Preview: Race Face Atlas Pedal

Preview: Race Face Atlas Pedal | $180
By Vernon Felton

I'm rough on pedals. Whether that's because my terrain is unforgiving or because I have unforgivably crappy form is open to debate, but the long and short of it is this: I'm always looking to replace worn out, banged up flats.

While the Atlas isn't a brand spanking new model, I'm just getting out on this set now. So, far, I have to admit that I'm impressed. Race Face has come out of the gates with a pedal that more than holds its own in a field that's lousy with options.

The Atlas features a wide, thin (14.5 millimeters at their thickest), aluminum chassis with just the right amount of concavity to it. Each side sprouts 10 traction pins that offer good grip without being terrifyingly long and sharp. It's a Goldilocks kind of pin profile.

The pedal shape is reminiscent of a Spank Spike, though the Race Face platform feels a bit wider and more secure. While the Atlas is not the absolute widest pedal on the market, it strikes a solid middle ground when it comes to providing your foot with real estate to perch on.

As for axles, you're getting burly chromoly ones here. Affixing the pedal to your crank requires an 8-millimeter hex key and pedal washers. If you're running SRAM cranks, you'll definitely need to run those washers or else the pedals will bottom out on the crank arms. With washers installed, these things roll pretty smooth--the four, sealed cartridge bearing per pedal helps out here. Think burly. And yet, despite the burl, the Atlas pedals are pretty light: 355 grams, to be precise. Nice.

So there you have it: wide, light, grippy and, by all appearances, pretty damn robust. How will these hold up over the long run? I'll come back with a post once I get respectable miles on this pair.