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TWO-MINUTE REVIEWS

Crankbrothers Rose Pedal Cleats

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date May 27, 2019

Pedaling Pink

These Crankbrothers rose-coloured cleats match the 6° float of their standard gold cleats but cut the release angle from 15° to 10°. To put it plainly, they're equally comfy on my knees but clipping-out takes less motion and feels more positive. Riders who love the amount of body-english input the standard cleats can take without releasing are likely asking why? I think there are two prime customers:

  1. Crankbrothers riders who prefer the rubber-damped release of the Mallet or Candy series of pedals but are running Eggbeater pedals, say for XC or 'cross racing.
  2. SPD riders who are interested in the feel, float, and five-minute-ready rebuild-ability of Crankbrothers pedals but want the more positive release they're used to.

That may just be my bias, as I have an absolute preference for the standard cleats with my Mallet DH pedals but I prefer the rose cleats with the minimalist Eggbeater pedals.

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The traction pads on the Mallet DH notably dampen the float and release compared to an Eggbeater.

Crankbrothers Pedal Cleats ROSE NSMB AndrewM (1).JPG

Crankbrothers rose cleats have 6° of float and kick you out at 10° instead of the stock 15°.

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Mallet DH axles give these stanced Eggbeaters the same position in a minimalist package.

There are actually now four different cleats in the Crankbrothers line. The standard cleats have 6° float and a 15° release, the rose provide 6° float and a 10° release, the bronze with 0° float and a 15° release, and the silver with 0° float and a 10° release.

I asked my knees if we could try the 0° float cleats in the name of an exhaustive review and they told me to ask my foam roller. Foam roller laughed. Luckily for me, Crankbrothers says "XC racers tend to prefer the efficiency and power transfer of 0° float cleats" so my knees are not the target market.

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At first I thought the clip-in was snappier with the rose cleats but it turns out my stock cleats were just well worn.

Crankbrothers Pedal Cleats ROSE NSMB AndrewM (7).JPG

I use Crankbrothers' stainless steel version of their shim even with plastic soled shoes. This is their third pair of shoes.

I don't mind the weight of the Mallet DH pedals and I really like the damped release of the standard Crankbrothers cleats (6°/15°) combined with their rubber traction pads. It's great to try different things, and cleats are a relatively cheap swap at 26 USD, but day-to-day a pair of Mallet DH's with the stock cleats are perfect for me.

On the other hand, the Eggbeaters, sans traction pads, feel notably better with the rose cleats (6°/10°) and between their lower weight and best in class snow clearance I can see this setup becoming the stock option with these pedals. Hopefully Crankbrothers will add a version that's stock with the longer DH axles as well.

It's worth noting that the Crankbrothers-curious SPD rider will feel immediately more at home with the rose cleats. The quality of the pedals, ease of service, and availability of service parts make them an excellent choice.

Crankbrothers calls these 'Easy Release' cleats and they are available in either 0º or 6º float. More info here...

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Comments

cyclotoine
+1 Andrew Major
cyclotoine  - May 27, 2019, 10:24 a.m.

That metal shim looks like a great idea, I always fill the channels under the cleat with shoe goo once I've dialed in my cleat placement to prevent water from going in. I never thought of using a shim there too. I've also never tired crank pros since SPD pedals seem to fall from the sky.

Reply

peterk
+2 Niels Andrew Major
peterk  - May 27, 2019, 11:05 a.m.

The shim plates are almost necessary for CB's because otherwise the 'beater rails wear grooves into the shoes and the connection becomes sloppy with lots of vertical play even after cleat replacement. Nice to hear about the multiple shoe lifespan. This kind of wear isn't as much of an issue with SPD from my experience.

I'm interested in what kind of maintenance regime and lifespan Andrew gets out of his pedals. Every time they come out with a new version they are like "trust us, these ones are better than the last ones, we swear!" Do you have to buy more than the base model? When I was running CB's, I had to bin the set ($50) every year whereas I've had SPD's 520's (also $50) that I've used with 0 maintenance for 7 years now.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 27, 2019, 11:47 a.m.

My favourite value/performance Shimano pedal is the 540, but I agree their price-point stuff is hard to argue with. LOOK has a wicked SPD-compatible pedal at $50 too.

I prefer the ‘feel’ of Crankbrothers pedals which in my mind has all the benefits of being clipped in but a much less hard-attachment experience when the Body English comes out.

Tool steel axles, IGUS Bushings, Enduro bearings - the guts on the Crankbrothers pedals have been good for quite a few years now. The Mallet DH pedals are what’s on my bikes most the time and they’re probably do for a rebuild kit (getting a little slop) and haven’t been opened for over almost two years. 

I’m really hard on pedals (a lot of standing) but I’ve ridden a lot of pedals in that time mind you. Realistically I figure on rebuilding any pedal yearly if it’s my go-to.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 27, 2019, 12:01 p.m.

Also should say the rebuild is very easy. 8mm hex and 8mm socket is all that isn’t included in the kit: https://nsmb.com/articles/new-crankbrothers-mallet-dh-pedal/

Reply

IslandLife
+1 Andrew Major
IslandLife  - May 27, 2019, 12:41 p.m.

As a recent switcher from flats, I was able to try various pedals by way of friends who use various types and have way too many spare sets of pedals... plus buying (and then selling) some of my own sets.

Anyway, after trying, XT's, 540's, Mallet E's, Look X-track EnRage's, Candy's with regular cleats and Candy's with rose cleats... I've found Candy's with rose cleats to be the best of the bunch.  Light, great action, perfect feel, and easy in and out.  Depending on the model you can even use various traction pads for the perfect fit.  I'm using the Giro Chamber 2 shoes and find I don't need a shim.

So five months in after flats (which I still use periodically), this is what works the best for me.  I'm assuming this might change as I become even more in tune with clipless" riding.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 27, 2019, 2:51 p.m.

I don't find the rubber traction pads have the same benefit with the rose cleats as the standard. I can very much see running my Mallets without the traction pads if I was using the pinks all the time. 

Do you just run the one plastic shim under your cleats with the Chamber 2, or do you run two?

Reply

IslandLife
0
IslandLife  - May 27, 2019, 3:33 p.m.

Not using any shims and find it works very well.  And ya, though I mention the traction pads, I'm running my candy's stock... again works great with the Chamber 2's.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 27, 2019, 9:28 p.m.

Interesting, with or without traction pads I've never had a Crankbrothers setup that didn't need a shim under the cleat.

Thanks!

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IslandLife
0
IslandLife  - May 28, 2019, 8:49 a.m.

Not a problem... Yep no shims... and recently coming from flats, the ability to quickly get out is a high priority for me.

I've also raced a couple Enduro's on this set-up, and if there's one thing racing will do for you is bring to light even the smallest set-up issues... and they've been great so far.

Reply

Kelownakona
+1 Andrew Major
Kelownakona  - May 27, 2019, 2:21 p.m.

Definitely agree regarding value/longevity of even budget Shimano options. 

Ive used Crank Bros pedals before and like them but when you have 3 sets of pedals on different bikes it's much more economical to stick with Shimano and it's a pain to have different shoes with different cleats if you have say Mallets on one but Shimano on another. 

Just to be pedantic shouldn't it be rose-gold coloured rather than rose coloured?

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 27, 2019, 2:48 p.m.

HA. It should, but 'Rose Pe[d]als' made me laugh... also only had rhododendron flowers handy so that ruins the image a bit too. 

I like to stick with one system too (testing aside) and for me it's Crankbrothers.

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neologisticzand
0
Chad K  - May 28, 2019, 7:14 p.m.

Andrew, I wanted to say thank you, as I was the one that had asked for a Rose cleat review on a previous post. I really appreciate it. There is a reason NSMB is my favorite site despite living in Florida.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Chad K
Andrew Major  - May 28, 2019, 11:08 p.m.

I should be thanking you for putting the bug in my ear! I followed up with Crankbrothers because of comments. 

Cheers,

Reply

generationfourth
+1 Andrew Major
generationfourth  - July 12, 2019, 8:47 a.m.

just here to comment on the rose in the background of the photos. your artistic attempt didn't go unnoticed lol

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - July 25, 2019, 6:25 p.m.

Ha! Thanks!

It's actually a flower off my monster Rhododendron but I appreciate you taking notice either way :-)

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