On taking the MKS RX-1 pedal out of its box, the first thing that strikes you is quality; quality of workmanship, materials and of finish.
The RX-1 is a platform pedal whose design is primarily intended for the Japanese Kierin circuit, and bears the NJS stamp as proof that is has been accredited for use in official Japanese Keirin races by the sports ruling body.
It differs from a normal MTB or Touring platform pedal in that its cage plates are located higher above the pedal body to enable the correct location of traditional slotted cleats for which it is designed. This means that when used with normal soft soled trainers, such as you would when riding your street fixie round town, the ridge of the rear cage can bite into the soles of your feet a bit.
The pedals are designed for use with toe-clips and straps, and those tested with these pedals were again both my MKS and both bearing the precious (to some, including myself) NJS stamp. The quality of both is again excellent, and come supplied with a little bag of nuts, bolts and even an appropriate Allen key to facilitate installation.
Even before installing the pedals it was very apparent that the bearings they run on are amazingly smooth, they just feel as if there is absolutely no resistance! This is even more impressive when you realise they are sealed bearings rather than the more traditional loose ball types (which run smoothly but can require a little more maintenance than sealed races).
The pedal body is of polished alloy, with machining and final polishing that gives a beautiful finish; it almost feels criminal to put your feet on them! The cage plates at front and rear are finished in black with silver engraved logos, which all add up to a very classy looking pedal.
There are eyelets in the rear cage plate for routing the toe straps through; these are designed for single toe straps by default, and would require some filing if you really wanted to fit doubles.
Once fitted with the clips and straps, and mounted onto my track bike, the quality of the bearings became even more apparent, they feel like they would spin forever with the lightest touch.
They are quite a narrow pedal, especially at the front cage, which is fine if wearing rigid soled cycling shoes, but again a little uncomfortable if you have larger, gaijin feet, and soft soled shoes.
When used with slotted cleats and stiff soled shoes, the pedal interface is as positive as any clip-less pedals, and on my track bike, with the straps pulled up tight, gave a very secure feeling during standing start sprints. You do however need to familiarise yourself with the fading art of releasing the strap as the pedal comes round before you stop!
The MKS RX-1 is a professional quality Kierin race pedal that exudes quality from every surface, with bearings that have to be felt to be believed. The raised cage plates and narrow pedal width may be a compromise to comfort when in street shoes, but will win a lot of style points…
road.cc test report
Make and model: MKS RX-1 NJS pedals
Size tested: Black
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?
Primarily a Kierin racing pedal.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The RX-1 is a flat pedal for use with clips and straps. Weight is a reasonable 281 grammes.
If you are in the market for a flat pedal, the quality of build and bearings make these a winner.
Depending on how they are used; with slotted cleats and cycling shoes they are fine, a little less comfortable when used with soft soled shoes.
About the tester
Age: 44 Height: 6\' 1\" Weight: 155 lbs
I usually ride: Litespeed Icon My best bike is: as above
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: road racing, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Track Cycling