BTwin Automatic Touring pedals are ideal for clipless virgins, or indeed seasoned types who want to saunter through stately homes, cafés and negotiate other social settings with decorum. However, those yet to perfect the graceful art of track-standing might find their double sided mountain bike cousins a better choice in stop-start traffic.
Dead ringers for now-discontinued single-sided Shimano pedals and bearing an uncanny similarity to Wellgo RC713s, these are a low profile, single sided design blessed with fit 'n' forget sealed bearings and similarly reliable chromoly axles. Both should resist harsh winters and powerfully built riders and unobtrusively run into the ground whereupon they can become bin fodder or cheaply rebuilt depending on your persuasion.
Painted bodies are often employed to fend off salty, slushy roads and hide poor casting, so I was pleased to discover these were neatly executed, highly polished affairs that will retain their lustre with periodic licks of hard paste car wax, furniture polish or indeed, Autosol for those who can't be bothered.
However, being a softer grade, their undersides showed obvious signs of cleat abrasion within three thirty-mile outings. Cleats are supplied but two-bolt cleats from Shimano and VP behaved impeccably too. Release tension adjusts counter/clockwise via those familiar 3mm Allen screws which; given their proximity to filth, benefit from fortnightly squirts of heavy duty PTFE spray.
Some clipless pedals grab the cleats more firmly than others so I habitually slacken one 80% and tweak mid ride. Run at their slackest and with part worn cleats, the BTwin's grasp of my shoes felt decidedly remote, though the supplied cleats behaved better, especially performing split-second dab-downs.
Touring wasn't something that immediately sprung to mind given their small surface area but a succession of seventy mile runs wearing stiff soled sport-touring shoes has proved them remarkably supportive and devoid of painful hotspots.
These characteristics were similarly welcomed on my cross inspired fixer. Even with sensibly lofty bottom bracket, things can turn a little tricky with 175mm cranks when cornering hard but grounding's been a moot point and those sturdy internals took everything I could muster when powering along the climbs.
Unfortunately, given the bargain price, Decathlon have discontinued these pedals. You might still find them in individual stores, but if the design takes your fancy, you should check out the aforementioned Wellgo equivalent.
Good single-sided SPD-style pedals that promise durability
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Make and model: BTwin Automatic Touring Pedals - Shimano compatible
Size tested: 14.2mm
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, while hardly exotic, these are delightful single-sided pedals with solid build and nice detailing. Softer alloy bodies have marked slightly faster than premium brands but polish nicely and will fare better than painted models several seasons hence.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Solid build,excellent support and ground clearance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing particularly, although alloy bodies softer than some.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
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?
Despite the Touring moniker,BTwin Automatic Touring pedals are essentially clones of Shimano's single-sided SPDs of the 90s like the Ultegra PD-6500s. They enable effortless walking sans bike without compromising pedalling efficiency. Great choices for training, club riding, Audax and road biased fast touring.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
SPD patterns, polished aluminium alloy bodies, sealed bearings, chromoly axles. Seem genuinely compatible with standard SPD cleats-genuine and pattern brands too.
Age: 40 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)