Time Speciale 8 ATAC pedal review | Pretty much perfect?

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Time Speciale 8 ATAC

An early convert to clipless pedals, I’ve been riding variations of Shimano SPD clipless pedals for the best part of 25 years, and in that time I’ve never had an issue with Shimano’s durability, their clip in and release action, or their relative lack of float. Other manufacturers claim to perform better in mud or ice, or to be kinder on the knees, but because I’ve never had a problem with Shimano, these things have never been much of an encouragement to shift my allegiance. I had a brief and ill advised dalliance with Crank Brothers Candy pedals back in the late 00’s, and after buying one too many pedal rebuild kits I found myself back in the safe and comforting bosom of Shimano’s dependable SPDs. So it was with trepidation that I bolted these Time Speciale 8 pedals onto my bike and clipped in. Let’s find out how I got on…

Time Speciale 8 ATAC


  • Enduro specific design
  • 6060 aluminum body
  • Hollow steel axle
  • Stable platform
  • ATAC system for ease of engagement
  • Adjustment of angular sensations, or ”feel”
  • Excellent mud-cleaning thanks to the self-cleaning concept
  • Angular float (+/-5°) and lateral float (6 mm)
  • 4 Adjustable pins for optimal grip
  • Cleats included


With a mid sized aluminium body and hollow stainless steel axle, the Speciale 8 is aimed firmly at trail and enduro riders. Not too dissimilar in size to a Shimano XT Trail pedal, the Speciale 8 is significantly smaller than the more downhill orientated Speciale 12 but still offers a decent sized platform for supporting your shoes. 

Like all other Time pedals, The Speciale 8’s use Time’s patented ATAC (Auto Tension Adjustment Concept) engagement system, which is very similar to that used by Crank Brothers – a soft brass cleat engages with sprung bars running across the centre of the pedal. Unlike the Crank Brothers mechanism, but similar to Shimano, release tension is adjustable from a barely there touch, to a heavy weight pincer like grip on your shoe.

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Review Info

Product:ATAC Speciale 8
From:Extra UK, extrauk.co.uk
Tested:by James Vincent for Four months

Comments (10)

    For anyone not used to time pedals (road or mtb) the cleats are designed to wear quickly into to your foots natural position on the pedal. That way your natural position becomes the default with float either side.

    Used time for years. Those cleats in the picture are barely worn in!

    I’ve used time pedals for years as well. The cleats last for ages no matter what they look like. I have had a pedal/shoe combination that squeaked as well though. I assume it’s down to a deeper tread on the sole.

    Odd to give such praise when you experienced binding, cleat and axle assembly durability issues in 3 months?

    I found the same – I loved ATACs until they changed to the square rails (and the subsequent return to round rails). Originals lasted really well and I loved their action. But durability became really poor, so I switched all bikes to Shimano just after the £ had crashed against the Yen, and so they’d practically doubled in price. ☹️

    @flossie – that’s good to know, thanks.

    @supersessions9-2 – I guess I’m just used to Shimano cleats. To my eyes these look soft round the edges already. Still working ok though so time will tell (sorry, not sorry).

    @sillyoldman – I didn’t experience any binding, in fact I love the security the pedals gave me. As for the cleat wear, I’m happy to accept the wear as an acceptable trade off for keeping the pedals lasting longer. Why recommend something with all these ‘issues’? Because to me, these are the best clipless pedals I’ve ridden and the issues are very minor and don’t detract from the overall performance of the pedal.


    @justinbeiber Fair enough. I meant issues with the binding mechanism by the way – you’d sent you’d bent a rail.

    @sillyoldman – ah yes. If I hadn’t been able to fix it so easily then that would have been a deal breaker. It would have been nice not to damage it in the first place, but that I was able to fix it and not need to replace any parts is a good thing in my opinion

    Should have been some lol emojis on the end of that!

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