21
Apr
2008

Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

4/21/2008 : sicklines
, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

Race Face has delivered a crank many of you have been itching for, a lightweight 83mm Atlas crank strong enough for competition and lighter than the Diabolus offering. So what do these cranks have to offer up? Check out these limited edition cranks inside.

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge) *editor note -The bashguard shown is not the Atlas FR bashguard, it can be seen below

More and more bikes are utilizing a 83mm crankset. With people paying a bit more attention to what parts go on their bikes it does create more product gaps and previously wasn’t quite as big of an issue for manufactures. What the Atlas FR does is fill the gap of a lighter while still durable crankset for long travel bikes (or freeride bikes) in a slightly more svelte package. On the surface these cranks look very similar to the Atlas AM cranks, but upon closer inspection you can see the additional beef inserted into the FR crank.

To understand these cranks a bit more, we thought it was fit to see where they came from. You can see comparison shots of the Race Face FR to the Race Face AM cranks below.

Atlas FR (left) vs Atlas AM (right) comparisons:

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

Options:

Race Face gives you a ton with this new crankset.

  • 100mm, 83mm, or 68/73mm bottom bracket offerings
  • 165mm, 170mm, or 175mm crank arms
  • Badass Black or Blue Steel
, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

steel blue option (click to enlarge)

  • Arms only available for 83mm and 100mm
  • Chainring options (22t/32t/bash, 24t/36t/bash)

In addition to all those options the cranks also offer up a lot in terms of strength and adjustability

  • 6mm adjustable chainline
  • Removable Granny Ring spacer to allow for better clearance
  • Use of Phil Wood grease in the bearings with a newly designed triple wiper seal
  • CNC machined in Canada, B.C.
  • Use of “OPTIM-AL” which RaceFace says is 20% stronger than 7050 AL
  • Thick walled heat treat CroMo axle
  • Self extracting crank bolt

Details and Setup:

For our use we opted for the 165mm/83mm setup and they’re quite impressive so far. RaceFace offers just about every configuration we’d ever want. The 24t/36t setup is going to be hot this year amongst bike setup’s over the once common 22t/32t setup, as it offers a much better gear ratio that allows you to go faster and still “earn your descents”. With gravity bikes having lower and lower bottom brackets, the need for 165mm arms quickly becomes apparent and Race Face delivers.

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge)

Race Face’s double configurations (22t/32t/bash, or 24t/36t/bash) offer up ramped and pinned rings, which is a nice feature. These small things go a long way in ensuring proper shifting when you need it.

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge)

The Atlas FR cranks also have a removable granny spacer. Those of you with a chainguide that have ever had to file/grind down the granny rings will appreciate this option when setting up your chainguide.

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge)

Should you be running these cranks in a single ring configuration, RaceFace does sell non-ramped rings that are quite nice. They’re pretty beefy and have a great look to them. Clearance with some chainguides might be a bit tighter if you use one of these rings given their slightly wider overall profile.

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

bashguard (click to enlarge)

Unlike other two piece cranksets, the Race Face cranks feature the spindle on the non-drive side crankarm. On the surface this isn’t a big deal, but when setting up a chainguide or trying to properly space the cranks it does make installation a bit more arduous. Once installed though, this issue is moot but it is noteworthy. In addition, RaceFace cranks have the nice feature of being able to tweak your chain line. They can be adjusted 6mm for proper drivetrain alignment. This feature is something the other big crank guys seem to have overlooked.

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge)

Continuing with differences, the cranks attach together by tightening a 8mm bolt. The setup is a press fit and you’ll need a big 8mm allen to snug these up properly. An issue relative to the spindle being attached to the non-drive side crankarm, it can take some time to set up these cranks. You may have to install and remove the crank arm a few times to get a perfect setup. The benefit however, is that a heavy handed mechanic won’t mess up your crank arms as easily from over tightening that can occur with pinch bolt two piece cranks. The single bolt setup also removes a lot of things that can go wrong in terms of installation and routine checkups.

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge) *editor note -The bashguard shown is not the Atlas FR bashguard

So far with all of my RaceFace cranks I haven’t had to remove them too much and they’ve been trouble free. I have noticed it is easier to properly install the cranks after the initial setup once the arms are removed and installed a few times. This is likely due to the spindle interface possibly wearing during a multitude of installations and allowing the crank arm to seat easier.

The Atlas FR crankarms also don’t include steel pedal inserts or washers. Don’t fret if you’re used to seeing this in a gravity marketed crank. This should not be an issue, as we’ve yet to see their pedal threads ever come out on a set of any X-type Atlas cranks.

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge)

Another nice bit is their redesigned bottom bracket. Race Face isn’t known for their exceptional external bottom brackets but with their revised tweaks they’ve clearly set out to improve their products where they felt they needed to. The bottom bracket now comes packed with Phil Wood grease inside and is redesigned to seal better with their triple wiper seal to keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out.

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge)

The cranks are clean and don’t have any overly aggressive graphic representation. The Atlas FR cranks do have a laser etched topology map of what looks like Mt. Fromme in Canada. It’s a nice and clean setup with additional bulges where necessary to increase the strength of these cranks to get RaceFace’s DH/FR stamp of approval.

, Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks

(click to enlarge) *editor note -The bashguard shown is not the Atlas FR bashguard

These cranks should be hot sellers this year and compliment a bike that not only can go down the hill with confidence, but up as well. The strength to weight ratio of these cranks is very impressive and Race Face has delivered a heavy hitting crankset with the Atlas FR. Machined & designed in house makes these cranks that much sweeter but expect to pay a little bit of a premium for that benefit. In addition to that, Race Face has got a killer warranty department so you can rest assured if there’s something wrong they’ll fix it without hesitation.

Price:

  • The Atlas FR crankset with 24t/36t/bashguard combo has an MSRP of $345.00
  • Crank arms only option is also available in 83mm or 100mm. MSRP is $255.00

Weights:

  • Single Ring Setup (828g without bottom bracket sleeve)
  • Dual Ring Setup 24t/36t/Bash (1082g without bottom bracket sleeve)
Part Year Real(g) Pic.
Race Face Atlas FR Crankarms 165mm 83mm 2008 714 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face Bottom Bracket Cups (Phil Wood tripple seal) 2008 109 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face granny ring spacer 2008 12 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face 83mm Bottom Bracket Sleeve 2008 12 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face BB Spacer 2.5mm (x3) 2008 5 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face 22t Chain Ring 2008 36 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face 24t Chain Ring 2008 44 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face 32t Ramped Chain Ring 2008 43 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face 36t Ramped Chain Ring 2008 65 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face 36t Single DH Chain Ring 2008 66 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face 34t Bash Guard 2008 135 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face 36t FR Bash Guard 2008 101 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face Granny Chain Ring Bolts 2008 15 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
Race Face Chainring Bolts 2008 19 , Preview: Race Face Atlas FR 83mm Cranks
 

[Race Face Atlas FR and Atlas AM Gallery] [Race Face Website]

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