Did you watch the Bemer Cyclassics last 20.08? If so, you saw Time Pedals first across the finish line at the feet of Mads Petersen of Team Lidl-Trek. The French manufacturer, best known for its multiple Tour de France and World Championship wins in the 90s with Greg Lemond, is back at the top of the pro peloton with impressive victories, including this year’s Tour de France Femme, and also with a new owner since 2021: SRAM.
To get to the bottom of the Time hype, we received a test copy of Mads Pedersen’s favorite pedal, the Xpro 10 Carbon. We also got something from Time for our MTB fans: the Time ATAC Speciale 8 MTB click pedals. How do the two models perform on the road and on the trail, and what are the big differences between them and other pedals? That’s what we want to talk about below.
Xpro 10 Carbon – On the Road bike
The pedals are noticeable very light (226g) and the narrow but long shape combined with the smooth finish give them a “fast and aggressive” look. The carbon body feels strong and it’s very well and smoothly finished. The pedal has a hollow steel axle and a patented clipping mechanism, which I’ll talk more about below.
The contact surface is large, as you can see from the cleats. The bottom cover, the blade and the body cover cap can all be found online and quickly replaced in the event of a crash or impact damage.
Ride: Love at first Click
The first click shows how different these pedals are. Normally, you have to apply some pressure against the pedal to overcome the force of the retention spring. Not with the Xpro 10. That’s because of Time’s patented Iclic Engagement System: The blade stays “open” after you clip it out and only closes when you clip it back in, making it very easy and simple to use. The first time I used it, I was amazed at how quickly and easily I clipped. The contact area is also quite large, which should help with power transmission. The release angle is 15%. On the delivered setup the float is +/-5 degrees (angular) and 2.5mm (lateral), but you can also get the cleats with 0% float online.
Since the pedal is very light, it doesn’t always rotate back after you clip out, so you don’t always know what to expect when clipping in. That means that sometimes you have to look down while getting back on the saddle. You’ll get used to it pretty quickly tough.
Pedal ergonomics is at the core of Time Pedals’ business, and if you do a little research online, you’ll find many reviews, from hobbyists to pros, about how Time pedals helped with their knee discomfort. Since I mostly cycle with powermeter pedals, I passed the Xpro 10 to to a colleague who was concerned about his knees and also wanted something of a better quality then the entry level pedals for his brand new Road Bike. He was also worried about how difficult it would be for him as a newbie to use road bike pedals, but right after the first ride, those worries were all gone.
So that also adds for the clear product recomentation: The X Pro 10 is a high performance pedal, suited not only for experienced cyclists, but also for beginners. It is lightweight, easy to use and it looks great on the bike.
It’s a very affordable, race-winning pedal that can take your road bike to the next level.
Time ATAC Speciale 8 – Am MTB
Those who ride long-travel mountain bikes and appreciate the advantages of clipless pedals probably rather know and ride products from Shimano or CrankBrothers. Since I am well acquainted with both systems, I was particularly excited to put my foot on a Time ATAC pedal for a change. I have been testing Time’s ATAC Speciale 8 for about half a year now, with several bikes and shoes. From 100 kilometre long gravel rides, trail sessions with my Enduro and jumpy runs with my downhill bike in the bike park, it’s been pretty much everything. But first things first.
Time’s ATAC system is compatible with all shoes that have a classic SPD mount. You can choose between 10 degree easy cleats or standard cleats with 13/17 degrees. The standard cleats are included in the delivery, and are recommended for MTB use in any case. With the 17-degree setting, you stay relaxed even on very tough and winding trails and can comfortably concentrate on holding the line. After a little getting used to it, whips also work without unintentionally clicking out. The resistance when turning the foot is very pleasant, much more defined than with the CrankBrothers system. You can feel very well at which point the connection loosens. Clicking in and out works completely intuitively after a few rides. Both can be felt and heard, but not quite as strongly as with a Shimano Saint or DX pedal.
The ATAC system feels like you have a perfect blend of both worlds. If you take a closer look at the pedals, the impression is further confirmed. Time, like Shimano, has only one retaining, non-rotating spring, but also a tab, as is the case with CrankBrothers. So you have quite a large area where the tab of the pedal can hold the cleat to click it in. Definitely easier than with a Shimano pedal. The ATAC system works sensationally well. So well, in fact, that I bought more Time pedals. If you’re not riding off-road and therefore don’t collide with roots or stones, you don’t need a solid aluminium pedal body. In that case, a pedal from the XC or MX series would definitely be the better choice. For trail to downhill use, however, it has to be a stable Time DH4 or Speciale pedal.
The Speciale 8 pedal has two height-adjustable pins, which has a positive effect on grip. At just 392 g, the pedals are over 100 g lighter than a comparable Saint pedal. After this test, I wouldn’t choose a Shimano pedal again. Despite the somewhat more difficult and undefined system, CrankBrothers has an advantage, namely resistance to dirt or mud. I would therefore continue to recommend a Mallet pedal to thoroughbred racers, but a Time pedal to everyone else.
After this test, I can unreservedly recommend the Time ATAC Speciale 8 pedals and am happy that I won’t have to take them off my bike.