The Canfield brothers, Lance and Chris, have a history of creating bikes and components when current offerings are not up to their standards. They started with a monstrous 12-inch travel downhill bike in 1999 and have steadily marched forward ever since, and the latest Canfield Brothers Crampon Mountain pedals are the product of seven years of research and testing.
Canfield Brothers Crampon Mountain pedals specs
- 400 grams
- 106 x 112mm wide platforms
- Thin 6mm front impact edges
- Hybrid sealed bearings/DU bushing system
- Chromoly axle
- Replaceable dual sided pins
- Patented convex shape
- Anodized finish, available in 11 colors
Looks and more
If the devil's in the details, someone at Canfield might have sold their soul. The Crampon Mountain pedals are stunning hunks of machined metal with a gorgeous black anodized finish and detailed logos. It's a shame to scratch them all up. The other things that stood out are the 20 extra pins and a small Allen tool. On top of that, the pins come with blue thread locker already on the threads. Somebody was thinking about riders, I appreciate that.
On the dirt
With platform pedals (like almost everything in life), there's a tricky balance. The balance that befalls flat pedals is size. Too small and they're hard to ride, especially for folks with big feet. Too big and they smack into and get hung up on rocks, roots and other trail debris. The new Crampon Mountain pedals are Canfield's largest to date, with a 106 x 112mm width, up from the previous Crampon spec of 105 x 105mm. The additional space was welcomed by my size 46 clogs.
Onto traction, I could feel the Stealth rubber on my Five Ten Freerider Contact shoes practically melting around the tall pins. I can't say my feet were always perfectly planted, but riding with my heels down provided the security to let me stay away from the brakes and concentrate on getting through technical sections.
The convex shape is different than most flat pedals' concave (think cupped) platform. Since the Five Ten shoes I mainly wore had stiffer soles than other flat pedal shoes I didn't get the truly 'locked in' feeling like riding with clips. But that suited me well as I like moving my feet around on the pedals depending on my needs; climbing, descending, jumping or cornering. I did try some older Five Tens with much more flexy soles, and pedal-to-shoe traction was much improved.
I experimented with a few different pin placements, but ultimately settled on the original ten. The pedals can take 11 pins per side if you want even more traction. Luckily the pins are tall and thin, making them ideal for chomping into shoe soles (less ideal for your shins).
Despite the minuscule 6mm leading edge, I found pedal strikes to be quite numerous. Most were just grazes that I could ride through, but more than one put me on the dirt. As I've mentioned before, often in the context of the ever-so-trendy super low bottom bracket heights found on full-suspension bikes, it's very possible I was trying to pedal where I shouldn't have been.
Tough, yet smooth
In addition to adding a bit of real estate underfoot, the other big enhancement for Canfield involved decreasing maintenance. To that end, the Crampon Mountain pedals spin on a sealed bearing near the crankarm, and DU bushings at the opposite end. So far, so good, the pair I've been riding are perfectly smooth and tight with zero slop or drag.
As mentioned and seen in the photos, I've bashed plenty of rocks and other than some deep gouges and a crunched pin or two, all is functional. And thanks to the pins having Allen heads on the top and the bottom, replacing busted up pins is actually easy.
Canfield Brothers Crampon Mountain pedals verdict
The Crampon Mountain pedals were in development for seven years and it shows. As far as flat pedals go, they're basically at the top of the game for size, thinness, durability, and looks in my opinion. The convex shape doesn't deliver clipped-in performance with stiffer soled shoes, but with more flexible shoes, the bite is on-par with some of the best.