The only thing really wrong is the bottom bracket bearings. I've replaced mine with some cheapo enduro forkseals and they are ****in'. No problem what so ever with tighting/ loosening crap ever, it's a solid design. Sometimes less is better. I ride a 2006 Atlas btw.
    Amplify Your ®ide!

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  19. #19
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    I also used to run a set of Race Face. Personally, I did not like them. Yes, they came loose often. There is nothing worse than a loose RF crankset on the trail. I don't always carry a 10mm and 8 mm tool with me. Shamino does it right and they always have. It is going to take more than some early 90's color scheme to make me convert. for sure...
    "We can always find excuses if we want to find them, but if we really want to do something, we have to just go."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn
    WTF does it matter if they're hollow on the inside, or "hollow" on the outside?

    Fahn
    Makes a BIG difference. Here's why:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_moment_of_area

    Notice units are length to the 4th power, so distance from the axis of bending makes a very large difference in stiffness.

    Also, RF thinks they don't need a pedal insert because their aluminum is %20 stronger? Still nowhere close to crmo steel. I bet people riding flat pedals will rip them out of these cranks.

    I'd far prefer Saint cranks.
    .




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  21. #21
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    Same here (l'm with Sodak).

    Used RF for a really long time back when they made square taper and were good stuff...

    When they moved over to the ISIS design, things started going down hill for me as well as the customers who bought it from us. The list of problems is as long as my arm. Not saying Shimano is trouble free but with Shimano, there's been far few problems, not even close compared to RF.

    The most common problem with Shimano is that little plastic sleeve popping out when doing general maint or swapping parts. Once that sleeve pops out, it's nearly impossible to get it back in without mashing it a little.

    For me, as a dealer, dealing with RF's warranty is just painful... they worse than MarzJokie's warranty dept (oops, can of worms opened).
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn
    WTF does it matter if they're hollow on the inside, or "hollow" on the outside?
    Like I said, strength and stiffness to weight ratio.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_M2R
    hmm.. i just dont understand why everyone has it in for the RF C/A/B interface, i just dont see whats so bad about it.
    The shimano (and other similer interfaces) are better. Just because you have no problems with the race-face doesn't discount that. The race-face system is a taper-fit and the interface will wear every time you take them on and off, not to mention it takes pretty extreme force to install/remove the cranks. To remove the saints or any other shimano crank is a fast job requiring a minimum of effort due to how they "pinch" the axle. There are basically no bolts that you have to crank down like crazy. The race face system also "preloads" the bearings, which introduces a lot of variability into the system that is just not necessary (loose, too tight, etc). I've ran race-face cranks in the past, and there was nothing "wrong" with them, but the shimano stuff was better, moreso now. The hollow-design is just a more efficient structure (stiffness and strength to weight). Kind of like how a dual-crown fork is a more efficient structure for long travel than a single crown. To provide an equal amount of stiffness and strength, the SC will always be heavier (huge reinforced crown and steerer, etc).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  24. #24
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    chase in point: a couple seasons ago we were building a Transition Bottle Roacket, installing a brand new crankset. Joe Wrench was trying to install the BB but, one side just wouldn't roll in. he tap'd the threads which were fine to begin with, tinker'd a for long time before he noticed the threads were wrong: or incorrectly marked. as if we had two left side cups.

    as you can see in the photo, the right side shell thread are going in the wrong direction.

    It took FOR EVER to get RF to resolve the matter -- even with the photos we sent, they were questioning whether we trying to install it correctly.

    actually, l don't recall if we ever actually got the replacement after we were required to return the messed up unit.
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  25. #25
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    First Sunline and now Raceface. I guess powdercoating parts is out for the next couple of years and being replace by the good ol' anodizing. At least Raceface dosen't have the ugly 80 colors going on.

  26. #26
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    All other things being = I'd take the hollow tube over the 'H beam' if what I want is torsional stiffness and resistance to bending. Ignoring looks and everything, just engineering...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_M2R

    Even still, John Cown, Darren Berrecloth, Paul Bass, lacondeguys and nathan rennie never seem to have a problem with them, and lets face it, they ride harder than most people, myself included.
    and i bet that has nothing at all to do with sponsorship dollars either, right?
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  28. #28
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    pretty funny they compare themselves to Saints.......

    Saints the leader in cranks and brakes !!!
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Shop
    Same here (l'm with Sodak).

    Used RF for a really long time back when they made square taper and were good stuff...

    When they moved over to the ISIS design, things started going down hill for me as well as the customers who bought it from us. The list of problems is as long as my arm. Not saying Shimano is trouble free but with Shimano, there's been far few problems, not even close compared to RF.

    The most common problem with Shimano is that little plastic sleeve popping out when doing general maint or swapping parts. Once that sleeve pops out, it's nearly impossible to get it back in without mashing it a little.

    For me, as a dealer, dealing with RF's warranty is just painful... they worse than MarzJokie's warranty dept (oops, can of worms opened).
    Refreshing to see people in the industry calling things like they are and going to bat for the consumers.

  30. #30
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    I-Beams are weak...

    Take a lid from a cardboard box, some tape and a pair of scissors; and by cutting the lid into three equal length strips, two narrow and one wide; tape them together into a long I-beam.

    Once you have made your I-beam, lets test it:

    Hold one end, with the I-beam horizontal, in the same orientation as if it was a crank arm in either the three o'clock or nine o'clock position. While holding other end away from you, push straight down on the other end, with the force directly toward the center rib of the I-beam structure. Pushing straight down like this, you will notice that it is fairly strong, hence its widespread use in framing tall buildings, where the majority of the load is in line with the center rib of the I-beam.

    Unfortunately for Race Face, this is NOT how a crank arm is loaded. You do not push directly in line with the end of the crank arm. You push on a pedal, that sticks out the SIDE of the crank arm, creating a twisting force.

    So, how well does an I-beam resist twist? To find out, grab the far end of your cardboard I-beam, and try twisting it. Pretty weak and wimpy at resisting force in that direction, isn't it? Notice how easily it twisted?

    Next, grab a tube from a used roll of paper towels. Try twisting that. Notice that it is exponentially stronger in resisting twist than your I-beam was.

    Now you know why nature makes bones, feathers, bamboo and other structures in a tubular shape, rather than in an I-beam shape!
    If more people rode more bikes, more places, more often, the world would be a more better place!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    and i bet that has nothing at all to do with sponsorship dollars either, right?
    Meh good point, i actually didnt think of that. Oh well ill always run Raceface, never had a problem with them. Still each to his own, i didnt mean to start a flaming war here

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_M2R
    How bout giving us a real world reason? Not lab condition reason
    Pinch bolt interface. snug those suckers up on the saints. No press fitting and wearing out the interface. I've had a ton of people with wallowed race face interface issues. Zero issues with Shimano cranks. Much better interface in my opinion.

    As a shop rat i've had MILES better customer service with Shimano than Race face too.
    Proud to represent Mojo Wheels.

  33. #33
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    they look like XC cranks to me. I'm sure RF did their R&D though. Benefit of the doubt

    How bout that dudes bedazzled jacket!!?!? WTF is that? 20 bucks says he's wearing a florescent yellow fanny-pack and carrying a walk-man... and wearing Skidz.

  34. #34
    GAME ON!
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    no need for pedal inserts? the saints must be way behind in their r&d then
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_M2R
    How bout giving us a real world reason? Not lab condition reason
    Alright, real world reason : Shimano cranks are the best on the market.
    Ground Steeze. @iggy_strbac

  36. #36
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    I beam has done well in the seat/post department at least.

    It is just my experiences, or has the Diabolus cranks not had the problems that the other lighter cranksets have had?

  37. #37
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    Sorry OP,
    I know you did not intend this thread to be a RF flame fest. IF you like them, get them and rock the sh*t out of them. It is all about personal preferance. I am not riding your bike, you are. Get what you want and enjoy it!
    "We can always find excuses if we want to find them, but if we really want to do something, we have to just go."

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Refreshing to see people in the industry calling things like they are and going to bat for the consumers.
    ha ...

    l'm pretty easy going, l fully understand errors happen in the world when it comes to products being made: it's when people who make the product try to put it back on me that we're not doing something right: both MarzJokie and RF pulled this move on me and the guys who work for me.

    The biggest thing that bugs me is when l'll get "oh, gee, we never had this problem happen before" from the warranty depts. That line just boils my blood.

    Been down a road a few times where l had the same problem with a product about 4 times in a row (e.g. left hand crank arms coming off OEM bikes). When l finally got in touch with the company (i.e. talked to a live person not someone's voice mail), someone tells me what l wrote above in bold..

    WTF?!?! out of all the units sold around the country/world, l'm the only one who had this same problem over and over? what's the chances of that?

    The other one that really bugs me is being told to "use it for 10 hours and call us back"...

    Sure, l can see why there's a certain amount of break-in of many products out there but when we know what's wrong from the get go because it's a repeat problem and then we're told to use it for a certain amount of time seems like nothing more than a blow-off or trying to cut corners.

    l won't even go into the phone tag and emails that lack follow up we have to go through with faulty products. The classic (won't name names this time).
    l'll email Joe Sales Rep of Supply Chain with 2 or 3 questions, IF l'm lucky enough to get a reply, they come back with only one answer (to a totally different question). or it'll just be a totally off the wall comment that doesn't help in any way.

    e.g.

    Hey so and so.

    US:
    We're having problems with XYZ, do you think it's ok to do BLA BLA BLA it or should we ABC instead? It's been doing this for a while, we don't want to keep the customer waiting any longer.

    Also, we're seeing bla bla bla happen when we do this... do you think that's ok?


    THEM:

    yeah, you're good to go.



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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Doc
    Take a lid from a cardboard box, some tape and a pair of scissors; and by cutting the lid into three equal length strips, two narrow and one wide; tape them together into a long I-beam.

    Once you have made your I-beam, lets test it:

    Hold one end, with the I-beam horizontal, in the same orientation as if it was a crank arm in either the three o'clock or nine o'clock position. While holding other end away from you, push straight down on the other end, with the force directly toward the center rib of the I-beam structure. Pushing straight down like this, you will notice that it is fairly strong, hence its widespread use in framing tall buildings, where the majority of the load is in line with the center rib of the I-beam.

    Unfortunately for Race Face, this is NOT how a crank arm is loaded. You do not push directly in line with the end of the crank arm. You push on a pedal, that sticks out the SIDE of the crank arm, creating a twisting force.

    So, how well does an I-beam resist twist? To find out, grab the far end of your cardboard I-beam, and try twisting it. Pretty weak and wimpy at resisting force in that direction, isn't it? Notice how easily it twisted?

    Next, grab a tube from a used roll of paper towels. Try twisting that. Notice that it is exponentially stronger in resisting twist than your I-beam was.

    Now you know why nature makes bones, feathers, bamboo and other structures in a tubular shape, rather than in an I-beam shape!

    Great call!
    JRA

  40. #40
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    Never had a problem with Race Face cranks or Shimano cranks. Race Face is easier on the wallet, though.

  41. #41
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    I dont think he was trying to start a flame war with you or anyone...he was just stating a general assumption, one which happens to be true in this scenario.

    And yes, RF are good and they are getting better but I can state with near 100% confidence that what will be all dressed up on my new beast will be nothing other than the new Saint cranks with Rr Mech and the associated triggers. Not the RFace versions, which is not to say that they are bad...it is just I think that currently they are not the best tool choice to make if one is wanting some serious flex-free performance that has easy assembly and disassembly.

    The new Saints are very hard to beat...just my 2cc's.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_M2R
    Meh good point, i actually didnt think of that. Oh well ill always run Raceface, never had a problem with them. Still each to his own, i didnt mean to start a flaming war here

  42. #42
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    As far as the interface problems, how do you guys know that these cranks will be using the RF interface that they have used previously? Or are we just assuming? After using FSA cranks and seeing how easily they set up by comparison, I won't be switching back to RF personally. RF was tough to install AND remove. I think the arguments about the stiffness at pretty irrelevant though. Unless you're a clyde you're unlikely to notice any give in a burly set of cranks.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn
    WTF does it matter if they're hollow on the inside, or "hollow" on the outside? It's missing material that makes it lighter. That's it! Did anyone ever see the inside of a hollowtech crankarm? Not Shimanos pics either. Just wondering? I haven't.
    It does matter. If you have a tube and an I beam of the same weight and material, the tube can ALWAYS be made to have greater torsion resistance (twisting about its long axis) assuming they have similar properties (end load stiffness, IE bending in the normal direction).
    That said, it seems likely that you can't make some materials into hollow cranks as easily as others, so I-beams may be an ideal design for some materials.

    And yes, I have seen inside of hollowtech arms. Its pretty common because Shimano had sales displays where they machined away part of a hollowtek crank. Pretty nice design, and very clean inside. If your shop doesn't have one of the displays, they should cut open an arm they were gonna toss- its a really good selling point.

    There's a reason bones are tubes instead of I-beams...

  44. #44
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    2008 Transition Dirtbag w/Totem

  45. #45
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    I have a set of these on order in the 83mm version for a proto build. We'll see if I am able to break them, seeing as how I broke a pair of Diabolus

  46. #46
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fungazi
    It does matter. If you have a tube and an I beam of the same weight and material, the tube can ALWAYS be made to have greater torsion resistance (twisting about its long axis) assuming they have similar properties (end load stiffness, IE bending in the normal direction).
    That said, it seems likely that you can't make some materials into hollow cranks as easily as others, so I-beams may be an ideal design for some materials.

    And yes, I have seen inside of hollowtech arms. Its pretty common because Shimano had sales displays where they machined away part of a hollowtek crank. Pretty nice design, and very clean inside. If your shop doesn't have one of the displays, they should cut open an arm they were gonna toss- its a really good selling point.

    There's a reason bones are tubes instead of I-beams...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_moment_of_inertia

    ...although I'm not sure how much a crankarm sees torsion. I think it would see a lot more bending than torsion....
    .




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    Torsional moments on cranks arms are typically no more than half the bending moments, ever. Unless you run pedals with a 175mm platform, in which case they could be even if you placed your feet on the outside edge.

  48. #48
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    Great! Now we're comparing cardboard to aluminum instead of an aluminum crank arm to another aluminum crank arm. They're flexy, they bend, Look at Wikipedia and see what they say... How about you compare them outside the computer and sales pitch. I don't think Shimano or RaceFace does their research from Wikipedia.

    As far as flex? How about those 1/4" thick pedals? You're trying to tell me that a crank that's 3/4" thick will have noticeable flex, but your pedals are solid? Right......

    I remember 2003-04 RF BB's sucked ass and wouldn't last longer than 2 months. I'm not pushing RF over the other, but to say shimano never has problems and their CS is top notch? I've had my issues with XTR stuff back when it was strong and meant to be ridden aggressively. 3 months and they still had my cranks and BB(coincidentally)? No warranty or anything. The problem was both crank arms would fall in a downward motion when weight was applied. The area on the crank where the BB splines went was machined too big. The LX arms I used to replace them worked fine.

    Since that issue I've used RF and FSA with no problems. You can use whatever you want.

    I machine pipes that are used for drilling into the ground. Some of these pipes are only .050" thick sidewalls after the threading process. Yet can handle hundreds of ft/lbs of torque after getting heat treated. Fahn
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  49. #49
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn
    As far as flex? How about those 1/4" thick pedals? You're trying to tell me that a crank that's 3/4" thick will have noticeable flex, but your pedals are solid? Right......
    No, not right. You are still missing the point. The point about the hollow structure is the stiffness and strength to weight. You're not using solid metal slugs to drill, they are hollow. Race Face doesn't use a solid-axle, it's also hollow. Then we get to crank arms. The I-beam and other associated crank-shapes work ok, but they are not going to have the stiffness and strength to weight ratio of the hollow design. So either you're carring around a lot more weight than you need to achieve the same stiffness, or you are sacrificing the stiffness. You are right that no one is going to really notice the difference in stiffness, so in that sense I'd rather have the lighter set, but I don't believe race face's claims for one minute, as their structure and interface is simply not as good.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  50. #50
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    So FAR at least at any rate...!

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