It used to be that if you rode in muddy conditions or had dicky knees, you opted against Shimano SPD pedals and bought the free-ﬂoating Times. However, when Crank Brothers stormed onto the scene in 2001 with its radical four-sided, mud-shedding Eggbeater, many riders defected.
Time did nothing to respond, believing its system to be superior. Even today, it’s hard to spot many changes to the 2008 Atac ROC. The differences are a lot more obvious underfoot, however.
The spring force appears to have been reduced, which has lessened the overall force required to activate the pedal. That brings the Time pedals roughly in line with the Eggbeaters. This is a good thing: for a start, it’s better for anyone with delicate knees that don’t take well to the lateral twisting loads required to spring certain pedal mechanisms.
Also, the resin body surrounding the pedal has been gently reshaped to reduce its size and mass. The redesign aims to make it work better with the soles of clipless mountain biking shoes than in previous years, by guiding the cleat into the waiting pedal mechanism.
Time has also made a little history here by offering the Atac in a speciﬁc women-only model –the world’s ﬁrst female clipless pedal that we’re aware of.
Time Atacs don’t shed mud quite as well as the skeletal Eggbeaters, but they clear better than the Crank Brothers Candy, and the action is more positive, resulting in a cleaner entry and exit.
One other feature worth noting is the excellent sealing of the axles. Time’s axle seals here are better than Shimano’s and much better than Crank Brothers’ at keeping out a winter’s worth of water – worth noting if you’re a lover of wet rides.