Race Face Turbine R Wheelset

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Race Face Turbine R Wheelset Race Face Turbine R Wheelset
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    Tested: Race Face Turbine R Wheelset

    Rating: Vital Review

    Review by Matt Thompson // Action Photos by Jeff Cricco (@jeffcricco)

    Canadian component heavyweight, Race Face, sent us their 27.5 Turbine R wheels for some long-term trail bike abuse. The black-on-black, asymmetric 30mm-wide aluminum rims are mated to Race Face's first from-the-ground-up-designed hubs, dubbed Vault. Race Face Vault hubs feature 120 points of engagement and large 6902 series bearings. The complete wheelset weighs 1730g (27.5) and use a single spoke length throughout the entire structure.

    Race Face Turbine R Features

    • Built for XC, Trail and Enduro use
    • Available Options: 15x100 Front (tested) convertible to: 9x100QR, Read More »

    Review by Matt Thompson // Action Photos by Jeff Cricco (@jeffcricco)

    Canadian component heavyweight, Race Face, sent us their 27.5 Turbine R wheels for some long-term trail bike abuse. The black-on-black, asymmetric 30mm-wide aluminum rims are mated to Race Face's first from-the-ground-up-designed hubs, dubbed Vault. Race Face Vault hubs feature 120 points of engagement and large 6902 series bearings. The complete wheelset weighs 1730g (27.5) and use a single spoke length throughout the entire structure.

    Race Face Turbine R Features

    • Built for XC, Trail and Enduro use
    • Available Options: 15x100 Front (tested) convertible to: 9x100QR, 20x110, 15x100 Torque Cap; 15x110 Boost Front convertible to: 15x110 Torque Cap; 12x142 Rear (tested) convertible to 10x135QR, 12x135; 12x148 Boost Rear
    • Rim: 6069 aluminum rim with offset spokes and matte aluminum / high-gloss water transfer graphics
    • Rim Dimensions: Height - 20mm, Internal Width - 30mm
    • Spokes: 28 spoke, 3x pattern
    • Large, oversized flange for improved bracing angle
    • Larger bearings
    • No bearing adjuster
    • Wider bearing stance
    • 6 double tooth pawls (3 engage at a time)
    • 120 points of engagement (3 degrees)
    • Balanced spoke counter bore
    • Tool-free interchangeable end caps (sold separately)
    • Wheelset Weight: 27.5" - 1,730g, 29" - 1,815g
    • MSRP: Front - $479.99, Rear - $639.99

    Initial Impressions

    Race Face's new Turbine wheels are a real stunner, coming in flat black with gloss highlights - just the right amount of stealth and flash to complement any trail steed. It took some getting used to the look of the asymmetric rims and off-set spoke holes, but it's certainly nothing to complain about. Function over fashion, as they say. While oversized, the new Vault hub shells are not obnoxious in appearance. They look cool.

    Also, it's always nice when wheels come ready to go, right out the box. No taping or valve installation required, just instant gratification. We were impressed, too, that Race Face included spare spokes with the test, just in case of an accident along the way.

    We were pleased when we mounted the tires up first go, with no tools or fuss. The tires went straight on and beads seated with a quick shot from the compressor. Although not only a function of a quality wheel, it's been nice to note that pressures have remained relatively consistent throughout our entire test. We haven't had to add air with every ride.

    Just rolling around in the street, the near instant engagement of the rear hub was noticeable straight away. The pleasant, but not overbearing buzz of the freehub body let us know we were on something different, to be sure.  Even with the many points of contact in the freehub body, we instantly realized how smoothly and easily these wheels roll. We were excited to hit the dirt.

    On The Trail

    During the test, the Race Face Turbine wheels have seen everything from the smooth, undulating singletrack near home, to the rocky, craggy, spiky terrain consistent with higher alpine offerings. They have even spent a few days on lift-accessed trails and in bike parks. Our tester is self-proclaimed heavy, hackish rider, who is hard on parts and not known for finesse. Regardless, these wheels have held up great. The wheels have been ridden exclusively by our tester for the past three months and there are some keen observations to be made about their performance.

    First, the engagement of the rear hub has spoiled our tester. He rides flat pedals exclusively and really appreciated the direct transfer of power in techy climbing situations and out-of-the-saddle efforts.  "I can honestly say the rear hub helped my riding in this regard," he said.  He has since returned to his old set of wheels and "can't really stand riding them anymore."

    Race Face explains their Vault hub.

    Second, these wheels are stiff enough to take note. And at 210 pounds, wheel rigidity is usually the first thing our tester notices when riding something new. We know that lately carbon rims are getting all the attention for their stiffness, but the Race Face Turbine R compares admirably.  They were slapped into many a berm at high rates of speed and never once got that vague, warbly feel in return.  They accelerate well and help the bike feel more solid underneath you. The Turbines go where they're pointed and offer a positive feedback, without any harshness as a compromise.

    A Specialized Butcher Control 2.3 was mounted to the front and a 2.3 Specialized Slaughter Grid to the rear of the Turbines. Over the course of the test, pressures ranging from 24-30 PSI in the front and 26-34 PSI in the rear were tried and never once was a flat tire experienced. "Upon reading about the 'stronger alloy for higher impact resistance' in the Race Face Turbine R First Look, I was initially concerned about the harder rim material increasing the possibility for flat tires, as I've experienced this with other rims in the past.  Those fears were unfounded as not only did I get zero flats, but I wasn't able to flat-spot or ding the rims noticeably," said our tester.

    The interior rim width of 30mm was a bit too wide for our tester's liking. "I realize this is the direction most rim companies are headed lately and I just don't find that it leaves the tire with a profile that I prefer.  I prefer a rim with a 25mm-ish interior width for my trail bikes as I feel it best suits my riding style, tire choice, and the terrain I frequent.  I fully recognize that this is a personal preference, however," he said. Horses for courses.

    Things That Could Be Improved

    We find it hard to suggest anything that could be improved on these wheels.  They check all the boxes.  Hey Race Face, would you guys make some rims that are a little bit narrower?

    Long Term Durability

    We have ZERO concerns about the long term durability of this product.  They are well constructed and exhibit a smart design highlighted by good seals and large bearings.  During the course of this test, we never had to even tighten a spoke.  The wheels maintained trueness and tension while taking a beating through sideways landings, rock gardens, blind hucking and general tomfoolery.

    What's The Bottom Line?

    Mentioning price in a review can be tricky as it's up to the individual consumer to decide relative worth and value. In the case of the Race Face Turbine R, there are lighter or less expensive wheel sets on the market, but perhaps they won't measure up in terms of performance. Similarly, one needn't look far to find more expensive wheel offerings, some that certainly won't measure up to the performance the Turbines offer. 

    Perhaps the nicest thing to say about these wheels (or any bike part, for that matter) is that we never thought about them.  They were mounted on the bike and we went about our business, never having to compromise riding, adjust them or even consider them. This product allowed us to only focus on riding and the experience, without distraction.

    Vital would recommend Race Face Turbine R wheels to any rider looking to upgrade their current wheelset to one that offers superior rear wheel engagement, smart design, flawless performance, and excellent durability.

    Visit www.raceface.com for more details.


    About The Reviewer

    Matt Thompson - Humble enough not to claim his Masters Downhill World Champ status when we asked him what his accomplishments were, Matt has over 20 years on a bike and likes to go fast. Really fast. At 210-pounds of trail-building muscle, he can put the hurt on a bike in little to no time.



    Rate review: +2 Up Down
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    Specifications

    Product Race Face Turbine R Wheelset
    Riding Type Cross Country, Trail
    Wheel Size
    Rim Material
    Rim 6069 aluminum, offset spokes, matte aluminum / high gloss water transfer graphics, 30mm internal width
    Inner Rim Width
    Hole Count 28 spoke, 3x pattern
    Tubeless Compatible Yes
    Rear Hub 120 points of engagement, 12x142 Rear (Convertible to 10x135QR, 12x135), 12x148 Boost rear.
    Rear Axle
    Front Hub 15x100 front (convertible to: 9x100QR, 20x110, 15x100 Torque Cap). 15x110 Boost Front (Convertible to: 15x110 Torque Cap).
    Front Axle
    Disc Mount Type
    Spokes 28
    Nipples Alloy
    Colors Black
    Weight
    • 3 lb 13 oz (1730 g)
    • 4 lb 0 oz (1815 g)
    Miscellaneous
    Price $1,119.99
    More Info

    ​www.raceface.com