A slimline, cageless SPD pedal from Californian brand Ritchey, the Comp XC is a budget-friendly alternative to the World Championship-winning WCS XC model at half the price.
Easy engagement, class-leading tension adjustment and a subtle style make these pedals a worthy choice for your gravel bike.
Ritchey Comp XC specifications and details
At a first glance, the Ritchey Comp XC doesn’t look all that different from a Shimano SPD pedal, though look a little closer and there are some subtle differences.
The dual-sided mechanism features an entry and release tension adjustment on either side, linked to a small panel with a moving gauge. The pedal body is constructed from cast alloy, with a chromoly spindle.
You can choose between the plain black, orange, ‘Lime White’ and red colourways currently on offer.
These Ritchey pedals are for use with a total system weight of 110kg (including rider, bike and luggage), which might be restrictive for some setups.
Ritchey Comp XC performance
The Comp XC pedals are easy to set up. Not only can you adjust the pedal entry and release tension on either side of each pedal using an Allen key, but there’s also a handy gauge to help you keep the tension even across sides and pedals: much easier than counting turns of the Allen key!
Four degrees of float in the pedal system felt ample to avoid any alignment niggles, but not so much that it became noticeable or off-putting on the ride.
Though branded with the Ritchey logo, the metal cleats included are identical to Shimano SPD cleats. You could save yourself a few pounds replacing cleats in the future with Shimano models, which are also more widely available. Having said that, this style of metal cleat is very durable, so it’s likely that day could be a few years off.
For riders used to the action of Shimano pedals (as I am), there’s no change required to the clipping-in technique. I tend to set my entry and release tension pretty low, and didn’t even have to think about what I was doing when setting off, even on technical surfaces or when coming to a stop.
For the weight weenies out there, the Comp XC has a mid-range system weight of 393g.
The black paint, slimline construction and embossed Ritchey logo make these a really classy option, and my favourite aesthetically on test.
The paint has already worn a little on the jaws of the mechanism, but you’d expect that from a metal cleat system.
Fitted with ball bearings, the Comp XC pedals are serviceable, though you’ll have to upgrade to the WCS pedals for dedicated service kits.
Ritchey Comp XC bottom line
The Ritchey Comp XC pedals perform seamlessly, look great and are fairly lightweight given the low price. Their serviceability means they should last for years to come, too, with some TLC.
For riders not concerned about a platform-style SPD, this slimline, simple pedal style should certainly warrant consideration.
How we tested
Gravel fire roads, dusty singletrack, back lanes and rocky bridleways; the best gravel bike pedals need to be able to cope with a wide variety of terrain. Therefore, we tested the pedals in a range of scenarios representative of off-road riding in the UK.
We specifically paid close attention to the ease of clipping in and out, how secure the mechanism felt and the level of support offered by the platform, as well as how serviceable each set would be.
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