The Riding Gravel Pedal Round-Up: Time Pedals

Editor’s Note: Grannygear returns with his first pedals in the Round-Up series from Time. Please check out his introduction to this series by clicking HERE.

The Riding Gravel Pedal Round-Up: Time Pedals- by Grannygear

Time: The past champs or today’s winning combo?

The list reads like a who’s who of a generation of pro riders: Lemond. Longo. Indurain. Fignon. All are past winners who competed using Time road pedals. Truly, in that era, that era being the late 80s and well into the 90s, Time carved out a big chunk of the road clipless pedal market where Look used to be the king. But that was then and this…well this is now. Now there are others that have come along and taken the KOM. More on the road side of things later.

A list of Pro road win victories taken using Time pedals

Let’s look at another point in history when Time released the ATAC pedal for off road use. Unique with its twin bars that allow for lateral float, the arrangement looked like a mud shedding dream. The early models gained a loyal following and while they were heavy and kind of big, they were darn near impossible to wear out. Folks scour eBay looking for the older models to cache away for a future era when only cockroaches and nasty looking ravens still live in the wastelands we will cycle through.But since Time still sells new ATACS, why do that? Why eBay scrounge? I don’t look though the classifieds for original SPDs. I simply buy new ones that are just as good as the old versions. Well, it seems like there was a period when the quality slipped a bit and ATAC pedals were not the brick-tough units they once were. Forum threads tell of the woes and travails of newer ATAC pedals failing all too often. But recently a new owner took over the manufacturing of Time products and they are aware of the quality control issues from recent years. A new sheriff is in town and the latest models, one of which I have to test, is an example of this return to a better mousetrap.

Time XC-8 Carbon pedals

The XC8 Carbon sits 2nd from the top of the heap in ATAC pedals, that chi-chi model being the XC12 Carbon. According to the Time pedal website, A Ti spindle on the XC12 drops around 40g over the XC8 Carbon. The XC8 Carbon uses a hollow steel spindle and I weighed them at 292g a pair and the cleats at 44g a set. 

The Time XC8 in the hand

It is a smallish size with no real ‘cage’ around it so unless you are clipped in, there will be little to stand on and in that way is like an XT level SPD pedal. The system of engagement is unique. While the SPD-ish metal cleat looks familiar (it will mount to any two bolt SPD type shoe), the pedals twin metal bars and visible springs are not what I am used to seeing. As I said before, they look like mud will easily pass through and around the twin bar setup so we shall see.

What I am curious to experience is the ability for the cleat to move laterally in the pedal, giving me some side to side float besides the normal rotational float like in an SPD pedal. I am not sure if I will like this. Time will tell. I will be mounting these on my Lynskey Gravel bike and hitting the trails. Besides 2.5° of lateral (side to side) float, the cleats can be run two ways allowing you to increase the rotation before release. If you call one cleat ‘A’ and one ‘B’, running the A cleat on the right shoe will give you 13 degrees of movement (twist) before your shoe releases. But if you run cleat A on the left shoe, the amount of twist out required to release increases. The only thing I can think of why you would want that is if you are really using a lot of ‘ankle english‘ and are releasing when you do not want to. The 17 degree setting would give you more room for foot twist before you hit that un-click moment. The flip side of course is that it takes more foot twist to get out when you want to so you need to get tuned into that.

The Time X-Presso road pedals

On the road side, I also was sent a couple of the road pedals. I will be trying these out as well, and although they would not be what I would use for a gravel bike…mostly due to the cleat…horrible to walk in…many of you also ride road bikes and so let’s see what they have here, shall we? (Editor’s Note: It has been observed by the Editor that more and more people are actually using road specific pedals in gravel races despite the walk-ability issues.)

The X-Presso pedals use the “iclic” system where the pedal stays in the ‘open’ position after you release the cleat (take your foot out like at a rest stop). Then when you click in, there is no spring tension to overcome to gain entry. The carbon fiber spring has three settings for the release tension, the top plate of the pedal is stainless, and the steel axle is hollow. It’s a good looking pedal and very light. I weighed them at 220g a pair and 44g for the cleat.

Stay tuned as Grannygear gets other pedals and reports back on these Time pedals in upcoming articles in the Riding Gravel Pedal Round-Up series.

Note: The Time pedals were sent to Grannygear for test and review on at no charge. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.


About The Author: Grannygear hails from SoCal and spent most of his cycling days as a mountain biker from the formative years of mountain biking all the way up to the present day. His day job is in the tech sector, but he has spent time writing about off road 4X4’s, 29″ mountain bikes, and cycling in general. Grannygear and Guitar Ted have worked off and on together since 2009 after a chance meeting at Interbike. With gravel cycling on the rise, Grannygear has been exploring how this genre’ works in SoCal and now does guest pieces for in his spare time.



Discuss and share your questions or thoughts about gravel bikes, gear, events and anything else on the Riding Gravel Forum

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Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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1 thought on “The Riding Gravel Pedal Round-Up: Time Pedals

  1. I’ve been using Time ATAC pedals for 20+ years for MTB and CX. Fantastic float and mud clearance, even when caked on your show an inch thick. Crank Bros. are probably the only thing better for shedding mud, but can have their own durability issues. Enjoy!

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