The Nano-X is one of Superstar’s most recent pedal designs. It used to be they’d badge generic components, such as the old style Nanos that are so familiar are a mainstay of budget mountain biking – I have a pair that still run okay after six years. The Nano-X is an altogether shinier beast though, made in house on Superstar’s own CNC mill. That they sell direct rather than through distributors and retailers helps them keep prices a bit lower too, and for less than £45, these pedals are not to be sniffed at.
With lower prices come a few compromises though. First off, at 440g, these are at the heavy end of the weight range we’ve tested, with only a couple of pairs of flats coming in heavier. That said, the difference between them and most pairs is less than 50 grams, which you probably won’t notice. The other thing I immediately clocked about them was that one span more freely than the other from new. This is still the case after several months of use, but not critical or noticeable once your feet are on them.
The pins are custom M4 through pins, made from steel and with unthreaded, toothier tips. Superstar ship them with two complete sets of pins, 7mm and 10mm, making the grip highly tunable and leaving you with a very generous amount of spares. Commendable, given some manufacturers send none or just a couple of spares with new pedals.
The longer pins stick up 7mm from the pedal surface, giving absolutely loads of grip. They didn’t make the Nano-X the grippiest on test, but still gave plenty of it. They were fine up, along and down everything we rode, including technical and choppy sections of trail. At the end of a few months, they had one pin missing, one bent, and a few others loose. Given they ship with the pins out, the loose ones are entirely my fault.
The anodised surface finish on the bodies is very smooth, with minimal tool marks visible, and in combination with the extremely large cutouts this seems to give them very good mud shedding ability – as I’d expect from a product designed and tested in the UK. As they’re well known for, Superstar also anodise their products in a bewildering array of colours, meaning there’s a pair that’ll match pretty much any bike.
Compared to the old Nanos, the bodies of the Nano-X look quite slender, yet so far seem to be stronger too. I did manage to put a few big dents in my old ones, but these are standing up to everything so far with nothing more than a few scratches. Looking at the side profile, you can see metal has been left where it’s needed on the leading edges of the Nano-X, and pared right down where it isn’t. The axle has a single smooth bump over it running the entire width of the body. Not a surprise since quicker, less fancy machining operations are a necessity when making something on a budget, but combined with the pin height that slight bulge wasn’t noticeable when riding.
Overall: If you pry you can see these are a budget pedal, but Superstar have really eked out every feature they can within that budget. A solid choice.
|Tested:||by David Hayward for Two months|