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  1. #1
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    Pedals: XTR vs. Time Atac XS.....

    The only thing this has to do with 29ers...is that the pedals in question will be mounted on a 29er..so there!

    Ok....I ride in most conditions here in the PNW...from sanding desert, hardpack, rocky, rooty and snotty..... my current requirements would be reasonably light, highly functional and reliable.

    I have ridden the old Xt 959 for years...heavy and builtproof...but can be challenging in adverse conditions....in addition I have ridden the old Time Atac's and they were simple and worked well- although engagement could have been more concrete imo.

    I would have considered Egg beaters....but I have just read so many issues with them...from breaking, to servicing.... any other suggestions I'm open to as well!
    thx

  2. #2
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    I have used many pairs of Time atacs starting back in 1997. Im currently running the Atac Carbons. I have tried egg beaters and I use a pair of 959's on the trainer bike during the winter. IMO there is no better pedal than the Time Atac. Hands down the best mtb pedal I have ever used. Not the lightest but they work in every condition, you can always get in and you always come out!!!

    My issue with the egg beaters are two things, one I dont feel very secure in them, the ones i used (older sl's)seem to have some play, I never pulled out but I just did not like the feeling. Second is if you log alot of miles on the mtb (I do, about 3000 a year) then the egg beaters just dont hold up. The spindles develope play way to quickly, they are easy to rebuild but still!! I know many other high mileage mtb's and racers in our area you run egg beaters they love em but they all have issues with having to rebuild them alot. Especially the guys doing marathon events and 24 hour events, they can rack up alot of mtb miles in a year.

    The new XTR's look very nice, I have heard they work really well and it's probably the pedal I would run if not for the Atacs.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by surlyboy
    I have used many pairs of Time atacs starting back in 1997. Im currently running the Atac Carbons. I have tried egg beaters and I use a pair of 959's on the trainer bike during the winter. IMO there is no better pedal than the Time Atac. Hands down the best mtb pedal I have ever used. Not the lightest but they work in every condition, you can always get in and you always come out!!!

    My issue with the egg beaters are two things, one I dont feel very secure in them, the ones i used (older sl's)seem to have some play, I never pulled out but I just did not like the feeling. Second is if you log alot of miles on the mtb (I do, about 3000 a year) then the egg beaters just dont hold up. The spindles develope play way to quickly, they are easy to rebuild but still!! I know many other high mileage mtb's and racers in our area you run egg beaters they love em but they all have issues with having to rebuild them alot. Especially the guys doing marathon events and 24 hour events, they can rack up alot of mtb miles in a year.

    The new XTR's look very nice, I have heard they work really well and it's probably the pedal I would run if not for the Atacs.
    good feedback-thank you!....so a couple questions on your Atacs, how is the shoe interface? do you get wear marks from the springs(bars, whatever they call them) around the cleats?

  4. #4
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    I second the ATACS, have 6 sets of them. 2 sets are from the mid 90's and still work perfect. Average around 4000 miles a year. Also only one shoe gave me a problem with the pedal interface, 2 year old pair of Shimano shoes with carbon soles broke right where the pedal engages. Running a pair of Gaerne shoes at the moment and this is the 5th year in service and still only minor wear on the sole.

  5. #5
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    I've owned all three...you hit the nail on the Shimano SPD-M959, same exact experience. I switched to Crank Bros Candy's and liked the mechanism and found them to be durable, BUT...if you hit mechanism on something (lots of log crossings on my trails) they release!

    I'm now riding ATAC's and while I actually liked the the Crank Bros feeling which as mentioned above are "looser" feeling...the ATAC's are treating me well. And of course I can clip into them in all conditions, including ice and snow.

    BTW...the ATAC's do leave wear marks just like Crank Bros do on your shoes around the cleats. If you use CF soled shoes you may want the sole protectors that Crank Bros make.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    I've owned all three...you hit the nail on the Shimano SPD-M959, same exact experience. I switched to Crank Bros Candy's and liked the mechanism and found them to be durable, BUT...if you hit mechanism on something (lots of log crossings on my trails) they release!

    I'm now riding ATAC's and while I actually liked the the Crank Bros feeling which as mentioned above are "looser" feeling...the ATAC's are treating me well. And of course I can clip into them in all conditions, including ice and snow.

    BTW...the ATAC's do leave wear marks just like Crank Bros do on your shoes around the cleats. If you use CF soled shoes you may want the sole protectors that Crank Bros make.
    Thank you...more good feedback! Its funny I was leaning towards the XTR's...more because of the known on my behalf than the unknown,,,,but you all are swaying

  7. #7
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    I like the CB Acids, light , but you have to grease 'em once in a while, which is easy.I've also ran the eggbeaters for ever, but again, just a little grease now and then and no worries.

  8. #8
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    Time

    Another vote for the Atacs. I switched probably 10 or so years ago and still have them going strong. I use them on my MTB's, cross and SS road/mucky weather bike.

  9. #9
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    I also run Time ATAC XS pedals (plus some Time Aliums on various other bikes). They've been infallible in bad weather. Quality buy it and forget it kind of part.

    Broke my CB Candy's twice in 14 months before going to the Times.

    Started on Shimano SPDs - never had a problem with them, but they were a little more challenging to engage when muddy. Can't beat the steel cleat though - will last you much longer than the brass Time cleats.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  10. #10
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    xtr's will be going on the new 29er when it arrives.

    been riding since 1990? and have never used anything other than the shimanos. started with the 737 and still have them and am using them.
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  11. #11
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    still running mid 90's xts and also 2yr old xtrs don't know about times but no complaints with shimano. I'd say toss up seems both are great...

  12. #12
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    I run Time Aliums in the rock covered trails of Maine. They have never let me down through the many rock strikes they receive every time out. The only issue (it's not one for me) is that your foot clips in toe first. This can be a little odd for some coming from a 'step on' type of pedal.

  13. #13
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    I always loved my Atac pedals but a few years ago I went CB eggbeater. At 6"4" 200lbs I've had no problems. Based on your picks I would take the Atacs hands down. Never a problem and good wet weather pedal.

  14. #14
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    Have never run anything other than XT/XTRs (XTR now). I can't offer an opinion other than I have no reason to even consider another pedal since Shimano has never, ever failed me.

  15. #15
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    Over the last few years I have been using the carbon soled shimano mtb shoes, zero issues with the Atacs and those shoes. I think becasue the sole of the shoe rests on the pedal body, there is some wear there and that probably takes the pressure off the bars. But you could always use the crank bros plate, though I dont think it's needed

  16. #16
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    2 pair of 959's with thousands of miles in 5 years and never a problem. added a set of xtr's last year. thats all.

  17. #17
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    Just happened to see this thread, and I too am looking for new pedals. I have the old... I think they are '747' (??) Shimano SPDs from the 90s. Very nice till you step in clogging dirt and can't clip in, so I removed them from my MTB and put them on the commuter. I then got Time Carbons, again back in the 90s. They are now on their third mountain bike and are still going strong. Would like something lighter, like the new Time TI-Carbons, but thought I would look around at SPDs again before spending the bucks. So far, I have seen nothing that looks better than Time, and if they last like my old yellow Atacs I will surely get my money's worth.

    Eggbeaters interested me for a bit too, but I want something more durable.

  18. #18
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    I vote for XTR unless you ride in muddy conditions often...

  19. #19
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    I would suggest the Time pedals. I have multiple sets of the previous generation of time mtb pedal and they still work like the day I got them. Ive actually wanted to upgrade to newer atacs but cant justify it so long as my current ones work so well. They are bomb proof, smack them on rocks or fill them with mud and they just keep going.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcaronongan
    xtr's will be going on the new 29er when it arrives.

    been riding since 1990? and have never used anything other than the shimanos. started with the 737 and still have them and am using them.
    737's drove me to Time ATAC's in 1995 because screws kept on falling out of them, and when the cleats wore the wouldn't release.
    I loved the Times, but for some reason started having problems breaking the bars when I started riding SS. I switch to CB Eggbeaters, was happy with them until the pedal body decided it didn't like being bolted to the spindle on two different pairs (oddly within a week or so), and went back to Times.
    I built up a 1x8 as an experiment with gears, and switched back to the CBs to save some weight (almost a 1/2 pound lighter than ATACs), but when race season comes around I'll probably go back to the Times.

  21. #21
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    Another long term Time user. I'm now on the XS Carbon titanium pedals. Always work. Mud, leaves, snow or whatever bring it on. I've never had an issue ever with release or entry. Bought a bike with Candy pedals on it and after accident releases every time I rode them and I never know if I was clipped in or not threw them in the trash.

    Go Time.
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    One is good!

  22. #22
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    I rode on XTR's the last 2 years: Almost perfect. Great bearings, great function in all conditions. They beat Eggbeaters (which I had before) in the durability and platform surface field big time. Sure, XTR weighs a bit more, but I could not care less the way they perform and do not fall apart like Eggbeaters.

    The only downside of XTR's I found, was that my shoe soles slowly eat away at the pedal body, which results in vertical play after a while. I had this problem with both Shimano and Specialized shoes.

    No experience with Time, but friends of mine are very pleased with them.

    Now I am trying out Look Quartz, which I got very cheap. You have to set them up right by adjusting the cleat height with spacers to match the tread height of your shoes. Once I got the setup right, they seem to work like Time's and XTR's, with a very good shoe-pedal interface (lots of platform surface) and low weight (260gr for the pair). If these do not start to fall apart in the near future, they could be the best combination of price, weight, durability and function I have used yet.

  23. #23
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    i like so much shimano... better because the rsetups and adjusts

  24. #24
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    Are the aluminium Alium's more durable than the plastic XE/XC's?

    Anyone tried the Freeride platform Time's?

  25. #25
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    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by bonesetter2004
    Are the aluminium Alium's more durable than the plastic XE/XC's?

    Anyone tried the Freeride platform Time's?
    They work as great as other Time pedals.

    To the OP...........I have been running Time's since 1999 and they have never let me down once.

    To this day is amazes me that riders still purchase Time pedals with their track record for failure. CB pedals are great for photo shoots and e-riding but if you want a pedal that will work maintenance free for years.....nothing beats Time.

    Have not used Shimano pedals in years. The ones I had (10 years ago) were a PITA.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonesetter2004
    Are the aluminium Alium's more durable than the plastic XE/XC's?

    Anyone tried the Freeride platform Time's?
    I had a set last year on my Moto, pedals worked great, no issues, I just found that I really dont need them for my type of riding, they are very heavy.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee
    They work as great as other Time pedals.

    To the OP...........I have been running Time's since 1999 and they have never let me down once.

    To this day is amazes me that riders still purchase Time pedals with their track record for failure. CB pedals are great for photo shoots and e-riding but if you want a pedal that will work maintenance free for years.....nothing beats Time.

    Have not used Shimano pedals in years. The ones I had (10 years ago) were a PITA.
    All the Time love on this thread has me intrigued. My experience was totally opposite, and obviously different from nearly everyone here. They were terrible to clip in and out of, and I hated them. I did get them used off the bay, so maybe they were just shot? I couldn't get rid of them fast enough. I have also heard that as the cleat wears, Times will unexpectedly release???? Any validity to this?

    To the OP, I have two sets of XTR pedals on the way right now if that helps.
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  28. #28
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    ive got 3 sets of times, one alium, one xs, and one carbon. ive never had a single problem out of any of them. i cant recall every unclipping without wanting to other than in a crash. here in La. we have some of the most sticky mud you could ever step in and the times always clip in! ive been on the same pair of cleats for almost 3 years now and they still work great. only way i see them wearing fast is if you do a lot of walking on pavement.

    do yourself a favor and get the times!

  29. #29
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    XTR's

  30. #30
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    Wear???

    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    All the Time love on this thread has me intrigued. My experience was totally opposite, and obviously different from nearly everyone here. They were terrible to clip in and out of, and I hated them. I did get them used off the bay, so maybe they were just shot? I couldn't get rid of them fast enough. I have also heard that as the cleat wears, Times will unexpectedly release???? Any validity to this?

    To the OP, I have two sets of XTR pedals on the way right now if that helps.
    Were the cleats new or used? Sounds like you got a worn out pair. Don't know about unexpected release........but when they become easier to get out of........that is how I know when to change the cleats

    A few years back I owned a set Egg Beaters and ATAC's simultaneously. Found that the ATAC's were easier to get in and out of so I sold the EB's. Many of my riding buds have been using CB pedals and have all had issues with them. It is a "smack feast" when we talk pedals. Their main reason to stick with CB pedals is that they all have more than on bike and "it would be too much of a hassle to change out all of their bikes".

  31. #31
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    I've ordered the Alium's and the freerides to try.

    Going by the love here and in the review section, let's hope Enel's experience was a one off

  32. #32
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    I used to run spd's until, on a particularly muddy ride, I was unable to get in to my pedals as they were clogged. My riding bud is a time fan and never had issues. I tried them and haven't looked back. They're on all my bikes except for my road bike.

    It's nice to have something that just works, always. The brass cleat hasn't been an issue for me. I think that I've gone through two sets of cleats in something like 8 years. Seems out of whack but that's what my little brain can recall, maybe I've used three sets. Not a big deal IMHO for such a reliable pedal. When the cleats are worn they just seem to require a bit more twist to come out. I can't recall a situation where I couldn't get into them, couldn't release if I wanted/needed to, nor have I had them release unexpectedly.

    I'd like to think that I can finesse a bike through a rock garden well enough, such that I don't smack my pedals. Some days I'm better than others. I've hit my time's hard enough on occasion to make me stop and take a look. Nary a visible sign, nor mechanical symptom, of damage. Weird.

    Just the other day I noticed that a set had a little lateral play in them. Was curious about how to service the pedal so I found the pedal info sheet and it says "no service required." So I took a pin tool to the little cap on the end. Sure enough, it was loose by a turn or so. Play is gone. Nice.

    I run the platform-style on my dh bike. Sometimes I wish the flats had a little more "bite" to them but that's my only comment. They work and are easy to clip into, even when bombing a run.

    Not so sure what the shoe sole "issue" is that's been mentioned. I run the shimano carbon-soled shoes.

    I think that Shimano puts out some nice stuff. The xtr's might work just fine, though I won't be finding out any time soon. Best of luck with your choice.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    All the Time love on this thread has me intrigued. My experience was totally opposite, and obviously different from nearly everyone here. They were terrible to clip in and out of, and I hated them. I did get them used off the bay, so maybe they were just shot? I couldn't get rid of them fast enough. I have also heard that as the cleat wears, Times will unexpectedly release???? Any validity to this?

    To the OP, I have two sets of XTR pedals on the way right now if that helps.

    If you mount cleats on the wrong shoes, they are nearly impossible to get in and out of the pedal, did it once and fell 10 times on the ride, it was a nightmare - never had any problems with unwanted release.

  34. #34
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    Been here many times

    with people swearing by their choices. I am interested at this point at what the OP will decide and why.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee
    ls and have all had issues with them. It is a "smack feast" when we talk pedals. Their main reason to stick with CB pedals is that they all have more than on bike and "it would be too much of a hassle to change out all of their bikes".
    I would say that is why I had not changed until this point. Also why my bud, who just broke his third set (over a few years) is staying with him. That and "great customer service".

    It's good to hear Times clip in and out nicely. I don't know why my experience sucked, but it really did. Maybe I should take a second look at times before I unbox the XTRs. The Shimano system works well, but it just seems overly complex in the construction of the pedal. Screws, springs and whatnot all over the place. Times and Eggbeaters seem a lot more elegant.
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  36. #36
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    Here is another case for XTR. Check the cyclocross worldcup video footage. Search for a particulary muddy cross race. Look for Sven Nys clipping in and out and you will see his XTR's work flawlessly. I watch cross a lot (I recieve Belgian nat. TV over here) and have never seen him hassling with his pedals, even after the muddiest runups.


  37. #37
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    New question here. Shimano

    Quote Originally Posted by JeroenK
    Here is another case for XTR. Check the cyclocross worldcup video footage. Search for a particulary muddy cross race. Look for Sven Nys clipping in and out and you will see his XTR's work flawlessly. I watch cross a lot (I recieve Belgian nat. TV over here) and have never seen him hassling with his pedals, even after the muddiest runups.


    Do the newer Shimano pedals require as much maintenance and adjusting as the older versions? I just remember way back in the 1990s when I ran them if they were not lubed you were in trouble. They used to sell these little packs of tri-flow that we would carry in our packs in case we went through a creek. I also remember needing to check all of the screws to make sure they were tight.

    When they were lubed and all the screws were tight they were great.

  38. #38
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    Whatever became of the pedals MAVIC was going to put out?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee
    Do the newer Shimano pedals require as much maintenance and adjusting as the older versions? I just remember way back in the 1990s when I ran them if they were not lubed you were in trouble. They used to sell these little packs of tri-flow that we would carry in our packs in case we went through a creek. I also remember needing to check all of the screws to make sure they were tight.

    When they were lubed and all the screws were tight they were great.
    No, they are quite maintenance free. The design of the new ones has very little to to with 1990's SPD's. The new design is much more open.

    Old:



    New:


  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeroenK
    No, they are quite maintenance free. The design of the new ones has very little to to with 1990's SPD's. The new design is much more open.
    I agree, haven ridden the first gen SPD and the latest XTR pedals, they are vastly superior in every way.

  41. #41
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    I didn't realize they had changed that much...........

    Did some searching - Competitive Cyclist has a good review. http://www.competitivecyclist.com/mo...481.560.0.html Listed as 328 grams

    Colorado Cyclist has the Time ATAC XS composite body as 334 grams. http://www.coloradocyclist.com/product/item/TIMMFY6N

    What's got my interest as replacements are the Xpedo Mountain Force MG/sl - 274 grams. http://www.bicyclebuys.com/pedals/PedalsMTB/0486690 BruceBrown's using Xpedo Ti's and speaks highly of them. I exceed the weight limit for Ti so Stainless (sl) is for me.

    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  42. #42
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    I dont think OP main concern is mud.He also mentions performance and reliability. XTR are incredibly reliable, fully rebuildable, cliping in and out feel is solid and neat, and if you run SPD shoes, you get the best pedal/shoe interface you can imagine.Thats far more important for me than anything else, Pedals are your main conection btwn you and the bike (ever thought of that?) If I was riding in mud everyday, I would look for a mud specific pedal, and sacrify other features...and I would probably think it twice, given that XTRs arent poor performers in mud afterall, actually they improved a lot mud clearance over the 959 (That OP have)
    BTW, Ive had EggBeaters for some years.(Now use 970)
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    All the Time love on this thread has me intrigued. My experience was totally opposite, and obviously different from nearly everyone here. They were terrible to clip in and out of, and I hated them. I did get them used off the bay, so maybe they were just shot? I couldn't get rid of them fast enough. I have also heard that as the cleat wears, Times will unexpectedly release???? Any validity to this?

    To the OP, I have two sets of XTR pedals on the way right now if that helps.

    The Time cleats are marked R and L, and if you mount them that way, the release is harder (greater angle) and there is much less 'float'. I mount mine opposite, which lessens the release angle and increases the float. My pedals are the really old ones, (grey composite/carbon body, yellow spring covers), and have no release tension setting other than swapping the cleats, but I find them easy enough to get in and out of.

  44. #44
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    xtr

    I'm a dedicated eggbeaters user but would give the xtr's a try for bearing quality. Jenson has XTR on sale and the diference with egg SL is not that much.
    The fact that cyclocrossers are on XTR's tells indeed a LOT.

  45. #45
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    Time user having flirted with Shimano from occasion to occasion, time's simply work always regardless of condition, mud, snow, rock strikes etc.

    Enel you must have gotten a completely worn out set.. I think as any cleat wears you will have unexpected release.. obviously the cleat is made from brass so it will wear down.. but being brass also makes eases wear on the actual pedal

  46. #46
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    Time gets my nod... have both the XE, and the Alium. The pedals have been trouble free for years. My wife runs Shimano... yesterday on our snow ride, her pedals packed with ice... not allowing her to clip in. One other thing to consider, the face, and leading edge, on shimano pedals will maul your shins...it will happen. The Times are more forgiving in that example.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo0se
    Time gets my nod... have both the XE, and the Alium. The pedals have been trouble free for years. My wife runs Shimano... yesterday on our snow ride, her pedals packed with ice... not allowing her to clip in. One other thing to consider, the face, and leading edge, on shimano pedals will maul your shins...it will happen. The Times are more forgiving in that example.
    Yep, +1 on both your wife's Shimano issues - non-platform types which I presume you mean. In the recent snow my M540's have packed with snow & mud and stopped clipping in, plus I gave myself a gauged shin the other week

    Got to say the M647's resin platform types which I've had for years and used on 3 FS bikes have been totally issue free, and not as potentially flesh damaging, but as you say still not as smooth edged as the Times

  48. #48
    jrm
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    TIMEs but NOT the XS's

    There hard to "find" and offer no platform. My XSs reside on the roadie for these reasons. Id suggest either the aluims or the ATACs. Oh and shave the cleats for better float.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    There hard to "find" and offer no platform. My XSs reside on the roadie for these reasons. Id suggest either the aluims or the ATACs. Oh and shave the cleats for better float.
    Good thread on Time cleat shaving for easy unclipping with pics here

  50. #50
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    Time pedals are almost bulletproof, at least the 4 pairs, I have. I run them on all my bikes, including my road bike. Been using them since the early '90s as well, and the first pair I bought are still in working condition. Beat to hell and back, but still working. I keep them on my old HT.

    I do like the look of those XTR pedals, though. Looks like a good design.

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