GENETIC SWITCH PEDALS
Genetic’s Switch Pedals are a dual-sided model, combining flats and spd lipless Now, I’ve used them on my tourer since 2015 and they’re still going strong. It is a pleasure to take a second look, but I’ll forget my personal preferences, as far as I can.
Pros: Adaptable and solid.
Cons: Nothing significant
Offering flats on one side and SPD clips on the other, the Switch pedals won’t be for every bike. Ideal for the one-bike warrior or the cyclist who uses clips for longer distances but may well jump on the same bike to pop down the shop, for example, weight-weenies will shy away. Balanced so that the flat-side present itself at the top, flicking them over is as easy as pie: if you can’t spare a second or two to do that, then you won’t be looking at these pedals anyway. In any case, it makes them ideal for quick getaways and dab-downs.
Polished forged aluminium bodies on a Cr-Mo axle with sealed bearings; standard 9/16” thread, promise longevity. Four degrees of lateral float and an adjustable tensioning spring are not unusual. As you’d expect the flat-side has a broad 93x66mm platform, amongst the broadest I have come across in this genre. Clipless side offers 4degrees of float.
Beyond that, they are available in Silver. Cleats and reflectors are included.
Fitting and adjustment 3.5/5
Allen Key or pedal spanner make fitting and removal easy. I’ve dabbed some grease on the threads. I’ve never been compelled to remove the pedals, although whipping them off made it easier to replace the drive train. A good opportunity to clean away the old and re-grease.
Getting adjustment right matters, so it is well-worth fiddling with cleats and tension screw. Do the latter little by little and ensure it remains solidly in place – true of any clipless pedal with a tensioner.
I have wide feet and enjoyed 80mile rides without hint of painful hotspots. Serrated cages offer excellent purchase to soft soled shoes with no risk of excruciating shin slap, familiar to anyone who’s used old school rat-traps or even Genetic’s own Executive pedals.
Fully laden touring, grinding over the Malvern Hills at Colwall Cutting certainly taxed my muscles but even with my full 85 kilos dancing atop, flex was absolutely minimal. With a lighter bike and flats in use, that broad platform gave great support – not to mention stability, especially when commuting.
There’s scope for adding reflectors too, which might not win any style contests but are extremely effective, particularly on long, unlit commutes. Cornering prowess was better than initially expected, adding confidence on long, swooping descents - in spite of my touring lorry’s long cranks and low-slung bottom bracket, let alone co-testers go-anywhere machine.
With very little care – other than a good clean at bath time –
the, almost, universally popular 98A/M51 cleats have slipped slickly in and out. Even better the combo of axle and bearings has not even begun to grumble after several thousand miles (on the old Schizos), let alone on the new set of it Switch twins.
Genetic Executive pedals (which are discontinued, but still available in some on-line stores) offer good grip and a different type of flat platform, as well as a lipless side.. I’d err toward the Switch, although that is because of my mix of riding – as well as the breadth of my feet. They come in at the same price. Shimano M324 pedals are a similar design to the Switch – with a similar audience. I’ve used these on my hack bike for a good while, and they’ve functioned very well on commute and longer tours. RRP is much higher, but you can find them discounted.
At the start I declared a bias. I still feel that there’s little to fault and much to like. One observer commented that some of the casting was “workmanlike”, as opposed, I presume, to ‘crafted’. Well, that is a million miles from a deal-breaker for me when looking for a solid, reliable, comfortable, durable touring and commuting pedal.