Crank Brothers revolutionary design stormed the clipless world a few years back, combining light weight, easy clip-in with four-sided entry and superb mud-shrugging abilities. Sadly these qualities are offset by some chronic downsides.
The pedal design can eat the soles of shoes when it’s resting and pushing down unsupported on two bare metal bars, grooves quickly wear into soles which can grow into terminal cracks. Some people buy after-market ‘sole-saver’ bits of metal to fit between cleat and shoe. Plus the longevity of the bearings can be variable.
They were okay on this test pair as we pumped fresh grease into them but we’ve frequently experienced bearing failure and even pedal bodies falling off axles on previous ‘Beaters. Spares are readily available, thankfully. These SLs have a stainless body and a natty little blue spring to set them apart from the basic chromed models, and the over-£300 4Ti(tanium) little numbers.