Review: Nukeproof Electron Pedals
October 25th, 2011
The Nukeproof Electron pedals are not a top of the line item, in fact you would think they are more bottom of the line, one season affairs. Their main selling points are price and weight. At 344 grams for the pair, on my scales (Nukeproof claim 338g) they are some of the lightest around and with a RRP of £34.99, are also pretty cheap.
So how have they done this? The answer is the Nylon Reinforced Composite, or plastic to you and me. Not the first material that comes to mind when making pedals but if you look at the application of composites these days, there really is generally nothing to worry about.
The Electrons use sealed cartridge bearings to spread the load from impacts and rubber lip seals can be found between the axle end and pedal body. The idea is to stop muck getting in and so far this is working a treat.
Thankfully these aren’t like the free plastic pedals you often get with a new bike from your LBS. There is no flex in the body and you get 6 replaceable metal pins and 2 non replaceable plastic pins. These are not your usual pedal pins either as they have a bolt on the opposite side so don’t think you can swap them out to your preferred size.
Although currently I couldn’t find any spare pins to buy, Nukeproof inform me they are going to provide them and in longer lengths to suit all tastes and requirements.
The supplied pins are a little on the short side for my taste and tightening them is a little worrying. With metal on metal you hit a stop and that’s it, but with these it feels like you could go on tightening until something breaks.
I have tightened them a couple of times but you can Loctite them as usual. The 2 pins on the inside of the pedal are plastic and can’t be altered, which I found to be too short and not as grippy as the others.
I was expecting the downside of the pedal to be the body and we all know what happens when a composite breaks – generally it’s a catastrophic failure. I think it’s only on your mind because we are so used to metal pedals but I guess a major failure would put you off them for good.
The only downside for me has turned out to be the shape. The pedals are fairly wide and using Shimano shoes I can feel what appears to be the part of the pedal housing. This is a lot to do with foot placement and shoe and I’ve found, that with this shape of pedal and pin placement, I have to move my foot to a slightly different position than what I’m used to. As you can see from the photos, the part of the pedal enclosing the axle is almost higher than the pins on either side. Moving my foot forward stops this but means I have to learn how to reposition my foot to suit the pedals which isn’t ideal.
In the past I have used a lot of pedals from Atomlab Aircorps, V8 copies to Shimano DX and have not come across this issue before. It’s not the end of the world, but it does mean it takes a while to get used to these subtle, but new changes to an all too familiar way of riding your bike. Your mileage of course may vary as will the extremes to what you put your gear through.
They seem to look worn after some heavy alpine use, but thankfully it’s just the matte finish and they clean up fine. I can even imagine how, over a long time they might end up looking better than their metal equivalant as they won’t chip or lose their finish due to wear and tear.
The axle has performed faultlessly, which is better than some of the more expensive pedals I have used and is still running smoothly today. If they were to replace the plastic pins with metal ones, these could be a hands down winner.
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