Race Face introduced an all new carbon fiber crankset today dubbed the Era, which are aimed at Trail, All Mountain and Enduro. They were also kind enough to send us an early sample a couple of months ago, which we’ve been riding since. While the Eras maintain a similar silhouette to the current Next R crankset, they pick up a stainless steel wear plate as well as some new design elements. Read on for the full scoop…
Details Race Face Era
- 165mm, 170mm and 175mm lengths
- 176mm Q-factor
- 52mm Chainline based on a 136mm spindle – can be adjusted to 55mm with Shimano 12-speed Direct Mount Wide ring
- Claimed weight: 483 grams with 32T ring (170mm, verified)
- Stainless steel wear plates
- 7 colorways, 8 crankboot colors
- 30mm spindle
- Lifetime warranty – *crashes included*
- MSRP: $499.99 USD / $649.99 CAD / 489.00 EUR
Looking down at the new cranks, they bear some similarities to the Next R, with slightly different lines and the wearplate, which aesthetically is easy on the eyes, while also serving a purpose in preserving their finish.
One interesting note is that Race Face bonds the aluminum pedal inserts directly into the carbon fiber layup for improved strength.
The Eras use Race Face’s standard Cinch closure with self extracting crankbolts that install and remove with a standard 8mm allen key. You can remove the cap/extraction assembly with a 16mm allen, and note that the torque specs are anodized right onto the hardware.
Loads of color options for both graphics and crankboots…
The BB itself weight 90 grams, and my 170mm crankset weight the exact claimed weight of 483 grams with the included 32T chainring.
Race Face Era on the trail
Starting with installation, everything went together smoothly with the finish and hardware being top notch. The 30mm spindle feels beyond sturdy and is something to behold. The crank arms themselves are fairly beefy as well, despite their light weight. Once on the trail, there is only so much to report on a crankset in terms of feel – especially in the somewhat short term. Cranks are usually either too flexy or stiff enough…but put it this way – I’ve never ridden a set of cranks I thought were too rigid. That said, I would definitely rate the Eras as plenty stiff. They are certainly the sturdiest feeling carbon fiber cranks (DH rated options included) that I have ridden to date. On trail they are the closest crankset in feel to my beloved Cane Creek eeWings – which cost more than twice as much money.
Thus far, the wear plates are proving themselves worthy for more than just abrasion resistance as they’ve taken a couple of dents on each side from rocks flying up. Despite the fact that they likely add some weight, they are undoubtedly a worthy addition.
For some reason, my crankset did note come with crankboots – likely because it’s an early sample. Although the ding shown above is small, it illustrates why they exist, so I do look forward to getting a set.
All told, it’s a bit early to make the call on these cranks as I’ve only been riding them for a couple of months. The hardware and bearings in the bottom bracket have been excellent and the install/removal is a breeze. Personally I’ve had the good fortune of never having a set of carbon fiber cranks fail on me, and it’s been ages since I’ve bent any aluminum ones. Typically when carbon fails, it is almost always catastrophic but fortunately Race Face is offering a super impressive lifetime warranty that includes crashes for the Era crankset. As far as value is concerned, at nearly $500, they aren’t cheap but you could certainly spend more if you wanted to. With current rising prices and the gracious warranty factored in, they are right about where you’d expect a high end, lightweight carbon fiber crankset to land.