More often lately I’m the only rider on flats. In the age of enduro and clipped in DH flats may have lost some of their cool but I couldn’t care less; I ride flats on virtually every ride because it’s more fun. If you are similarly inclined you might be interested in a set of these – the latest iteration of Canfield Brothers’ Crampon Magnesium Pedals. They are light, thin and elegantly conceived. The sort of component that makes you smile when affixed to your bicycle. These pedals made me happy before I sunk pins into sticky rubber.
Still I had a few questions when I first laid eyes on the Crampon Magnesiums. The pedal is unconventional in that it’s narrower at the edges than at the axle. Some pedals are completely flat while others are concave, but few are convex. The conventional wisdom has been that a pedal should cradle your foot. The Canfields eschewed this to make the edges as narrow and light as possible. So you have 6mm at the trailing and leading edge but 10mm at the axle with a gradual slope bridging the gap.
When I first looked at the pedals I expected the pins to be deeper in the middle section so the contact points would be at the same level. Instead the holes for the centre pins are drilled like the others so each pin protrudes approximately 5mm. This means the centre pins are thickest part of the pedal. Chris Canfield presented this as an opportunity for more traction while pedalling at the top and bottom of the stroke.
The pins themselves have Allen fittings on both ends so you can remove them from the underside if they are damaged. The axle turns on DU bushings rather than bearings, another factor that contributes to a wafer-like profile. The pair I have tipped the scale to 142 grams per – or 284 a pair. Effing light. It’s pretty sweet when you can save a quarter of a pound on your pedals.
I have only put a few rides on the Crampon Mags but so far I’m impressed. I generally ride Five Ten Impacts (the stickiest sticky shoes) and I often remove pins from pedals to achieve the grip sweet spot. If you have to sit to re-position your foot friction needs to be reduced IMHO. So far I’ve resisted that urge with the Crampon Magnesiums and I think I may keep them that way. Grip = good, but not too robust. The convex shape hasn’t yet proved problematic but I will play with the pins to see how that affects things.
A question that lingers for me is whether the pins are longer than they need to be. A 6mm leading edge isn’t much use if your pins are so long they snag on everything. I am on the hunt for some pins that extend perhaps 2.5mm from the pedal body, which would reduce the overall thickness by 5 mm. Or maybe I’ll take the grinder to the existing pins (taking advantage of the Allen head on the underside) and experiment that way. At that point I’ll either cut the centre pins down even lower or remove them entirely. Another question mark is the DU bushings and their longevity. Thus far they don’t spin freely but some hard rides will change that.
So far so good. These questions have a little sand in my shorts but more experimentation will either rinse it out – or embed it uncomfortably. I’ll give a sand update (sans photos) once I’ve completed my experiments and put some more vert on these beauties.