Product Courtesy of Hup Leong Company
By the time this review is published, most riders would have been very familiar with the Egg Beaters. After all, this is the product that earned Crank Brothers a spot in mountain biking history. For those who can still recall, these pedals were revolutionary when they were launched. In 2002, pedals weighing 148g per pedal and could stand up to the rigorous torture of offroad rides were almost non-existent. The world was so amazed with these super lightweight then and it never failed to capture the attention of any riders. The only question in everyone’s mind then was: Can these super lightweights stand the test of time?
Back to the present, 6 years after its birth, and with all the dust settled, we thought it will be a good time to revisit the Egg Beaters. Through the years, we saw little changes to the fundamental design of these pedals. Instead more variants based on the original Egg Beaters platform were added to the product line to add both breadth and depth. Horizontal expansion includes models like Candy, Mallet, Smarty and Acid. All of which are created to serve the needs of different customer segment. Within each model, variants in different price range ensured that riders across the whole income spectrum have no excuse not to own one.
We were given the Egg Beater SL for this review. This is the most common model among the Egg Beaters due to its great weight to cost ratio. With no exotic material onboard, the light weight is purely the result of its minimalist design. The new SL weighs only at 133g per pedal which is even 15g lighter than the previous generation. Installation of the pedals is straight forward with an 8mm Allen key. When it comes to the cleats, Crank Brothers offer two release angles, the narrower 16° and wider 20°. To choose between the two, users need to place the “marked” cleat (the one with the two dots) on the correct side. Place the marked cleat on the right shoe for the narrow angle and on the left for the wide. There is a 6° rotational float regardless of the release angle chosen.
As a long time ATAC user, the transition to the Egg Beater was a breeze. Essentially, both share similar locking mechanism and the spring tension is not adjustable. The main differences between the two are the lack of lateral float on the Egg Beater, lighter spring tension and four-sided entry. While the spring tension is lighter, it still provides enough positive feedback to allow the user to know he is cleat in or not. In all, the pedals performed well in a variety of condition. When the ground gets muddy, this is where the Egg Beaters really shine. The mud clearance ability is akin to the ATAC, which together with Speedplay Frogs, are one of the best mud shedding pedals. Accidental release is also unreal.
Being accustomed to ATAC pedals for such a long time, I would have preferred the more secured feel (higher spring tension) of the ATAC over the Egg Beaters, but that is just me. The lighter tension should serve most riders well, particularly new clipless users who are not confident with tight spring tension.
The main negative feedback I have gathered for the Egg Beaters are the easily worn out cleats. On average, a rider who rides 3 times per week (offroad) can expect to replace the cleats in about 6 to 9 months. The cleats are made of brass and it is designed to worn out faster than the stainless steel cage so as to protect it. It is a no brainer that the cleats are cheaper to replace relative to the cage. However, balance is key and no rider would want to replace the cleats so often, until it became a hassle, despite the deliberation was done with good intention. Crank Brothers recognize the issue and came up with an alternate premium cleats which are suppose to last longer than the regular ones.
There is a golden rule which states that, for every product, you may only choose two out of the three choices between price, weight and durability. I would say that the Egg Beaters SL is really a rare exception whereby you can get the best of three worlds. It has a great weight to cost ratio and perform flawlessly in most condition. So, unless your preference is towards tight spring tension and needs lot of float, I would not hesitate to recommend the pedals to anyone.