Suffering from knee problems? Then try Bebop’s ultra-light pedals. For a start, there’s a whole 20 degrees of float, so your foot can move freely throughout the pedal stroke rather than constricting your knee joint within a plane. While there are no adjustment springs, the light entry and exit means there’s no strain, either. In fact, the pedals are relatively small and appealingly simple, using needle and ball bearings, and after a couple of months of winter use they’re running as smooth as ever.
It’s in the cleat where everything’s happening; housing the spring clips that engage the pedal, its surface area is considerably larger than an SPD, spreading the pressure more evenly – though the extra size does mean you’ll need to trim back a few lugs on some shoes. A low stack height (from the centre of the spindle to the top of the pedal) of 11mm also means you’ll need to drop your seat a touch and it’s worth noting that because of the pedals’ long length, the cleat doesn’t sit flush with the sole and tends to catch more on the ground. However, once you’ve sorted out their position they work a treat, with a real sense of efficiency and a light but secure engagement mechanism.
So much float allows an ultra-smooth pedal stroke – you just need to get used to the sensation by letting your feet ‘hang’ naturally as you pedal. Off-road, though, it’s a different story. Claggy, winter UK mud soon made reliable engaging tricky. Once packed with mud, you really have to grind your foot down on the pedal to clear the spring clips in the cleat, and I experienced several unexpected releases. Tipping the scales at 280g, including the cleats, the Bebops are light for the price – and there are SL and Deluxe versions too, which trim off another 35g.