Time Z-Control MTB Pedal Review

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Back in September I got a chance to preview MTB pedals and shoes from Time and I was curious to see how they performed on the trail. The Time Z-Control pedals ($125 MSRP) are designed for freeride/DH/BMX and are so named for their Z-shaped side profile. I soon found out these are versatile pedals that can stand up to serious abuse!

The Z-Control features an aluminum body with machined surfaces for a slight weight reduction (525 grams per pair). The Z-Control pedals also come with a chromed steel axle to prevent corrosion and are tough enough to stand up to the abuse of free riding and shuttle running. To keep things running smoothly the Z-Control sports a bushing as well as a single bearing up front. Everything is well sealed to keep the dirt out which ensures these pedals will last.

The cleats on the Control-Z pedals look very similar to those found on CrankBrothers eggbeaters and like the eggbeaters you have a choice between setting a 13 or 17 degree pedal release angle. This is accomplished by choosing how you install the cleats (see instruction sheet for further installation info). I tested the bike with both settings and even though I’ve been riding for a very long time and consider myself an expert, I still chose the tighter 13 degree release angle. For me the 17 degree option was too much and made it more difficult to remove my feet from the pedals.

The Time Control-Z cleats are 100% compatible with any cleated MTB shoe so there’s no need to invest in a new set of kicks. These pedals also boast an oversized platform that Time claims will improve power transfer but I didn’t really experience that myself. The oversized platform did make it easier to catch the pedal when clipping in which is definitely a plus in freeride / DH situations.

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Riding along the trails with the Time Z-Control I have to say that these pedals are tough. Despite hitting large rocks that would shatter the casing of lesser pedals, the Z-Controls held up just fine. Since these pedals are solid aluminum they did show some signs of abuse but they continued to function like new (though I did get a few small dings and scratches).

In muddy conditions the Z-Control pedals worked about the same as they did when they were clean, though getting clipped in took a bit of getting used to. I’ve been riding another brand of pedals for a long time and I’m used to clicking in a certain way. Once I was comfortable with the motion it still seemed to take a little bit more effort to lock into the Z-Contorls than with other pedals I’ve tried.

The float on the Time Z-Control pedals is a nice touch which allowed me to swerve a bit on the bike and slightly pivot on the pedals without inadvertently releasing my feet. The ability to swivel comes in handy when navigating tricky rock gardens and allows the rider greater body motion for threading tight lines along the trail.

Overall the Time Z-Control pedals work well, won’t clog up with mud and dirt, are adjustable, and can take a beating on the trail. These pedals offer a great value for the money, especially for those who like a larger platform clip-in pedal system.

Specs from Time:

Chrome-plated steel axle
Surface coated aluminum body
SELF-CLEANING – RELIABILITY
EASY ENTRY
ANGULAR FLOAT: 5
LATERAL FLOAT: 6 MM
Weight: 525 g per pair

Thanks to the folks at Time for providing these pedals for review.