ACROS A-FLAT XL PEDALS
225g Blue (as tested) £99.99
As someone who both mountain bikes and tours off-road I’m often surprised at how pedal design seems to get overlooked, even on more expensive models clearly designed to be ridden hard off-road where you can expect feet to want to slip off pedals in muddy and rough conditions. Many pedals just don’t seem up to the job; too often non-cleated pedals are small, slippy, plastic affairs, and even decent metal studded ones can be slippery in seriously wet or muddy conditions.
Pros: Very well-made, effective in all conditions.
Cons: Pricey, but there’s an element of getting what you pay for.
Acros are known for producing high quality hubs and headsets but they also make a good range of pedals aimed at mountain bikers and I was delighted to find they manufacture oversize off-road pedals with what looked to be a set of very grippy adjustable pins. The A-flat XL pedal is aimed at trail riders but they also looked like they would make good touring pedals too, the impressive size of around 11cm square and the relatively light weight of 225g per pedal (for this size of pedal) adding up to a comfortable ride with little chance of loss of grip. The studs are small allen bolts that can be height adjusted for grip and comfort.
The A Flat employ a machined aluminium alloy body. There’s plenty of milling, which bodes well for mud shedding, while saving some useful grams. Similarly, the shape is thought to offer greater rigidity, which is also welcome, especially for heavier/more powerfully built riders.
Continuing the solid narrative, is a beefy Cro-moly axle turning on a double sealed, deep grove stainless steel bearing.
My initial riding with these fitted to a Tout Terrain Amber Road touring bike has confirmed they feel as comfortable and secure as they should, with the nine pins distributed across the edges and middle of the pedal (not just on the edges as occurs with some designs). Even though my feet are a modest UK size 8, these oversize pedals give a luxurious feeling and very grippy platform that so far I have found a joy to use. I look forward to using them on longer trips.
Pedal removal is with a 6mm Allen key which is handier and probably more useful to carry than a pedal spanner. The bearings are said to be extra long (actually a combination of stainless steel plain and ball bearings) and they are double-sealed so they should do a good job of keeping water out and taking plenty of hard pedalling punishment. Replacement pins are available. And if you want to pimp your bike in the process they come in a range of eye-catching colours.
They are at the upper end of the price range for pedals but they should really be a lifetime buy and I’ve no doubt I’ll be using mine for years to come on longer trips as well as bursts along the trails.