superstar components

Review: Superstar Nano-X Flat Pedals

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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.

Superstar Nano flat pedals
The finish on Superstar’s Nano-X flat pedals is very sleek, and unparalleled among budget pedals.

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.

Superstar Nano flat pedals
Big cutouts help get rid of mud, and stop the weight getting higher than 440g.

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.

Superstar Nano flat pedals
The bodies are 17mm thick, and while you can get thinner pedals at a much higher price, these are a good budget option.

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.

Superstar Nano flat pedals
The large platforms are 101 by 110mm.

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.

They held up well to the punishing rocks around Calderdale.

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.

Review Info

Brand: Superstar
Product: Nano-X
From: Superstar Components
Price: £44.99
Tested: by David Hayward for Two months

David started mountain biking in the 90’s, by which he means “Ineptly jumping a Saracen Kili Racer off anything available in a nearby industrial estate”. After growing up and living in some extremely flat places, David moved to Yorkshire specifically for the mountain biking. This felt like a horrible mistake at first, because the hills are so steep, but you get used to them pretty quickly. Previously, David trifled with road and BMX, but mountain bikes always won. He’s most at peace battering down a rough trail, quietly fixing everything that does to a bike, or trying to figure out if that one click of compression damping has made things marginally better or worse. The inept jumping continues to this day.

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