“Flat pedals win medals” may be how the saying goes, but a quick scan of the World Cup DH results sheet shows that it's usually the riders who are clipping in that end up on top of the podium. For that reason, over the last few seasons several more DH-oriented clipless pedal options have surfaced, including Xpedo's new GFX pedal.
Xpedo GFX Details
• 4 adjustable pins per side
• Aluminum body, chromoly spindle
• Internals: 3 cartridge bearings
• Weight: 469 grams
• MSRP: $129 USD
The GFX uses a wide aluminum body that surrounds an SPD compatible clip-in mechanism. That mechanism is spring-loaded, which positions the front portion higher than the rest of the pedal in order to make it easier to clip in as quickly as possible. Once you're in, Xpedo's XPT cleats provide 6-degreees of side to side float.
Four pins on each side of the aluminum body provide additional traction, and their height can be changed to adjust the level of grip. The body itself is shaped similarly to a set of modern, low profile flat pedals, and measures only 18mm at the center, with a 105mm length and 90mm width. The GFX pedals spin on a chromoly spindle and three cartridge bearings, along with the two bushings that allow the center portion to rotate when pressure is applied to it.
On my scale the pedals checked in at 469 grams, which is 84 grams heavier than Xpedo's claimed weight, but that number is still very competitive for this style of pedal. Color options include blue, orange, red, black, and a special edition 'oil slick' model. MSRP: $129 USD. On the Trail
The GFX pedals use a Shimano-style system to hold your feet in place, and it's similar enough that Shimano's own cleats will work without any issues. I tried both the supplied Xpedo XPT cleats and a set of Shimano SH51 cleats and couldn't detect any noticeable difference when entering or exiting the pedals. The amount of available spring tension is similar to what you'd find with a set of Shimano pedals as well; with the tension indicator right in the middle I didn't have any unwanted releases or difficulty getting in or out.
I regularly switch back and forth between clipless and flat pedals, and I found that the wider body made it easier to get re-accustomed to clipping in. The platform's generous dimensions makes it an easy target to hit, and I never had any trouble getting back in after taking a foot out to slide around a corner or when I dabbed in an awkward section of trail. That extra width also helps provide more support underfoot, which can come in handy for riders who don't want to wear ultra-stiff clipless compatible shoes.
Getting in and out is isn't a problem, so how's the durability? So far, so good, even after some extremely solid encounters with rocks and the ground. The pedals are still spinning smoothly, without even a hint of vertical play. The only nitpick I have is that I'd like to see a better seal on the inboard portion of the pedal; there's one small o-ring there right now, and in really wet conditions water and mud can still make their way past it, potentially shortening the lifespan of the bearings. Pinkbike's Take
|Xpedo hit the mark with the GFX, creating a reliable option for riders looking for a wider platformed clipless pedal, one that works for everything from DH racing to everyday trail riding. - Mike Kazimer|
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