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Is Four Sided Entry Better Than Two?

  • Nov 5, 2009
Pros: Easy entry, light, durable, positive click-in response.

Cons: Picky cleat positioning, light grinding sound on steep climbs.

The Bottom Line:

An easy to use stainless steel pedal system that is on par with the best with a reasonable price.  Recommended for beginner to expert users. 

History: Been using Speedplay Frogs on my mountain bikes for the last fourteen years and recently they started to fail because on of the pedals could no longer hold the cleat and unintentionally pop out during the worst times. It was time to look for a new set of pedals for the mountain bike. Decided to give the Crank Brothers SL all stainless steel pedals a try. My review is based on two months of daily use patrolling my local Regional Park as a Bike Patrol officer.

On Trail Use: The first thing I noticed that the cleats used are much smaller and lighter than the ones used on the Speedplay Frogs I had. Positioning the cleats on the Crank Brothers are more critical than the Frogs. But once you have them in the correct position, clipping in is just as natural as any other clipless pedal systems that I have used. There is a very positive click-in sound once the cleat and pedal are engaged. Even more so that the Frogs. Very reassuring.

The first thing I noticed that I had to get used to is that the Egg Beater SL can disengage outwardly and inwardly which means unlike most other pedals which have an inward stop, these don't which gives your feet and knees more range of motion (6 degrees of float) to save your knees and disengage quickly and more safely during a fall. But at the same time, I felt that I didn't feel as "one" with the bike but my riding time up the same trail I have used for years was shaved by one minute.

During the technical portions of the trail, even without a platform like most pedals, the Egg Beater SLs didn't pose a problem for me. The spindle with its four still served enough of a platform when I was unclipped for those technical descents. On some of the grinding climbs, you will notice that the pedals do emit a metal-to-metal grinding sound that is faint but noticeable. But after two months of hard use, I do not see any visible signs of wear at the contact points.

Unlike the Frogs, using lubricants on the cleats or pedal does not aid in clipping ease. If I had to rate the entry ease vs. the Frogs, I would say the Frogs are probably easier due to the reduced entry force needed to clip in but finding and clipping into the Egg Beater SL is faster which is a good thing when you are at a stop light. As expected, being all stainless steel, you do not have to worry about rust. Bearing are smooth and Crank Brothers does sell a rebuild kit for their pedals when you need them. One thing I was worried about was the durability of the cleat since it is made of brass, a soft metal. So far, no problem and Crank Brothers rates them for 500 hours of use which is actually longer than the Frog cleats I have used. A unique feature of their cleat is the ability to have either 15 or 20 degrees of release depending which cleat that are marked are installed on the right shoe. Crank Brothers suggests using the 15 degrees of release to start which is what I use.

Maintenance on these pedals is relatively easy but still not as easy as the Frogs because the Frogs has is a small screw covering an injector port to push the old grease out which the Egg Beaters SL does not. You have to unscrew the composite endcap with a flathead screwdriver to get at the bearings of the Egg Beater SLs and regrease. One thing I do like on the Egg Beater SL is that you use an 8 mm Allen wrench to install or remove the pedal. No special pedal wrench needed like most pedals. Crank Brothers does include shims, if needed, for additional clearance for your shoes. They even sell special road cleats for these pedals so that you can use them on your road bike.

Build quality seems to be first-rate. There is no slop, creaking or bearing issues at this time other than the metal-to-metal grinding I mentioned earlier. So far, the pedals seem to be taking the punishment in stride. I am hoping that these pedals can even come close to the longevity I received with my Frogs. In terms of weight, the Egg Beater SLs are advertised at 266 grams. My Pelouze digital scale read 266 grams exactly. How's that for truth in advertising! To compare, the Frogs weigh 250 grams but when you include their associated cleats, the Egg Beaters are actually 10 grams lighter as a system over the Frogs.

Warranty: 2 years from date of purchase.

Price Paid: $90 which is less expensive than most competitor's stainless steel clipless pedal systems.

Features: Included are shims for different shoe clearances. 15 and 20 degree release selection on cleats. Rebuild kits for $15 and special road cleats for road shoes.

Manufacturer's Web Site: http://www.crankbrothers.com/eggbeater_sl.php

Conclusions: Overall, I have been very pleased using these pedals the last couple of months. I originally had some apprehensions due to the lack of a internal stop preventing me from releasing inwardly but now realize having this capability is an asset during a panic fall. Attention to detail, durability is on par with some of the best. Positive click sound upon entry and no unintented releases. A very good alternative to other clipless systems out there. Recommended.
Now after almost a year and half of use and over 800 hours of mountain biking time, which include mud, rain, and severe dusty conditions, the cleats are starting to show signs of wear.  I now have one cleat popping out unintentionally from time to time. Not bad at all since the cleats are rated for 500 hours of use.  I definitely got my money's worth out of them.  The pedals are still almost maintenance-free and only had to be regreased once so far. Still would highly recommend these pedals to anyone.    


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Member Since: Oct 5, 2010
Last Login: Apr 27, 2012 01:26 PM UTC
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About this product


The Crank Brothers Egg Beater SL Pedals '06 are constructed of forged 420 stainless steel spindle, stainless steel body and wings, 300 series stainless steel spring, and an aluminum black anodized end cap. The Egg Beater Sl Pedals come complete with cleats and hardware.
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