Founded in the 1950s HT (Hsing Ta Industria) is one of Taiwan’s original bicycle component manufactures. Nearly 70 years later HT’s range remains rather modest, they manufacture only pedals, spokes, nipples and valve caps.
The AE is the aluminium version of the EVO pedal first launched in 2012. The key of the EVO is its thinness at the centre of the pedal and at 11mm, the AE05 is pretty thin. The mechanical theory of a thinner body is that it puts your foot closer to the axle and thus improves pedalling efficiency. Certainly there seemed to be much less of a wallowy feel with these pedals than my thicker DMRs. A thinner body also improves ground clearance although a few millimetres are unlikely to make a big difference in practice. Despite its thinness I haven’t perceived any flex on either pedalling or landing my full weight off jumps and drops.
At the perimeter of the pedal the AE05 thickens to 17mm – the greatest thickness of the AE range. This gives the pedal a concave profile to improve grip and foot location as well as the overall strength of the pedal. The slight concave fitted nicely to the ball of my foot and gave me the mental security that my foot was in the right place without me looking to check (something that I constantly struggle with as I’m so used to being clipped in) as well as the obvious mechanical advantage of having your foot in the right place. The pins are a grub screw design and have been easy to get out; as they are accessible through the pedal body so can still be removed in cases of severe mashing.
To keep the body of the pedal as thin as possible the size of the bearing system is kept to a minimum. Mounted on the tapered axle are two DU bushings and one small bearing on the outboard end. An exposed nut and spring washer allows for easy adjustment of the tension on the bearings. I’m not keen on the look of the nut but it does make it very easy to tweak to allow more pedal spin and remove any play. The downside of this narrow bearing system is the potential for wear and subsequently the need to regularly service the pedals. I’m less convinced by this argument; I’ve had no trouble since using the AE05s and I’ve needed to change the bearings about once every two years in my TIME pedals which utilise the same system.
The AE05 is meticulously machined down to 353 grams and certainly looks the business. As with other well-machined components the aesthetical and weight-saving advantages backfire somewhat there are lots of little pockets for mud to collect. If you, like me, have a Santa Cruz 5010 then you’ll find the blue version matches pretty much perfectly. If you don’t, they’re also available in black, silver, gold and red.
Overall: Thin, stiff and grippy pedals of much prettiness. I can’t find anything not to like.
|Product:||AE05 Alloy pedals|
|Tested:||by Rachel Sokal for 3 months|