When the first "platform style" clipless pedals came on the market in the early 90s, it took the industry by storm. No longer forced to use unstable road clip-ins, riders could now get the foot support and confidence needed for more technical and aggressive trails. Fast forward to 2018 and more brands than ever have jumped into the clipless pedal game, all looking to pull lifelong customers away from the likes of Shimano and Crank Brothers. Don't get us wrong, Shimano and Crank Brothers make some seriously awesome pedals, but brands like Time, HT, and iSSi, now all have comparable offerings with similar if not the same technology. In this review, we take an in-depth look at what these pedals have in common as well as what separates them. Enjoy!
The Crank Brothers Egg Beater Pedals are designed to be a lightweight and minimal XT/Trail pedal that is great for beginners and super easy to get in and out of. The Egg Beaters are dual sided and utilize the Crank Brothers cleat interface as well. As mentioned, these are perfect for riders just getting into clipless pedals and those on a budget.
The Crank Brothers Candy Pedals give riders a slightly larger platform than that of the Egg Beaters while still remaining light and versatile. They have the same 4-sided entry and are excellent at shedding mud. Perfect for riders who do a little bit of everything.
Just like the other Crank Brothers pedals, the Mallet Enduro pedals clear mud very well and offers tons of stability for rough and rocky descents. Even better, the Mallet E allows you to adjust the pedal pins for more or less grip depending on your riding style. Although you cannot adjust the spindle spring, adjusting the amount of contact between your shoe and the platform will directly affect how easy it is to clip in and out. Easily one of the most popular Crank Brothers pedals on the market today and one that is widely popular amongst riders at our shop.
The Shimano Deore XT M8020 SPD pedals are built to last. Featuring an aluminum pedal body, these things can take a serious beating and keep coming back for more. Although the actual body of the pedal is smaller than others, the XT M8020 still feel super solid and supportive while riding. While they don't offer the best grip when unclipped when compared to say the Mallet Enduro pedal with the large platform, when it comes to performance and reliability the Shimano XT M8020 is tough to beat.
Featuring the same SPD interface as the Shimano pedals, the iSSi Trail II pedals are fully serviceable, strong, and come in multiple spindle lengths. Even better is the number of colors they come in. Everything from neon yellow to hot pink if that's what you're into. When it comes to cleat retention, the iSSi trail pedals keep you locked in and confident even in the sketchiest of sections.
If your a fan of the Crank Brothers Mallet E but hate the rolling spindle, the Time Speciale are going to be perfect for you. Additionally, it features adjustable spring tension giving you the best of Crank Brothers and Shimano pedals. Although these pedals are more popular in Europe, the design and build quality are on point with some of the best.
The HT Components X2 pedals were built with one thing in mind, performance. Designed and tested for World Cup DH Champ Aaron Gwin, the X2 pedals offer a wide range of tension adjustments to ensure that your ride is dialed and comfortable. Removal traction pads offer even more grip and stability if needed. Considering these things were designed and tested by Aaron Gwinn, it is safe to say that you're going to stay locked in no matter how crazy the ride gets.