Scott MTB Comp meets Time Speciale AndrewM
Mid-term Review

Scott MTB Comp Shoes AND Time Speciale Pedals

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Aug 29, 2018

Test Interrupted

One moment I'm dancing along bantering at my brother and carrying a fresh stringer for some new woodwork, the next moment I'm sliding down a greasy slope with my left foot underneath me. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. 

I've been told that stupid injuries get a pass if you acquire them trail building. Something about Karma vs. having to admit I'm a dummy. I'm fairly certain it was just a conspiracy to ease my wounded ego, and luckily I was back riding - on flats - soon enough that it didn't feel like I missed a pedal stroke. Clip-in pedals and shoes were another matter because of the twisting force required to release at a moments notice and it's just recently that I've been able to get back on these Time Speciale and lace-up Scott MTB Comp shoes. 


Scott MTB Comp meets Time Speciale AndrewM

100% made in France with Chuck Norris-like grip on the cleats even when slamming rocks and roots. 

I have more than enough rides in a range of conditions to talk about the performance of these products but I really need to smash them for a few more months to be able to talk about durability definitively. So I'll split the review into two parts. Here I'll talk about performance and I'll put together an update for both the shoes and pedals after thrashing through some hard winter months. 

Time Speciale

The Speciale is functional art, and like art these pedals aren't cheap. Unlike some paintings and sculptures however, there are solid reasons for the 350 CAD | 260 USD price tag; the pedals are made entirely in France, they look gorgeous, clear crap as well as any pedal on the market, and the one-piece 6106-T6 body should last forever. 

With the tension adjust set at its lightest the release and entry are typical of what I've come to expect from Time. Step-in is a forward and down motion more akin to a ski-binding than slamming my foot into a Shimano or Crankbrothers pedal. The release is the same motion as every other clip-in pedal on the market requiring a flick of the heel. 

Scott MTB Comp meets Time Speciale AndrewM

The anodizing has taken an absolute beating but only minor signs of wear are starting to show. It will be interesting to see how they look after the winter. 

Entry and release action is most similar to HT X2 pedals, particularly when the tension is dialed up on the Times. The Speciale has a much more refined feel, as I'd expect given the price, but both pedals require a bit more violence to affect a release and both clasp the cleat more positively on entry when compared to Shimano SPD pedals. 

These are the antithesis of the Crankbrothers Mallet DH I usually ride. Going back and forth between rides the Crankbrothers feel vague when I'm hammering out XC loops but when I'm getting over my head exploring janky technical descents the light release of the Mallet DH is a beautiful thing.

Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

New to Time is the adjustable release. I found there was plenty of hold with the tension set light even as the cleats have worn in. 

I have viciously slammed the Speciale into immovable terrain without suffering an accidental release. The pedals are perfectly firm and consistent releasing when I want out. Given that experience, I would not recommend these Time pedals to a rider new to clip-in pedals. If you're running your Shimano SPD clipless pedals with minimum tension and want to try something new, I'd recommend Crankbrothers instead. Riders charging full-on into the unknown who never want to faff with an accidental release no matter how hard they smoke a pedal, only to release when it's full detonation wrecking time...  Welcome Home!

Scott MTB Comp meets Time Speciale AndrewM

I've had no compatibility issues with the Time cleats using XC cleat pockets...

Three New Things For Spring AndrewM

...or more Enduro-oriented soles. I prefer a more rearward position with these pedals than with SPDs.  

I hope the Speciale is the harbinger of the next generation of Time pedals and the basic outline will descend to lower priced models. If it does Time fans and riders looking for a solid connection to their bike should rejoice. 

Cleat wear has been minimal even with some solid hike-a-bikes and other than some scratches and gouges the pedals are working as new. I'll be back after some hard winter smashing but in the meantime please hit Time for more information.  

Scott MTB Comp Lace-Ups

Is it so wrong to get giddy about about mountain bike shoes? The Giro Empire is my all-time favourite XC shoe but they come with a premium price tag and I murder the upper contact points and tear off half the lugs before the rest of the shoe is anywhere close to worn out. I'm still Freesole'ing my 2016 Empires, and while I use them more for road and commuting  now, which makes me wonder... 

What I'm looking for is an injected-composite (nylon-plastic) shoe with laces, a comfortable upper, and a sole stiff enough for long XC rides (like the Empire), but with greater durability and a palatable price tag?

Scott MTB Comp meets Time Speciale AndrewM

Laces! And offset laces at that. 

I've tried a lot of shoes and I really like BOA adjusters and some ratchets but the fit of a shoe would have to be Cinderella-perfect for me to drop my own money on anything but lace-ups. Thanks to Scott, my new unicorns have offset laces as well. If I really crank down most shoes Icget a hot spot in the top of my foot that causes either burning or numbness. I manage this by running my shoes a bit loose and then tightening them after the first big climb. Certainly not a big deal but with the offset laces I can tighten them until my toes lose function without any hot spot. It's a treat. 

Scott MTB Comp meets Time Speciale AndrewM

The sole is unfortunately, more '3c Max Speed' than '3c Max Grip' but the rubber compound is grippier for hike-a-bike action than most XC slippers and there's no wear to speak of. 

The Scotts are less comfortable on long out of the saddle climbs, especially ones that are technical. The 'Index 6' stiffness rating is great for hike-a-bike or pedaling up seated on my dually but I really miss the bonus stiffness of shoes like the Empire or Lake MX 332 when I'm pounding the pedals up or down. 

To be fair, Scott makes a much stiffer, and more expensive, carbon-soled version of the shoe which they give a stiffness rating of 'Index 9' and most potential customers aren't going to use these shoes on a hardtail.

My favourite Mavic Deemax shoes, as beaten as they are, are similarly flexible and comfortable on hike-a-bikes without presenting the same issue at the pedals. I assume this is because the shoes themselves are overbuilt when compared to the lithe construction of the Scotts.  

Scott MTB Comp meets Time Speciale AndrewM

I'll continue to use the Time Speciale and lace-up Scott XC Comp both together and with other products and report back once they've been more thoroughly beaten. 

So far the soles show no signs of wear but I do a lot more bike pushing in the winter. The uppers have some scuffs and these wouldn't pass for new but the stitching still looks fresh and there's no significant damage to be seen. I will likely wish the Sticki soles featured softer rubber and bigger, separated, lugs but both would likely result in significantly faster wear. 

With the laces, there is plenty of room for my beloved Showers Pass socks so these shoes will get no reprieve no matter how wet or cold it is outside. 

At 120 USD, the Scott MTB Comp Lace presents excellent value in an every-persons' trail shoe with XC roots and all mountain potential. After I walk on greasy woodwork, scramble my bike up some nasty inclines, and scrub them on rocks for a few months I'll deliver a final conclusion. 

Comments

kekoa
+1 Andrew Major
kekoa  - Aug. 29, 2018, 9:36 a.m.

Any thoughts on how these are versus the current style of Times? Despite my love of the shiney I can't see myself replacing my current Times with these especially after my disasterous dalliance with the Time MX series.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 29, 2018, 10:12 p.m.

I had no idea Time had put out a less than stellar product - your disastrous dalliance - until I started this review process. As I mentioned in my Fresh Things For Spring hit this is my first experience with Time pedals since their bombproof classic products. To be fair both Shimano and Crankbrothers have released sh*t pedals in the past so I guess no one is immune to not-enough-testing. 

The only bad thing I can say about the Speciale thus far is they're expensive. With the caveat that some riders will not like the entry/exit action (personal preference). 

From the chrome-moly steel axles to the forged and machined bodies to the updated take on the classic Time guts I'd expect them to be an heirloom-level product. 

I will pull them apart and inspect the bearings before my final review, although like my Mallet DH pedals the fact is bearings are an easily replaced wear item at the end of the day. 

Cheers,

Reply

kekoa
0
kekoa  - Aug. 29, 2018, 11:58 p.m.

You did say that...Sorry Andrew...headed to your neck of the woods in about 40 hours and a wee bit distracted. To be fair, it was my own fault...lower bottom bracket...new bike...I smacked those pedals into everything and everything (sorry son, didn't see you there) And one fateful Sunday I heard the sound of an I-9 right on my okole and I pedaled thru a turn and caught the pedal on a root and proceeded to turn my NEXT SL crank into a paperweight. Prior to that I've been on Times since...cough...1996 and have really enjoyed my Time on them...

Probably will pass, not excited with platforms and would rather spend $300 on other stuff.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 30, 2018, 7:38 a.m.

If my cranks/pedals failed every time I punched them into a rock due to bad timing / no timing, or trying to push my pace, or just getting distracted thinking about beer/bikes/coffee then I’d be replacing a lot of gear!

I think for those turned off by the Speciale price - or platform - the takeaway is that Time is updating their product line and we’ll hopefully see interesting and ultra-durable products at a range of prices.

It’s all a game of min-maxing for me!

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 30, 2018, 7:41 a.m.

Also, welcome visitor! Bringing a bike?

I just got back myself but by all accounts the trails are wicked-good right now.

Reply

kekoa
0
kekoa  - Aug. 30, 2018, 10:02 a.m.

Heck yes! And enough riding clothes to deal with Arctic tundra to swass inducing heat.

Reply

pntfive
0
pntfive  - Aug. 30, 2018, 10:14 a.m.

For those looking to purchase Time pedals, Republic Cycles in Squamish carry them.  They are the only store around that I've found carries Time mountain pedals.

Have any stores closer to Vancouver or North Vancouver started carrying Time mountain pedals again?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Aug. 30, 2018, 10:22 a.m.

Great info!

I believe the folks at North Shore Road Bike carry both the road and mountain options as well.

Reply

Bertleman
0
Bertleman  - Dec. 5, 2018, 12:10 p.m.

I have always used Time pedals but my Newer ATAC DH4's release everytime I hit something on the trail, so I'm really curious to how many pedal strikes you have experienced. Have you ridden the DH4's and experienced the same thing?  If the Enduro's don't release like you say, I'll buy em no worries!  Thanks!

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