Thanks to their adoption by mountain bikers, BMXers, and urban riders, flat pedals have enjoyed a major resurgence in popularity. Unlike those oldschool platform pedals, modern flats deliver vastly improved grip and performance that often rivals their clipless counterparts. One key contributor to flat pedals’ performance is size. Bigger platforms offer additional support, which translates into better grip and more comfort. Unfortunately, bigger almost always means heavier. It’s not uncommon for a pair of MTB-style pedals to weigh 400 grams or more. To reduce the weight, manufacturers often scale down the platform size (reducing traction) or utilize exotic materials (increasing cost). But Taiwanese pedal giant Xpedo flips the script by offering weight-conscious riders an affordable option with the company’s $79 SPRY platform model.
Weighing only 270 grams for the pair, Xpedo’s SPRY utilizes cast magnesium bodies to keep weight down. The pedals roll on a combination of cartridge bearings (2) and bushings (1), and installation is easy thanks to the chrome-moly spindles’ wrench flats and Allen fittings. To keep your feet firmly in place, each pedal is equipped with 14 removable steel pins. Size-wise, the Xpedos are what I’d describe as middle of the road, with bodies measuring 101 mm by 96 mm (length x width). Front and rear pins are spaced 90 mm apart, with the side pins measure 66.5 mm apart. Platforms taper from 17 mm thick (nearest the crank) to a svelte 11 mm at the outside edge.
With its parallelogram-shaped body, positioning your foot is as simple as stomping down on the platform. For casual riding, the stock pins (pictured above) do a decent job of securing your foot, provided you’re wearing the right shoes. For maximum grip, you’ll want a shoe with a relatively soft sole that utilizes an open, widely spaced tread pattern. Vans sneakers–with their gummy, waffle soles proved ideal–but the harder soles on my Five Ten Freerider Pros lacked the necessary grip for technical, off-road use. Swapping out the stock pins with Xpedo’s optional Spike or Twin-Tip pins improved the SPRYs’ grip dramatically, but at extra cost and effort.
While my sample pedals bear the scars of countless rock strikes, the SPRYs’ magnesium bodies have remained free of cracks or deep gouges. And despite receiving zero maintenance, the bearings still run smooth, and the spindles are as straight as the day I installed them. I recommend that you regularly check the pins for loosening, however, as I lost two pins during the first month of testing (Xpedo provides a small spanner for just that purpose). Even though the SPRYs’ platforms are smaller than the flats I normally use, I didn’t experience any foot pain or discomfort (although riders with very large feet may want to consider Xpedo’s ZED model, which features a larger platform with more pins for improved grip).
Disclosure: Xpedo provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation in exchange for editorial coverage.