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Verdict: 
Extremely lightweight pedals with a light action but they're expensive – very expensive – and the cleats wear quickly
Weight: 
140g
Time Xpresso 15 pedals
8 10

The Time Xpresso 15 pedals are extremely lightweight and clipping in/twisting out could hardly be easier, but they're expensive and the cleats wear noticeably faster than those of other brands.

Weight weenies will be delighted when they remove the top-of-the-range Xpresso 15s from their natty metal box. With their carbon bodies, hollow titanium axles, and Ceramic Speed bearings, ours hit the road.cc Scales of Truth at just 140g for the pair (Time claim 66.5g each, or 133g the pair). That's very light when you consider that Look claim 180g for their Kéo Blade 2 Ti pedals (£224.99). There's a maximum rider weight of 90kg (14st 2lb) for the titanium axles.

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Clipping into the pedals is ridiculously easy because the engagement mechanism sits partially open when there's no cleat inside. You just put your foot in place and the engagement mechanism snaps shuts with very little pressure. Clipping into other pedals is hardly difficult but the action is certainly lighter than normal here.

That doesn't mean to say that the pedals lack holding power, though. Rather than a metal spring to provide the tension, Time use a carbon strip and it works very well. I've never had a cleat release accidentally. I ran a little experiment to see if I could pull the cleat out of the pedal by a combination of force and clumsiness and found it impossible, yet it's really simple to flick your heel to the side and release the cleat in the proper way when you want to.

The pedal platform is large (700mm2, according to Time) and you get plenty of stability even when standing up and throwing the bike around in a sprint. While we're doing the stats, the distance from the top of the pedal body to the centre of the axle is just 13.5mm (very similar to that of Look's Kéo Blade 2 Ti).

The carbon pedal body is tougher than you might think. After 12 weeks of heavy use the pedals are looking in very good shape with just some cosmetic scratches across the central aluminium plate. That plate can be changed if/when it wears out. The Xpresso 8s that I've been using on and off over the past couple of years have proved equally durable. The only real damage you could do to the pedal body is if you come off and it hits the ground. No pedal is going to like that very much.

You get a generous amount of float with the Xpresso system. If you want to put figures on it, you can move your heel in and out by up to 5° from the centreline and you also get a small amount of lateral movement across the pedal. That's only 1.5mm in each direction from the centreline though and, in truth, you'd do well to notice it. While we're talking about lateral positioning, it's worth noting that Xpresso cleats aren't quite symmetrical, giving you the opportunity to adjust the distance between the crank and the middle of the engaged cleat by up to 2.5mm on each side by selecting which cleat you put on each shoe.

 

As I said, the hollow titanium axles spin on Ceramic Speed bearings. What's the benefit over standard bearings? The manufacturers reckon these give you the lowest possible friction and longevity that's 3-5 times higher than normal steel bearings. Have I noticed the difference in use? Nah, I can't say that I have. The pedals do spin beautifully, but so do many others I have with cheaper bearings.

In the past, both Jo and Dave have had issues with the Xpresso 8s, specifically with water getting inside causing them eventually to seize. I've not had any issues with the bearings here, and nor have I had any trouble with the bearings in the Xpresso 8s that I mentioned.

If you do have any bearing issues, these pedals aren't user serviceable – not officially, anyway. If you open them up you'll void the 24 month warranty.

My only real complaint isn't with the Xpresso 15 pedals themselves but with the cleats. They wear out too fast. Look Kéo and Shimano SPD-SL cleats wear quite quickly but the nose of the Time cleat starts to get scuffed up really fast despite the fact that I do just the minimum amount of walking in my cycling shoes – to and from the bike and into the occasional mid-ride shop or café. It's the weak point of the system for me. Time cleats aren't especially expensive – the RRP is £17.99 but you can buy them cheaper – it's just a pain to have to change them so often.

Verdict

Extremely lightweight pedals with a light action but they're expensive – very expensive – and the cleats wear quickly

road.cc test report

Make and model: TIME Xpresso 15 pedals

Size tested: 700mm2

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Time says: Time has revolutionized clipless pedal technology and introduces its newest generation: Xpresso.

 

This brand new pedal has an even faster, more intuitive engagement without any rubbing, which is thanks to the Iclic concept of a pre-open clipless system (TIME patent).

The use of a carbon flexion blade instead of the traditional metal spring allows for these new pedals to be extremely light.

 

The oversized platform of 700 mm2 gives the pedals a record surface area/weight factor.

Xpresso Technology

* Automatic pre-opening of engagement mechanism

* Q-Factor adjustment '' setting of lateral foot position

* BIOPOSITION Concept '' minimal distance sole to pedal axle

* Angular float (+/-5°) and lateral float (2.5 mm)

* Release angle: 15°

Description

* Hollow titanium axle

* Ceramic Speed bearings

* Light carbon body

* Aluminium plate

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

You get three settings for what Time calls the 'adjustment of angular sensations, or feel'. That controls how tight the movement feels as you alter the position of your foot while the cleat remains attached to the pedal.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
10/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

You're paying a lot for the Ceramic Speed bearings. Like the Xpresso 15, the Xpresso 12 Titan Carbon comes with a hollow titanium axle and a carbon pedal body but without the Ceramic Speed bearings. They're £229.99. Xpresso 10s with a hollow steel axle and a carbon body are £129.99.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well with minimal signs of wear to the pedals, but lots of wear to the cleats.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

They're only about 50g lighter than the Xpresso 8s but it all counts. The easy entry is cool too.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The rate of wear to the cleats and that huge price.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yep

Would you consider buying the product? Nope. Not at that price.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? If money wasn't an issue.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

You generally get diminishing returns as you go up a range – that's normal – but my feeling is that the price hike over the Xpresso 12s is too much. Each to his/her own though: some people are just going to have these because they're so light.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,

 

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

15 comments

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Shamblesuk [167 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

same issue here re cleats meant i ditched Time for Look. This has been often commented for many moons so I'm surprised Time haven't done anything about it yet.

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mrmo [2096 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

any feedback on bearing durability? and the fact that they are non user serviceable.

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RobD [531 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

That is a hell of a lot of money for pedals, especially considering how good the ones lower down the range are.
I own the Expresso 4 and love them, they're the nicest clipless pedals I've ridden in and I've been lucky to not have any wear issues with either cleats or bearing so far after about 18 months.
It'd have to be a pretty special bike to be fitting £400 pedals to it, and with the titanium 12 ones at not much more than £100 it does seem like a massive increase.

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offshore_dave [65 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

That's one ugly pair of pedals.

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stevie63 [76 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I would rather take the xpresso 4 at about £40 (I have) and the 100 gram weight penalty and pocket the £360 difference. I love the ease of entry and exit and at £40 they are the price of speedplay cleats, so when the bearings wear out just buy another set.

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Chasseur Patate [152 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
mrmo wrote:

any feedback on bearing durability? and the fact that they are non user serviceable.

I've had no problems replacing the bearings on Iclic 2 racers or xpresso 6s. As for durability, I've done thousands of miles on 4s, 6s, 10s and 12s (I have a lot of bikes) and only the 6s needed a new bearing on the right pedal after some seriously foul weather riding over winter.

I've had no dramas with any of mine and have been riding Time for years.

Avatar
mrmo [2096 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Chasseur Patate wrote:
mrmo wrote:

any feedback on bearing durability? and the fact that they are non user serviceable.

I've had no problems replacing the bearings on Iclic 2 racers or xpresso 6s. As for durability, I've done thousands of miles on 4s, 6s, 10s and 12s (I have a lot of bikes) and only the 6s needed a new bearing on the right pedal after some seriously foul weather riding over winter.

I've had no dramas with any of mine and have been riding Time for years.

Maybe i have been unlucky, but i have had some issues with the iclic's and with rxs, but never with the ATAC's.

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Martin Thomas [384 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I did the Time -> Look switch too, for the same reason. Those cleats wear ridiculously quickly compared to Keos. Also, HOW MUCH?!

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Das [243 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

5/10 for value................................  24

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Chasseur Patate [152 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Das wrote:

5/10 for value................................  24

Value is in the wallet of the beholder.

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Notsofast [135 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

I was in my LBS when a set of these were being fitted to someone else's bike, the lack of heft when you pick them up is indeed astonishing.
My comment to the dealer was merely that if the customer (I guy I know well via my cc) keeps chucking money at his bike he's going to run out of excuses and actually have to train  3

Avatar
Chasseur Patate [152 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Notsofast wrote:

I was in my LBS when a set of these were being fitted to someone else's bike, the lack of heft when you pick them up is indeed astonishing.
My comment to the dealer was merely that if the customer (I guy I know well via my cc) keeps chucking money at his bike he's going to run out of excuses and actually have to train  3

Likewise, they're stupid light, pretty too. If I was building a no expense spared super light bike, these would be going on it.

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Jigzy99 [13 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I am sure the weight difference would have no effect for the majority of us so silly money for pedals. I have Espresso 4 on the winter bike and 8 on my carbon Ridley - cleats do wear quicker than the Campy and Shimano pedals I had before (unclipping issues meant I went to Time) but so easy to get in and out and stable too. Just wish Time would start making the cleats a bit more durable.

Avatar
Chasseur Patate [152 posts] 2 years ago
1 like
Jigzy99 wrote:

I am sure the weight difference would have no effect for the majority of us so silly money for pedals. I have Espresso 4 on the winter bike and 8 on my carbon Ridley - cleats do wear quicker than the Campy and Shimano pedals I had before (unclipping issues meant I went to Time) but so easy to get in and out and stable too. Just wish Time would start making the cleats a bit more durable.

I don't get how durable people want a £15 item to be? I get 3000 miles out of mine.

Perhaps track standing is a dying art?

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Fish_n_Chips [514 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

Nice pedals!

I have some 6 and 10's.

Think I rather lose 100g of my body = £free!  19

I could buy these but the missus would kill me.