Crank Brothers Candy SL Pedals
Crank Brothers rose to prominence in the mountain bike market in an incredibly short amount of time. Years later they’re known as the most popular alternative to Shimano’s ubiquitous SPD clipless pedal. Crank Brothers effectively nudged the closest competition out of the way with clever design, slick packaging and consistent marketing. Their flagship product, Egg Beater pedals, continue to sell incredibly well. But for many cyclists, the venerable Candy pedals are where it’s at.
Offering a little more contact area than their minimalist cousins, the Candy SL pedals use stainless steel springs and spindles like the similarly priced Eggbeaters, but at 266g per pair, they’re roughly 18g heavier. Hardly a concern for most commuters. The $130 price tag, however, may be. Crank Brothers offers a $90 Candy C pedal that substitutes a Chromoly spindle and pays a 42g weight penalty. I’ve used both models extensively, and can’t say the Candy C’s work any better or any worse than the Candy SL’s. Mostly, I just like the SL’s better because mine have fancy blue springs.
Unfortunately, all Crank Brothers pedals suffer the same Achilles heel. The cleats are soft, and walking in them decimates their lifespan. This is bad news for urban cyclists, because even though the cleats are relatively low-profile, rocks and gravel do a number of the soft brass alloy. And once the cleats are worn out, they don’t like to stay clipped in.
Another downfall of the Crank Brothers design is that even brand new cleats can become disengaged at inopportune times—namely climbing or skidding on a fixed gear. I’ve had this happen to me numerous times, and while it seems to be the exception, not the rule, it’s still enough to wonder if double-strap toe clips aren’t still the best option for fixed gear enthusiasts…
As far as clipless pedals go, Crank Brothers pedals seem to work remarkably well in adverse conditions, including rain, snow and mud. This makes them a great choice for mountain biking, and presumably for cyclocross racing. Plus the pedals come with a handy grease port adapter that makes repacking the bearings a snap. Crank Brothers offers a road pedal and several other off-road pedals, which we’ll review another time. For the time being, suffice it to say the Candy model serves the widest audience.
Visit www.crankbrothers.com for more info.