After experiencing knee problems over the last year with
my previous pedals, Shimano M323s, I decided to invest in some Time Atacs after being
advised by a friend that they are the ultimate pedals!
After shopping around a bit I found a mail order
company was able to supply the cheapest set, priced at a bargain £39.99 compared
with the £60 is was quoted by numerous other suppliers, so I ordered there
and then and they were delivered to my doorstep 2 days later.
When first testing the pedals in my garden,
I soon realised that these were nothing like SPDs in their design or use. The first
major difference is that they are very simple, there is a minimum of parts, and basically
they consist of a carefully designed piece of metal with 2 very strong springs and
a threaded axel to attach them to the pedal arm. The second point to note is that
there is no tension adjustment as you would find on the average SPD, this leads me
on to my third point, they are very difficult to get into and out of! My first ride
around the garden nearly ended up with me lying at the bottom of our pond with my
bike still attached to my feet and a later ride in Wales the following week found
me sliding head first down a steep grassy bank for about 30 feet, dragging the bike
behind. This said, after a bit of practice and wear they are far easier to get in
and out of and I haven’t had any problems over the past couple of weeks. Also worthy
of note is that they are very reliable and easy to maintain because they are virtually
The Atacs come with their own special cleats,
which are designed to be interchangeable between feet giving you two setups, either
MTB with a lot of float or the road setup with a lot less. I’ve had it set up for
MTB use and as this setup is tough enough to release I haven’t used it in road setup.
I’ve been for a week in Wales and numerous rides
since and I have had no knee problems at all, I think that this must be down to the
huge amount of float, allowing you to pedal naturally without being attached rigidly
to a position as with SPDs.
The main reason I bought these pedals was because
I was having knee problems and for the sake of potential injury and damage, £40
is a small price to pay for a pedal which gives you excellent float, ease of maintenance,
reliability in most conditions and prevention of pedaling induced injury. I’ve used
them for over a month now and I’m convinced, just as I was after first trying them,
that they are the way forward for mountain bike pedals and ideal for those riders
having knee problems with the Shimano equivalent.