Xpedo GFX Pedals – $170 – $200
By Stephen Haynes
The southern California pedal pusher, Xpedo makes pedals for every type of riding from cross to downhill, in a dizzying array of colors to keep the most discerning tastes appeased. The all-mountain, downhill, enduro loving GFX is a clipless structure, surrounded by a full-bodied aluminum pedal, complete with adjustable traction pins.
My initial reaction to the Xpedo GFX pedals was sort of frustrating. They weren’t my beat up, broken-in pedals that probably (still)need to be refurbished. They were too new, too crisp and didn’t eject my cleats the way I wanted them to. That is to say, that I was probably overdue for some new pedals. I fiddled with the tension on the retention spring, and after an initial break-in period, the pedals became more in line with what my mind had anticipated.
The pedals themselves are a hardy combination of CNC machined aluminum and steel. Chromoly spindles do the heavy lifting and glide on 3 sealed cartridge bearings, making for smooth use and easy maintenance, while the platform part of the pedal is aluminum, which is strong and lightweight, and comes in a handful of anodized colors (as well as something called “oil slick”, which has that shimmering opalescence, reminiscent of, well, an oil slick…). The platform also has 8 replaceable pins that can be adjusted to suit your preferences.
The GFX also boasts a 56mm Q Factor, which is 4mm more than the comparable Crank Brothers Mallet and 2mm more than the HT X2, though I seem to destroy my right ankle on the crank arm regardless of the pedals.
Engagement and release from the GFX is a familiar operation for anyone acquainted with clipless style pedals. The front tongue, or claw as Xpedo refers to it, sits up from the surrounding platform, allowing you to engage with the system without much thought. The coiled spring retention system, as previously mentioned, can provide as much, or as little resistance needed for the individual.
The adjustable pins do an alarming amount of work, despite my worry that they might be little more than aggressive window dressing. Indeed, they keep the rest of the foot secure while riding and can help prevent premature ejection in dicey situations, which is something we can all appreciate.
For those who do more than a little truly aggressive riding, and are wed to the idea of having clipless pedals, the GFX from Xpedo could be the right combination of platform and retention to see you through.