Are you a looker? I was recently asked this by a nurse about to take some blood. According to her there are two types of people, those who look and those who don’t. When it comes to big giant needles, I am definitely not a looker. When it comes to ugly, gnarly lines on a bike I definitely am.
Being a rider who likes to be clipped in, it is often difficult to get clipped in after stopping to scope a line. Usually it means dropping in, desperately trying to get clipped, with your foot sliding all over the pedal but refusing to clip in. Usually, just as you reach the bottom, click!
For this reason, I have been on the lookout for a clipless pedal with a small, useable platform without paying a huge price to the weight gods.
Enter the HT Components Enduro Race T1 pedal. They have been making some big moves recently and with riders like Aaron Gwin, Jerome Clementz, Troy Brosnan, Conor Fearnon and Kyle Strait on board they must be doing something right.
At first glance, this pedal seemed to tick a lot of my boxes, including a very respectable weight, so I contacted the good blokes at Supersports and before you can say ‘holy crap, that’s a sexy set of pedals’, they arrived at my door.
- Body – CNC Aluminium
- Spindle – CNC Cromoly (the T1T has a titanium spindle)
- Bearings – EVO+ system / DU bushing
- Platform size – 68mm x 83.5mm, 16.8mm thick
- 2 replaceable pins per side
- Adjustable cleat retention guide with sliding scale
- Cleats (steel) – 13 degree release, X1 4 degree float, X1F 8 degree float
- Weight – T1 368 grams, T1T 328 grams ( maximum 85kg limit)
- 12 different colours
- 12 month warranty
The first thing you notice about these pedals when you open the box, is how good they look. These things are rock stars. Once you bolt these on, you will need a stick to beat the punters away trying to drool over them. I spent a couple of weeks in Rotorua with these and every shuttle someone would comment on how sweet they looked. In the box the pedals come with the standard 4 degree X1 steel cleat and some plastic spacers. Installation of the cleats was very simple and the raised dots on top of the cleat are a nice touch, helping locate the cleat while tightening the bolts. I chose to run without spacers initially to see how they would go and had no engagement/disengagement issues using Crossmax Enduro shoes. The pedals are attached using an 8mm Allen key, with the larger size giving some security for those who feel the need to overtighten their pedals. Coming from Crank Brothers pedals, I was concerned I may have trouble with my knees, given the more generous float of 6 degrees of Crank Brothers pedals. My concerns were unfounded and I have had no issue with the standard X1 cleat.
It is obvious these pedals have been designed with lots of rider input. The platform has a taper on the leading and trailing edge to help avoid rock strikes and assist with cleat engagement. They also feature a slightly V shaped front bar to help guide the cleat into the mechanism. Setting cleat tension was a breeze, with the pedal featuring a simple tension guide with a sliding scale to get the tension perfect on each pedal. This is great for those who may have old injuries that require different tensions for each pedal. Nothing has been forgotten, even down to the alloy axle plug which will be appreciated by those who have ever tried to remove a mashed up plastic one.
So all of that sounds really cool, but how did it all translate to where it matters, on the trails. The first thing I noticed was the really positive engagement. The cleat really snaps in with a nice crisp feel and sharp click sound. I set the tension on about 3, with 1 being the loosest and 10 the tightest. I found this setting really good for me. I had no issues with accidental releases or getting stuck in when I needed to get out. The 4 degrees of float felt very similar to what I was used to and the release angle was slightly less. Another very clever feature is the way the cleat works with the float. The cleat uses all the float before tightening up noticeably before releasing. HT Components have designed it specifically like this to enable the rider to confidently use all the float, without being concerned about accidently unclipping. This feature works really well on the trails, especially on trails where the rider is required to move around a lot on the bike.
While all this is wonderful while you are clipped in, my original requirement was for the pedal to also have a useable platform. During my 2 weeks in Rotorua, I found myself on Katore the EWS monster. Suddenly I was back in my original dilemma, perched high above an ugly chute full of treacherous roots waiting eagerly to hurt me. I am pleased to say that on the very few occasions I was unable to get clipped in in time, the compact platform along with two pins felt very stable underfoot and provided ample grip, even while pinballing out of control like a runaway train. Unfortunately, they don’t possess magical powers to stop you from ending upside down. That part is still up to you.
In the time I have been using the T1’s they have proven to be extremely durable, enduring rock strikes and the occasional gumby moments with scarcely a scratch. The engagement mechanism is smooth and reliable with no signs of wear and the steel cleats are proving to be extremely durable. The needle bearings and DU bush of the EVO+ bearing system has the pedal spinning as smooth as when they were first installed. We encountered a couple of very wet and muddy days while in Rotorua and found the mud shedding abilities are first rate. Even after scrambling up some very muddy trails I had no problems with engagement. My only complaint I have with this product is the cleats have a slightly higher profile than I am used to, so you sometimes sound like a tap dancer while walking. The big stick you need to carry to keep the drooling punters away gets hard to carry after awhile too.
If you think you would like to check these out, the HT Components distributors in Australia are the good blokes at Supersports and they can be found at all good bike shops. They do carry a premium price tag, but that’s what you get with a premium product.
Review // Darren Eckford
RRP // $239.95
Distributor // Super Sports
Browse // www.ht-components.com