GENETIC HERITAGE CAGE PEDALS
362g £19.99 Silver
Aimed at the those who like a retro touch or the casual rider eschewing SPDs, Genetic’s Heritage Cage Pedals are neatly made and have performed nicely into the bargain.
Genetic Heritage Cage Pedals offer taste of tradition, but bring certain advantages over period pieces - although they can’t touch an original pair of Chater Lea or Boa for beauty; authenticity will prove a deal breaker for some festival-goers. At the same time, those who want to save a few pounds sterling will keep the spirit, and commuters with ceramic office-floors will find them a handy alternative to pedals that require cleated shoes. Short distance commuters and café riders may well share the joy of simplicity.
Materials and design
Weighing in at 362g, including reflectors, the Heritage’s aluminium alloy build has a traditional look. Yes, reflectors - these are probably a pair of pedals in that tiny minority that meet our antiquated laws relating to bicycle reflectors. Taking these off - Heaven forfend - rapidly raises the “period” appeal.
As you’d expect, traditional rat-trap serrations are designed offer grip when riding without toe-clips. Off course, the design allows the wrong-doers, such as I, to pop out the reflector on one side and pair up the Heritage pedals with a set of toe-clips and straps - in this case the MKS Steel Toe-clips and my old Christophe straps. With serrated edges on both sides, these are very much pedal-up and go.
With the axle running the full pedal width - the platform is 94mm by 59mm - you expect a solid ride, with or without toe-clips.
Boron steel axles and loose ball-bearings are common at this price point. These lack the weight to strength ratios of Cro-moly and the fit ’n’ forget simplicity of sealed cartridges, but feel far from blancmange-like with your full weight dancing on the pedals. Bearings were smooth enough straight from the box.
Die hard, hell ’n’ high water commuters might find stripping and packing them with a really stout waterproof grease prudent but I’d be inclined to run the OEM balls into the ground and take this route come replacement. 1/8th ball bearings are plentiful and inexpensive; you need twenty-six for each pedal, according to Ison Distribution. However, given experience of other Genetic pedals, such as their Executive or the Schizo favoured on my tourers, I’d expect a good long lifespan.
Almost de riguer is the nine-sixteenths thread. The cage plates are riveted solidly.
Rubber-soled shoes grip soundly without toe-clips. However, pushing harder or honking up a hill disrupts the smooth style required to keep everything in place. Having said that, a steady twelve mph Pashley commute has maintained security of tenure, bumpy bits of cycle track being the biggest threat. Pushing it up to twenty mph bursts on the Eroica ready Carlton Clubman was ok on smooth tarmac, but soon sent me reaching for the toe-clips. Tried to remember good old-fashioned “ankling.”
Popping the reflector out and fitting the toe-clips, it was back out on the road. As you’d expect, ratcheting the pace up was a cinch. Trad leather shoes did not slip-up at 25mph bursts or when honking.
Stiffness is excellent, which comes as no surprise given other Genetic models we have tried. Bearings roll with the same smoothness, too. Tenure on corners is very good, with or without clips - though swooping down curvy descents on the Carlton Clubman, I’d definitely feel safer with!
Whatever you opt for, the platform is comfortably big enough for my size nine/tens and should feel comfortable for larger feet, too.
A word of warning. The serrated edge is not going to slice your feet or shoes, but it might just unpick the odd bits of your overshoes. Maybe ones for waterproof socks in the rainy season.
Ideal for simple cycling or for saving a good few quid on a retro machine. Above all they are functional and take to toe-clips well, whilst being perfectly good for the gentler commute and the cafe run.