Three New Things For Spring AndrewM
First Look

3 Fresh Products For Spring 2018

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Apr 6, 2018

Three New Things For Spring

It's that time of year when interesting new products start to blossom.Here's the first look at some pieces I have in for long-term testing. As with my piece last year, it's too early for to make any pronouncements about durability or to fully evaluate features. 

Time Speciale Pedals

The Speciale is a fresh take on Time's classic pedal design that uses the same cleats as the pedals I loved in the late 90's and early 00's. I have the fondest memories of the aluminum ATAC DH pedals I ran after wearing out one too many pairs of Shimano DX clip-ins.


Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

I'm impressed by the quality look and feel of the Speciale. At the risk of sounding silly, I think they're beautiful.   

100% Made In France, Time is now owned Rossignol Group and the Speciale is their first brand new pedal. The addition of usable tension adjustment and the one-piece 6106-T6 body to Time's legendary crap-clearing ability and positive engagement promises top survivability in a package just over 400 grams for the pair.

Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

Made In France

Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

Spring tension adjustment

Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

The same classic cleat

Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

Easiest cleat setup in the business

At 350 CAD these pedals are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Hell, I know some riders just scrolled down to the next item. But ask anyone still using their same Time pedals from 20+ years ago and there's potential for the Speciale to be a great value. 

Race Face Vault J-Bend Hubs

There are lots of great high-end pawl-style hubs on the market, I've written up Industry Nine (Reynolds) and Project 321 in the past for example, but I think the massive hub shell and oversized reverse-drive ring configuration of the Vault hub make it an interesting high-engagement option as long as you're down with the Henry Ford colour option. 

Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

The massive drive side spoke flange on the Vault hub is loonie

Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

A teardown showcasing the 3° engagment reverse drive-shell system is coming soon. 

Six pawls working in pairs with a 60-tooth drive ring deliver 3°  engagement at 330 USD for a rear hub. That puts Race Face in near the opening price point for a boutique high engagement hub. To earn that label the oversized system, with the pawls mounted in the hub and the drive ring mounted to the freehub, must prove to be durable. 

This j-bend version of the Vault hub is also the result of Race Face listening to customers happy with their ARC rims and interested in their hubs but preferring to build them, or have them built locally, with none of the hassle of direct pull spokes. I put direct pull spokes in the same category as trunnion mount shocks and T47 bottom brackets so this is right up my alley. Stay tuned for a teardown with Jeff at Bikeroom and a thorough sh*t kicking. 

SQLab 610 Ergolux Active Saddle

My Spring piece last year included the SQLab 611 Ergowave Active Saddle. There are some great comments about the ride changing difference that the SQLab saddle has made for some NSMB readers and the takeaway that anyone who's riding duration or frequency is affected by back pain should consider one of these perches.

Enter the brand new 610 Ergolux. With a slightly larger cut than the narrow 611 Ergowave and a bit more generous padding, the Ergolux is intended to better distribute loads with a more upright riding position.  

Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

Ride the wave. More seated support with less pressure on both male and female sensitive bits. 

The Ergolux is available in four widths. The 13cm, 14cm, 15cm, and 16cm saddles are included three different elastomers to adjust the rear saddle flex around the pillar the seat rails attach to. I love the 611 Ergowave and I know a lot of riders running a more upright riding position than a couple years ago..I'm keen to get on the Ergolux and get the position dialed in. A comparison to the Ergowave in the works 

Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

Four different rates of flex - including running no elastomer. 

Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

The pillar allows the wings of the saddle to flex separately from the rails. 

Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

Flat nose, 'interesting' shaping up top. 

I'm lacing up wheels, clipping-into fresh pedals, and dialing in my new throne for future tests. 

If you can't wait that long  fire away with any questions you may have below.. 

Comments

MTBrent
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MTBrent  - April 6, 2018, 4:49 a.m.

Them are some big 'ol spoke flanges.  Looking forward to the Vault teardown.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 5:28 a.m.

The hub shape is very organic in person. Assuming everything else about them coming up aces, I enjoy how different looking they are.

Me too! Both the hub teardown and wheel build.

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wfo922
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Wfo922  - April 6, 2018, 5:39 a.m.

Are the tension springs replaceable on the time pedals?

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 5:51 a.m.

The axles that the springs sit on are pressed in and easily accessible from either side so they’re definitely replaceable.

You’re wondering in terms of potentially replacing a bagged out spring years down the line?

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 4:04 p.m.

I've confirmed with Time that all the small parts, including the springs and pins, are available separately.

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wfo922
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Wfo922  - April 7, 2018, 8:26 a.m.

Thank you for the follow up. I have had to replace a spring or two due to a pedal strikes on my mx4’s. Although not listed as replaceable and no small parts available from LBS, Time direct did hook me up with just some springs and I was able to replace. The amount of float and consistent clip in no matter the conditions make Time my pedal of choice. I’m seriously considering purchasing the Speciale version. That’s a chunk of $, going to be a hard one to sneak by the boss

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jt
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JT  - April 6, 2018, 6:58 a.m.

Hear hear to the Atac's. I have a set of Aliums that are 18 years old at this point. Replaced the pins once and the springs twice and have never had to touch the bearings. Why people go for SPD style pedals is beyond me.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 8:07 a.m.

As someone who regularly rides SPD pedals and Crankbrothers Mallet DH pedals, and likes both, I see the merits. 

I will completely admit to having forgotten, it’s been years, the easy setup, clean entry, and clear release on the Time pedals. 

I know quite a few riders with ancient Time pedals still going strong. They’re awesome.

Did you do the pins/springs yourself?

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jt
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JT  - April 6, 2018, 9:17 a.m.

Yeah, not too complicated at all. Tap out old pin, line new spings up, guide new pin through one side of the pedal and the springs, and tap the last bit of it back in. Think the plastic and carbon versions used threaded pins if I remember correct. Came to Atacs after having a SPD cage break on me, locking me into the pedal until I got my foot almost parallel with the spindle, and had a few friends snap various parts of Crankbrothers (yes, I hear about the better reliability of the new stuff, but when your buddy snaps a spindle riding off a curb and ends up bleeding profusely I think it's ok to still be a bit gunshy).Those Aliums have definitely outlived their maybe $50 in total ownership costs so far. The Camry of the pedal world.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 4:05 p.m.

Thanks, that's what I assumed from looking at it but I also remember it used to be a threaded pin. 

Time has confirmed that the springs and pins are available separately.

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xtopher
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xtopher  - April 8, 2018, 7:17 p.m.

Do you know if Time will release lower-end versions of the Speciale? I love their pedals and these new ones look dope. In their ATAC lines, they have a variety of pricepoints, so hoping these will too.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 8, 2018, 7:51 p.m.

It comes down to whether Time can make a cheaper version of the pedal without cutting back on durability/function. It's a fairly complex pedal body.

I certainly think of the Speciale as a flagship for the next generation of Time pedals so I would be surprised if the basic form didn't trickle down - there's no official word at this time though.

Timmigrant
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Tim Coleman  - April 6, 2018, 8:08 a.m.

I had a friend get convinced to try the ATAC DH pedals around here. First set lasted two days. The second set lasted two runs.

That said these new ones look great, strong and well made.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 8:12 a.m.

Do you know the model Tim, was this recently? 

I have heard complaints about some of the very recent, lower end models.

From experience I can only speak for the older models I’ve used/experienced.

To see the Speciale in person it’s hard to imagine any issues as the manufacturing quality is obvious, but I’ll take the time beat the hell out of them to be sure - hence doing the first look.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 8:20 a.m.

For SPD pedals I’ve been working on a comparison piece between the lowest end (50 USD) LOOK X Track and their  higher end X Track Race version with a bit more pedal/shoe contact and a carbon body.

In either case I won’t be going back to Shimano. Better crap clearing and better retention with less tension compared to Shimano even when using a Shimano cleat.

Worth checking out for the SPD diehard interested in trying something new but familiar.

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Cheez1ts
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Garrett Thibault  - April 6, 2018, 7:12 a.m.

They have a measurement of ”Relief in Perinal Area” on the SQLab-USA website and that saddle is a 72% on their website. It doesn’t look like it touches anything between the sitbones. Is it just because it’s very soft?

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AndrewMajor
+1 Cr4w
Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 8:03 a.m.

It really isn’t that soft (just softer) but there is a huge relief zone - as with the ‘bath tub’ on Ergowave. 

I haven’t been out on the Ergolux yet but the 611 is to date the most comfortable, and yet supportive, saddle I’ve ridden.

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craw
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Cr4w  - April 7, 2018, 2:24 p.m.

They have a sitbone measuring thing at Obsession. It helped explain why I found so many saddles uncomfortable. I bought a 611 last year and love it. This new one looks good too.

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pntfive
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pntfive  - April 6, 2018, 7:35 a.m.

Is there a Canadian distributor for Time?  I can't seem to find Time pedals in any stores around Vancouver.  Do you know where I can purchase a pair?  I'm looking for the ATAC DH4 pedals and several pairs of cleats.

I've been using Time ATAC pedals for about 20 years.  They are my favourite clipless pedals!

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 7:59 a.m.

Time is now distributed directly by Rossignol just like their ski brands and Felt Bicycles. Any shop in Vancouver you prefer can get an account set up and grab you what you need.

If it’s an immediate need a shop like Comor (nee Different Bikes North Van) will already have an account thanks to the ski side of their business. 

(That Comor location is actually likely to have cleats in stock as Craig who was the head wrench there for years has ridden Time since dinosaurs roamed the Baden Powell.)

I don’t know anyone stocking pedals yet but I’m sure that will change with the new distribution arrangement as demand becomes apparent.

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pntfive
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pntfive  - April 6, 2018, 8:18 a.m.

Thanks for the information Andrew!

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shoreboy
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Shoreboy  - April 6, 2018, 8:23 a.m.

Demand for $350 pedals will likely never be very apparent will it?  I still run the multi-colored ATACs on my commuter that I got with my bike back in 1999.  Cleats are hard to find as stated, but online stores do carry them.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 8:33 a.m.

It’s impressive to be using any bike part made in 1999 regularly. Have you replaced bearings or springs?

Absolutely agree*, but Time does have a huge product line and hits at lots of price points. I can see dealers stocking / recommending pedals and cleats knowing that the support is there. 

From a fit perspective they’re the fastest/easiest road and mountain pedals I’ve set up. 

*that said, some of the collections of bikes I’ve seen at local trailheads in the last couple years there might end up being a surprising number of $350 pedals sold...

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shoreboy
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Shoreboy  - April 6, 2018, 9:45 a.m.

I havent had to replace bearings or springs.  To be fair, they havent been used continuously, but for a fair share of that time.  Many many sets of cleats though!

I might have to try an SQlab saddle, I dont seem to be able to find my happy place with the couple of Chromags Ive been recently trying (Lynx and Moon) as well as few WTB offerings (Laser V and Silverado? I think).  Only direct from SQlab ordering? No local shops carry them?

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 10:07 a.m.

Dealers or riders can order direct from SQLab (SQLab-USA in North America).

I have suggested them to a few shops I see regularly. If you look at the comments on my 3-things piece last year there are some good examples of how the SQLab Active saddles have changed rider experiences.

I have a couple friends who’ve bought one right after trying mine despite them being fairly expensive thrones.

I think local dealers could sell them both to men/women with back pain and to those who have struggled to find a saddle that works for them if they could just sit on them first.

Dealer pricing and a lack of online grey market should mean no showrooming as there’s no price advantage to buying online so it’s a great opportunity for local shops to support riders and riders to support their local shop.

craw
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Cr4w  - April 7, 2018, 2:26 p.m.

I went and got measured at Obsession. It explained a lot as I'm a lot wider through the sit bones than the WTB and Chromag saddles I've ridden unhappily for years. I bought a 611 and have been very pleased though this new one looks even better.

Dirtlovinroadie
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Dirtlovinroadie  - April 6, 2018, 10:43 a.m.

Northshore Roadbike is a Time pedal dealer and we have some Time road and mtn pedals in stock and can order the DH pedal.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 10:47 a.m.

Thanks for jumping in Dave & Co!

Do you guys stock cleats as well?

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pntfive
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pntfive  - April 6, 2018, 10:50 a.m.

Good to know!  Thank you.

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JBV
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James Vasilyev  - April 6, 2018, 8:36 a.m.

i demo'd a bike with the Vaults and was impressed with the engagement and muted sound. what i really want to know is about their weather sealing compared to other high end hubs like Hope, etc, and overall durability/longevity. and warranty!

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 9:09 a.m.

I’ll beat the crap out of them as part of the long term test.

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DBone95
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Darryl Chereshkoff  - April 6, 2018, 8:45 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 9:08 a.m.

The idea is your sit bones are on the middle wave. 

During hard efforts with a more upright position the back wave acts to help maintain position and helps get the pedaling effort to the pedals.

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shoreboy
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Shoreboy  - April 6, 2018, 3:46 p.m.

Just ordered a 611 Carbon Active!  They are on sale right now if anyone is interested. 

Thanks for reminding me that I needed to do this Andrew.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 4:02 p.m.

Please let me know what you think once you have a chance to ride it!

I'm currently testing the 610 with the soft elastomer to start, but I find for the 611 I prefer not to run one at all (I'm ~190lbs).

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JPostuk
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Jerek Postuk  - April 6, 2018, 7:29 p.m.

Wait, Time is owned by Rossignol? I wonder if sometime down the line they will merge with Look since they have the same parent company.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Jerek Postuk
Andrew Major  - April 6, 2018, 7:38 p.m.

I really doubt it as they are very different outfits with different products and strong followings. Especially on the road they’re two very different followings with strong support.

Look have gone SPD-compatible with their new clip-in pedals. I’m working on a review comparing their budget and Race models of the new X Track.

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kekoa
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kekoa  - April 7, 2018, 10:08 a.m.

I've been running Time pedals since 1996. Only have has two issues over the years. Had the pins start to walk out of a pair (this was a pair purchased in 2012, previous generation to what's out now). Used crazy glue to hold them in place and it sorta worked. Time USA wasn't too helpful. Tried the caged ones, mx-8s on maybe three rides and smacked anything and everything. Beyond that, phenomenal pedals, way better than my onZa HOs.

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