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  1. #1
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    Best (and quietest) clipless pedals for the Front Range

    Been on the Time ATAC XS Carbons...the ones w/ the square retention bars, not the older ATACs or the ROC w/ the round bars...and they're creaking, groaning, and just generally making all sorts of noise and disrupting my Kwan. So, I'm looking...for quieter pedals

    Many like the new Sh!tmano "Trail" pedals w/ the platform, and some swear by CB Candys and Mallets. What are your experience w/ what's on your bike, and how is its longevity? OR, has Time's redesigned ATAC improved/got rid of the Kwan-killing noise emissions?

    **I won't go XTR w/ Sh!tmano or Ti axle anything...too expensive and I get a LOT of pedal strikes w/ the low BB on the Tallboy. TIA.
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  2. #2
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    I have the old 1st generation Ritchey / Wellgo pedals on 5 bikes. They get an A+ for longevity but are creaking on several of the bikes now. As for something built in this decade, I have got nothing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    **I won't go XTR w/ Sh!tmano or Ti axle anything...too expensive and I get a LOT of pedal strikes w/ the low BB on the Tallboy.
    I had one pair of Sh!tmano XTR pedals since 2007. They had probably 25,000 miles on them (no sh!t, I put about 4,000 miles/year on my mountain bike). They lasted through a season on a 2010 StumpJumper FSR which has a BB height of approximately 5 centimeters (sarcasm).

    They are the PD-M970s. Not current model. This winter I decided I wanted to get another pair of the same before that revision disappeared entirely, so I found a NOS pair on eBay which I'm riding now. I did hear about some early failures on the 980 generation XTR--but I'm pretty sure Sh!tmano worked it out--but my 970s were such a miracle of durability I just wanted another pair of them.

    My old pair are on my spares shelf. Perfectly good. Scratched as hell, but bearings are buttery. Squirted new grease into the bearing in probably 2011 or so.

    So yeah, they are too damned expensive. Something like $.008/mile. Ripoff. I expect to be riding the pair I'm on now in 2020.

    If you really are that price sensitive, I would think the XT ones would be a good value. I guess I think mine have been a pretty good value, but current generation XT are quite likely a re-labeled version of last generation XTR.

    YMMV.
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  4. #4
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    I have both the CB Candies on one bike and Egg beaters on the other. I really like them because I walk a fair share of hills. When I had Shimanos and would walk, I would always seem to get the perfect size pebble in either the cleat or pedal. Then I would go to clip out and be that doofus that falls over. I've been in some pretty soupy mud and gravel combos and never had a problem getting in of out of the pedals. They have held up well over the last 4 years and can't really complain about them. The right egg beater did develop a sqeek last week and it was my shoe that was the issue and not the pedal.
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  5. #5
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    I have been on some XT pedals for years now, zero problems. And the Shimanos I had before that, something from the 90s, were also bomber. When I was looking to replace the 90s version 6 or 7 years ago, I was considering other brands when a friend said to me "you beat these to **** for years and they've worked perfectly, why are you looking to switch?" And he was right. YMMV.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    So yeah, they are too damned expensive. Something like $.008/mile. Ripoff. I expect to be riding the pair I'm on now in 2020.

    If you really are that price sensitive, I would think the XT ones would be a good value. I guess I think mine have been a pretty good value, but current generation XT are quite likely a re-labeled version of last generation XTR.

    YMMV.
    Not that kind of expensive...but when you bend axles...them Ti ones are stoopid expensive, as in might as well get a new pair of pedals instead. But I am on your page w/ the XTs...
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycastlerock View Post
    I have both the CB Candies on one bike and Egg beaters on the other. I really like them because I walk a fair share of hills. When I had Shimanos and would walk, I would always seem to get the perfect size pebble in either the cleat or pedal. Then I would go to clip out and be that doofus that falls over. I've been in some pretty soupy mud and gravel combos and never had a problem getting in of out of the pedals. They have held up well over the last 4 years and can't really complain about them. The right egg beater did develop a sqeek last week and it was my shoe that was the issue and not the pedal.
    This is also why I've stuck w/ Time for so long, and just lived w/ the moaning and groaning. Those loops DO tolerate a LOT of crap on your shoes/cleats!
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  8. #8
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    Shimano 647's, 505's, 959's - I've been smashing them all on rocks for years and they never cared. The DX pedals with the plastic cages can be a little squeaky. Newest pair is a Xt trail.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsj3831 View Post
    Newest pair is a Xt trail.
    These interests me! Price is reasonable on Bike Nashbar. You're doing okay w/ these; how long have you had them?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    These interests me! Price is reasonable on Bike Nashbar. You're doing okay w/ these; how long have you had them?
    A little spam here, but I am going to be selling a set of the XT trails on e-bay. If you want to try them for cheap, PM me. Also will have some of the XTR's for sale. Only selling because a friend works for Crank Bros now Both have 4-6 months of use & work perfectly.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by inkpad View Post
    A little spam here, but I am going to be selling a set of the XT trails on e-bay. If you want to try them for cheap, PM me. Also will have some of the XTR's for sale. Only selling because a friend works for Crank Bros now Both have 4-6 months of use & work perfectly.
    I've used spuds for 20 years and never had any issues other than a lot of bent spindles. A few I've bent on the first ride. I have some XTR's that have been through hell and back and don't seem to have as easily bent spindles as the XT's .

    Also, I'm now noticing I have a lot of pain in the balls of my feet when walking and cannot run. This also showed up after switching to Specialized shoes. I used Sidi's for many many years.

    Wondering if the smaller platform tore up the balls of my feet or if it was the switch in shoes.

    FWIW I would recommend very stiff soles... like the Sidi's.

  12. #12
    MK_
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    I've broken way too many Crank Bros to ever go back. They were great at sending free replacement parts but I needed more piece of mind.
    I've tried the Look pedals and didn't care for them. The new style XTR Trails lasted less than 6 months for a riding buddy. Not impressive.
    I'm still on my Time ATAC XS Carbons. Easy and cheap to service (standard bearing size and pretty much the only wear item).

    Take yours apart, swap out for a fresh bearing, a little Prep M or Slick Honey under the bushing, reassemble and enjoy for another few years. And don't forget fresh cleats!

    _MK
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_ View Post
    I'm still on my Time ATAC XS Carbons. Easy and cheap to service (standard bearing size and pretty much the only wear item).

    Take yours apart, swap out for a fresh bearing, a little Prep M or Slick Honey under the bushing, reassemble and enjoy for another few years. And don't forget fresh cleats!

    _MK
    Thought about rebuilding them... Have you ever swapped out the retention loops; are they a PITA to do? I was hoping Time USA would service them, but they basically told me to go fly a kite when I emailed them.
    I checked the bearing, they're okay...but it could be the bushing part...? The other thought was its those retention loops insert into the carbon body, or whatever bolt those loops are sitting on and how they're "bushing'd" on the pedal body...the pedals are quiet when they're wet from creek crossings.
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  14. #14
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    Have you ever swapped out the retention loops; are they a PITA to do?
    I have. They're not hard at all. The pin holding them in place pushes out and they come right off.
    The tension spring may be have set a bit if yours are a few years old and that may be what you need to swap out.



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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_ View Post
    I have. They're not hard at all. The pin holding them in place pushes out and they come right off.
    The tension spring may be have set a bit if yours are a few years old and that may be what you need to swap out.



    _MK
    Thanks man. I'll rebuild them first and see if that quiets them down. Peak/Bikeparts.com...will be here tomorrow
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  16. #16
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    Best (and quietest) clipless pedals for the Front Range

    I've ridden Time for 15 years. Haven't ridden anything else since then.

    I have ATAC XS carbons on my Tallboy and cross bike and XROC S on my dog bike. None of them squeak.

    I also have a old set of yellow Times I though about putting on the Tallboy bit they're from the mid 90s and the bearings are a little gone....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    I have ATAC XS carbons on my Tallboy and cross bike and XROC S on my dog bike. None of them squeak.
    Vintage of those XS Carbons, and the last time they were serviced?

    I have two different flavors of the XS Carbons...one /w a skinny axle (older), and one w/ the axle under the main seal so they look like they're larger in diameter. The skinny axle one is the noisiest, altho both make that metal on plastic squeaking noise.
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  18. #18
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    A drop of chain lube on the cleats and the tension spring might work. That's what I do with all my clip-in pedals. It's a lot cheaper than new pedals.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    A drop of chain lube on the cleats and the tension spring might work. That's what I do with all my clip-in pedals. It's a lot cheaper than new pedals.
    Yup, been tried. Again, I think it's either the tension spring rubbing on the carbon body, or the tension spring pin in the body. You know how sometimes plastic parts pick up the metal part's oxide layer, and there's actually a hard surface on the plastic...
    Gonna rebuild it w/ a fresh tension spring, and I'll check these plastic/metal contact points...and maybe slap in some anti-seize.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I had one pair of Sh!tmano XTR pedals since 2007. They had probably 25,000 miles on them (no sh!t, I put about 4,000 miles/year on my mountain bike). They lasted through a season on a 2010 StumpJumper FSR which has a BB height of approximately 5 centimeters (sarcasm).

    They are the PD-M970s. Not current model.
    ditto, although mine are on a Blur LT with a seemingly 6cm bb height

    I have an extra pair that are not currently in use, you are welcome to give them a shot.

  21. #21
    Kaj
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    rebuild and try new cleats too. I've never heard a squeak from my ATAC XS, which is now replaced by the ATAC 6. The new Shimano's are great and are the best selling pedals we have, but once you get used to the release of Time's it's hard to switch. Just so damn consistent on release, and never an accidental release, which I get with all other pedals I try.

    In addition to the spring you can replace the Spring Axle, Steel & the Ti/Carbon Adjustment Screw & the bushing. Basically everything but the pedal body, all the parts are pretty cheap.
    Kona Wo for Fat Biking, Ibis HD3 for Trail Shredding, Merckx Road bike for collecting dust in garage

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaj View Post
    rebuild and try new cleats too. I've never heard a squeak from my ATAC XS, which is now replaced by the ATAC 6. The new Shimano's are great and are the best selling pedals we have, but once you get used to the release of Time's it's hard to switch. Just so damn consistent on release, and never an accidental release, which I get with all other pedals I try.

    In addition to the spring you can replace the Spring Axle, Steel & the Ti/Carbon Adjustment Screw & the bushing. Basically everything but the pedal body, all the parts are pretty cheap.
    Spring, bushing, and cleat first...
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  23. #23
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    My Time Atac XS (plastic/composite body, not carbon) squeak pretty bad. Really bad if it's dusty out. It's rotational, so presumably bearing or seal. I've pulled them apart and greased what I could. But the bearings are sealed, which means they probably need to be replaced.

    My ATAC ROC S' aren't squeaky like the ATAC XS', but I can tell the cleat is worn down as I get a rythmic clicking that follows my pedal strokes.

    Of course, the current cleats were installed April/May 2011... Guess it's time for new cleats.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK_ View Post
    I have. They're not hard at all. The pin holding them in place pushes out and they come right off.
    The tension spring may be have set a bit if yours are a few years old and that may be what you need to swap out.

    _MK
    Piece of cake to replace these springs. I keep bashing my ROC's on rocks. I simply pull it, bend the tabs back and reinstall.

  24. #24
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    Best (and quietest) clipless pedals for the Front Range

    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    Vintage of those XS Carbons, and the last time they were serviced?
    The ones on the Tallboy are only 9 months old. The other pair, which was on the mountain bike, before being swapped to the crossbike are circa 2007/8 vintage. I've never serviced them.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    The ones on the Tallboy are only 9 months old. The other pair, which was on the mountain bike, before being swapped to the crossbike are circa 2007/8 vintage. I've never serviced them.
    I must have crappy luck w/ Time...
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_ View Post
    I've broken way too many Crank Bros to ever go back. They were great at sending free replacement parts but I needed more piece of mind.
    I've tried the Look pedals and didn't care for them. The new style XTR Trails lasted less than 6 months for a riding buddy. Not impressive.
    I'm still on my Time ATAC XS Carbons. Easy and cheap to service (standard bearing size and pretty much the only wear item).

    Take yours apart, swap out for a fresh bearing, a little Prep M or Slick Honey under the bushing, reassemble and enjoy for another few years. And don't forget fresh cleats!

    _MK
    Ditto on the Cranks bros. I broke three sets of springs on Crank bros in 2012 between April to June. I switched back to Shimano's after a 7 year hiatus and have loved them. The Crank bros springs get bent by all the high rocks on CO. The rocks don't seem to impact the Shimano's. I have the XT trail version. Several guys in my group are riding the XTR version for two full years with no issues. The cleats last more than twice a long on the Shimano's too.
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  27. #27
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    There's always Speedplay Frogs. No springs, bars or other moving parts to worry about. If they get noisy, you can either squirt fresh grease into the body or take them apart, clean, fill with grease and reassemble. If your pedal body gets too banged up, for about $35, get new pedal bodies and replace. Cleats need to be replaced every 2-3 years. A drop of chain lube or WD-40 on the "mushroom" keeps them noiseless (if necessary).

    The only thing that seems to give them an issue is sand; silty, powdery type sand. It just dries them out and makes clipping in an issue, but not out. I've ridden them in mud, snow, shush and ice, all without issue.

    Free float, no spring holding you into the pedal or forcing your knee into a particular position. And no noise. Oh, and they're pretty much the lightest pedal out there.


  28. #28
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    Just for the record, I've done, I dunno, maybe 15-20,000 miles on Time ATAC pedals and I don't recall ever having a persistent squeak. Maybe I've been lucky. My Eggbeaters, on the other hand did squeak, but that seemed to be related to the bushing wearing out.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    I must have crappy luck w/ Time...
    I'm gonna go with this. I've been on Time since... uhhh... 2001-ish? No issues other than some bent wires.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    I'm gonna go with this. I've been on Time since... uhhh... 2001-ish? No issues other than some bent wires.
    Hopefully w/ a rebuild (not yet) and a ~15lbs weight loss, I'll have mo'betta luck. A 15lbs weight reduction does seem to make all sorts of after-ride "noise" in the knees go away, but is causing havoc w/ spring weights on the DH bike!

    Oh, did slap on some fresh cleats...and stopped auto-ejecting out of the pedals when I pull the bike up to clear trail chunder now, but didn't notice a noise change.
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  31. #31
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    I'm with BonkedAgain. I was on ATACS for +/- ten years, SPDs for several years before that. 2009-2012 I was on Crank Brothers. Now I'm back on ATACS again.

    Here's my experience:

    SPDs -- hassles with mud / getting in and out of them culminated in me breaking an ankle in a low speed rollover where the pedal did not release correctly. I know more than one person besides myself this has happened to. Dunno if it's still a problem these days because I'm not going back to find out. Every time we have mud at a 'cross race out here, I can tell who has SPDs because they're the ones kicking the crap out of their carbon crank ends trying to get clipped in, and failing.

    Eggbeaters -- Broke multiple springs on rocks here in CO, husband broke 3 pair in one season. One of mine once broke somehow such that the entire cage came apart just riding to work (which, riding to work one-legged is never on anyone's short list of Fun Things To Do, lemme tell ya) Release / engagement was always so vague that it became a liability - once I wadded it up going into a barrier at a 'cross race because I couldn't tell the cleat had snagged as I was stepping off, and once I cased a berm at short track thanks to a pre-release.

    Time ATAC -- The old (pre 2005?) round bar design - I still have 2 pair that are over 15 years old and they still work like they came out of the box. I've done basic, minimal bearing and axle maintenance on them over the years, and they've both survived the wear and tear of being mounted first on a MTB for 6 or 7 years, then on a fixie for the remainder (and fixies can and will break anything you put on them; physics is a beast).

    The newer square-bar design XCS and XC8 I've only been back on for a little over a year, but my husband and I now have 4 or 5 pairs amongst our fleet and neither of us will ever go back to Eggbeaters after our terrible experiences with them. One of my new pairs was a bit squeaky and tight right out of the box, so I pulled the axle and greased it lightly and it's been fine ever since.

    This is a good guide to ATAC maintenance, and I think it hasn't changed in, like, ever.

  32. #32
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    Hands down...Frogs. All you have to do is look at them to know both.

  33. #33
    Kaj
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    There's always Speedplay Frogs.
    Speedplay markets these as a touring pedal these days. But I do see about 1 person per year who is happily still MTB'ing away on them. I remember back in '96 or so we stocked it and recommended it to some beginners. This was when Time still required a proprietary shoe and Onza's were just being phased out, so the only other option was this or Shimano 747/535.
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