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12 bike frames later, these Turbine Cranks are still going strong

Devin McPherson Turbine crank story

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…

New gear is always fun, but sometimes mountain bikers get attached to their bikes or—in some cases—certain bike parts. It may be scuffed and scratched beyond recognition, but if it still works, some riders can find it very hard to let go. We recently got wind that North Shore rider Devin McPherson was still rocking the same Turbine crankset he bought almost 10 years ago, the hardy alloy arms surviving countless days of riding, boosting and general hucking to flat over the course of 12 bike frames. We sat down with Devin to get the full story of his ever-enduring Turbine cranks. 

 turbine crank then an dnow

On the crankset’s origin story…

At the time I bought the Turbines I was working as a mechanic locally here at Obsession Bikes in North Vancouver. My 2014 26-inch-wheeled Banshee Rune was a classic bike-shop-guy, frame-up build. I was drawing a lot of inspiration from guys who would bring the same Chris King hubs from bike to bike. That was the year the narrow wide chain ring was starting to become cool. I had a pair of 4-bolt spider Shimano XT cranks with a tiny chain ring attached and it all looked pretty dorky to be honest. The Turbines came out with Cinch and I was like man, those kind of look like BMX cranks! I liked the idea of not losing chainring bolts when I was out on the trail, so I ordered a set of Turbines, tossed them on and for some reason didn't replace them for the next nine years. 

old turbine cranks 9 years strong

On Turbine cranks standing up to the punishment…

I’m a guy who’s north of 200 pounds (with my riding gear) and who has sort of a dirt jump-influenced riding style. The cranks have always been on a 160 or 170mm travel enduro bike and ended up gracing 12 frames since that Banshee Rune. I’d wear through plenty of drivetrains (including about 10 chainrings) and quite a few wheels. Frames would fail and these Turbine cranks would just carry over to the next bike. They’re not even the burliest option out there but they were getting punished all the same. They were the most brutally thrashed piece of gear on every new build, there was just never a reason to change them. Plus, having cranks so worn that you could not even read the logo on them was amusing to me.  

The rock strikes have had to be the worst, though. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve smashed these Turbines pedaling and descending on the North Shore trails… One time I snapped a pedal right off its spindle, which was quite alarming in the moment, but pretty confidence-inspiring for the cranks. It’s one reason why a couple of my buddies now rock Turbine cranks as well. You know when you buy a complete bike and they come with some with some low-end spec cranks that bend right out of the gate? You go Turbine. It’s a simple upgrade. 

 Same turbine, another bikeframe

On the the most amazing ride these cranks have witnessed…

In 2018, I was riding in Revelstoke for a friend's bachelor party and we got the opportunity to do a heli drop on Mount Cartier. You start up in the alpine and ride about 17 kilometers of trail over a 7000-foot descent. Like any backcountry mountain biking, it’s a scenario where you don't want to worry about the reliability of your gear.  

Race Face turbine in Revelstoke

On why Devin puts his Trust in Turbine…

I think the best part about these Turbine cranks is that I never had to think about them. I’m going to ride down anything or I’m going to jump off something, and these cranks are going be there at the bottom. I think that’s a good testament to any bike part. If you're not thinking about it, then it's probably doing its job very well. These cranks are simple. Simple and strong. And that’s good enough for me. 

It had come up a few times in parking lot conversations after rides. Like why do you have cranks that look like they've been through 1000 lives on this totally fresh, Ride Wrapped frame? There was just no good reason to change them. I guess a part of it was being a frugal mountain biker, but I think it got to a point where I just wanted to see how far they could go. 

Old RF turbine cranks new bike

To reward Devin for his almost decade-long product loyalty, Race Face presented him with a brand new pair of 2023 Turbine Cranks. The counter has been reset.

 Trust in Turbine

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