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Xpedo's Thrust pedals may have a mildly comic name but these new Look Kéo-compatible pedals are superlight, they run smooth, and the price is pretty good too which means they are definitely worth taking seriously.
If you’ve never heard of Xpedo, don’t worry: it’s the high-end wing of Taiwanese manufacturer Wellgo, the biggest pedals manufacturer in the world. They make zillions of pedals every year and all the ones we’ve used have put in a sound performance.
The Thrust range covers several different models starting with the aluminium-bodied, cromo-axled Thrust A (£44.99). Xpedo have increased the size of the platform on the more expensive models, including the XRF08CT (they really need to come up with a catchier name (although the Thrust bit is fairly memorable - ed)), by 12% for 2011. Look did the same when they began including Kéo 2 pedals alongside their standard Kéo designs about a year ago. At its widest point, the Xpedo platform is 60mm across (compared to 52mm previously), while Kéo 2 pedals are 57mm.
The pedal body is made from injected carbon with a stainless steel plate adding durability across the central section, as you’ll find on many brands. The cleat retention mechanism – the bit at the back that pivots and snaps around your cleat – works on coil springs in the time-honoured way, and a 3mm Allen bolt allows you to adjust the tension. You get a little gauge on each pedal that makes setting them equally a cinch.
The axle is titanium, although a version with a cromo axle (XRF08CC) is considerably cheaper (£99.99), and it spins on just one cartridge bearing. I was a little worried about that, to be honest. In my experience, pedals with two bearings, like Look’s Kéo 2 Max Carbon (£99.99), tend to last longer. These are still spinning smooth after several weeks, a few hundred miles and numerous soakings – but you’d expect that. Long-term durability has yet to be proven but so far, so good. We’ll keep you updated if that alters.
When the time does come to get at the bearings, it’s a simple job with an Allen key and a socket spanner – you don’t need a special tool. And while we’re on the subject of workshop stuff, you’ll need a 15mm spanner to fit these to your cranks. Despite what the instruction sheet says, you can’t use an Allen key.
Our pedals weighed in at just 184g the pair. That’s not quite as light as the 170g Xpedo claim on the box, but it’s still incredibly light. To give it some context, our top-end Look Kéo Blades (titanium axle, £274.99) hit the scales at 190g. And you get two sets of cleats too: one lot that are fixed, and one with 6° of float. Replacements cost £7.99. I’ve been using the pedals and cleats interchangeably with Look Kéos and everything has behaved fine – although I'd generally prefer to use like with like.
Speaking of which, out on the road these provide you with a whole lot of stability. That wide pedal body gives you a solid platform underneath your foot for putting down the power, with no rocking from side to side. The mechanism hangs on to your cleat securely, and if you wind up the tension there’s virtually no chance of your foot disconnecting unexpectedly, even if you’re sprinting. We had no trouble on that score.
And that’s about all you can ask of clipless pedals. They’re light, they spin smoothly, they hold your cleat firmly when you want, and release it when you want. That stainless steel plate across the middle means they’re standing up to everyday use just fine too.
All-round, these are solid pedals. An extra bearing or two would probably improve long-term performance – which is presumably why Xpedo include three in most of their Thrust models – but if light weight is what you're after, these are hard to beat.
Ultra-light Kéo-compatible pedals and, considering the materials used, the price is okay too. We'd prefer another bearing in there, though
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Make and model: Xpedo Thrust XRF08CT pedals
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?
Xpedo say, "Designed to meet the high-performance needs of road racers around the world, Thrust was introduced to satisfy the most demanding riders.
"The new Thrust has increased the stepping surface to provide more comfort."
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
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: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.