Gadget Gossip: Pedal to the Metal

Let’s talk pedals for a moment, shall we?

Pedals are critical for powering your bike and easy to forget about as long as they are working correctly. For the 2018 race season, the KS-Kenda Women have opted to use the HT Components M1 for our XC race pedal. There are many reasons why we are excited to run these pedals. For one, the M1 weighs in at 298 grams per pair while the Shimano XTR pedals weighs in around 305 grams. Another perk we like is that they are available for a very reasonable price tag of $129.00 MSRP. Also, for those who like to customize their bikes they come in 11 different colors! Overall, the M1 is the all-around favorite for us.

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The highlight of this tiny and mighty pedal is its adjustability. HT Components use a proprietary cleat set up, which is very similar to the entry and exit of Shimano pedals. The M1 comes in the box with two different cleat float options, X1 and X1-F. The X1 cleat is a 4-degree set-up while the X1-F is the 8-degree (more float) option. Pedal float allows your foot to move freely in the pedal stroke rather than locking you down tight to the pedal. If you are wanting to learn more about your float preference, try them both out! I personally love the 4 degree and find that it also allows me to very quickly and decisively “get out” of the pedals when I want to which is something that I know many riders, especially if you are new to clipless pedals, fear being unable to do.

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In addition to float, another noteworthy mention is the massive range of tension adjustability on the M1. Out of the box, the pedals are set in the middle of the tension range. I really like this setting and came back to it after playing with both ends of the spectrum. We recommend these to anyone because of their versatility and price point. Working with new riders, I am stoked to know about HT pedals as they are user-friendly beginner-friendly without sacrificing top-level performance.

Quick How-To for those of you wanting to swap out your new HT pedals:

  • 3mm Hex Wrench
  • 4mm Hex Wrench
  • 8mm Hex Wrench
  • Grease

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1. Pick out the cleats you want to try: remember, the X1 has less float (4 degrees) than the X1-F (8 degrees).  If you are new to cycling, start with the X1-F and see how you like it. If you already run clipless, use a sharpie and draw around the outside of your cleats so you have a place to start from. If you have a bike fitter you like to use, book a short appointment to set the cleats with some help. You’ll use the 4mm hex wrench to install the cleats. Remember to make sure they are tight and check them after every ride since loose cleats make it really, really hard to get out of pedals!

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2. Take your shiny, beautiful new pedals out of the box and brush the threads at the very end of the pedal with some grease. This keeps them from getting stuck in your cranks or from stripping your cranks when you take them off for any reason.

3. Using the 8mm hex wrench, thread the pedal into the crank by twisting it in the direction you would pedal. Of note, the pedals are directional so you should be able to see the HT logo sitting upright on each pedal, aka——> ( HT ) Left Crank – Right Crank (HT).  Don’t crank them on too tight but make sure they are snug.

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4. Use the 3mm hex wrench to set your tension. You will need to do this twice per pedal because they are 2 sided. Start at the lowest setting if you’ve never tried clipless pedals before, and be sure to test them out in the grass or leaning up against a wall for a few rounds first. If you have some clipless experience, try the middle setting and see what you think. They are super easy to adjust on the fly or with changing conditions.

5. Have a great ride!

We hope this pedal piece helps inspire you to test your skills working on your own bike, instills you with some confidence to try something new (clipless pedals), and maybe even helped you find that perfect color of pedals to match your totally sweet custom ride. It’s all about enjoying the journey out there. Thanks for taking a few minutes to gear gossip with the KS Kenda women!

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