15/05/2013 | 9 comments
Words and photos: Steve Walker
A kiss is just a kiss. Well you’d be wrong. Some kisses are more meaningful than others and some can get you into a world of trouble (financially anyway). Now what the hell has this got to do with pedals I hear you ask? A pedal is just a pedal, right? Once again you’d be wrong.
The pedal is one of only two contact points from your body to your bicycle (the other being your grips of course). If you run clipless pedals then it is imperative you get the right one for the type of riding you intend to do.
Captain, we’re down on power
Here’s the thing (and it’s something I’ve only just learned). People (myself included) spend thousands of pounds on overpriced (mainly carbon) BS in order to save a pound of ‘overall’ bike weight here and there. You know what I mean? The carbon frameset, the XTR mech over the XT or the carbon lever brakes over the stock aluminium ones. The difference in price is mind blowing and yet, in the grand scheme of things, it actually means very little to how your pride and joy feels when you are down the woods. If you feel like you’re down on power then the quickest fix is (apart from wheels/tyres), believe it or not, the pedals you push and the shoes you push them around in.
Rotational weight (along with a diet of lentils and rice) is the most important thing on an XC racer’s mind and that’s where these ‘super bling’ gold babies come into play. They (when paired with, say, a Mavic Fury shoe) turn an effortless rotational circle, to the point where you feel you can push two gears harder down the block. It’s difficult to imagine that pedals and shoes can make that much difference, but they do.
If there were a pedal that would become chairman of your local rotary club, then this would be it.
The bank job
Unless you’re a corporate fella then you may well have to pull a bank job to buy the Egg Beater Ti pedals. The full-bodied titanium Crank Brothers pedals are staggeringly expensive, £379.99 worth of stagger in fact. However if you’ve just spent two and a half grand on a carbon frame, then an extra three hundred notes means little really. Or does it?
Disappointingly our goldies aren’t quite as light as they should be. When weighed on my butcher’s scales they came in nearly fifty grams heavier than their claimed weight. Now in the grand scheme of things fifty grams is nothing to lose a lot of sleep over. However, we are talking nearly £400 for a set of pedals here and not £50.
Having used Shimano pedals for years I have to say that I did find clipping into the Crank Brothers pedals difficult. My first experience with them left me with a stubbed toe, a scraped shin and a trip over the bars. However, it is not as bad as it sounds. Once I got used to the engagement and disengagement process I found the pedals easy to use. Here’s the ‘hot bottom’ line. Shimano clipless pedals are easier to get into, Crank Brothers Egg Beaters are easier to get out of. It’s like getting married and divorced I suppose. Only you can decide which suits you better.
Is all that glitters really gold?
Well is it? Look I tell it as I see it and for me personally in my quest as a ‘new born’ cross country racer I need every little bit of wattage on the uphills I can find, so if I can use a pedal and shoe combo that is as good (and lightweight) as it gets, then I’m a happy racer. The Eggbeater 11 pedals certainly fall into that bracket and I haven’t had any reliability issues to date so they’ll be staying on my race bike. On the flip side, if you’re just going for a pootle around the woods then I can’t really see much point in spending 379 of your hard earned on the Eggbeater 11 Ti pedals.
Hang on a minute, if all you are doing is riding (and not racing) around the woods then was there any need to spend two-grand plus on that new carbon frame?
Food for thought and lots of different kisses.