The question of should you buy the Time Cyclo pedals comes down to what are you looking to do. If you are riding on the road you'll be better served, in most cases, by a road pedal. Alternatively, if you are riding any kind of technical off-road a single sided pedal can be a challenge. That leaves a pretty narrow use case where you need the performance of a road pedal, the walkability of a 2-bolt shoe, but also won't be clipping out often. If that describes your needs the Time Cyclo pedals are a good choice.
Lightweight at this price point
Pre-opened pedal makes step in easy
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It seems like as long as clipless pedals have been a thing there's been people looking for walkable road pedals. Road pedal systems range from almost completely unwalkable-in to easy enough to move around the cafe as long as you take extreme care. None of them are what I'd call easy to walk in.
In the past that meant if performance was the most important thing, you'd choose road pedals. Everyone else would choose a 2-bolt mountain bike system. This arrangement worked fine until gravel racing became a significant part of the market.
Gravel racing changed the equation. Many gravel races spend a majority of the ride feeling like a road race but interject small sections where carrying a bike is necessary. Suddenly there was a need for all out performance while still retaining walkability. Of course, this was a benefit to a much larger market than just gravel racers but it helped create a market space. Time Cyclo pedal system fits perfectly into this newly created space.
When you look at the Time Cyclo it looks like a road pedal. It has the same wide platform and single sided design that is common in the road pedal market. The pedal body of the Cyclo 2 is a composite material. It's a design that would look completely alien in the context of a typical off-road pedal but hardly stands out in the road pedal market. Along the same lines, more expensive versions of the Cyclo system offer a lighter carbon bodied pedal.
Aside from the carbon pedal body the three versions of the Time Cyclo pedals, the Cyclo 10, Cyclo 6, and the Cyclo 2 I tested have a lot of similarities. There's also the same hollow steel axle paired with steel bearings and the same hex bolt tightening. The more expensive versions gain a metal strike plate and adjustable tensioning as well as a lighter weight. The Cyclo 2 weighs in at a claimed weight of 147 grams per pedal which is just a bit heavier than the top level Cyclo 10 at 128 grams.
The main differentiator between a road and pedal and an off-road pedal is the 3-bolt or 2-bolt cleat interface. The unique feature of the Time Cyclo system is the use of a 2-bolt cleat and in this case, Time has repurposed the ATAC cleat. Brass ATAC 13 cleats come with the Cyclo 2 pedals and make for easy in and out while fitting 2-bolt shoes with a recessed cleat design. This is what makes the Cyclo system special.
The very first thing I noticed about the Time Cyclo 2 pedals was not the pedals themselves. My gravel focused shoes are not nearly as stiff as my road shoes and the design of the Cyclo pedals highlights the shoes. This follows the challenge that most people are going to run into with a pedal like this. What are you trying to do and is it really best served by a single sided road pedal paired to a mountain bike shoe?
I chose a mixed surface ride around 100 miles to test the Cyclo 2 out. About 60 miles of the ride is a paved road ride with roughly 30 miles of gravel roads and a few miles of rough logging roads. For the road ride section, I would have been better served with a road shoe and by extension, a road pedal. The logging road section I would have been better served by a double-sided pedal that was easier to step into without looking. The thirty miles of gravel road riding is where the Cyclo system shined.
The Time Cyclo pedals are a good value no matter which version you choose. The most expensive Cyclo 10 (£119.99/$119.99) is only £60/$60 more than the low end Cyclo 2 priced at £59.99/$59.99. For most people the Cyclo 10 probably makes the most sense even if the performance upgrades are somewhat minimal.
Looking at the specs alone I'd likely recommend the Cyclo 2. A slightly lighter weight pedal isn't going to be a big consideration in the market the Cyclo falls into. For better or worse though Time has done a good job using a slippery slope pricing method. The Cyclo 2 doesn't have adjustable tension. To get adjustable tension you'd have to choose the £110/$110 Cyclo 6. Once you've gotten to the Cyclo 6 the 10 is only an extra £20/$20. Might as well get it.
Whichever model you choose, the Time Cyclo Pedals represent a good price for a quality pedal.
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