Started new thread Let's See Your Man (or Women) Cave 5/27/2016 5:57 PM

The garage, the basement, anywhere you store your bikes and tools... it's a sacred place... and one people often put a lot of work into. For the past few months, I've been working hard on my garage. Slowly converting it to my own service, storage and

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Added a product review for Race Face Atlas Cinch Cranks 5/19/2016 3:06 PM

Tested: Race Face Altas Cinch Cranks


The Good:

The Bad:


Bred from a long tradition of quality and durable products in the component arena, the Race Face Atlas cranks have been a mainstay in the Canadian company's product line for years. Originally designed with an all-mountain and a freeride model, Race Face had refined the design over the years creating a single Atlas crank described as being a “do-it-all” crankset that could handle anything from aggressive trail riding to downhill laps. Known for its durability, strength, and an affordable price tag while giving riders the ability to add some flair with their trademark color options, could Race Face update the Atlas crank enough to warrant an upgrade from the previous model? 

Race Face Atlas Features

  • Forged 7050 aluminum alloy arms
  • Bracing matrix at the back of the crank arms for added stiffness
  • 30mm spindle
  • Removable spider offers the ability to convert between existing chainring standards while remaining flexible to future developments
  • Compatible with Race Face BMX spindle and spider
  • Intended use: Trail / Enduro / DH / DJ / BMX

  • Spindle Size: 30mm

  • Spiders: Direct Mount, 104/64mm (boost option available)

  • Arm Lengths: 165mm, 170mm, 175mm

  • Weight: 690g (32t Direct Mount, without bottom bracket)
  • Colors: Black, Red, Blue, and Green
MSRP: $210 (crank only) / $340 as tested with 32t Direct Mount Ring and RF Press Fit BB

Initial Impressions

At first glance, most might not see much visually different with the Atlas Cinch cranks compared to previous models. On the surface, these cranks have the same clean lines and subtle graphics as previous years. But upon closer inspection you’ll notice two key changes. First, Race Face has updated the cranks with the new Cinch interface, using a direct mount chainring system that allows you to easily swap out chainrings, or if needed, add a removable spider to accept 104mm BCD configurations. With the Cinch system, it is also possible to swap out axles allowing you to use the cranks on bikes with different BB shell sizes if needed (*cough* fat bike swap).

Flipping the cranks over you’ll notice the 2nd change: Race Face has machined out 6 sections of material for weight savings. Despite less material and an approximately 30-gram lighter weight than the previous iteration (most weight savings is from the lack of spider and chainring bolts), Race Face claims that riders will see an increase in stiffness when compared to past models.

When it came to installation, the Cinch system really shines. The provided instructions give a pretty straightforward and visual walk-through to make the installation process pretty foolproof.

On The Trail

When it comes to cranks, I desire strength and durability; strength needed to transfer as much energy as possible to moving my bike faster, and durability to withstand the impacts, mud, and dirt that can wreack havoc on one of the most abused areas of a bike. I have no prior experience with previous versions of the Atlas line of cranks to confirm or deny the claimed increased stiffness, but I was completely satisfied with the ironclad support that the cranks provide when it came time to get out of the saddle. And when things got rough or coming down from a bit of air time, it was nearly impossible to register any flex in the arms. I expected the machined recessed areas of the cranks to collect mud quite easily but never noticed much accumulation after a muddy ride.

Just like most narrow-wide chainrings these days that are paired with a clutch derailleur, the RF Cinch Narrow Wide ring worked flawlessly and we never experienced a dropped chain.

Long Term Durability

I’m no heavyweight (165 lbs on a good day) so I’ve never been one to ride cranks to the point of failure, but during testing we never found durability to be a concern. Burly rock strikes to the crank arms, that sounded terrible at the time, thankfully resulted in just scratches with no structural or mechanical issues. I even managed to bash a tooth on the chainring but still had no issues with keeping the chain on. Cosmetically, I was happy to notice was the barely any sign of the dreaded ‘shoe rub’ which can quickly wear the finish off of most cranks. With the ease of installation/disassembly, I know that when it comes times to service the BB it will be a painless and quick process. 

Things That Could Be Improved

My biggest gripes came during installation. To install/change the spindle, the required 16mm allen wrench is one that most won’t have in their arsenal of tools, and you might find yourself making a quick trip to the hardware store or local shop for that step of the process. Our cranks came with the spindle installed so only the 8mm allen was required. The second is the 2mm allen that is used to secure the preload adjuster. Be VERY careful tightening this down as I can see this stripping out quite easy (think of the old ODI lock ring allen bolts).

In regards to the Cinch system and its modular design, I would love to see more competitive pricing in their spindle pricing, which would truly make it a design where you could have a set of cranks to potentially last you a few bikes. Spindles costing almost half the price of a new set of cranks makes it a bit tougher to buy into that theory.

What's The Bottom Line?

For those riders looking for a durable and strong set of cranks that could handle abuse across a wide range of riding styles and disciplines, the Atlas cranks tick off all the check marks on that list with no major flaws. If you’re intrigued by the Cinch system and its advantages but are counting grams, you might be better served with the SixC crankset. But, for the value-minded who aren't concerned with saving every possible gram, the Atlas cranks look to be in it for the long-haul in terms of both their durability and ability to adapt to future standards, should they come... and we know they will.

For more information, visit

About The Reviewer

Justin Schroth has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years, experiencing first hand the evolution of the industry from thumb shifters and MCU cartridge forks to carbon fiber frames and single-ring all mountain bikes. As an East Coast rider, he loves trails with a combination of jumps, technical downhills, and the occasional loose corner for some foot out action. With a Mechanical Engineering degree, Justin's instinct is to always consider how it works over how it looks. After many years of racing the Northeast Norba and Collegiate series, Justin hung up the race plate and his diploma to go behind the camera at Lucent Productions, creating mountain bike video content for several clients such as Highland Mountain Bike Park.

This product has 3 reviews

Added a new video Tracey Hannah and Andrew Neethling Take on China 5/26/2016 11:41 AM

The scene in China has been growing steadily for the last 4-5 years and we were proud to be invited to take part in this race, filled with local pinners and top riders from Taiwan, Korea and Japan who were looking to win big in Asia.

Upon arrival it was clear the organizers had put a lot of effort into the expo - signing sessions with throngs of fans queued up and a slick looking arena with lots of brands on show.

Both Andrew and Tracey were unsure of the level of competition they might face so knew they would have to still push hard.

With multiple events on event including the 2X ( Duel racing ), a Whip Off and DH it was a great chance for Andrew and Tracey to keep their skills sharp between world cup races, and for amateurs to race against their heroes.

When it came down to it, Andrew ended up winning every event on the schedule but was pushed hard by the fired up locals who could certainly ride! Tracey produced a fantastic run in the final to take victory by a clear margin and impressed the fans during Whip Offs.

Andrew Neethling: “The fans were great on track, I’ve had an awesome time in China - the organizers treated us like royalty and it's great to experience a new country and culture and see how big the sport is becoming here.“

Tracey Hannah: “The experience has been insane, I can’t believe what the country is like - it blew my mind how many spectators came to watch. I’ve loved it here!"

We loved being a part of this event and want to thank all the amazing organizers and fans - we can’t wait to go back!

Check out Andrew's POV run on the downhill track:

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Added a comment about product review Tested: Gamut Podium Flat Pedals 5/25/2016 7:23 PM

I did like the Split Second stem, too. Like the Point One Podium pedals, I kept that stem on my bike wayyyyyyy too long. I think both the pedals and the stem lasted me 3 or 4 bikes...

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This product_review has 3 comments.

Added reply in a thread Sideways rear wheel movement... 5/25/2016 11:36 AM

Nice. Glad you got it sorted.

Added reply in a thread How do you store your bikes? 5/25/2016 11:30 AM

Check out this thread that was posted awhile back. Some pretty rad ideas in there. I've been doing a lot of work on my garage lately, and regularly have to store upwards of 10 bikes (for 3 people). I use a combination of hooks hanging from the rafters for ... more »

Added a new video Elements of a Trail Crew - Ep. 1 - Water | Angel Fire Bike Park 5/25/2016 10:23 AM

Sometimes a trail builder's best friend can also be their worst enemy. Get a behind the scenes peek at what it takes for the Angel Fire Bike Part to transition from winter to summer. As soon as the snow starts melting, the Angel Fire Bike Park Trail Crew is out on the mountain getting the trails ready for summer. But what does it actually take to open the Bike Park? Episode One of our five-part series, Elements of a Trail Crew, dives into the struggle the crew faces against their most volatile element, Water.

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Added reply in a thread Sideways rear wheel movement... 5/24/2016 11:08 AM

Did you end up taking your bike in? I'm curious what was going on.

Added reply in a thread Troy Lee Designs / Shock Doctor gear review (ride and crash tested) 5/24/2016 11:04 AM

What body armor you choose to go with can really vary depending on where you live, how much protection you want and or need, and how much you're willing to spend. My best advice to you is take into consideration what you want and what you'll be riding, ... more »

Added a new video Fire 5 First Race Course Preview at Angel Fire Bike Park 5/23/2016 12:05 PM

Angel Fire Bike Park’s Fire 5 is the premier downhill race series in the Rocky Mountains. A series of five unique downhill races held at Angel Fire Bike Park throughout the bike season. Amateurs and pros alike are invited to join us for one or all five races. Cash and prizes awarded for each race and overall series winners. Competitors 21 and over will receive two beer tickets per race sponsored by Shock Top & Goose Island IPA.

Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd & 3rd places in all categories. Series Champion will be determined by most points earned in 4 out of 5 races in the series. Rider must be present to be eligible for awards. No awards will be mailed.

Online Registration [Per Race]:

PRO: $50 | AM: $30

Same-Day Registration [Per Race]:

PRO: $55 | AM: $35

Note: Online registration will close 2 days before each race. Same-day registration will be held in the Bike Shop & will close at 1 p.m.  Bike Park Lift Ticket is not included in cost of registration.

Race Dates:


Men Pro

  • Women Pro

  • Men Open

  • Women Open

  • Junior Men

  • Junior Women

Race Day Schedule:

9 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Packet Pick-up & On-site Registration
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Course Open for Practice*
2 p.m. | Start List Posted
3 p.m. | Race Begins
5 p.m. | Awards Ceremony

*The course will be announced 1 weekend prior to each race and open to Bike Park riders to practice before Race Day.


If inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances arise, the contingency plan will be to move the race to the following day at 10:30 a.m.

  • 9-10 a.m. | Course Open for Practice

  • 10:30 a.m. | Race Begins

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Added a new video Nik Nestoroff - LOCALS - Eps 8 5/22/2016 10:37 AM

Welcome to Locals episode 8! Another week and another fresh face for ya. This weekend we cruised by San Marcos, San Diego to check-in with the young racer, Nik Nestoroff. Having seen this grom smash through the Jr ranks for the past few years has been an absolute treat. His drive to fulfill his dreams of becoming World Champion are now closer than ever. Nik took us out to some new trails he built behind his house and let it hang out for our lens.

Nik is part of the new generation of riders. Having started racing in 2009 at 9 years old, he's got as many years of bike racing as Gwin and he's only 16. Learning speed before he learned multiplication (still not sure if he's mastered this), racing has been his everything since as long as he can remember. But as a kid, you only can go as far as your parents will take you. His dad Brian is THE MAN. He took the youngin’s passion seriously and made sacrifices so he could enable him to the fullest. Nik went to every SoCal race and was at every group ride. Brian made sure that his son had every opportunity to learn and progress on a bike. Nik soaked it all in like a sponge. His progression took off at an exponential rate and hasn't slowed down.

2015 was a big year for Nestoroff. Intense Cycles launched The Palmer Project and took him on board. Palmer saw Nik’s immense amount of speed/talent and knew he could help mold him into a champion. Shaun’s mental coaching pushed him to the next level. It’s one thing to think you're fast but it's another to have Palmer tell you you're the next World Champ and that he won't settle for you bringing home a silver. That year Nik went on to be a contender in the national series points chase. At only 15, he stood his own in a field of seasoned 18-year-olds. At Nationals he smashed the 15-16 field taking the win with a time that would have had him sitting pretty with the pro men. Nik saw that his dream of World Cup racing was within reach so he decided to get a little taste of the real thing. He jumped at the chance to pre-run at MSA and Windham. They specifically tell the pre-runners to go slow and be cautious but when asked if he was going to listen, Nik only said “I’m here to race.” Although his time didn't count for anything, he threw down and had comparable times to the tops of the junior field. At the end of the season, Palmer decided to release his creation on the world. Knowing that pushing him up the World Cup would be the next step, he handed Nestoroff to the Intense Factory race team.

2016 brought a lot of firsts for Little Nikky: traveling outside of the U.S, racing World Cups, living without parental guidance for months and eating something other than chicken fingers. That's a lot of things that could easily throw off your mental race game. Also, being on a factory team a has been Nik’s dream forever. Not many people can say they achieve goals like that. Out of the small percentage that do, many let the pressures and distractions take them down. It's amazing how none of these have touched Nestoroff. He still has the same cool headedness that gotten him to where he is now.

So far this season he has been smashing it as a first year Jr. He came out of the gate strong in Lourdes, finishing 3rd. First race, first podium. Proving that he had what it takes and that just because you're from SoCal, doesn't mean you're afraid of the mud. Next stop was Cairns which was a long way from home. Fighting his way through the jungle, he finished in 6th place. Although it wasn't on the box, it held his position in 3rd for the overall points. Next stop is Fort Bill and Leogang. He killed it his first time in Europe, we can't wait to see how he does the second time around. We couldn't have chosen a better junior to represent our country. Go smash it Nik!!

We will leave you with this gem. Lil Nikky trying out for rampage in 2011.

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Added a new video Lil Nikky Didn't Make Rampage 5/22/2016 10:43 AM

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Started new thread Trail Dogs Rule 5/20/2016 10:44 AM

Going on a ride with your best friend is always a blast, especially when that friend has four legs and fur. I've been lucky enough to have two trail dogs over the years, Bowser and Goose. We got Bowser when he was already 6 years old. He's an old man

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This forum thread has 16 replies

Added reply in a thread Sideways rear wheel movement... 5/19/2016 2:33 PM

To me, that sounds like your non-drive cone isn't quite tight enough. It might be worth checking with Nukeproof regarding the exact torque spec for that nut, as if you over tighten it there is a chance of stipping the threads or cracking it. But if you're ... more »

Added reply in a thread Sideways rear wheel movement... 5/19/2016 1:44 PM

When you snug up the locking cone on the non-drive side to the axle, grab both cones (drive and non-drive) and see if you can replicate the play by hand. If so, tighten that non-drive cone down more. You basically want it to be as tight as possible without ... more »

Added reply in a thread UCI to Pay Tribute to Steve Smith with Memorial Run at Fort William 5/19/2016 12:51 PM

Thank you UCI... That might be the first and last time I ever say that.

Added reply in a thread Heads Up Colorado Riders: Spikes Found on Buffalo Creek Trails 5/19/2016 12:44 PM

How does someone even get to that point? Pure evil.

Added reply in a thread Sideways rear wheel movement... 5/19/2016 9:24 AM

I'm not super familiar with Nukeproof hubs having never worked on them personally, but from what I can see on their site the hub cones do have flats for a cone-wrench. Are you sure you're properly tightening down the cones? They should be snug enough ... more »

Added a new video EWS Excitement From Round 3 in Wicklow 5/18/2016 4:01 PM

What a race! From Rude's massive comeback after a mechanical, Hill taking the number 2 spot on flats, Tracy Moseley's incredible return to racing and Greg Callaghan's repeat win, there was no shortage of stoke during round 3 of the EWS.

After last year’s amazing event, everyone was looking forward to returning and it didn’t disappoint. The crowds were even bigger and miraculously the sun was also out once again. Last year we saw local hero Greg Callaghan take the win, the swarming excitable crowds all clearly wanted a repeat. With Tracy Moseley also back for a recess from her retirement, it was always going to be an exciting race to see if these two riders, the crowd and the venue could repeat last years magic. We certainly weren’t disappointed. It was drama at every turn.

2016 Race Dates

Round 1 - March 26/27 - Valdivia, Chile

Round 2 - April 2/3 - Bariloche, Argentina

Round 3 - May 15 - County Wicklow, Ireland

Round 4 - July 16/17 - La Thuile, Italy

Round 5 - July 30/31 - Aspen Snowmass, USA

Round 6 - August 14 - Whistler, Canada

Round 7 - September 17 - Valberg-Guillaumes

Round 8 - October 1/2 - Finale Ligure, Ital

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Julian Coffey Joins Kali Protectives
(Press Release)

5/18/2016 9:54 AM


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