Twenty6 Predator pedal:
Twenty6's new Predator pedal comes from the mind of Tyler Jarosz, the man behind the small operation based in Montana, USA, and is an evolution of his much loved Prerunner design. Just like its forebear, the Predator isn't intended to be a generic or inexpensive pedal, but rather a boutique choice for a rider who is looking for a high-end, US-made option. Twenty6 is all about choices - the Predator can be had with aluminum, steel, or even titanium traction pins, as well as either cromo or titanium axles. Tyler also has you covered for colors, with your options being nearly limitless. All of the above doesn't come cheap, though, with prices ranging from $194.99 to $284.99 USD depending on axle and color choice.
Looking for something different? Machined in Twenty6's Montana workshop, the Predator pedal stands out from the crowd.
Twenty6 Predator details:
- CNC-machined 6061 T6 billet pedal bodies
- 110mm wide x 100mm long platform size
- Enduro bearings and Turcite bushings
- Quad O-ring seals
- New breakaway pin design
- Titanium or cromoly axle options
- Weight: 320g (w/ ti axles), 390g (w/ cromo axles)
- MSRP $194.99 to $284.99 USD (depending on axle and color)
Twenty6's Prerunner design has a loyal following, but Tyler knew that there was still room for improvement. The new pedal's body shape may resemble its predecessor, but a subtle change to the surface area sees it sit lower relative to the traction pins, thereby allowing the pins to work harder at holding your feet in place. Pin placement is also much more spread out when compared to the Prerunner to offer more support, something that will be good news for riders with large feet. The concave body, an important factor when talking traction, has also been increased on the new model. That added concave is exaggerated even more by raised leading and trailing pin locations.
Whereas many pedals make use of off the shelf pins Tyler has put a lot of effort and time into designing and manufacturing his own. The pins on the Predator pedal can be had in either aluminum (tested
), titanium or steel - all with the same shape - that thread into the face, but are accessed with a hex key from the back side. This means that you should be able remove a pin regardless of how damaged it may be, thanks to the tool access being completely protected from rock strikes. We applaud Tyler for thinking ahead, he has also gone to great lengths to make the pins as resilient as possible, shaped in such a way that their outer collar provides support and the thicker shoulder is inset into reinforced wells within the body. The pedal threads themselves, on both the pins and the body, are completely sheltered from damage. In a further effort to protect the body from damage, the pins feature a relief around their circumference that acts as a breakaway point, allowing the tip to fail before the pin is pulled out of the body.
The pedal bodies feature solid leading edges that should stand up to abuse quite well.
Internally, the Predator pedal makes use of a large, tapered shaft and a self-lubricating Turcite bushing, combined with an Enduro sealed bearing at the outer end of the axle. An aluminum nut, also machined by Twenty6, holds everything together, and an aluminum cap is threaded onto the end of the body for protection. Dual quad O-ring seals, one at each end of the axle, help keep the crud out. Axles can be had in both steel or titanium, and have a nitride coating to keep them fresh and smooth.
The Predator's tapered axle gets the full nitride treatment, along with quad O-rings to keep the gunk out. A custom aluminum nut, also made by Twenty6, holds everything together.
Our flashy green and purple Predator pedals garnered quite a bit of attention at the trail head, but they backed this up with great performance as well. On the trail it was easy to feel their larger-than-average platform size underneath my Five Ten Freerider shoes, with the extra surface area feeling very secure compared to more compact designs that focus more pressure in a smaller area. For the same reason, they also were far less likely to create hotspots on the bottom of my feet during long descents, something that riders who are prone to the sometimes-painful feeling will really appreciate. The 110mm width of the pedal meant that we felt less likely to need to reposition our feet during a ride, simply because there is more real estate available to use with the Predators. The obvious downside to the extra size should be more pedal strikes, but we can't say that that was the case.
Predator pedals provide a solid amount of grip that didn't have us wishing for more, even if they didn't equal the adhesion that open-top set screws offer in the long term - the aluminum traction pins quickly became dull and we found ourselves looking for more purchase after a few weeks of use. When new, though, the concave platform and ten aggressive pins per side hold your feet in place quite well, even if you are not sporting soft, sticky soled shoes. The extra concave profile built into the Predator bodies likely played a helping hand in this regard. The bodies feature closed leading edges (the Prerunners had open cutaways
) and have shown to be resistant to being smashed and dragged over the ground and off of rocks. The titanium axles used within our Predators are also still perfectly straight, proving to be much more robust than the last set of ti axles that we spent time on.
Our Predator test pedals came equipped with the lightweight aluminum pins, but both steel and titanium options are available as well. Notice the small groove machined into the pin's circumference that acts as the breakaway point, preventing damage to the threads within the pedal body yet still allowing the broken pin to be removed.
We've put in loads of time using the Predator pedals and they have proven themselves to be among the best of the best platforms out there, but we do have a few concerns. Our test pedals came equipped with Twenty6's aluminum pins that, while obviously lighter than the titanium or steel options, quickly wore down to the point where traction was greatly affected. How quick? It took less than a dozen rides for the pins to become noticeably duller. We touched ours up with a file to bring some of their bite back, but we'd hesitate to recommend purchasing the Predator pedals with the aluminum pins, especially considering that the steel and titanium versions feature the same breakaway design that can save the threads in the pedal body from suffering damage.
That same breakaway pin design did raise the question of just how easily the pins should be allowed to depart. Our left pedal lost two pins within the first few rides - both instances involved lightly scraping over a rock and weren't events that we think should have done damage. Sure, the pedals do come with extra pins, but they break off a touch too easily for our liking.
We were quite surprised to find that we could actually get the pedal bodies to rock on the axle slightly by shifting our feet from side to side. What we were seeing was the rather tiny sealed bearing at the pedal's outboard end rocking enough to allow for visual movement of the body over the bushing. No, we couldn't feel it when riding - it was far too small for that - and Twenty6 puts the movement down to the bearing's drop-in fit which allows users to easily replace the bearing if required down the road. While we can't make an honest assessment if the movement will affect bearing life in the long run, Twenty6 is quick to point out that they have yet to see a single failed bearing from their design, and that the "small amount of play in the area where the bearing is seated is negated when the bearing is under load, having no effect whatsoever on the wear of the bearing
Each body spins on a combination of a single Enduro sealed bearing at the outboard end and a tapered Turcite bushing (left). It didn't take long for the pedal's aluminum pins to round off enough for traction to be greatly reduced (right).
|The Predator pedals impressed us with their large platform, reasonably light weight and good looks. Traction is quite good when new, but quickly declines as the aluminum pins begin to wear. Do yourself a favour and go with the steel pins if you are looking to pick up a set of Twenty6 pedals, you'll be happy that you did. Riders with big feet, or those who suffer from hot spots, will appreciate the sizeable platform as well. The Predators are not inexpensive by any stretch of the imagination, but are a good choice if you are looking for something different and have the money to spend. - Mike levy|