We’ve been itching to get our hands on, er, feet in these since we saw them at Eurobike last year.
Doing away with heavy metal springs and other such archaic mechanics the whole cleat retention system is replaced by a simple single leaf of carbon that you would hope made the pedal lighter, smaller and pretty dang cool. The reality is a bit different, these I-Clic Carbons are actually slightly heavier than the older RXS Carbons and a similar size. They are cooler though, because they're more carbony.
Pedals - 234g
Cleats and hardware - 78g
The Carbon I-Clics come with a carbon body, hollow steel axle, the Time patent carbon blade 'spring', an aluminium arch axle and carbon blade support. The top of the range version comes with a Titanium axle giving you 56g less weight for 100 more pounds, with less expensive models having lower rent steel axles and a flexible composite blade instead of a carbon one.
The cleats are similar in shape to the old RXS models but gone is the large lump of brass that gave Time cleats their reassuring clunk-click and their impressive longevity, to be replaced by an integrated composite lunk. This makes the cleats a pleasant 20g lighter a pair (without fixing bolts) but we'll have to see about the durability, that trademark Time nugget of brass will be a tough act to follow. The pontoons out the back remain to make walking across an Italianate marble floor carrying a tray of expressos and pastries a less daunting challenge.
All of the familiar and loved Time bio-dynamic numbers are still there; the foot to the centre of the pedal distance of 7.7mm is the closest of any pedal system, making for a more efficient pedal stroke, so they say, swapping the cleats between left and right feet alters the Q-Factor by just over 2.5mm per shoe. The lateral float of 2.5mm and the +/- 5º of angular float that has made them so popular with those of a certain knee is retained, and they keep the same 15º release angle while the S.E.T. (Sensor Elasticity Tuner) has three settings to alter the feel of the float.
But the big news is the ease of clipping-in. Time say in their blurb that the I-CLIC is the first pedal with pre-opening automatic engagement, "auto step-in" engagement is instantaneous, intuitive, without friction and effortless, in simple terms that means the cleat doesn't have to work so hard against the spring to clip-in, the key being a 'trigger' mechanism that holds the rear latch mostly open after you've unclipped, making clipping back in a doddle with what Time say is the lowest entry effort of any mechanical pedal system currently on the market. Brief up-and-down-the-road clicking in and out of the pedals whilst being given funny looks by the neighbours backs this up.
They are ridiculously easy to clip into, it feels like you just have to rest your foot on the pedal and the cleat snaps into place, still with a decent click so you know you're in, you don't even have to concentrate on feeding the toe of the cleat in first. And yet the release is still tenacious with a solid exit clunk.
If you're one of those people that's always having sweary trouble clipping into your pedals at junctions and traffic-lights these could be the pedal for you. We'll crack on further than up and down the road, pound some miles on them and get back to you.
£149.99 for more info check out www.chickencycles.co.uk