The dropper was born, and progression was made. And now we have this – a…
The Time Speciale 12 Enduro pedals offer great contact for your feet but they ain’t exactly cheap! They do look rather fetching though…
- Brand: Time
- Product: Speciale 12 Enduro Pedal
- From: SRAM
- Price: £259.99
- Tested: by Tim Wild for 3 months
Things I loved
- Seriously durable contruction
- Clever design touches for better grip and engagement
- Longer platform for mutliple pedal positions
Things I’d change
- Not as self-cleaning as they claim
- Exorbitant price
I always ride clipped in, and I’ve been a devotee of the Time ATAC MX4 downhill pedals on three different bikes now, so this might not be the most objective review of all, er, time.
But these Time Speciale 12 Enduro pedals, designed for enduro riding, do make for an interesting point of comparison. I loved, and still love, the Time ATAC MX4 for its simplicity, durability (I replaced my last pair after years of cleat scrapes had worn the rear cleat bar to the point it could be snapped with a finger) and refusal to stop working – it may be the most bomb-proof bit of bike kit I’ve ever owned.
Does this new, full-fat pedal, designed to meet the needs of professional enduro riders, improve on near-perfection?
There are a couple of major differences in this new design. The pedal platform is narrower and longer than the ATAC DH to give more contact with the ball of your foot and a bit more power on the climbs. There’s a sloping metal plate on the rear of the engagement to cleat that guides your cleat in for more accurate clipping, and options to add up to eight adjustable pins to improve grip around the cleat.
First impression out of the box is that they’re a bit much. Remember drawing your ideal house when you were a little kid? How you put everything in it from an indoor slide to a helicopter pad? These feel a bit like that. Lots of shapes, lots of metal, lots of everything.
Time Speciale 12 Enduro construction
They’re machined out of one piece of aluminium, so there’s no danger of them coming apart the way that pedals made of two halves might (not that I’ve ever heard of that happening), and given all the extra metal of slideplate and pins, they’re lighter than the ATAC by 36 grams per pedal.
The dual-spring engagement system is the same one Time uses across all its pedals, except this one allows for tension adjustment. The hollow steel axle and steel bearings complete the picture.
All in all it makes for a pretty solid pedal – it’s hard to imagine anything more serious than a stray pin coming out during the course of normal riding, and I get the feeling you’d need power tools and a great deal of resentment to do them any serious damage.
On the trail
I initially thought the pins were a waste of time – when you’re clipped in, your foot position doesn’t engage with the front ones anyway, so why bother with them? – but it only took a few rides before I was a firm convert. More skilled riders might be able to clip and out of pedals smoothly, at speed, without ever missing a connection, but I all too often find myself approaching a corner or feature with a foot unclipped, and have to just jam it back on the pedal without engaging the cleat to make it without falling or stopping. The pins basically give you a great flat pedal, with plenty of grip, and those unclipped improvisations feel a lot safer.
That long pedal platform feels supportive and secure – I don’t miss the width of the old ATAC and appreciate more weight distribution to the front of the pedal stroke. It helps when you’re really digging deep on the steeper climbs and pushing all your weight and power through the balls of your feet.
I didn’t adjust the engagement tension – I love the ease of the forward shunt in and twist out of Time cleats – but if you’re thinking of switching from a tighter design like Shimano, you might be able to make adjustments to find a happy middle ground.
One bugbear? Time claim these pedals are ‘self-cleaning’. I’ve had them on the bike for over three months and I’ve never once seen them cleaning themselves. If anything, the sloping metal plate at the back of the cleat traps more mud than the open cleat design of the ATAC, and they definitely clog up pretty fast. That’s true of any complex clipless pedal, but the empty boast gets on my nerves.
Lastly – they’re not cheap. Current retail price is £259.99, which is right at the top of clipless pedal pricing. They look and feel like they’ll last forever, but at this price they’d have to.
There’s no doubt that you’re getting an excellent pedal for your money. The Time Speciale 12 Enduro pedal is thoughtfully designed, the shape, stability and construction of the platform feel totally solid under your soles in a variety of positions uphill and down, and the pins add a level of grip that should settle even the most wayward feet in dicey moments. The bomb-proof construction should ensure long-term survival, even if the mud’s a bit hard to shift, and they also look pretty cool, with a range of colours to suit every taste from monochrome to full-on bling. If you can bear the idea of spending enough to buy 20 pairs of flatties, then these will probably reward your investment. My Time fandom remains strong.
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|Product:||Speciale 12 Enduro Pedal|
|Tested:||by Tim Wild for 3 months|
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