In Issue #117 of Singletrack Magazine, Wil and the team tested eight pairs of platform clip-in pedals. Grab your copy to read our pick of the bunch.
If you’re currently rolling with a set of lollypop-sized clip-in pedals, but you’re after something with more platform, then really – it doesn’t get much bigger and beefier than this. Introduced less than six months ago at Eurobike, the Ripper is a new clip-in pedal from Funn MTB that’s designed to be big, bold and brawny enough to survive World Cup downhill racing.
Joining the existing Mamba platform clip-in pedal, we’re told the Ripper is a more race-focussed product. It originally came about in response to requests from Funn-sponsored enduro and downhill racers who were looking for a pedal that offered more shoe contact, while being easier to clip into during high-intensity racing scenarios. Design, development and testing took 12 months, with the input from racers like Phil Atwill providing crucial feedback.
The result is the new Ripper, which (like the DMR V-Twin) utilises a pop-up mechanism that helps to hook the pointed end of the cleat when you’re clipping in. Funn calls this the ‘Angular Engagement System’, and it sees the central pedal mechanism rotate a total of 15° independently of the alloy platform. An internal spring keeps the front cage sticking up above the pedal, ready to grab the cleat when required.
The platform itself is CNC machined from a block of 6061 alloy, and gets a good-looking anodized finish that’s available in four bright colours, as well as black and grey for shy folks. The huge platform measures 95mm wide by 92.6mm long, which in this eight pedal group test, is wider than anything else. It has the same 55mm Q-factor as most other clip-in pedals, but it has a load more platform on the outside of each axle – something that’s very noticeable next to the DMR V-Twin pedals, which are 14mm narrower. You’d have to have pretty enormous shoes to want any more platform than this.
Weighing in at 568g for the pair (without cleats), the Ripper is the second heaviest pedal on test. The big platform feels uber-sturdy though. Combined with the adjustable tension that you can dial up a few notches, the Ripper keeps you firmly planted. For fast and loose riders like Phil Atwill, this kind of security is exactly what they’re looking for.
The Ripper comes stock with four socket-head pins per side. Located in each corner of the platform, the alloy pins aren’t adjustable – they’re either on or off. When fitted, they help to stick your feet to the pedal if you’re unclipped. It’s not quite like using a flat pedal, but in an emergency, you’ve got a lot more bite than with a traditional clip-in pedal. When you want to clip-in though, it’s a different story. Compared to other pedals on test, the Ripper’s pins are a little too tall and a little too broad. With all of the shoes we tested with, they simply got in the way, making engagement next to impossible without the power of Zeus’ thighs to squish the rubber soles around the pins.
Once the pins were removed midway through the first test ride, entry and release improved dramatically. Conversely though, traction drops off. There are some textured grooves machined into the surface of the Ripper’s platform that help to hold onto your feet, but I would think that spec’ing adjustable pins would help to get the effective grip to Goldilocks levels.
Comparing these to the DMR V-Twins, there are plenty of similarities. According to Funn, the Ripper is made in the same facility, so much of the internal design is shared between the two. There’s a cartridge bearing and bushing inside each pedal, though the cromoly spindle requires an 8mm hex key for installation and removal, compared to 6mm on the V-Twins.
The clip mechanism itself is modeled on Shimano’s SPD cleat platform. That means you can use Funn’s own cleats that feature 6° of angular float, or you can run Shimano SPD cleats with 4° of float. The release angle with either is 18°, so it requires a concsidered twist of the heel to pop out of the pedal. This is good for riding loose, rocky and fast-paced singletrack where you need to move around a lot on the bike – you can get quite dynamic on the pedals without fear of accidentally disengaging. However, when you do need to disengage, we found the Ripper to have the least smoothest action on test. Occasionally the cleat would catch slightly, keeping you hooked onto the pedal for long enough to lift the heart rate a few beats. It was the sort of thing you could get used to after a while, and I found that I learned to exaggerate my heel rotation to be 100% sure I’d unclipped fully. But it’s still an odd attribute given the mechanism is nearly identical to the DMR V-Twin – a pedal we had no such issues with.
Given Funn’s intentions with the Ripper pedal, it’s easy to see why this big platform clip-in pedal is designed to be as sturdy and broad as it is. If staying glued to your pedals is your priority and you’ve got novelty-sized flippers on the end of each leg, then the huge alloy platform of the Rippers will appeal. However, the mechanism could be smoother, and some refinement to the pin system would allow for greater flexibility when it comes to getting the grip levels just so with your chosen shoes.
|Tested:||by Wil Barrett for 3 months|