Canadian boys Blackspire
have spent years producing some great mountain bike components right in their British Columbia facility. New to their list of high end bike goodies for 2010 is the SUB4 pedal
. Inside we'll take a closer look at the SUB4 as well as dish on how they have held up over the last three months of riding.Read On...
Blackspire's new SUB4 pedals do not use open ended set screws for grip, but instead use flat topped studs. There are a number of good reasons for this, namely reliability and being able to easily replace a damaged pin down the road. No matter how careful one seems to be, all it takes is one good pedal strike to quickly tear out a set screw and permanently damage it's mounting hole. Best case scenario is that you get by without damaging the threads within the pedal body, although there is still a good chance that the small allen key slot that you use to remove the set screw pin is now long past fitting an allen key into it. For those reasons, the SUB4's pins screw in from the opposite side. This not only protects the allen head of the screw, but also gives the screw itself a lot more support and strength. Blackspire's SUB4 Pedal Details:
• New pedal for 2010
• CNC'd in Canada
• Replaceable T-style pins that are accessed from the reverse side
• Pedal body turns on both sealed bearings and bushings
• Large mud shedding body cutouts
• Colors include black, as well as limited runs of blue, gray, red, green, rootbeer, silver, burnt orange, power coated white, and the purple shown here.
• All parts available aftermarket
• 350 grams for Cro-mo axle, 265 grams for titanium axle version (referred to as the SUB3)
• MSRP $105 CAD (Cro-mo spindles), $240 CAD (ti spindles)
Inside you'll find both bushing and bearings that are sealed against the elements for long life. Blackspire is based in British Columbia, Canada, so you can be sure they want to produce products that can handle our rain-centric weather. Riders have two spindle options to choose from depending on their demands and budget: a 350 gram Cro-mo spindle version or an uber-light titanium spindle alternative that comes in at a svelte 265 grams. While no one can argue with the ti version's light weight, the less expensive Chro-mo model is also notably light and will appeal to most riders.What did we think the SUB4's?
We have three months of proper B.C. riding time on the new SUB4's and are quite impressed with them so far. They've seen a lot of rain, a lot of mud, and not a single second of maintenance. First impressions were great, out of the box the finish is as good as one would expect from a premium product of this caliber. All edges were finished nicely and the anodizing was spot on. I've had a number of pedals throughout the years that seemed to not have the best job done of their pedal spindle threads, not so with the SUB4's. They spun on smooth from start to finish with no tight spot during the installation. Pins came installed as well, always nice.
Grip was never an issue during the test, although it should be mentioned that all users were wearing tacky soled Five Ten shoes. Regardless, not a single pedal was slipped at any point. The SUB4's have an aggressively machined body that does not have much surplus material. In our time on them we learned that the minimalist body has two benefits. Firstly, the pedals clear mud like you wouldn't believe. There simply isn't anywhere for it to collect. Second, the material that has been removed from the pedal seemed to create a sort of false concave for the shoe to rest in that enhanced grip slightly. The lack of mass on the body has not adversely affected the pedal's strength as besides a few cosmetic dings they are looking as good as new. Likewise, the axles are also still arrow straight. We had no issues with damaging pins even though they were dragged across some good sized immovable objects. One or two impacts in particular would have surely damaged the pins of a weaker set screw variety.
After some trail time on the SUB4's I don't have anything negative to say about them. They are light, provided ample grip, and proved to be strong and reliable. While it would certainly be nice to sport the 265 gram titanium version, I have the feeling that most riders will gravitate towards the more economical Cro-mo spindled model that we tested here. The Cro-mo's 350 gram weight is competitively light compared to any pedal, including other manufacturer's titanium axle pedals, and they are sold for a very reasonable price. Two thumbs up!
to see their entire lineup of parts and accessories.
Blackspire is distributed by Norco Bicycle Products