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rob magazine

The crank is the whirling heart of any bicycle.

The crank is the whirling heart of any bicycle. It conveys energy from legs to drive-train. Inefficiencies in that conveyance – like excess crank weight, flex or torsion – waste energy and thus speed, which, if road rash doesn't scare you, is the whole point. Race Face is a Canadian engineering firm cloaked as a bike company that has spent two decades eliminating those minute inefficiencies. The most recent culmination of those efforts is the Vancouver-manufactured Next SL G4 Crankset, one of the lightest and strongest cranksets on the market. "It's the premium product in our industry," says president Chris Tutton. "And, I believe, it's the only production carbon-fibre crank made in North America right now." Six years ago, such success appeared unlikely. Previous ownership had dragged the company into bankruptcy. Tutton, the company's former sales VP, bought the assets from the bank and pulled it toward viability. It was a shrewd move. The suspension company Fox Factory bought Race Face for $30-million (U.S.) in 2014 in a deal that included Easton Cycling. With revenues climbing from $12-million before the bankruptcy to an anticipated $60-million this year, the bike biz continues to turn Tutton's crank.