2in1
REVIEW

2 New Flat Pedals: Race Face Atlas and Aeffect R

Words Trevor Hansen
Date Aug 2, 2022
Reading time

Race Face updated their Atlas and Aeffect flat pedals this year and the results build impressively on the previous versions. Both pedals are good grippers, they are easily serviceable, and they weigh a reasonable amount. It seems like the durability issues that plagued both pedals, but especially the Atlas, have been solved. Each pedal’s features and my ride impressions are detailed below. Full disclosure: I liked the Atlas way more than the Aeffect R pedals so most of the test time was on the former.

atlas top

Atlas

I tried the last gen' Atlas pedals one day last year and I really liked the feel, ease of on-pedal movement and the platform size. I subsequently learned of many problems with Atlas pedal longevity. Some of the comments I found included: seized bearing, worthless seals, body falling off spindle, excessive side play, grinding under load, etc. It seems that the RF engineers listened and designed a more serviceable and heartier pedal that still stays lightish at 386 grams per pair compared to the previous model’s 355 grams per pair. The pedals come with a lifetime warranty can be serviced with a 30 mm socket, vice, crescent wrench, or Knipex pliers. It looks pretty easy in the Race Face tutorial. The larger than most, 6802 sealed cartridge bearing should spread forces over a greater area, hopefully minimizing past bearing issues.

The new Atlas profile is slimmer, and the chamfered edges have been updated to take hits while still being thin enough to avoid low hanging hard fruit. In addition, the pedal fits all crank arms from the major players. Previous models would not fit some carbon cranks with crank boots (Sram for one).

The new platform bumps up a bit from 110 x 105mm to 110 x 108mm. Compared to the OneUp pedals (115 x 105mm) I was using prior to the test I can't say I noticed much difference. The difference I did notice was with the feel and grip. The Atlases were grippier and stayed in place over the rough stuff a bit better than the One Ups I was used to. I rode the Atlases with old Five Ten Trailcross shoes, gently used Dakine Drifts and brand new Specialized 2FO Roosts. The feel and grip was excellent with all three shoes. What I found interesting was that while feeling grippy, they allowed for on-the-fly foot adjustments. I still had to lighten my load a bit to adjust but it seemed easier than with my other pedals.

The new longer bottom loading pins come with cute tiny washers for height adjustments. One can even play with the washers for more or less concavity. I tried a few rides with all pins and no washers then tried a single washer on all pins and I liked that height more than the shin-calf meat eating tallboys.

Screen Shot 2022-08-02 at 8.58.04 AM

Side shot of the chamfered edges, pins at full height and that big and beefy axle bearing size.

The victim of packaging that I am loves the colour choices. Of course I was sent black but that is the official bike parts and clothing colour of the Shore so I am okay with that. Other choices include blue, green, orange, purple, red, silver, turqoise, and a bronzey one RF calls kashmoney.

Screen Shot 2022-08-02 at 8.53.55 AM

9 colours to choose from: black, blue, green, orange, purple, red, silver, turqoise, and the best colour name in the pedal game, kashmoney.

After about 20 rides Race Face's Atlasess have become my favourite pedals to date. How they fair over the long term is still to be seen but the new changes to the pedal body seem like they will do well over time.

Features

  • Price: 219.99 CAD/ 179.99 USD
  • Dimensions: 110mm (L) x 108mm (W) x 14mm (D without pins)
  • Weight: 386g per pair
  • Pedal body: 6061 aluminium
  • Axle: Chromoly steel
  • Number of pins: 20 (10 per side)
  • 4 Spare pins and 40 pin washers included
  • Pin length: 6mm

Race Face Atlas pedals

aeffect top left

Aeffect R

The Aeffect R is the new big platform version of the Aeffect. This higher-priced (169 CAD vs 159 CAD), heavier (440g vs 375g) sibling in the Aeffect family, sports several new features including a 110 x 115mm platform (Aeffect is 101 x 100mm), a lifetime warranty, 10 top-loading hex pins per pedal, 6 colours, and a thinner platform height (15.5mm vs 16.9mm). I really liked the larger platform even though it was only 7mm wider than the Atlases. On other pedals I feel like there are times that my shoe is hanging off the side before I can adjust it. With the Aeffect R's extra width it seems less of a problem as more rubber is on the pedal. This could all be pedal placebo but it's part of the jumble that floats around my brain when I am riding.

The Aeffect Rs come in 6 different colours: black, blue, green, purple, orange, red. The pedal edges have a reasonably chamfered edge to help with pedal strikes. The internals run on a traditional inner sealed bushing and outer sealed bearing. Compared to the Atlas, these internals are not as beefy. That said, Raceface still backs them up with their lifetime warranty. Other than the larger platform, I found the pin grab worked well. On-the-fly adjustments were easy when I unweighted slightly. I probably would have like these pedals more if I had tried them before the Atlas. I definitely did not use them on their intended terrain; they went down similar steep, fast, gnarly trails as the ones I rode on the Atlases.

Screen Shot 2022-08-02 at 8.50.38 AM

Side view with angled edges for hit control and 6 different colours to choose from.

After 6 rides I figured I had enough ride time to spew the goods on the Aeffect Rs; and get my 2FO Roosts back on the Atlases. I see the Aeffect Rs as a good pedal option for riders looking to cap their spending at about the 170 CAD mark. In the bike world it's always a question of whether or not we want to spend extra cash for a higher end product. In this case for about 25% more (50 bucks) you could pick up a set of Atlases, which for me would be money well-spent.

Features

  • Price: 169.99 CAD/ 129.99 USD
  • Axle MaterialChromoly Steel
  • Body Material6000-Series Aluminum
  • Material6000-Series Aluminum
  • Platform Height (MM)15.5
  • # of Pins20 SHCS hex traction pins per pedal (10 per side)
  • Platform L x W (MM)110 x 115
  • Weight440g

Race Face Aeffect R pedals

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Comments

cheapondirt
cheapondirt
2 weeks, 1 day ago
+3 Allen Lloyd Andy Eunson Dogl0rd

At the Aeffect R price point, a strong competitor is Giant's Pinner Pro Mg. It's about the size of a Dagga, similar in price and weight to Oneup Aluminum, and I find the platform very comfortable. Of the pedals I've tried recently (Oneup Comp, DMR Vault) it's the most invisible underfoot and doesnt give up much grip vs. the Vault.

There are a couple of strikes against: magnesium is soft, and in a quick search I didn't find a rebuild kit (haven't asked in store yet).

$170 cad is an awkward price point. A lot of money, but not enough to compete against the top options, which don't cost that much more by percentage. And especially when the body is magnesium, you really have to like the design to choose it over 2.5 pairs of plastic pedals.

To finally get back on topic, it seems like the Atlas might actually present a better value than the Aeffect R!?

Reply

kcy4130
kcy4130
2 weeks, 1 day ago
+1 cheapondirt

If the old wellgo mg1 pedals (the ones that seemed to be everywhere 15-20 years ago) are anything to judge by I'd say plastic pedals are probably as strong as magnesium. I still have a pair of mg1s, They have a foot side with pins mostly still intact and they have the rock side with a lot fewer pins. I have to sharpie the good side every once in a while so it's easier see.

Reply

xy9ine
Perry Schebel
2 weeks ago
+1 cheapondirt

oh man, (as a weight weenie dh'er / freerider) i used to love those mg1's. shitty pin retention tho, small diameter grub screws in soft mg are not a great combo. was constantly replacing pins and/or pedals when they became irreparable. think i ran through 3-4 sets of those. modern plastic pedals are SO much better.

Reply

JVP
JVP
2 weeks ago
0

Back in the MG-1 days we were night riding and a buddy noticed sparks flying from my pedals when I smacked them on rocks. Gives a new meaning to the term pedal strike. I'm hell-no to MG pedals these days, don't want to risk burning the forest down.

Reply

cooperquinn
Cooper Quinn
2 weeks ago
+4 Pete Roggeman Andrew Major Timer cheapondirt

That's most likely the hardened, high carbon steel pins sparking, not the magnesium.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
2 weeks ago
0

Titanium will throw sparks as well. Probably not much of an issue for pedals, since any Ti is usually inside, on the axle. But might be something to keep in mind if you do ride in an area with high fire risk and lots of rocks and have lots of Ti hardware.

Reply

rwalters
Ryan Walters
2 weeks ago
0

This comment has been removed.

shoreboy
Shoreboy
2 weeks ago
+2 IslandLife flatch

4+ sets of OneUp composites for the same price as the Atlas? Im not sure I understand the thinking that goes into buying expensive pedals when there are so many good offerings at a much lower price.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
2 weeks ago
0

If you really don't like center humps, the selection narrows down really quick, almost zero for composite, pretty low for metal under 100 USD.

Reply

Timer
Timer
1 week, 6 days ago
+1 IslandLife

Chromag Synth are truly concave composite pedals.

Pretty good value, even by plastic pedal standards. Because you can get every single part (even the body) as a spare.

Reply

Tjaardbreeuwer
Tjaard Breeuwer
2 weeks ago
0

I put a pair of RF Chester plastic pedals on my new bike. Had of lot of issues with my foot being stuck in the wrong place.

On a whim, I put a ruler across them and it turns out, despite appearances, the are slightly convex/humped in the center.

I swapped for the Specialized Supercaz composites, and although they look similar at a glance, the ruler revealed they are ever so slightly concave.

Way better (for me). I am able to replace my foot on the pedal and end up in the right place much more frequently.

So,  US$60 can get you a pair of pedals without the hump.

Previously I ran a pair of Nukeproofs for a few years, they were fine too, but different shoes and I bet they changed the model.

Reply

zombo
Zombo
2 weeks, 1 day ago
+1 canterbury

Raceface has yet to design something with moving parts that I trust.  I've never had a bottom bracket crap out faster than an RF one.  Stems and handlebars are fine but I'm not buying anything that spins.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
2 weeks ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

I'd rather have a RaceFace BB than a SRAM-branded non-DUB BB (never had DUB, can't speak on it). Even with GXP allegedly helping reduce load on the driveside bearing, I toasted so many of those BBs way faster than even a cheapish RF Team XC.

My last RF BB managed to outlast two lower heaset bearings, from Specialized (OEM) and Cane Creek 40, despite my best efforts to keep the muck build-up off my chainring with enthusiastic hosing.

YMMV, I guess?

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
2 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Justin White

Yes. I have had a number of RF BBs and not had any unusually early failures.

Reply

hongeorge
hongeorge
2 weeks, 1 day ago
0

Two simple rules - don`'t buy a  Raceface Product with a bearing in it, don't buy a RaceFace product made of carbon, follow those and you are mostly good apart from those Turbine stems that had the dodgy faceplate.

Reply

JVP
JVP
2 weeks, 1 day ago
+1 Andy Eunson

Bold moves on lifetime warranty. I wonder what it covers? As someone who regularly bends left pedal axles and has never met an inboard bearing that can last a winter, I'm tempted. 

I'm still loving my OneUp composites for winter, but the skinny pins on comp pedals are murder on shoes, and the plastic bodies eventually deform around the pins from pedal strikes. I figure swapping pedals summer and winter will more than double the life of my shoes since the pin positions will be different.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
2 weeks ago
+1 Hbar

That's 20 rides? Here are my Spank Spikes after 12 rides:

Not trying to imply you aren't riding them hard, just that terrain can really make a difference in product durability. IE: those cranks are almost 3 years old, and the ends are at least a 1-1.5mm shorter than new.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
2 weeks ago
+2 Justin White Ryan Walters

The trails I happen to know Trevor has been riding over the last month (ie the 20 ride test period) are low on rock and high on loam and roots. Different times of year, I think he'd be showing more pedal strike scars from more contact with rocks, but right now the getting is good on certain trails of a seasonal nature.

Reply

Tbone
Trevor Hansen
2 weeks ago
+4 Justin White Ryan Walters Jerry Willows dhr999

This is true - lots of dirt and loam surfing, especially on Mr. Roggeman's secret stash.

Reply

cyclotoine
cyclotoine
1 week, 6 days ago
+1 Ondřej Váňa

I have the old Atlas and yes the stock main bearings didn’t last a season but they are easy to swap for some enduro max bearings. I haven’t had any of the other durability issues I’ve read about and they are my second set (first set we’re on a bike that got stolen and I liked them enough to buy again). I love how durable the pins are. I’ve worn them down but never bent them, I’ve even sharpened them a few times, I need to replace some because they’re getting too short. I tried one up comps and the pins just bend at slightest strike and the grip was not as good. I’ve got 4 years on my current Atlas pedals.

Reply

andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
2 weeks, 1 day ago
0

The arm chair engineer in me says that inner bearing has a lot of forces cantilevered off it. Shimano clipless pedal bearings seem immune to wear I think because they are under the foot. I had a pair of the previous Atlas pedals nd the inner bearing crapped out fast. I replaced it easily enough but I gave the pedals to a young person with no money and crappy pedals and she went through the bearing quickly too. I’ve not read or heard of similar issues with the Oneup pedals though.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
2 weeks ago
0

RE: the Aeffects feeling bigger, I think it's those angles on the outboard edges of the new Atlas vs the more squared footprint (pun semi-intended) of the Aeffect, maybe even more than the overall width.

I recently grabbed some Spank Spikes to eventually replace my almost-3-years old last-gen Atlases*. They have a similar angle from the center to the leading and trailing edges and I definitely notice it vs the Atlas, despite the listed platform sizes being very close. In fact, taking a quick look, the Spikes are a couple mm wider overall, but the Atlases are more than a few mm wider at the leading and trailing edges,. I can definitely feel those few mm, especially on the leading edge.

* (And they have only experienced the lateral play issue, which I fixed it by filing about 0.5mm off the end of each axle so that the outboard bearing stack is actually held snug by the fixing bolt.)

Reply

tehllama42
Tehllama42
2 weeks ago
0

Wow... if my 7 year old Atlas pedals ever look at me the wrong way, I know what I'm doing.
Out in the desert southwest, I've experienced none of those prior issues, but having some really bomber pedals is always great.

Reply

Duck
Ondřej Váňa
1 week, 2 days ago
0

I'm a bit puzzled by the reliability issues of the v1. 

I own 3 pairs of these pedals. First set I bought as soon as it came out, has raced a few bc cup seasons and now is on my 175mm bike in Squamish, some years around 200 days of riding. Never had any issue. My friend did once have the pedal slip off. I checked the torque on mine, added a drop of loctite to the axle screw and I just replace the large bearing once a year or two. Only replaced the small bearings once on the 8 or so years old set. Others run on originals. Currently 2 pairs could use a new large bearing but that's definitely been 2 seasons since last time. 

The oldest pair has I believe 2 stripped pin threads so I may retire those, but I'd definitely buy a new set if I can still find any! 

I've worked in bike shops full time and also never seen any issues with those pedals, only heard from one customer about a failure, and one "friend of a friend had it happen". I've heard about a failure of just about any part so the numbers don't add up in my experience. 

Grip of the Atlas v1 seems outstanding in my experience and I attribute a lot of that to the angled pins, which are omitted on the new pedal, so I don't see it as anything special. Probably a good pedal, but there's a lot of good pedals.

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