Saturday, May 13, 2006

PRODUCT REVIEW: Crank Bros Candy SL Pedals

Over the past year or so, I have gotten increasingly disasatisfied with my choice of MTB pedals. I have always been a Shimano SPD kinda guy, with a variety of 535, 540 model pedals on my rides. This early racing season made me rethink my pedal choice. With a really wet winter, every race this season was a complete crap shoot whether the pedals would perform at all. Obviously, on some of them they did not. Motivated by this experience, some good word of mouth from a few fellow racers and a good discount at REI, I decided to pick up a pair of Crank Bros Candy SLs.
The Candy SLs are a mid-level pedal in the Crank Bros line of MTB platform pedals. They differ from the Eggbeaters only in the fact that they have small platform along with the spring spindle. I choose these since I ride a fair amount of trails in addition to racing and I am kinda a bigger person. With my discount, I got the pedals for around $80 and they weigh 294 grams per pair. They retail for $120, but you can find them for a lot less.

Installation was a snap. Take off the old pedals and screw in the new Candys. However, since the Candys use a slightly different cleat (which comes with the pedals), you also have to replace the SPD cleats on your shoes. This was painless, but did require a little bit of trial and error. Since the Candy pedal is slightly wider than the normal channel in SPD shoes, I needed to add a riser (again included) to get a good clipin. Once I did that it was pretty easy. I had heard of other people having to shave down their shoe treads, but I didn't need to do that.
So far, the Candys have been a really nice change from the SPDs. It is a breeze to clip in (since there are four instead of two sides) and they seem to hold the cleat better. I can't think of one instance when I pulled out of the clip. The platform is nice (I stand on the pedals a lot) and they have worn well. The one thing that I have noticed is that you don't get the solid thuuurmpp of clipping in that you used to on the SPDs. Maintenance is easy with them (mostly you just use a grease gun to blow out the old grease), but I haven't had to rebuild them yet. I'll have to see how difficult that is. They have worn well (I am very hard on parts). Overall, I have been very happy with the new pedals: easy installation, nice weight savings (saved 150 grams over my 540s) and very good performance.

3 comments:

Cory said...

Rebuilds are easy too. With a little practice you can finish both pedals within 15 minutes.

The only real drawbacks I've found with the Crank Bros stuff? Fast wearing cleats -- not a big deal but you'll need to replace them a little more frequently than SPD ones. If you ride in spots with technical climbs, you might find that, on occasion, you hit the bottom of the pedal on something with enough force to pop you out of the pedal. Again, not a big deal but it happens at the bottom of the pedal stroke when you have no power and your foot is moving away from the pedal body.

Good review though -- let us know if you have any issues over the long run!

/k said...

So I haven't had the "pop out" problem, but I have certainly banged my new pedals a few times. I was worried that the plastic platform wouldn't be as durable as the Shimano 535 metal, but I have been pleasantly surprised. Only a few dings.

I post again when I rebuild them.

Cory said...

For sure. If it makes you feel better, I've nailed mine at speed and the composite body's held up fine.

They're def. not a solid pedal for freeride-ish types of rides -- the only time I ever tried a drop over five feet with these things, the spindle bent like a mofo. For that sort of stuff, I'd stick with the Mallet, which holds up really well.