With our pair weighing 265g, Ritchey's Pro Paradigms are a strong option for riders looking to minimise weight and maximise speed. Ritchey’s achieved this by cutting away as much of the pedal’s body as possible, rather than fiddling with axle materials – chromoly steel is still used here with an alloy body.
With minimal body, the Pro Paradigm clears mud and grit easily. With no body around the mechanism, the cleat occasionally disengages with rock strikes and where the design falls down is cleat engagement. We found we needed precise alignment between pedal and cleat otherwise the cleat is prone to rotating the pedal rather than engaging in it.
The Ritchey design looks similar to Shimano’s SPD system, and handily the cleats are cross compatible, meaning we could use our full range of shoes with the pedals. In use the Ritchey pedals plus cleats feel very similar to a full Shimano setup, but with Shimano cleats there’s a little more wiggling possible. Engagement is as positive as a Shimano pedal and once in you get a very firm feeling position on the pedal. Release tension can be adjusted, with a decent range from beginner friendly to XC racer tight.
The bushing, bearing and needle bearing system have stood up to some nasty winter conditions and racing.