Words: Ryan Walsch

Photos: Nick Waygood

Time is the most recent purchase by SRAM bringing the prestigious French Cycling brand under the SRAM suite. Releasing their first mountain bike pedal in 1993, Time has a long history making pedals and high end frames all in their own factory near Lyon, France.

Time’s ATAC technology allows riders to step directly into allowing a more natural foot movement both in and out of the pedal, a self clearing design that works in mud with ease as the brass cleat pushes the debris through the system.

After breaking multiple sets of DH pedals, I was recommended the Time DH4 ATAC pedal. I have never broken, adjusted or needed to service a bearing since thus making it my go too. Building on what the DH4 already does, the Speciale 12 is an Enduro or Downhill pedal with huge weight savings over the DH4 and a profile that is more likely to glance off a rock than smash the rock to smithereens.

What’s in the Box

The Speciale 12 uses top tier 6106-T6 grade aluminum body boasting a 20% increase in durability compared to other grades of aluminium with a micro adjustment for the spring tension. The pedals weigh 202g each, and there are 20 grip screws included, plus the brass cleats with 13/17 degree float options.

On the Trail

I’ve been back riding flats for a few months so I wasn’t super keen to put clips back on, but was relieved it was for Time pedals. The ATAC system is very easy to clip in and out of, you can stamp down onto the pedal rather than having to line up the front of the cleat then driving the rear of the cleat down into a spring loaded jaw. 

The action of “stepping into” the pedal pushes debris through and away from the spring mechanism, this self clearing even large chucks of rock or wood that I've had caught in there from long stints of bike Portage.

Getting out of the ATAC pedal is smooth a intuitive with the brass cleat that can be set at 13 or 17 degree release angle. Brass is a self lubricating metal which presses into and ejects out of the spring assembly with ease. Instead of loading up a spring loaded jaw, simply twisting your foot to the angle of release will pop the cleat out. There is room for the cleat to slide a full 5mm within the mechanism, allowing your foot to move around pretty freely while staying securely clipped in.

The mechanism feels secure with no slop, the spring tension can now be adjusted via a small grub screw on either platform side and the grip pin height can be adjusted to set to contact the shoe sole should your shoes' profile vary. 

The wide pedal body provides excellent drive through the foot when cornering and pumping, meaning the Speciale 12 feels like a large platform under the foot rather than a small cleat. The ability to move your feet around on the pedal within the float and lateral range is welcomed, only releasing you when you want to.

Compared to my DH4s they are 60g per pedal lighter, and with better clearance and adjustability. In the entire test, or entire time I have used Time Pedals I have never needed to adjust them, bearings, springs, nothing. While the new Speciale does have an spring tension adjustment, it’s a ticked box which may work well for someone who maybe likes the tight feel coming across from another pedal brand. From my experience, if the engagement feels a little looser than you remember, replace the cleats as its not the springs.

OUR TAKE

If you are looking for a quality alternative to the humble clip pedal, tired of rebuilding bearings and replacing pedals or just have bad knees and want something easier to use, I can highly recommend the Time Speciale or any Time ATAC pedal for that matter.

RRP: $414
FROM: PSIcycling.com.au

Hits:

  • Lower weight, high strength
  • Excellent platform size
  • Spring tension options
  • Options for float

Misses:

  • Premium pricing
  • Cleats wear faster than steel