A long-term, Big Mountain Riding Review
My first clipless pedals in the late ’90’s were the rugged, full-on Shimano 545 platform clipless pedals. I asked for that style because I wanted a pedal that would function if I needed to get my foot back on it in a hurry (and that would allow friends to borrow the bike even if they didn’t have SPD shoes). I grew to like them for other reasons. They proved bombproof, and great for the ever-changing, technical conditions that make big mountain riding so challenging and enjoyable. So, years later, after riding Crank Brothers Egg Beaters (which I loved for their mud-shedding capabilities, simplicity and light weight), I had high expectations when I saw the Crank Brothers Acid series for sale online. I waited for a good deal and purchased a pair of Acid 1’s from PricePoint in April 2008. I run them on my 2007 Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe, which I use primarily for all mountain riding.
I used the Acid pedals in two epic big mountain events, the 2008 Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure race (+50-miles, in early May, and the 2008 West Virginia Wild 100 as well as all the training for these events. The pedals provided more stand-up-and-stomp leverage than the Egg Beaters, and were easier for my feet to find in rough, wet conditions. In late September I was excited to have the opportunity to race on my home turf, in the Assault on Liberty Mountain. Unfortunately, one of the Acid pedals came apart less than a mile into this +20-mile race. I did finish, but it was only by stopping repeatedly, finding the pedal when it fell off and dialing back the agressive riding so that I could keep the pedal body on the spindle. I lost several places at least because of this.
Crank Brothers did rebuild the pedals for free went I sent them back, and the Acids are back on the bike. However, I didn’t trust them to stick together the +40-miles of the first epic event I entered after their return, the 2009 Middle Mountain Momma. This summer I am riding them as I train for the West Virginia Wild 100. I will update this post if they continue to survive their reincarnation. What did I ride while the Acids were M.I.A.? My ten-year old Shimano 545’s. Still going strong after 100’s of hours of use and three gonzo-abusive trips to Moab.
UPDATE – JULY 14, 2009 – One of the spring mechanisms on the pedals is not rotating freely. They may fall apart again! Final verdict: Save up the extra few bones and buy the Shimanos, or maybe the heavier-duty Crank Bro’s Mallets.
© Big Mountain Riding