Going clipless is a question that gets asked over and over by new riders as they get more familiar with the sport and see others with clipless pedals. Once they discover the answer is "yes", the follow up in always "which ones?" The short answer is always Time ATAC for me.
Shimano SPD pedals do have some significant advantages including market share, meaning if you borrow or rent a bike, you can almost always get pedals to go with it. Going with something else typically means bringing your pedals along. The downside on SPDs is twofold - engagement and positioning. SPD engagement is fine for getting into the pedals, but it can also be a problem when bouncing your pedals off of rocks - often my SPDs will unclip at the wrong time due to rock impact. And my knees didn't agree with SPDs; there was too much movement and positioning was off, causing knee pain after long rides.
Time pedals have a flat clip that makes it easy to get in and out of, but more importantly, they keep the feet much straighter when riding. This helps keep your knees in the right position when pedaling, so they will feel a lot better at the end of the ride.
Durability is outstanding. My pedals take a lot of abuse from the rocks, roots and ledges of Austin. Time Alium pedals are built like a big block, they take tons of abuse and continue to perform well. I have also ridden the Time ATAC XS pedals, and while they are smaller and lighter weight, they can't take the abuse that the Alium can. The Alium is not the lightest pedal on the market, but for under $50 they can't be beat.
The end caps on the pedals will come loose from time to time. I have lost several over the years. Supposedly the pedals can be dismantled and serviced. I have yet to find adequate instructions on how to do this.
9 of 10
Durable and inexpensive, good for the knees
End caps can be lost over time
Alium pedals on Shimano XT cranks
I have been a long standing supporter of these pedals and have bought several pairs in the last 10 years. All have been durable and a great value. Highly recommended.
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