By Vernon Felton
Blackspire Sub4 Pedals
Blackspire debuted a new pedal at Interbike: the all-mountain-loving Sub4 that you see here. I've just begun giving these things a whirl, but thought I'd give you my first impressions after a week of bashing about here at the Bible of Bike Tests, in Sedona.
First the spec crud: as the name implies, the Sub4 is built beefy; Le brick shithouse is the French term, if I'm not mistaken. It's part and parcel of the North Shore-based company's mission to build bullet-proof parts right there on Canadian soil. To that end the pedal body is CNC'd from custom extruded 6061 T-6 aluminum. Despite the burly feel of the pedals, they cut a relatively svelte profile. The 17-millimeter thick platform ain't skinny by today's standards, but it's still fairly low-profile. I'm not striking too many rocks out here and I'm peeling these things on and off all manner of bikes during this orgy of bike testing on trails that are basically one loose rock followed by one angry cactus followed by one boulder after another.
The Sub4s spin on nickel-plated, forged chromoly spindles and a sealed bearing/KY bushing combo. Nothing wimpy here. Weight, at 400 grams, is (as you'd expect) heavier than what you'll experience with the current crop of supermodel flats, but then, read the job description again: crush, dominate and destroy. Enough said.
Ten very tall and skinny pins sprout from each side of the Sub4; as a result grip is absolutely unreal with these puppies. In fact, I'm running FiveTens and I’m going to pull a couple pins in the near future as the marriage of meat hooks and tacky rubber is a bit too sticky for me. Too much traction…I never thought I'd ever utter those words, but yeah, I'm going to give that a go…or else I can add the included washers, which will reduce the pin height. If none of the dogs in our house have eaten the washers, I'll give that a go.
What else is there to say? The things are pretty, in that special way that only a tank or a bulldog can be pretty. The bodies are polished, anodized and laser etched, so they won't wind up looking shite within weeks of you givin' er on them. Colors include black, red, blue, green, light green, purple, pink, gold, burnt orange and grey. Some of you care about that sort of thing. I'm not judging. Oh, wait…no, I'm totally judging.
Stay tuned for a long-term test.