Sorry in advance to all foodies that may have gotten here looking for the latest in oviparous food processing, but this review is for the Egg Beater pedals from Crank Brothers.
My introduction to clipless pedals began with Shimanos. They were set to a medium tension, and I fell down a lot learning how to use them. One time I crashed at a busy intersection and came out of my left shoe, my shoe still dangling in the pedal! It wasn’t till I put them on the loosest setting that I stopped hitting the dirt. The only problem with the loosest setting is that I came unclipped at times. Usually when trying to catch a little air.
I always thought the egg beaters were a cool design, but was wary of purchasing a pair. Most of my buddies had Shimanos, and it made it easy to swap bikes if we wanted. I had also seen a broken egg beater, and felt that my Shimanos were indestructible. Additionally, a friend of mine said that egg beaters, with their roundish shape, could roll on you when trying to clip in. I put my fears aside and purchased a pair of Egg Beater SL’s back in May, lured by the light weight.
It’s always fun to buy a new bicycle part, and Crank Brothers packaging really makes you feel like you just bought something special. I weighed the pedals before installing them, making sure they matched the advertised weight. They were right on. The SL’s weigh in at 266 grams per pair, compared to the Shimanos I was using at 380-430 grams per pair. That’s a 1/4 lb or more of weight (rotating mass) savings! Upon installation there was no adjusting them. There is only one spring tension, unlike the Shimanos that have several clicks of adjustment. This gave me a little concern before I tried them…what if I didn’t like the way they were set?
The final thing to do before riding was to install the cleats on my shoes. You can swap the cleats on the shoes to get different release angles. I chose the earlier release angle, and still have them that way to this day.
Once underway, clipping in to the Egg Beaters was just a little different than the Shimanos. Once you learn the slightly different technique and the pedal breaks in a bit, there is no more thinking about it. Click and you’re in! The four sided entry made it easy to clip in no matter which position the pedal was in. The tension turned out to be just perfect after an initial break in period. The effort to release from the pedals seems like it would work for beginners and more experienced riders alike.
One thing that I noticed right away in the increased float the pedals have. This refers to the angle you have to reach with your heel before your shoe will unclip from the pedal. A little float helps your foot go to its natural position, which is supposed to be easier on your knees too. I was surprised at my natural position. My left foot seems a bit toe in, while my right foot seems to be a little toe out. The Shimanos had very little float, and forced my feet into one position. Another cool thing is that even though the pedals have the extra float, I don’t recall ever unclipping unexpectedly!
I really started liking the SL’s, so I decided to outfit another bike with them. I didn’t feel like shelling out another $100 so I purchased the Egg Beater C’s for a bit less cash. The C’s weigh in slightly heavier at 294 grams per pair, but are still lighter than most other pedals on the market. It seems to me the only difference between the pedals is the weight. I can’t tell the difference in performance.
Aesthetically, the pedals go very well with single speed bikes. The pedals are a very simple design and compliment the simplicity of a fully rigid steel framed bicycle. They look pretty good on my geared bikes though too!
Some riders talk about a “hot spot” on their feet when using egg beaters due to the small platform size of the pedal. I may have experienced this once while on a long ride, coming down a downhill section, standing for an extended period of time. I may have just been tired and beat up though. Typically though, I have never felt any discomfort. It is good to point out though that Crank Brothers makes this design with various platform sizes surrounding the pedal, if you think this would be an issue for you. Your choice of shoe could also factor into the shoe/pedal comfort equation.
Going into winter I’m excited to try the egg beaters in the winter snow and mud. One thing the egg beaters are famous for are their ability to shed trail junk from the pedal. I’ve had experiences with the Shimanos where it was impossible to clip in after putting a foot down in the winter muck.
Well that’s a lot of words to say about a simple pair of pedals, but I really like these things. If you’re looking for a new pair of pedals or trying clipless pedals for the first time, go buy a pair. You won’t be disappointed!