Race Face Atlas Crankset '05

With little more than 30 months, i'll tell the RF Atlas experience.

Bacalhau: Giant Escaper '92 (hardtail), Marzocchi MX Comp ETA '06(oem), brake Hope M4, x-lite, steam Roox, Time pedals, Avid Flak Jacket, chain Rohloff...
RF Atlas Cranks + 3 Tiso chainrings(22t,32t,44t)+ original left bearing/new Shimano XT right bearing

Race Face Atlas Crankset '05:
230€, 22t (steel) / 32t (alloy) / 44t (alloy), xc bearings, 965g
I confess! I crashed in Monsanto back in 2005 and i walked out ok. Unfortunately Bacalhau (Cod Fish) didn't make it. Mavic D521 (rear wheel) and Shimano LX crankset where extremely injured at the time. D521 lived another year and LX ... It's in my room, collecting dust.
After some research, i found RF Atlas on Barracuda for half the price in Portugal. I didn't think twice. Just clicked on "order now".

I didn't had any tools to replace it my LBS toke care of that and put a new connex 908 chain. This was the point were i & LBS discovered that this was one of those defected first series. The crank and axle didn't fit. Simple as this.
The mechanic grabbed a tool and started to sanding gently the ends of the axle. One hour later, Bacalhau was already on South Margin trails.

After 8 or 9 months of intensive use (+/- 5000km) i detected a weird sound coming from the crank set. Actually it was more from the right bottom bracket. 3 clacks and 1 click per revolution that echoed far away. The right bearing was broken and that caused a lot miss shitting gears. It was time to visit the LBS.
The store concluded that the bearing died long ago and replaced with Shimano LX right bearing (i was short on money), 3 new Tiso chainrings and Rohloff s-l-t 99 chain!

Wow! The Bad Ass Black color and the CNC drilling is a work of art. Very stiff, Bacalhau starts moving when i barely touch the pedals.

Atlas crankset uses Race chainrings, not Team. The 44t is quite durable and it would be fantastic if it wasn't the excessive rivets (Tiso hasn't a single one!).
The 32t is the worst of the three chainrings. It only lasted three chains! Even FSA 34t lasted longer.
22t is the most shocking chainring. It´s made of steel, i guess. This is why RF Deus crankset is lighter than Atlas.
All these chairing have CNC work while XTR chainring are forged.

- original xc:
They are very weak. They last less than my old LX hollowtech I bottom bracket and squeak a lot when it's broken. Until then, pure silence.
- golden fr/dh (diablos x-type):
The LBS said it would last longer than xc but they where wrong. At the end of 2º month it squeak like hell and the right golden bearing went loose! My will is to remove that plastic ring and exchange inside. The golden bearings are beautiful.

It's light and stiff, it handles much more abuse on the trails than old LX. Finally i can pedal and brake rocks at the same time. The original setup is good but changing the 3 chainrings for FSA, Tiso, Specialitys TA or Rotor it will blast everything.
A rigidity test showed that Atlas has a stiffness of 54N/mm. Above this there's only Stronglight Oxale '08 with 55,6N/mm and K-Force '05 from FSA with 58,8N/mm.

I recommend this crankset for XC to Enduro.

Radar friend:
1 - Run for your lifes!
2 - Below average
3 - Normal/It does the job
4 - Above medium
5 - Outstanding!

- great performance between XC to Enduro
- two color to choose from (unlike Shimano XTR)

- right bearing is the first in line to die
- the middle chainring is weak, below average
- 22t made of steel!

Please comment if you agree or not.

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