Conceived as ultra light flat pedals for road riders who choose not to ride clipless, the KCNC Knife pedals are an interesting proposition. Primarily aimed at urban commuters finding the interaction between traffic, lights and clipless pedals (or toe clips) too perilous, but who want more security of foot placement than is offered by plain flat pedals without the additional weight of studded MTB flats.
This is a truly tiny pair of flats. At 170g for the pair, inclusive of optional studs, they weigh a good deal less than even the lightest SPD pedals, with no additional weight penalty from cleats to bear in mind. These aluminum alloy pedals are also lighter than any other flats I could find on the market, with the exception of KCNC’s own titanium version of the same pedal (just 150g for the pair).
About the same size as smaller SPD pedals, these aren’t going to immediately appeal to everyone, although with the studs on, they sit securely and comfortably underfoot, providing a surprisingly sure ride, even out of the saddle working hard. The ride feel was distinctly akin to that with SPDs set loose. Without the studs, they’re still pretty secure, although some slippage did occur. The studs are easily attached, with a handy tool provided to tighten them, but they are quite aggressive, and would hurt if shin and pedal were to collide. That said, the security they give means that this is less likely anyway!
A good looking pedal too, available in four colours (gold, black, blue, red), that will enable ride pimping for that crucial urban cool.
Given the price, I’d say you’d have to be a pretty committed flat fancier and fast paced commuter to make the most of these, but they are a light, effective and attractive antidote to the perils of being clipped in at junctions and in traffic.
Super light, effective and surprisingly supportive flat pedals. Good looking too, but you are paying for the ultra low weight.
road.cc test report
Make and model: KCNC Knife pedal
Size tested: n/a
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?
'Designed for road riders that don't want to be clipped in'
Give a secure ride for anyone not wanting to be clipped in, without the weight penalty of most studded flats and with a small platform.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
7075 Aluminium alloy body
Optional replaceable stainless steel studs (and tightening tool)
Titanium nitrided stainless steel axle
Needle roller inner bearing
Sealed cartridge stainless steel outer bearing
170g for pair (including studs)
Well machined and nicely finished.
Surprisingly secure underfoot, offering a ride not dissimilar in feel from loose SPD pedals. With studs, even felt secure while out of the saddle.
Studs are replaceable.
Good riding comfort, wouldn't be so comfortable if your shin met with the studs.
An investment, but such low weight comes at a premium.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed well as a good compromise between the 'get out quick' nature of flats and the security and efficiency of clipless or toe clipped pedals.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Size, low weight, optional studs, security underfoot, looks
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes. Definitely.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Neat, effective and surprisingly secure.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.