The mountain bike side of the clipless pedal market has been rather stagnant the past few years. Most of the changes have been evolutionary, such as CrankBrothers new DH-specific version of their Mallet pedal. But Look and Speedplay were showing off designs at Interbike that should make some riders rethink their pedal loyalties.
CrankBrothers Mallet DH
It’s no exaggeration that CrankBrothers owns a sizable chunk of the downhill race pedal market. The ‘click in to win’ crowd has been riding the company’s Mallet for a number of years, despite the fact it was designed with trail and all-mountain riding in mind rather than downhill racing.
CrankBrothers got feedback from a number of World Cup gravity racers when designing its new DH-specific clipless pedal. This season, 12 of the top 20 racers spent time on it, including Aaron Gwin, Gee Atherton and Greg Minnaar.
Evidence that Greg Minnaar has been using his Mallet DHs
The new Mallet DH pedals weigh 479g per pair, 44g more than the standard 3 model. Other notable changes include the use of a two-piece alloy body (where the inner portion of the standard Mallet’s body is constructed from a composite plastic).
The Mallet DH has a longer and wider platform intended to provide more real estate for bulky, clipless-compatible DH shoes. To this end, the spindle has also been lengthened to improve shoe/crank arm clearance.
The version shown above right, with a stainless steel axle, will retail for US$140 and will be available in December 2012.
Look is replacing its Quartz pedal line with a new family. It features a similar two-bar design for engagement but offers the ability to replace deflectors – the portion of the pedal protruding from the front and back of the body that protects the spring and axle from impacts – in the event of a failure. You can also add a platform for increased surface area and support.
The new S-Tracks will be offered in three formats:
S-Track – 142g, polycarbonate body and deflectors, chromoloy axle, US$109.
S-Track Race – 145g, carbon body, alloy deflectors, chromoly axle, US$209.
S-Track Carbon Ti – 122g, carbon body and deflectors, titanium axle, US$369.
An S-Track with pedal body attached as an upgrade
Polycarbonate and alloy platforms can be added to any of the S-Track pedals. The polycarbonate cages will retail for US$49; an alloy version will cost for US$99. Expect to see the S-Tracks in a bike shop near you in late 2013.
Speedplay’s mountain pedal, the Syzr, can hardly be described as new at this point – it’s been in development since 2008. The display pedal we saw at this year’s show looked identical to the one we spotted in 2011.
While no firm availability date has been set, the company was willing to offer us some details. The pedals will spin on inboard needle bearings and an outboard cartridge bearing. Five different spindle lengths will be available, offering riders the ability to find a Q-factor that suits them.
There will also be a grease port for routine maintenance. A pair of Syzrs with stainless steel axles is expected to weigh 300g and will retail for US$215.
The latest, and possibly production, version of the Speedplay Syzr
So, what do you think? What pedals do you use now, and what would it take for you to switch brands? Let us know in the comments area below.