I have had a couple of months to abuse the Canfield Brothers Crampon Mountain pedals since my initial article when they were launched, which has been plenty of time to see what they are made of. Despite a few cosmetic nicks, I am happy to report that they have held up quite well.
I elected to test these pedals on three different types of bikes: two downhill bikes, a trail bike, and a fat bike. I ride flat pedals exclusively when I am riding downhill because of the solid platform they provide, and it makes it a lot easier to eject. To the surprise of many of my friends, I typically elect to ride the same flat pedals most of the winter in Colorado on my fat bike because it is heinous to clip into SPDs when they are packed with snow (although I did not test these in snow). And, unlike many of my friends, I rarely ride flats on my trail bike, but do prefer them on certain trails, particularly if I ride it on downhill courses or in the bike park. A good flat pedal, in my opinion, must be versatile enough to handle these different types of riding year round.
The overwhelming majority of the time I spent on these pedals were riding downhill at several bike parks in Colorado. I have tried several other brands of flat pedals over the past two seasons, so I feel confident giving the Crampons a fair comparison review despite never riding the previous iteration of the Crampon from Canfield Bros.
To recap the specs posted by Canfield Brothers:
- 400 grams (395.4g weighed)
- Thin 6mm front impact edges
- 112mm x 106mm platforms
- Anodized finish available in 10 colorways
- Sealed bearings
- DU Bushing system
- Chromoly axle
- Replaceable Dual Sided Pins
- Patented convex shape
I have already heard the argument several times: a pedal is a pedal is a… pedal, right? Why choose the Crampon when there are plenty of less expensive flat pedals out there, particularly from the Orient? Why not get some low-end pedals since you plan to destroy them anyway? The answer is: for the same reasons that you probably shouldn’t take a Walmart Huffy on downhill courses.
Canfield Brothers is not a company that is synonymous with “cheap,” and let’s face it: you typically do get what you pay for in the world of mountain bike components. Unlike the majority of their lower quality counterparts, these pedals are light, strong, thin, and grip extraordinarily well–all very important attributes designed to keep you from hanging up on rocks and roots when your bottom bracket squats under load.
Those, my friends, are some crucial elements that help keep the rubber side down.
Another thing you get with the Crampon is style. Flat black pedals are great, of course, but if you want some anodized bling to shiny up your rig the Crampons take it to the next level. I normally would not look twice at a pair of pedals, but these things really command a second look and add sheer sexiness to your ride. It says something when you show up at the park with a sweet DH bike and the first bike compliment you receive is about the shiny green pedals. True story.
Perhaps the most important thing about the Crampons, though, is that they are solid and hold up under abuse. As mountain bikers, we have no choice but to trash pedals because of the terrain we encounter. Riding the wicked lines of a downhill resort puts quite a bit more strain on your bike, and unfortunately the pedals often get hammered as you are trying to hold on through the gnar. Having a product that is designed to withstand that level of abuse is reassuring when it comes to your hard earned moolah.
The Crampons are aptly-named. They held tight to my Vibram soles, but allowed me to move my feet on them and readjust when I slipped a little in the air or around a berm. The low profile kept me from hanging up on rocks, even with the meat-grabbing removable pins (which I did not have to replace, fortunately), and their skinny profile undoubtedly saved my bacon a few times. Only when things got really chunky did these pedals start grabbing the terrain, as any pedal would.
I was hard pressed to produce any disparaging opinions about this pedal. Quite possibly the only change I would recommend is the way Canfield Bros decided to mark the left and right pedals. To distinguish them, there is a thin line imprinted in the axle flange (see below) that tells you which pedal is the right one. It would be easier if there was an R or L, or both, imprinted on the axle to make installation easier and prevent crank damage.
The anodized finish is also prone to show wear rather quickly. I put over 100 DH runs on them this summer, and although they still look pretty good, they definitely have a few battle scars.
I have been fortunate to test a lot of products over the years, which keeps my mind engaged on the bike about what works and what doesn’t, what feels right, and what feels off. I’ll admit that I never thought that testing a flat pedal would be so enjoyable, but it was sobering to focus so much of my attention on my feet during rides that I gained a new appreciation for other pedals and what my feet were doing all along.
Compared to some other pedals I’ve tried, these are amazing! The Canfield Brothers Crampon Mountains are a sweet looking pedal that is light, strong, relatively affordable, and provide a confident platform that spans multiple riding applications. They are easily serviceable and have demonstrated a level of quality that will go the extra mile despite continuous riding abuse. As someone who has a reputation of riding hard and destroying things, I would not hesitate to get another pair, and would recommend them to anyone who prefers flats.
Thanks to Canfield Brothers for sending the Crampon Pedals over for review!