BikeRadar Battle: Mountain bike pedals

CrankBrothers Eggbeater 3 versus Shimano XT

Welcome to the fourthBikeRadar Battle, where we put two similar products head to head in a battle to the death. Or, at least, we give you a fun and informative look at both — and let you know which we prefer.

In the left corner, coming to us from Laguna Beach, California, the light and nimble pedal with the ability to shed while you shred, CrankBrothers’ Eggbeater 3.

And in the right corner, hailing from the island nation of Japan, the tough and tenacious Shimano M780 XT.

Let's get ready to rumble!

First up, CrankBrothers Eggbeater 3 pedals feature forged chromoly steel axles wrapped in a cast stainless steel body. A single stainless steel spring provides tension for the four — count’em — four “wings” that the rider can clip into. Inboard needle bearings and outboard cartridge bearings keep these pedals spinning smoothly. The Eggbeater 3’s wins the weight war and its minimalist design has no equals when it comes to shedding mud and other debris.

But Shimano’s stalwart contender is no slouch, either. The XT pedals also feature chromoly spindles and have an aluminum body with steel plates and stainless steel springs on its two-sided body. Unlike CrankBrothers, the Shimano uses a dual spring system that allows the user to fine tune spring tension to suit their needs. Shimano’s steel cleats outlast CrankBrothers softer brass cleats, but have significantly less float.

Let’s break it down. 

CrankBrothers Eggbeater 3Shimano M780 XTAdvantage
Price$120 / £95$140 / £99.99CrankBrothers
Weight278g (pair)350g (pair)CrankBrothers
FloatPersonal preference
Rebuildable? YesYesDraw
Cleat durabilityFairGoodShimano
Points of entry42CrankBrothers
Adjustable tension? NoYesShimano
Can beat an egg?AllegedlyUm, noCrankBrothers
Can open a beer?NopeCheers!Shimano

Then there are the intangibles to consider, those things that can’t be broken down into a simple pros and cons evaluation of a product. For example, CrankBrothers offers the user adjustable release angle by flipping to orientation the brass cleats and has 6 degrees of float. Shimano pedals, on the other hand, have a fixed release angle and limited amount of float. One is not necessarily better than the other, just different.

Last but certainly not least is durability. CrankBrothers offers free pedal servicing and rebuilds at major events such as the Sea Otter Classic. Shimano, on the other hand, offers no such service. Because, frankly, it's just not necessary — during the end of time XT pedals are what the cockroaches will be riding.

While CrankBrother's Eggbeater 3 pedals are 72g lighter, slightly less expensive and better at shedding mud, Shimano XT pedals are the benchmark for durability.

The winner of the BikeRadar pedal battle is the Shimano M780 XT!

Read the complete Shimano XT review here.

Read the complete CrankBrothers Eggbeater review here.

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA
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