more often than not, the reviews that appear in these pixels and in the pages of the magazines we all pretend to have read are more or less the end of the process. though jackets and jersey continue to be worn, bicycles to be ridden and componentry to be clicked, whirred, flicked and pushed, there has to be an adjudged state in this self-appointed timeline, when the reviewer figures he/she has learned everything pertinent to penning a few words for the edification of others. this is, by its very nature an arbitrary and subjective decision based on experience (or lack of) and expediency.
though the majority of bicycles and components have a shelf-life of at least a year before they are replaced by next year's improved version, it is a salient fact that many an item of cycle clothing can have sold out before anyone has a chance to read quite how essential a garment it truly is.
several years ago i was able to prevail upon the distributor of a well-known bicycle marque to allow a review model to remain in my possession for a couple of months longer than usual, in order that i might offer a longer-term review. i had hoped this would benefit the brand every bit as much as it would be instructional to yours truly. unfortunately, before i had even put fingers to keyboard, the model under review was usurped by the release of an updated model.
c'est la vie.
however, for the pair of pedals sent for review by crank brothers uk distributor extra, what follows is intended as only the beginning. i and several others have moved so far as to write to crank brothers in the usa offering suggestions as to how they might reasonably improve the reliability of their pedals. the eggbeater and candy pedals are essentially of the same ilk. the latter is effectively the former surrounded by a platform to offer greater real estate for the soles of your shoes.
their previous mechanical construction consisted of a tapered axle supported by a small cartridge bearing at the outboard edge and needle bearings on the inboard edge. the problem was, as experienced by many of us, those needle bearings had an innate tendency to self-destruct. my original review pair from several years ago both failed within an hour of each other on the same day and only a matter of days after i'd published my review. crank brothers' previous distributor kindly sent a rebuild and bearing replacement kit, but it's not really what you want to be doing to a relatively new pair of pedals.
so i e-mailed crank brothers to suggest that if those needle bearings were replaced with a sealed cartridge bearing, the problem would more or less disappear. not surprisingly, i did not receive any reply, positive or negative.
yet here we are, a few years further on and crank brothers have seen fit to upgrade their eggbeater/candy range by replacing the needle bearings with an igus glide bearing, technically a premium plastic bushing. this end of the pedal also receives double lip seals which ought to better rebuff dirt ingress than did its poor relation on the previous versions.
oddly, in order to sort of prove my point, i purchased a pair of basic candy pedals over a year ago, featuring a basic metal bushing in place of the needle bearings, a pair that has survived unsullied and unserviced far longer than any of its more expensive brethren.
so far, i've only covered a couple of hundred kilometres on the new version of the pedals, my feet telling me that these feel a tad smoother than the older versions. however, that could simply be me fooling myself or because they're just new out of the box. externally, the candys now benefit from traction pads on each side of the pedal clip and the platform has been subtly profiled to reduce the chances of clouting it on any rocks that might spring up unannounced.
so, from that point of view, this is just the beginning; there will be more to follow, but i hope to continue where i left off, probably early next year.
crank brothers candy 7 pedals are due in the uk later in december with a projected price of £129.99.
tuesday 17 november 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................