GENETIC EXECUTIVE PEDALS
The Genetic Executive Pedals are dual-sided pedals designed for commuting and general riding. By my reckoning they fit the design brief handsomely.
Materials and Build
Typical of this price point, the Genetic Executive Pedal bodies are made from machined aluminium alloy. Less common is the rubberised non-slip layer on the flat side, which has some obvious appeal if you’re scooting around in office smarts. Bodies are relatively broad, even by genre standards. Not that I’ve not experienced any pregnant pauses when cornering on my tourer, but a consideration if your workhorse is a fixed gear conversion with low slung bottom bracket and 175mm cranks.
On the flip side there’s a SPD pattern cleat mechanism, which requires no introduction and is fully compatible with genuine Shimano and homages. These were very sweet from the off and factory tension proved an ideal default for me.
A quick shot of maintenance spray every few weeks should keep them happy and release sweet. Bombproof, CNC machined Cro-moly axles and buttery smooth sealed bearings complete the package and should give long and reliable service, even if you are inclined to run things into the ground.
A nice new set of cleats are included.
I weigh in at a little over 80 kilos. Cleated side connected to trainer-type SPD shoes, they feel remarkably stiff, even when I’ve been beating out a punishing tempo on longer climbs, or breaking away at the lights. No hint of creaks, or power-sapping flex.
Broad pedals displace loads very evenly, too, so (assuming you’ve set your cleats up correctly) hot spots have been a moot point on longer, weekend tours. At the other extreme, I haven’t come close to grounding, despite carving into corners, along sweeping descents, or larger roundabouts. Mind you, as Michael points on, my Supergalaxy, there’s the luxury of whipping up the cranks and coasting.
I’ve done a fair bit of brogue mileage, too, since Genetic claims the Executives are “Ideal for the city executive that wants to be able to ride their favourite bike with pretty much any footwear ranging from their polished office brogues to their performance SPD compatible cycling shoes”.
The thick rubberised plates are festooned with pimples, which offer plenty of grip - perfect for quick getaways pushing along in rush hour traffic. Tenure is impressive, too, wet, or dry and regardless of sole type.
Obviously, rubber soles are the ideal companions but I’ve never succumbed to a painful shin-slapper when blasting to business meetings in leather soled brogues. There’s some scope for use along lightly technical terrain, as well - I’ve had no problems with quick sections of towpath and the average traffic-free cycle route.
The rectangular shape offers enough support for longer journeys. True, we wouldn’t recommend these for expedition touring but if a cleat has worn unexpectedly, you can maintain a reasonable tempo to base/the nearest bike shop. I would prefer a squarer profile in this instance but in fairness, this side isn’t intended for day rides, or longer outings.
They don’t attract much dirt and are easily tickled clean with a stiff bristled brush such as Green Oil Bicycle Brush. Pedals lead hard lives. Michael would be inclined to give the silver bodies a periodic waxing, to lock the elements out. However, aside from some minor swirls, they should age very gracefully.
Bike washes won’t do anything nasty to the rubberised components. Greasy winter roads and their cocktail of residual derv and similar oily stuff isn’t likely to take a chunk out of them but a quick squirt of silicone spray to coincide with a paste waxing should safeguard against small and accidental solvent exposure.
Despite considerable charm, £45 divides opinion and these have to compete with the likes of Shimano A520 (we’ve seen the latter heavily discounted online). Smoother bearings and the rubber platform’s additional refinement are the executive’s two major attractions. At the other extreme, we’d be inclined to go for something shop-branded and of the £20 touch for station hacks. Nonetheless, I’ve been impressed with the executive and would recommend them for tourers and other bikes needing to earn their keep as mid-longer distance commuters.