Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
SPD clipless pedals are by far the most popular option, which is hard to believe with so many other great options out there. Read on as our Friend Eric tells us about his new HT Components T1 Enduro Race Pedals and the benefits they offer.
I have been riding Shimano SPD pedals for 25 years but started having trouble with the lightweight XTR XC pedals for hard Enduro riding. The main problem was pre-release on jumps and lack of platform support on rock gardens and such. So went on a quest for a more capable pedal to handle more demanding terrain. Next up was Shimano XT Trail pedals 8020 which were fine for a while but started having problems clipping into them. Not sure if they took too many rock strikes (couldn't detect any obvious damage under close inspection) but they just stopped working. Finally decided it was time to punt on SPD and try something new. Which brought me to the HT T1 Enduro Pedals.
The HT T1 is lighter than other enduro pedals on the market measuring in at just 368 grams. Not as light as a high end 300 gram XC pedal but pretty good for a pedal with a cage. Most of the other Enduro pedals tip the scales at 400-430 grams with some like the Saints hitting 500+ grams. You can also adjust the spring pre-load and they come with different cleats for more or less float (4 or 8 degrees). You definitely want some float to reduce the load on the knees. But in my experience, too much float makes twisting the heel out of the pedals more difficult. So you need to find the right balance.
The first thing I noticed was the HT T1 cleats are larger than SPD cleats. I mounted the standard X1 cleats to a pair of used Shimano shoes which were a cross between a rigid XC shoe and a softer platform shoe. Didn't adjust the pedals from their factory settings which were on the weak end (- side) of the little scale stamped into the cleat guide. They clicked in firmly with a loud snap. Once engaged they felt fine riding around and seemed to have a lot more play (float) than an SPD pedal. The float also felt a little draggy. Problems occurred when it came time to dis-engage. I had to twist really far and hard before they let loose which occurred with a definite click much like when engaged.
It appeared that the sole of the shoe was binding up with the pedal. HT does provide a plastic spacer to place between the cleat and the sole of the shoe so I thought I would give that a try. After installing the spacers the disengagement improved. But the bottom of the cleat now sticks out from the sole of the shoe so you feel the cleat when you walk. This may or may not be a bother. The float also felt freer with the spacers installed and as mentioned before way more than 4 degrees even with the standard X1 cleat.
The cage around the pedal is fairly minimal and doesn't really add any support or seem to help or hurt the engagement. The 2 pins (screws) on the front of the pedal may help to keep the shoe from slipping on the front when engaging the clip. I tried it both ways and seemed to be a little better with the pins left in place. The only problem with pins is that shin strikes are more painful. Like little teeth going into your bone.
These pedals may have a completely different feel with softer shoes like the Five Ten compared to a more rigid quasi-XC shoe. Other popular options out on the trail are the Crank Brothers Mallet E.