A set of Crank Brothers Candy 1’s in bright nylon green were my first entry to clipless pedals back in 2012. Since then, I have had nothing but Crank Brothers pedals on my mountain bikes. They’ve even made an appearance on my road training bike for the convenience of the same cleat! Over these almost 9 years of riding with Crank Brothers pedals, I feel that their range boasts effective simplicity. Although I have switched between the Eggbeater, Candy, and Mallet E platforms, the following is a review of my experience of the last 12 months with the Eggbeater platform and why I think they are the ultimate Cross Country Race and Trail pedal.
The Crank Brothers Eggbeater is aptly named with its minimalist design of 4 cleat engaging wings that visually make the pedal look like – you guessed it – an eggbeater. Their model range is 4 strong at different price points, weights, and performance points:
- Eggbeater 1 – 290grams, stamped steel body and wings, cartridge bearings
- Eggbeater 2 – 285grams, cast stainless steel body and wings, Enduro bearings
- Eggbeater 3 (rev.) – 280grams, cast steel body, forged wings, Enduro MAX bearings
- Eggbeater 11 – 179grams, titanium body and wings, Enduro MAX bearings
The main party piece of the Crank Brothers Eggbeaters is their 4 way entry. Due to their simple design, you can engage the front of the cleat into any of the 4 wings, and lock the rear into another. This is also a great setup for a super speedy entry for the start of an XC race where getting the power down for a quick start is a winning advantage. It also makes for super quick foot relocating along the trail if your foot should come off. You only need to target the cleat to an outstanding wing to then pedal down and away – click, you’re in!
At first glance it seems the Eggbeater doesn’t offer much real estate to the tread of the bottom of your MTB shoe. However, once your weight is distributed through your shoes, the shoe tread itself makes contact with the pedal body to then be dispersed into the spindle and crank. In my past 12 months riding the Eggbeater 3’s I have found that once I am tightened into my MTB shoes and clipped in, the sole of the shoe itself becomes like a “flat pedal” platform. Then I can focus on making sure my positioning on the bike is in the right place to apply pressure to the pedals for dynamic positioning when and where I need it! Making sure your shoe tread rests on the Eggbeater’s body is key to getting the best out of these pedals, though. If the tread on your shoes is too deep, Crank Brothers supply shims to go under the cleats to offset the cleat height. If the shoe tread is not deep enough, you can purchase thicker Traction Pads to make up the difference.
Like all other pedals, Crank Brothers supply their premium brass cleat to mount into your MTB SPD shoe. This cleat will fit into any of these and offer up to 3mm of lateral adjustment along with the shoe’s built in fore-aft adjustment. It offers 15 degrees of float until exit of the system when mounting the right cleat onto the right shoe and likewise for the left. By orienting the cleats in the opposite position (left cleat in right shoe), you can achieve a greater 20 degree of float to keep your shoes located in the pedals for longer! I found an extra 5 degrees is handy on technical and steep terrain where leading the bike with your hips means more foot rotation on the pedals is allowed before my shoe is released. The whole Crank Brothers pedal range has a modular design for easy DIY repairs. Pedals models denoted 2,3, 7 and 11 have replaceable cartridge and needle bearings, seals, and bushings that are available in “Refresh Kits” to make them as smooth as they were new. All you need is a set of allen keys, a mallet and an hour of patience – everything else is in the kit!
The Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3’s have ticked a lot of boxes for me in their last 12 months of abuse. They lasted a whole race season without needing a bearing refresh all year – and we had some wet races! The 4-way entry makes for quick race starts and effortless cleat locating everytime and once you’re in, offer generous float for technical terrain. The top spec Eggbeater 11s are also the lightest MTB pedal on the market at only 179 grams thanks to their simple design! The Eggbeater 3’s in this review hit a more attractive price point for any trailblazer though – $210. A bit much for mixing eggs, but more than enough for a rider wanting a capable and reliable pedal season after season. For my last XC race season, trail riding in between, and the race season to come, I don’t see the Crank Brothers Eggbeater coming off my bike anytime soon.
Categories: Product Review