Time’s new X ROC S pedals combine their proven ATAC retention mechanism with a large composite body for better unclipped use, in a package that’s quite light, given the size, at 445g. During four months of testing they've functioned exceptionally. However, they've also taken a beating.
We've lost a stainless shoe plate, bent an ATAC retention bar and chipped a tooth on the outer composite platform. All of our testers loved the X ROC S’s feel underfoot and their audible snap when clipping in, but just about everyone who rode them expressed the same concerns over the composite pedals' durability.
For that reason, we can't recommend them to downhillers looking to shave weight, but the performance, great price (US$135) and relatively light weight still leave them as a viable option for trail riders, especially those who ride in areas with less abrasive terrain.
Despite their name, the X ROC Ss don't mix all that well with rocks
On the trail: Awesome in mud, always easy to clip in
Looking one-dimensionally at the performance (ie. separating it from the question of durability) of the ATAC mechanism as it’s integrated into this wide-bodied pedal, it's extremely good. Aside from one tester wishing for a higher spring tension to push against when unclipping, we have no complaints.
Our multiple testers have found them very easy to step into, impossible to pull out of (straight up), and very consistent on release. The large platform makes them very easy to find with your feet and they seem to smoothly interface with most shoes, allowing the cleat to find the mechanism as easily as the foot finds the pedal.
The pedals shine in bad conditions; we've ridden them in mud and even snow, and neither affected their performance. While the large composite body offers bettered stability and platform when unclipped, once your shoe engages, the pedals' enlarged feel disappears – save for slightly less ground clearance – and they're no more supportive to the shoe that any others in Time’s ATAC ROC line.
Keep in mind, however, that the ROC line does offer slightly more shoe-to-pedal surface area than the standard ATAC mountain pedals due to its oversized stainless contact points, and the connection and power transfer is very good. The pedals' bearings broke in quickly and remained smooth throughout our use. Finally, we appreciate that Time offer both 8mm Allen and wrench flats on the axle for installation and removal.
Time's X ROC S pedals work great, we'd just like them to be more durable
X ROC S takes a licking and… still works?
Even with the knocks taken by our pedals, they've continued to maintain their excellent clipless performance. Luckily for downhillers looking to capitalize on the ATAC mechanism, Time make the Z STRONG and Z, which are considerably heavier (+100g), but should be more durable because they’re built with all-alloy bodies. Just be careful not to be swayed by the lighter weight of the X ROC if you’re looking for a downhill pedal.
Besides the seeming fragile nature of the composite body and retention bars, we’ve got one additional small gripe with the X Roc S: the pedals were 25g heavier on our scales than Time's 420g claimed weight.