Adrian's Mountain Biking Blog

Adrian's Mountain Biking Blog

Component Reviews

now browsing by category

 

REVIEW – Superstar Nano Tech Flat Pedals

Are a decent pair of flat pedals good enough to convince me to switch from SPDs after 15 years?

Read More

Are a decent pair of flat pedals good enough to convince me to switch from SPDs after 15 years? I have been a dedicated user of SPDs for 15 years, but recently ended up test riding a bike that had flats and found to my surprise I really enjoyed the experience. When I moved to SPDs it was from platform pedals with toe grips, which don't compare to modern flats, so I thought I'd give them a proper go. After finding some unused Wellgos in my spares box, I put them on the bike and found very quickly all flats are not equal. They were very different from the pair I had tried at the demo day; smaller with smaller pins and I did not get on with them. So not a great start! I had come across Superstar Components after reading a review of some of their wheels on Twitter and when I visited their site saw they had some cracking deals on flats, including their award winning Nano Techs. As they had sold out of steel axles, they were offering half price titanium upgrades - straight titanium, gold titanium or Black Ceramic coated Titanium. 8 colours are available: Red, Black, Electric Blue, Dark Blue, Gunmetal, Bright Gold, Baby Pink and Techno Lime Green. So I went for a pair of black pedals with the black ceramic coated titanium axles, which with the offer meant a total price of £59.50 with free delivery. For an extra £2.50 ceramic coating seemed silly to pass up, plus of course it meant the axles matched the pedals. Service from Superstar was excellent and the pedals arrived the day after I ordered them, nicely packaged with great warning in the box about the sharpness of the pins! The parcel even included some stickers and the now compulsory small packet of Haribo. Construction The concave body of the pedals is 105x100mm and they are only 17mm high. There are 10 allen key adjustable, replaceable pins on each side and with the titanium axles they weigh 375g. The bearings are the replaceable cartridge type. The pins screw into the pedal, rather than through, so if you are prone to smashing pins you might want to look at the through pin version. It's the same price with the same options, but 60g heavier - personally I went for the lower weight. Essentially these are factory sourced pedals sold direct by Superstar. That doesn't mean any drop in quality, just a drop in price. In fact, you will notice remarkable similarities to Nukeproof Neutron Alloy-Ti pedals, especially if you go for the Gold titanium axle. Other than the graphics, the only difference actually is the price, with the Superstars being 60% cheaper. In use Having had such a bad initial flat pedal experience on the Wellgos on a trip to the Forest of Dean, I was hoping for better from the Superstars. Ironically I had seen a pair of Nukeproof's in the FoD shop and had been tempted, till I…

Superstar Nano Tech Flat Pedals

Features - 9
Function - 9.5
Weight - 8.8
Pricing - 9

9.1

Highly Recommended

Very comfortable, very grippy, lightweight and good value flat pedals. Great service from Superstar too.

9

REVIEW: Shimano XT M785 Trail SPD Pedals

I have been a happy user of SPDs for years, but there are some times when I want to be unclipped – such as steep technical climbs at slow speeds. Conventional SPD pedals don’t allow for anything other than being clipped in, so step forward the Trail SPD pedal, which feature a cage around the normal SPD pedal.

Read More

I have been a happy user of SPDs for years, but there are some times when I want to be unclipped - such as steep technical climbs at slow speeds. Conventional SPD pedals don't allow for anything other than being clipped in, so step forward the Trail SPD pedal, which feature a cage around the normal SPD pedal. I had been using Shimano M520 pedals for a few years, which were basic, but functional SPDs - they worked well and were cheap. However, they only worked clipped in and if I ever tried to just balance my feet on the pedals unclipped, I regretted it pretty quickly. So I wanted something that gave me the best of both worlds, but with being clipped in still the main use. Shimano have made a number of different SPD pedals with cages over the years, from the original DX metal monsters (yes I had some of those too!) with an SPD pedal stuck in the middle of a DX flat pedal, to the other end of the scale with a flat pedal on one side and SPD on the other, aimed at commuters. Trail pedals are somewhere in between, with a thin light cage around a standard SPD. So I decided to try the XT M785 variant, which I got for what I considered the bargain price of £47 from Merlin Cycles - retail price is £75. In the box you get the pedals and a set of SH51 cleats. The pedals are based on the XT cross country pedal, with the same lightweight alloy axle and cartridge bearings. Weight is actually less than my old SPD pedals at 408g, which is very impressive with the addition of the cage. That cage gives additional support for your foot when pedalling and acts as a guide when engaging the cleat, as well as making it quicker to flatten the pedal ready for engagement. The key benefit I was looking for, was some grip when clipped out. My favourite local track has a set of rock steps built into a short steep slope, and it's normally 1st gear & a real knack to getting all the way up - being clipped in is brave! So I gave it a go unclipped and I had all the contact I needed with the pedals (wearing Shimano MT41 shoes) - a great success. Riding round the rest of the trail it was indeed much quicker to stabilise the pedal ready for clipping in, making the transitions out of tight corners quicker. Considering there is barely a weight penalty, with the extra advantages these pedals give, I'd say they would be a vital bit of kit for most people. Definitely recommended.   Link - M785 Pedals at MerlinCycles Link - Technical details at Shimano.com

Shimano XT M785 Trail SPD Pedals

Features - 8
Function - 8.5
Weight - 8.5
Pricing - 9

8.5

Recommended

Excellent pedals for those who want to stayed unclipped every once in a while with little weight penalty.

9

REVIEW: Shimano SLX Drivetrain

Features
Function
Weight
Pricing

So after my dilemma of whether to upgrade or replace my bike, I went for upgrading the drivetrain to start with. I originally built my Kona with 27 speed Deore LX, which at the time was a brand new groupset. SLX is the direct modern equivalent, so I bought a 2 x 10 setup from Merlin Cycles. I actually bought a full groupset and Read More

© 2018: Shortnbike - Adrian's Bike Blog | Easy Theme by: D5 Creation | Powered by: WordPress