Xpedo pedals and shoes 2009

We get the low down on the new range

Xpedo are the high end division of the massive Wellgo corporation. Wellgo have been the number one producer of pedal systems for the last decade and currently produce 12 million pedals per year. Xpedo have launched a total of 21 pedals and eight shoes using their market leading engineering in both aluminium and magnesium die casting.

Cycling Plus's Warren Rossiter took a trip out to Taichung city, Taiwan to get the low down on the new range.

Xpedo Thrust RF-5

The Thrust pedal features a die cast magnesium body for its lightweight yet hardwearing qualities, mated to a titanium (top version) or chromoly axle. The body spins freely on dual sealed bushes and cartridge bearings, the release is fully adjustable and the it's compatible with the Look Keo system.

Xpedo have modified their own cleat profile (two sets, 0 degree and 6 degree are included) so that the accidental release that occasionally happens on well worn Keo cleats is all but eliminated. But this means the Xpedo cleat doesn't work with Keos but Look's cleats will work for the Thrust.

The platform profile has been reduced to its absolute minimum, giving these a claimed greater cornering clearance than the Keo without sacrificing strength. Weight-wise, the Ti axled version is a super svelte 190g (232g for chromoly). We are awaiting delivery of a pair to put through the rigours of testing and will report back with our findings as soon as.

Pricing is as yet unconfirmed but expect to pay around the $US150 mark

Xpedo MX-11 Face-Off

The MX-11 is a pinned platform pedal for the dirt jump and BMX crowd. It features a CNC'd aluminium body mated to a tough chromoly axle with fully sealed cartridge bearings, and it has 14 well spaced pins per side which are replaceable.

The real innovation is the platform itself. Not only have Xpedo reduced the pedal height by over 30 percent over previous models (putting your foot closer to the pedal axle increases pedalling efficiency), it also reduces weight. The platforms themselves can be replaced with aftermarket designs, so the fashion coordinators out there can find a matching colour easily from a range including anodised black, gold, silver, red (pictured), pink, green and orange.

The MX-11 weighs in at 426g a pair, which is amongst the lightest available for this type of hard core pedal.

Xpedo MXS shoes

A new venture for Xpedo is their shoe line. Their main focus is cross country and road racing but what caught our eye was the MXS mid-height boot for dirt jump and BMX. The upper is constructed with a breathable mesh and tough synthetic leather protection, the laces are captive (to prevent wear) and the inner ankle is higher and deeply padded to protect the anklebone from crankside collisions. The sole is non-SPD compatible and made from a soft sticky dual density rubber compound to make it nice and grippy on pin style pedals, a like the afore mentioned MX-11.

What we found really pleasing about the MXS is that despite being soft and grippy, the sole is much stiffer than a similar styled shoe making for a supportive and efficient platform when pedalling. The black and silver carbon effect upper is understated and the whole package is a well sorted and designed solution for great performance from a non-SPD design.

Xpedo SLM shoes

The flagship of the shoe line is the state of the art SLM. The whole shoe has been designed around Xpedo’s superlight magnesium alloy sole. It’s a die cast design with bolted on replaceable toe and heel protectors to aid walking, mated to a seamless one piece synthetic upper, itself a slip-lasted design: the upper is sewn together straight through the middle of the sole. This usually makes for a shoe profile more rounded than a board lasted (sewn around the sole edge) one.

The claimed advantages of the magnesium sole are that it's harder wearing than carbon fibre and also up to 30 percent stiffer and lighter to boot. Another advantage of using a mag sole is that it is less heat conductive, which is claimed to reduce the potential of hot spots when riding.

The SLM is available in two versions: the three-strap with one adjustable retention buckle seen here, which weighs in at 295g per shoe for a euro size 44 (that’s UK 9, or US 10) or a three-strap superlight climber's version, which drops over 40g per shoe by replacing the adjustable buckle with another trihook fastener.

The SLM retails at $US300 for the version seen here and $US240 for the lightweight three-strap. Cheaper carbon-soled versions are available, as is a die cast aluminium soled model. We will have a full review of the SLM shoes as soon as we've put some miles into our test pair.

For more information see www.xpedo.com

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