I’m sure Sir Nob of two Ghibli’s won’t mind me referring to him as a bit of a ‘wheeler-dealer wide-boy’. He’s a local folk-hero by virtue of his notoriety and well documented exploits with HM Government (in particular the taxman). His reputation for being able to source all sorts of cycling
exotica from any of his idyllic hide-outs all over the world is legendary.
Cyclists from all over the world worship the ground he walks on (so he
says) and manufacturers continue to quake in their boots as he seeks
out and tests the most over-hyped cycling goodies in the Universe. He’s
and now he’s about to do the same for Time’s Xpresso 8 Pedals.
Nob’s Time Xpresso pedal review:
I’ve been called many things over the years (you don’t say! … IC) – the Yokels over here even refer to me as Dr
Who (I think that might be … durrr – who?) because I’m a Time devotee. I’ve used their pedals since 1984 when
they launched the very first editions of their clip-less system. I’ve updated each time they’ve bought out new
models and I was hoping that their latest offering, the Xpresso 8’s, would continue the ever-improving trend.
When I unwrapped the brown paper packaging (everything I receive through the post these days MUST be sent in
inconspicuous brown paper packaging because I don’t want the Postie or the neighbours to know about my little
fetishes) I must admit I thought there’d been some sort of mistake! I honestly thought I’d received a tin of biscuits
for the budget-conscious traveller and felt quite insulted as I’m strictly a Fortum and Mason Amaretti di Gallarate man myself. If I wanted cheap and nasty I’d have gone to Poundland.
Seriously though … the tin box DID grow on me although I wondered how much extra they charged for it all!
Once the lid was taken off, I found the pedals to be snugly fitted in a warm and comforting cocoon of neoprene rubber which virtually guaranteed that no damage could occur during shipping. Looking back, it was like receiving a Rolex watch nestled in a fully cushioned and lovingly prepared oasis of over-indulgence comparable with anything the Tate Modern could come up with. All a veritable work of art! I felt guilty even thinking about easing them from the comfort of their luxurious surroundings.
But of course I did!
As I removed the pedals from the seductive box (it doesn’t take much to get me excited does it?) I immediately thought … Star Trek … Klingon War Bird … etc (you DO see what I mean don’t you?). After 30 minutes or so ‘flying’ one in each hand, doing away with Starship Enterprise and saving the World generally I pulled myself together and got back to the job in hand.
The platform bases appeared to be a lot larger than the previous i-Clic model and the pedals, as a whole, weighed in at 196 gms ... just 1 gram heavier than the manufacturers claimed.
Fitting them was a piece of cake! All I needed was an 8mm allen key to thread them on (oh so smoothly) to my Campagnolo UT cranks.
Fortunately i-Clic cleats are compatible with the Xpresso’s so I didn’t have to change the cleats on my shoes (Time too). I didn’t need to adjust them either as the Xpresso has same dimensions as the i-Clics. Engaging the cleats into the Xpresso pedals was noticeably easier than with the i-Clics so some improvements have obviously been made in that area. Although I adjusted the clip tension key (as I like a little more ‘positive’ engagement) these are definitely a lot easier to step into.
So I was up and running!
Once I was clipped in, everything felt very secure and even with the ‘float’ there was a slightly more secure feeling than with the i-Clic’s - so again more improvements for the rider. Anyone who has used the i-Clic and RXS systems will probably be aware of the squeaks and noises that appear when the cleat and pedals are engaged and, more annoyingly, when pedalling generally. Well I’m pleased to be able to report that all that is now a thing of the past. During my ride I was even purposely moving my foot from side to side to see if I could get any reaction noise-wise but with all the improvements that have been made it was all as quiet as the proverbial church mouse!
On the move, I found my feet benefited from the extra platform-base so I’ve no doubt there was an increase in the power being ‘put down’ … although I don’t have a power meter to confirm my theory or quantify the extent of my claim. Any gains are a plus though … ‘marginal gains’ and all that, so worth having in my opinion.
Both sprinting and putting pressure on the Xpresso 8’s (in gears of 53 x 13 and 12) were carried out during my tests. In both cases the pedal felt secure and similar to the i-Clic’s - so no changes there. Out of the saddle efforts resulted in the same secure feeling so I can't imagine there would be any problem with interval or sprint training on the road.
After 45 kms of riding, I must admit I was extremely impressed with the Xpresso 8s.
The price is reasonable (even more so for me as I get all my goods ‘hot’ … or, at least, VAT free) but I do feel if they got rid of the tacky presentation packaging the price could be reduced a bit which would certainly please the budget conscious buyer.
They look good, the quality is great and the bearings are both smooth and maintenance free but it remains to be seen as to whether or not they will be able to cope with the 40 degree plus temperatures they will encounter here in the desert … not to mention the dust and sand that’s proved to be problematical for my balls in the past.