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Best Pedals for CX?

Old 01-12-21, 02:33 PM
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sultanofsuede
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Best Pedals for CX?

I'm planning on doing a few races in the fall and starting to nose around for some used parts (saving a few bucks here and there). I will likely get some decent CX practice in, and then do 2-3 race, along with some gravel riding a little more frequently.

Is there a preferred pedal for racing/competition? I'm sure the pro's use a certain kind of pedal, so I'd probably look for the cheaper (heavier) version on secondary market.

thanks!
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Old 01-13-21, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by sultanofsuede View Post
I'm planning on doing a few races in the fall and starting to nose around for some used parts (saving a few bucks here and there). I will likely get some decent CX practice in, and then do 2-3 race, along with some gravel riding a little more frequently.

Is there a preferred pedal for racing/competition? I'm sure the pro's use a certain kind of pedal, so I'd probably look for the cheaper (heavier) version on secondary market.

thanks!
Crank Brothers Egg Beater has the best mud performance IMO, I've been running Crank Brothers pedals on all of my bikes for over 7 years now and love them. In my experience riding the local sticky mud, Shimano pedals would get clogged and not let me clip in.
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Old 01-13-21, 07:33 AM
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Lots of choices. Why not continue with what you are currently using until you identify a specific deficiency? Then you can select a pedal that addresses that issue.
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Old 01-13-21, 08:14 AM
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What are you using now? I purchased the basic Shimano PD-M520 and have loved them. Iíve ridden a few very muddy CX races (As well as muddy gravel rides) and have never had a problem. I actually prefer them to my road pedals.
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Old 01-13-21, 01:24 PM
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I live in Portland Oregon and have raced about ten seasons of cyclocross in one of the sloppiest regions in the country. In my observation, most 'cross neophytes run SPDs because that is what they already have. Many graduate to either egg beaters or ATACs.

I (like many others) have multiple bikes and multiple shoes, so I am "heavily invested" in my choice. I run ATACs and have no regrets about my choice. I have seen many folks with broken CB egg beaters and I have seen several people switch even after they "heavily invested" in the Crank Brothers for multiple bikes and shoes. I have seen DNF and DNS due to egg beaters, but I have not personally seen failures with ATAC. I'm sure that they happen, but I have seen far more failures with CB.

the ATACs appear to be much more reliable than egg beaters, and shed mud just as well. SPD is reliable, but does not shed mud well, especially "rocky mud". All pedals deal with greasy mud, grassy mud, and peanut butter mud. Mashed potato mud and rocky mud are the most problematic, and where ATAC shines.
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Old 01-13-21, 02:56 PM
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thanks for the input, everyone. i have only ridden road in the past, and always used look pedals. from what i can tell, the look pedal wouldn't be ideal for cx.

i'll take a look at those ATAC options (that's new to me). if i go SPD, any best bets there?
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Old 01-13-21, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by sultanofsuede View Post
thanks for the input, everyone. i have only ridden road in the past, and always used look pedals. from what i can tell, the look pedal wouldn't be ideal for cx.

i'll take a look at those ATAC options (that's new to me). if i go SPD, any best bets there?
I can assure you that your look pedals will be no good in a 'cross race! hahah. I used them for my first 'cross race, I had a ton of fun, but spent a lot of time trying to get my foot back in.
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Old 01-13-21, 03:11 PM
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Shimano 520s work great for me. Most of my races are mud-free, though.
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Old 01-13-21, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
In my observation, most 'cross neophytes run SPDs because that is what they already have. Many graduate to either egg beaters or ATACs.
I like egg beaters, but fully disagree that anyone running SPD pedals has just not yet graduated to something better. This might just be a Portland thing, because if you look at World Cup rides, there are lots of pros riding SPD's, including most/all of the recent WC winners.

Wout on XTR's: https://bikerumor.com/2020/12/03/cx-...on-cross-bike/

Van der Poel on XTR's:https://www.cxmagazine.com/bike-prof...slx-cyclocross

Sven Nys on XTR's: https://www.cxmagazine.com/sven-nys-...ile-crossvegas

Toon Aerts on XTR's: https://www.cxmagazine.com/bike-prof...-us-world-cups
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Old 01-13-21, 05:40 PM
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I use SPD, I would love to get ahold of some of those prototype xtr pedals in the links above. I have saw one pair in the wild on a Van Der Poel bike that someone bought.

I have used Candy's but the cleats wear too fast for me. 1 set of SPD cleats lasts all year no problem.

Heard nothing but good things about the ATAC and have wanted to try them but I have SPD through multiple bikes and don't want to go thru the hassle.
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Old 01-13-21, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I like egg beaters, but fully disagree that anyone running SPD pedals has just not yet graduated to something better. This might just be a Portland thing, because if you look at World Cup rides, there are lots of pros riding SPD's, including most/all of the recent WC winners.

Wout on XTR's: https://bikerumor.com/2020/12/03/cx-...on-cross-bike/

Van der Poel on XTR's:https://www.cxmagazine.com/bike-prof...slx-cyclocross

Sven Nys on XTR's: https://www.cxmagazine.com/sven-nys-...ile-crossvegas

Toon Aerts on XTR's: https://www.cxmagazine.com/bike-prof...-us-world-cups
Don't put words in my mouth. I didn't say that everyone moves on from SPDs - I said that many do.

Your second argument may have some merit, but the exact examples that you use are bogus. All of their teams were sponsored by Shimano at the time. If they were paying me to do so, I would ride XTRs too.

I have the luxury of riding the equipment that I choose, as do most amateur riders. I doubt that most world tour riders get to choose each component that they ride.
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Old 01-13-21, 09:41 PM
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Your looks will never work, I've seen people on a couple steep muddy courses that couldn't make the run up wearing bmx shoes due to lack of traction, road shoes would really suck. If you're going all new eggbeaters are one of the easiest with mud, time works well and is a very close second, personally I still like my spd, occasionally they do get a little clogged but that hasn't stopped them from working fairly well overall. Just as important, get mtb shoes and preferably ones with front spikes or cleats.
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Old 01-14-21, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
Don't put words in my mouth. I didn't say that everyone moves on from SPDs - I said that many do.

Your second argument may have some merit, but the exact examples that you use are bogus. All of their teams were sponsored by Shimano at the time. If they were paying me to do so, I would ride XTRs too.

I have the luxury of riding the equipment that I choose, as do most amateur riders. I doubt that most world tour riders get to choose each component that they ride.
Semantics aside, I disagree with the notion that SPDs are not preferred among experienced CX racers (amateur or pro). SPD's are ubiquitous at the highest levels of the sport, and it goes way beyond sponsorships.

I don't think Shimano is paying Hyde to ride these XTR pedals with no visible logos on them, on an otherwise SRAM/Zipp equipped bike:
Stephen Hyde Cannondale SuperX 2019

Wout Van Aert similarly switched from ATAC pedals to a Look SPD knock-off before joining Jumbo Visma (a Shimano sponsored team) in 2019: Wout's Stevens Super Prestige 2019 Worlds
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Old 01-14-21, 10:19 AM
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Egg Beaters for all the reasons listed above. Also as mentioned above, the negative is the quick wear of the cleats.
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