"Amongst my workmates I’m odd one out when it comes to pedals, I’ve always been a fan of flat pedals but as I tick off more and more back country rides it seems like those clipless torments may be justified."
My pedals of choice have traditionally been Tioga MX Pros. You’ll find grip is never an issue but ditching you’re rig is always an option if things go pear-shaped. A classic and copied design they’re fairly run of the mill weight wise but as far as bang for buck goes they’re hard to beat.
If you splash out you’ll be able to find lighter and slimmer pedals but there’s a word of warning, cheaper pedals with these benefits have probably been built with downhillers and dirt-jumpers in mind. Cheaper flats tend to slog out with a few km’s on them, Tioga’s seem to run for an age between services thanks to replaceable sealed bearings. The grip pins are also replaceable and with a new set you’ll be struggling to slip a pedal. Best to wear shin protection though, if you manage to part ways with these bad boys whilst pedalling they’ll be sure to leave a mark.
It’s common knowledge that clipless pedals increase your pedaling efficiency and are an easy way to shave weight. I’ve been a fan of Crank Brothers products in general so wanting to test some clipless I picked up a pair of Candy 2’s to review. On the riding style continuum Crank Brothers make ‘Egg Beaters’ for cross-country use, ‘Candys’ for all-mountain riding and ‘Mallets’ for Downhill. The Candys seem to be a happy medium for me as they have a small platform for stability and have stood up well to abuse so far. With a slimmer profile to my flats I’ve found them less prone to pedal strike.
Having earlier talked up bearings the Candy 2’s run a bearing and a bush combination. While it’s a reliable system I haven’t ridden them long enough to make comment on their longevity. After some intensive riding I pulled them apart with no sign of wear which is encouraging. When it comes time for a service it’s a two minute job.
Looks wise they’re a sexy looking pedal and I have no issue with bike bling so long as it’s functional. Once you get the knack of clipping in they’re brilliant for those never ending climbs and long days in the saddle. As a clipping in rookie, the inner egg beater design makes it an easy task. There is essentially a Ferris wheel of wings at the ready to grab a hold of your cleat if they first one misses. As for getting out, under a no pressure situation its child’s play but if I was going over the falls, well, I’m not willing to intentionally test this.
Down to the verdict, am I converted? Well not fully, with the luxury of both I simply swap. If I’m riding a gnarly line you’ll see the trusty Tiogas on my feet but if I’m off on a scroggin munching adventure it’s clipless all the way.