iSSi Triple Trail Pedal - Review

May 5, 2015
by Mike Levy  
 
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iSSi pedal review test

Having only been around since 2014, the iSSi name might not ring a bell quite yet, especially given that it's pronunciation is still in question. The company is looking to make an impact in the clipless pedal world that is pretty much dominated by just one or two brands right now, and they're offering a four-model range that's seen some important updates aimed at making the pedals both more consistent and cross-compatible with their competitors. With mid-sized 'trail pedals' that offer a more substantial platform of sorts being all the rage these days, it made the most sense for me to spend a good amount of time using their $120 USD Triple Trail pedal that's geared towards riders who're looking for a bit more support and protection. The Triple Trail pedal is available in eight colour options, as well as being compatible with SPD and Wellgo 98a cleats (as are the rest of the iSSi pedals), and a set weighs 419 grams on my scale. Their closest competitor has to be Shimano's XT Trail pedal that cost the same but, at 408 grams for a set, do weigh slightly less.


Triple Trail Pedal Details

• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Mid-sized 'trail' platform
• Compatible with SPD, Wellgo 98a cleats
• Float: 4°
• Release angle: 14.6°
• Adjustable release tension
• Three sealed cartridge bearings (no bushings)
• 52.2mm spindle length, +6mm and +12mm options
• Weight: 419 grams
• MSRP: $120 USD

iSSi pedal review test
A relief cut into the chamfered leading edge of the pedal body makes it easy to access the tension adjustment screw.
iSSi pedal review test
There are seventeen clicks of tension adjustment, and the stiffest setting is stronger than what you'll find on a Shimano pedal.




Retention System

iSSi's pedals have always been compatible with Shimano's SPD cleats, but they've made some changes for 2015 in order improve how they perform with cleats from the Big S, as well as to refine the clip mechanism. Small changes to the shape of the mechanism can have a big impact on performance, and iSSi have refined the shape of the rear claw from the more rounded angles it used to feature to have much sharper profile. The company says that this makes for much more consistent release action, which is always good to keep you from falling over in front of your buddies, and that the release angle has gone done from 20° on the old design to 14.6° with the new setup. They've also employed new tension springs that are claimed to offer a more uniform ramp-up in tension as you dial in the adjustment screw, as well as applied a new heat treating process to the claws that should keep them from showing as much wear at the contact points.

Release tension is adjustable by using a 3mm hex key, and there are seventeen somewhat soft 'clicks' from the easiest tension to the highest setting. A small relief in the pedal body also makes it easier to access the adjuster screw with a shorter hex key like you'd find on a multi-tool.


iSSi pedal review test
  The basic looking body and axle setup hides the fact that there are three sealed bearings inside the Triple Trail pedal - no bushing to be found.




Inside the Triple Trail

I'm going to keep going back to the XT Trail pedal for comparison's sake - they're of similar same size, close to the same weight, and they cost the same - but the Triple Trails are much different internally. Most pedals use some sort of bearing and bushing combination, with the bearing at the outboard end of the axle and a bushing closer to the crank arm, but the Triple Trails employ three sealed bearings: two at the outboard end of the axle and one at the base. The XT and XTR pedals, on the other hand, feature an adjustable cup and cone bearing at the end of the axle and an inboard bushing that allows you to rebuild them and adjust bearing preload. That's handy if you know what you're doing, and it can see them spinning smooth for a very long time if you stay on top of it, but doing it wrong will have you buying a new bearing assembly. The three sealed bearings in the Triple Trails offer zero adjustment, so it's a matter of installing new bearings when they start to turn roughly.

Even the worst home mechanics out there won't have an excuse if the manage to mess up the iSSi pedals - they only require a 6mm hex key to get the cap off the end of the pedal body, and a 9mm socket (not a thin wall socket, either) to remove the nut on the end of the axle.








Riding the Triple Trail Pedal

Shimano and Crankbrothers surely rule the roost when it comes to clipless pedals, and I'd be willing to bet the remaining $3.50 CAD in my bank account that the large majority of riders who like to be locked to their pedals are using something from one of those two companies. Sure, there are other options out there, but why mess around when you know what what works? Well, because there might be another choice that works just as well, or maybe even better. The iSSi Triple Trail pedal employs their take on Shimano's SPD binding system, which means that while they ship with iSSi branded cleats, they'll also work just fine with a set of Shimano cleats. I used both options during my time on the Triple Trails and couldn't tell a difference in engagement or release, which isn't surprising given that the iSSi cleats sport the exact same shaping as those from Shimano.


iSSi pedal review test
  A Shimano XT pedal on the left and the Triple Trail on the right shows the similarities and differences between the two. Both have bodies of about the same size.


But while there seems to be no difference between using each company's cleats, there is one big difference between the Triple Trail pedals and a set of XTs: the release tension on the iSSi pedals can be set noticeably higher than on anything Shimano offers. Having spent boat loads of time on both XT Trail and XTR Trail pedals, my only complaint with either has always been that I've found myself unclipping accidentally when using a lot of body English. Part of this may be down to me having spent over a decade on platform pedals, something that's conditioned me to thinking that I'm allowed to move my size 10s around as I please, and it's a foible that has definitely cost me some skin in the past. But bumping the iSSi pedals up to maximum tension has them being noticeably more difficult to get out of than when I've done the same to XT or XTR pedals, and my sketchy moments of coming unglued from my bike at the worst of times has pretty much come to a stop. Entry effort goes up correspondingly, though, but I never had any issue getting into the Triple Trails.


iSSi pedal review test
The tallest section of the Tripe Trail body measures 20mm, which is 2mm more than an XT pedal.
iSSi pedal review test
There's next to no cosmetic damage after a handful of pedal strikes and scrapes on the ground.


Their "platforms" are nearly identical in size to what you'll find from Shimano, so it's not a surprise that they feel similar underfoot. That's to say that I wouldn't want to try and ride anything rowdy with my feet on them but not clipped in as it feels a bit odd, but standing on a set of pinner cross-country pedals feels a bit like you're trying to do squats while perched on pool balls, and the iSSi pedals are a thousand times better than that. I did clip them on rocks and roots a few times, but tagging a pedal is always rider error if you ask me, and the bodies don't show any signs of undue stress. They're also still spinning just as smoothly as they did when I pulled them out of their packaging, despite me trying to expedite things a bit by not being shy with the ol' power washer. So far, so good.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesTo be honest, I didn't think there was a reason to consider anything other than Shimano when looking at SPD-style pedals, but iSSi's Triple Trails changed my mind. The point that makes them worth taking a look at is the higher release tension that I've found that I prefer, and if you've ever wished for a bit stronger hold from your SPD pedals, the Triple Trails are worth checking out. That said, they cost the same as XTs and weigh slightly more, so they might be a hard sell otherwise. - Mike Levy



www.rideissi.com
Must Read This Week

66 Comments

  • + 42
 flats for life
  • - 13
flag chyu (May 5, 2015 at 22:55) (Below Threshold)
 does the pedal able to BLOW up berms?
  • + 23
 It's allah bit familiar really
  • + 25
 Did anyone else read iSSi as ISIS
  • + 25
 yup. they're gonna lose a lot of business from dyslexic riders no doubt
  • + 1
 @angrynipples: Scary to search the name in google as I might be look at differently :/ the name alone will make me stick to XT.
  • + 24
 "Shimano and Crankbrothers surely rule the roost when it comes to clipless pedals"


utter bollox - time atac's are a better pedal.
  • - 8
flag megatryn (May 6, 2015 at 1:35) (Below Threshold)
 Now known as Mavic.
  • + 2
 Amen!
  • + 6
 my time pedals are time not mavic. mavic are rebranded time not the other way around
  • + 2
 True that. I've still got my Time ATACs from ´98 and the still work like new. Alltough, I've gone for the CB Mallets now for a couple of seasons and they feel a lot like the ATACs, but with more suppert, which I've really come to appreciate.
  • + 2
 I think they were talking in terms of sales numbers.
  • + 3
 Time for the past 15 years, from the yellow alloy ATACs to the XROCs that I'm loving now, they've had great reliability and the float is unbeatable for my bow legs. WIll run them as long as they continue to make them.
  • + 2
 Love my time pedals I'll never switch as long as they are in business. Like butter in and out, light, durable and hold oh so well.
  • + 0
 Why are Time's pedals better? How are they superior for clipping out? Is it the motion (which is what exactly)? Or is it the range of adjustments? A combination of both? Or is it a matter of quality/weight/price...? Some details would be nice.
  • + 2
 better reliablity, better mud clearence, better for your knees.
  • + 14
 Damnit, I just bought the HT X1s because it had 4.5° float, now this one ups it... That 0.5° may have made me a better rider.
  • + 9
 No mention of the M530 trail pedals? (Deore/SLX level). 36g heavier than the iSSi but cost $30 shipped and have never failed me in 3+ years of abuse. I'm still not clear on what I'm getting for the extra $100, except potentially more spring tension that I won't use.
  • + 4
 The added release tension is the only real reason to consider the iSSi pedals in my mind. No reason to switch if you're not having troubles!
  • + 8
 I bought a pair of these in all black a few weeks ago. I love the feel and how easy they are to get used to. Also, there are quite a few attractive color options (they match Santa Cruz paint jobs quite well). rideissi.com/pedals/pedal-issi-triple-trail
  • + 6
 Canadians have had the benefit of iSSi pedals for a year now and probably not known it. MEC sells the equivalent to the 2014 iSSi XC model under their house brand for $29CAD . They're actually manufactured by Wellgo, which is why they come supplied in the MEC version with wellgo stamped 98A cleats. The wellgo model code for the double-sided XC carried by MEC is the M094B, the new 2015 iSSi XC model that comes in the NINE colors is called the M-250 and is available on ebay starting at about $55USD. The 15-20 degree release angles really aren't a problem for people who've used Bebop, Time, Look, Crank Brothers, or Speedplay pedals. Its still a lot less than the original Speedplay Magnum's had (at 55 degrees).
  • + 1
 iSSi doesn't build anything. They slap their brand onto stuff made by Wellgo already.
  • + 1
 As do many, many other companies. Most of the pedals you ride come out of the same 2-3 factories in Taichung.
  • + 2
 Anybody happen to know of an equivalent Wellgo model?
  • + 8
 The Triple Trail pedal being reviewed here is 100% designed by Pedal iSSi, from the retention system to the body style. True, the M-250 is the same body style as our current XC pedal, however our retention system is where Pedal iSSi differentiates itself from the crowd. All current Pedal iSSi models have a fully proprietary retention claw that is different from any Wellgo or Wellgo made pedal on the market. This was designed in-house at Pedal iSSi and offers several improvements over an off the shelf retention system. Look for more from us soon!
  • + 4
 It's interesting to read that some riders want super tight clips....sure unclipping at the wrong moment is devastating, but so is NOT being able to unclip when you come in hot and want to drop a foot.

Maybe staying clipped at all times is more of an XC/trail thing? (Not bashing them, just an observation)
  • + 2
 Exactly what I was thinking. I want my clips as loose as they can be without me unclipping accidentally. Crankbrothers seem to work. I replace the cleats when I find myself accidentally unclipping. I can still unclip without thinking about it, even during crashes, when they're new.
  • + 1
 I've never stayed clipped after a crash, never have to think about it either. Mine are by no means super loose either, just loose enough to unclip with ease when entering a weird corner. Have heard good things about crankbros for DH just cause you can clip in from both directions, but reliability is supposedly not great. I've used shimano for so long I can't imagine changing...stuck in my ways I suppose.
  • + 2
 My pedals (XTs, XTRs, iSSi) are all set at max tension and I've never had an issue with not being able to unclip when I need to. It's just the opposite with most pedals, and it is most noticeable when I'm in the bike park and playing around and using a lot of body english.
  • + 2
 Something I noticed on my first week on clips (riding DH) was that unclipping at the wrong moment was usually a larger concern than not being able to get out.
  • + 4
 If nothing else, they're better looking than the Shimano pedals. Nice clean design, guides the eye front to back like a well designed sports car.
  • + 4
 The VP VX pedals still beat all those options hands down. The platform is so well thought out wrapped around the rear of the pedal where you actually stand
  • + 1
 Totally agree! Been on the VX Trail (switched from CB Candy 2) since last fall, and dig 'em all the way!
  • + 4
 Why hasn't Race Face give a shot at clipless pedals? That would be sweet.. These look pretty sweet too though
  • + 3
 I've had Shimano spd pedals for as long as I can remember.. then I got some HTX1s.. and haven't looked back since. Such a good, reliable system.
  • + 4
 Don't buy these pedals. Obviously you'd be fueling Muslim extremists! Ah, nevermind. Dyslexia game too strong.
  • + 1
 I bought a pair of the issi conventional spd style pedals right when they come out and they broke in two rides. I had no significant rock or root strikes. The only thing i can think was i was about to slide out, so i unclipped with some force only to realize that when i tried to clip back in, the plate that held the front end of the cleat had ripped off along with the parts of the body that it screwed into. They did warranty them for me, but needless to say i went and found some different pedals.
  • + 1
 Liking the sound of more tension! Has anyone modded M647's to add more than stock release tension? Finding my feet still think they're on flats at times. Might need to go have a tinker in the shed..
  • + 3
 I wouldn't mind more release tension, but not for more than twice what I paid for my xt trails.
  • + 2
 USA's response to the ISIS pedal...

They may have 4 degrees of float, but we got guns!

img.wonkette.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/bike-gun.jpg
  • + 4
 Why bother when you can just buy shimano?
  • + 0
 cause they arn't the best Razz
  • - 10
flag mnorris122 (May 6, 2015 at 5:58) (Below Threshold)
 Literally everyone on clipless pedals disagrees with you. Except the few weirdos who use Crankbros
  • + 0
 loved my crankbro eggbeaters.. super light and 4 ways to clip in
  • + 4
 And no way to adjust the tension which was the major selling point of this article.
  • + 1
 I loved my eggbeaters, the first year they came out, ever since then they can't seem to figure out how to use bearings that last.
  • + 1
 i know this is old...but , where do you buy these pedals at ? google comes up blank , except for local bike shops in Minnesota.
  • + 3
 Time pedals is all I use. In my opinion they are the best.
  • + 1
 Are they burly enough for DH?
Their website only says AM/enduro
  • + 1
 I have used the MX6 version on my DH bike for racing, but I usually ride platforms when in the park. I haven't had any issues with them riding DH.
  • + 3
 pretty colours...will consider
  • + 1
 It's really not that hard to rebuild Shimano pedals... it's a simple repair. The only issue is keeping track of those little bearings.
  • + 1
 FINNRAMBO try this:

Unscrew the pedal body, check the bearing preload and wipe things off. Squirt some grease into the pedal body and reinstall. The grease squirts through the bearing assy and the extra comes out along the spindle.
  • + 2
 Perfect in silver to hide those trail scars... and 20g weight penalty is surely acceptable for the wider platform!
  • + 0
 I like the fact that flat pedals are easy to eject from & as I spend a fair bit of unintentional time rubber up I will stick to flats but am contemplating Time pedals as they have a lot more float in them.
  • + 1
 I honestly thought noone ever used the tension adjustment screw. I've always kept it on the softest, which allows me to clip out when I crash. (And I crash A LOT)
  • + 9
 Not criticizing, but maybe you crash more since deep in your head you know you can clip outgo avoid injury. I'd turn the tension up, crash once, and then you will probably learn how not to crash Smile

To each his own tho.
  • + 4
 I can't ride on the softest setting, I preffer to ride on flats than doing that. More tension would be good, but my next pedals will be time
  • + 1
 Just got some of these in the shop. Look great in all black. Probably will try a set soon but still loving flats.
  • + 1
 I like the option of different spindle lengths, but I prefer a bigger platform pedal.
  • + 2
 Read ISIS for a moment ... my bad
  • + 1
 PLASTIC PEDALS FOR LIFE HAHAHA
  • + 1
 YES> GLAD I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE
  • + 1
 Were can I find them if I would want to buy them online?

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