As a single speed rider, I prefer the simplicity of the “get on and ride, come as you are”, approach. When it comes to pedals, the general idea is if you can’t ride with flip flops or tennis shoes, your bike is a failure. That may be harsh, but please, let’s keep it simple; the less barriers to riding your bike anytime, anywhere, the better.
While lightweight is marketed in cockpit connection points on the bike (saddle, handlebars, pedals), these connection points ensure rider confidence. Saving weight elsewhere is smarter because feeling secure and sound ensures a better ride.
But, the current generation of platform pedal riding mountain bikers want thinness and lightness. Where does a pedal manufacturer compromise? With most of the latest and greatest pedals in the $150+ range, the thinness and lightness are far from affordable. Cycling legend, Keith Bontrager, once said, “Light, strong, cheap – pick two.” Although Bontrager’s maxim is almost always the case, the Xpedo SPRY pedals aim at giving the flat pedal cyclist all three: light, strong, cheap.
At the Devil’s Elbow 3,800 ft. summit of Mount Diablo.
Mounted to a single speed XC cross country full rigid 29er mountain bike, the pedals were put through the gamut of climbing, descending, switchbacks, fireroad and singletrack in my home terrain around Mount Diablo in Northern California. My review, feedback, pros and cons, of the Xpedo SPRY platform pedals, are as follows:
Weight: Confirmed 261g total for the pair (260g claimed), lighter than the 310g tiny XTR 980 clipless pedals! Also lighter than a titanium spindled Wellgo MG-1 pedal set (claimed 314g). With CroMo steel spindles (good for big riders, typically titanium spindles have 185lb rider weight limits), the pedal is unusually lightweight – the magnesium bodies drop the weight. 14 pins are beefy sized and larger in diameter than competitors grub screws.
Design: The lack of the bulge near the spindle end (like the Point One Podium) is a benefit. The side profile shows how thin the pedal is. Although it’s not concave, in use, my size 12 / 46 feet felt a grippy concave-like profile. The platform measures 106x100x11mm, with a generous helping of “platform” for my large shoes. Every day tennis shoes felt locked on with the pedals. Diablo summit was ridden on the season’s first rain and I wore a Chrome windbreaker with Levi commuter jeans and Gore-Tex Nike Dunks as only a bonafide urban soldier can.
It’s understood with climbing that platform pedals will not perform equally with clipless pedals. This is due to the clipless pedal system being engaged with the riders feet in a full pedal rotation. On the flip side, the pro of platforms is being able to adjust your feet on the pedal platform to change the leg muscle engagement, helping ease fatigue. I took advantage of this aspect on the climb up Diablo. Shifting my foot towards the rear of the pedal allowed more leverage out of saddle while shifting my foot towards the front of the pedal alleviated the seated power climbing on the consistent 6% grade.
Getting in the dirt and racking up footies, day and night.
Installation: Installs with an 8mm metric hex key, no pedal wrench needed, your multi-tool likely has one. Apply grease the spindles before installing! Included in box is a tiny wrench for the pins.
Durability: 2 cartridge and 1 DU bushing per pedal may require accelerated maintenance depending on how much one rides. DU bushings historically develop play – meaning the platform will slide in and out on the spindle. The orange wet gloss finish matches up to Chris King mango. I don’t expect a wet paint finish to be as durable as anodized aluminum; mountain bikers should expect normal wear and tear in use, like chips and scratches. Bodies are magnesium cast. I’ve read mag doesn’t handle rock hits as well as aluminum so these pedals may not be the go to application for Vancouver or Northstar downhillers – your mileage may vary.
Comparison: I ride with an amazing variety of every day cyclists. The local bike shop weekly night ride features pro downhill racers including platform pedal riding badassery. Conveniently, this allowed me to do a side-by-side comparison with the 260g Xpedo “SPRY” XMX24MC BMX Dual Slalom Free Ride Dirt Jumping Downhill pedals, the 430g HT “KA01″ EVO, and the 358g HT “AE01″ DH FR AM SLOPESTYLE pedals.
Value: $79 msrp. A small box of ten replacement pins and a matching 6mm open box wrench is included. 1-year warranty, US customers call 1-800-221-6655.
Final Verdict: A strong rebuttal of Bontrager’s maxim.