Hannah has spent the sloppy autumn and winter months on these Crank Brothers Stamp 1 composite entry level pedals.
Having had my favourite DMR Vault pedals stolen from me (while attached to a bike), I decided it was time to try out some new options. Much as I like the Vaults, they are rather substantial and unforgiving when it comes to close encounters with my legs, and I wondered whether anything else might offer nice secure attachment but a little less skin removal.
Like some other Crank Brothers pedals, the Stamp 1 comes in come in two sizes: small and large. I’ve previously used earlier alloy Crank Brothers Stamp pedals, in a size small. I have to admit that I didn’t particularly get on with those pedals, finding they weren’t as grippy as I would like, partly due to the short pins, and partly due to the very flat profile of the pedal with a prominent lump towards the axle.
Crank Brothers Stamp 1 Pedal Construction
- Composite body
- 9 metal pins per side
- Forged scm 435 chromoly steel spindle
- Inner Igus LL-glide bearing
- Outer Enduro cartridge bearing
- 111mm x 114mm footprint
- 18-13mm profile, spindle to edge
For the Stamp 1s, I’ve got the large ones which are recommended for shoe size 43-49. I wear size 41 bike shoes, so technically I should have been on the small ones (platform 100x100mm), but these (with a platform of 111x114mm) have felt good to me, and not too far off my DMR Vaults (105x115mm). Weighing in at 317g, they’re certainly lighter than Vaults, at 430g.
On The Trail
They do feel lighter in use, if that seems possible. They don’t have quite the same shin shredding properties as the Vaults – the pins stick out just 4mm max, which is the same length as the shortest DMR vault pins. As a composite pedal, if I do clonk them on a rock they don’t make the same skin crawling metal scraping noise either. Scrapes are in evidence on the pedal bodies, but the damage doesn’t seem too bad. If you do a lot of rocky riding, I think you could expect to need to change out your pedals more frequently than metal ones, but as these are badged ‘entry level’ I think that the target market is unlikely to be destroying them on big enduro descents in the Alps.
On the local mud, they seem to have fared well through and autumn and winter of yuck. I took them apart to have a peek inside and see what had got in there, and there was nothing – no water or grit ingress at all. They are serviceable, though on the basis of the condition of mine, by the time the internals needed replacement, the external bodies would be rather tired. I didn’t lose any pins during the test, which is quite a feat for me. They’re held in by a nut, rather than justing screwing into the pedal body. This is a bit more fiddly for installation, but seems to result in a tight hold – there’s no rattling either.
As with my Vaults, there are occasions when riding ruts that I’ve had to watch my feet, or wished I was one of those teeny weeny narrow clippy pedal riding people, but on the whole this isn’t an issue and I like the grip and security of a large flat platform. Personally I don’t want to use the smaller pedals that should match my shoe size, as I don’t spend a lot of time in ruts, and I’d miss the security of the larger platform.
I have found them grippier than the earlier Stamps I tested, but I’d be looking for more grip for more technical trails. The pins aren’t huge, but with sticky shoes there’s just about enough there to grab on to – though softer rather than stiffer soles seemed to grip the best. The profile is slightly concave, with the central spindle shaft having a cut out strip across the middle. The outer ends of the shaft are textured, but not so much as to be grippy (and the outer edge texture has largely been scraped off in use), so I think you do want your feet to mould into the pedal enough to catch the inner pins. While it looks like there are four inner pins, in reality the raised element of the edges of the spindle shaft means you may well find yourself hitting that rather than sinking properly onto the pins. While that area doesn’t stick out anything like as much as the pedals I tested before, it does still leave the pedals with a central weak spot in grip, especially in stiffer shoes.
If you like that really limpet-stuck to your pedals sensation in flats, then I don’t think you’ll get quite what you’re looking for out of these. If you’re really digging into those pedals on a jarring rocky descent, I think you want more grip. Paired with a more flexible shoe – like my Giro Jackets – and sticky rubber however, I’ve found that for general trail riding these are a fair balance between confident attachment and being so stuck on that you can’t adjust your foot position. Such careful pairing of shoe to pedal isn’t something everyone will be able to achieve though, and I’m lucky to have bike journo level choices.
I do have a slight gripe about these pedals in that they can only be fitted using an Allen Key – there’s no flat spot for a pedal spanner. Like other Crank Brothers pedals, they also have the subtlest of differences between the left and right pedals – just a slight groove on the left pedal. It’s taken me years to get this straight in my head – why it can’t just have an L and R stamped on I don’t know!
These are lower priced pedals offering a reasonable level of grip, especially when paired with more flexible models of shoe. For general trail riding they offer a potential choice of sizes to match your shoe size and support preferences. There’s grip with room for foot adjustment, but they’re not too aggressively spiky should you catch a pedal with a body part.
|Product:||Stamp 1 Pedal|
|Tested:||by Hannah for 3 months|
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Don’t think I’ve ever written a product off as quickly as these – one look at that huge bulge for the axle and it’s a no from me. It’s about the same height as the pins.
thought they were absolute dog shit tbf, could not be further away from vaults if they tried. luckily they were cheap and i managed to shift them on easily.
These look similar to, but not quite as well thought out as the oneup composites I’ve been running for a year. Grip on fivetens is comparable to (maybe even slightly better than) my previous vaults, but (in green) they don’t seem to show damage from rock strikes. And they have a spanner flat (though I have only ever used an Allen key)
I have a pair of these Stamp 1,.. I love its light weight but not happy with its poor grip mainly because of that bulge in the middle. Unnecessarily too thick housing for the axle! Pins near this bulge would just barely touch the shoe sole. So i “shaved/scraped” and removed maybe 1 – 1.5mm off this bulge then replaced all the pins with longer ones. Grip is much improved since my changes (but pretty scary now if the long pins hit my shin).