Review: RaceFace Chester Flat Pedal
Since my very first intro into cycling I have avoided the non-rentention side of pedals. What started with a fixed gear bike and having cages, to progressing into SPD’s, I just thought to myself, “I need power and I can only get that by being clipped in”. Boy was I wrong.
Now, I’m reviewing these pedals as a review not only of the pedals but as a review of riding on flat pedals. Let me start with this. Why haven’t I been riding with flats! I get to wear what ever shoe I want without slipping around a beer soaked floor in a bar in some cleat!
I decided to grab the Chesters after fellow Toecutter, Sean, led me to them. Actually finding them was a different story. These things are sold out everywhere. Thank God I was able to find a purple set, they at least match my bike! These pedals come in an array of colors to suit your OCD needs (come on, we all know you love to dress the bike up in all the latest fashions). Weighing in at 340g they are pretty lightweight but I have held lighter pedals that are made from metals I’m sure air crafts are made from. The body is made from a Nylon composite, they are “plastic” but you wouldn’t guess that because they are sturdy and more than likely unbreakable. I have barely made a scratch or taken much of a cut in the body. All that plastic is formed onto a Chromoly steel axle leading to a 100% serviceable and sealed bearing and bushing system. They are a wide platform and I have found them perfect with my rather large size 12.5 to 13 shoe size. Moving onto the grip, there are 8 per side replaceable, steel pins. The are on the long side which I actually don’t mind. When stepping on them I often find myself pretty planted with the pins digging into the rubber of my shoes. If I miss place my foot into my riding position I do have some trouble trying to readjust because these things are “sticky”!
Going into a bit of discovering myself on flats and addressing riding on these pins. I couldn’t believe how secure I feel riding on these. I switched out from SPD’s on my Surly Straggler, which is my daily commuter, and installed these and found that I don’t miss clipping in at all anymore. I feel that I get almost the same pull being “stuck” on the pins that I do from riding clipless, thus resulting in not feeling any loss of power. Also, on a side note, I was beginning to feel a lot of knee pain from years of riding clipless and from my history on fixed gears but riding on these flats has almost eliminated my pain. Not to say THESE flat pedals were the solution but riding flats in general has definitely saved me from a future of knee replacements. If this sounds like you, give some flats a try. It may help.
These pedals retail for in the 45 to 50 dollar range so it won’t break the bank to get into the mountain bike flat pedal game and give them a test ride. I definitely will be removing the SPD’s from my El Mariachi and put on another set of Chesters.