TIME Cyclo 6 Pedals: Getting Rolling

TIME Cyclo 6 Pedals: Getting Rolling – by Guitar Ted

EDITOR’S NOTE: As of June, 2020, we have learned that TIME as a company has been sold by its former owner, Rosignol, to a new owner. The company, an e-bike start-up called WhaTTfornow, is a French based e-bike brand. They have committed to keeping the TIME brand alive, but at this point, we have no word on the new Cyclo range of pedals and whether or not they will ever be released to market. This story will be updated when we get more information.

For the time being, we are leaving this review up until we learn the fate of the Cyclo pedals.

Recently in “Gravel Grinder Newswe featured a story about a new pedal designed for gravel riders. This pedal range is called “Cyclo” and comes from long time pedal manufacturer, TIME.

TIME Cyclo 6 gravel pedals
The TIME Cyclo 6 pedal falls right in the middle of the Cyclo range.

What It Is: TIME felt the Cyclo range of pedals would give riders a better and more secure platform for pedaling on rough gravel and dirt roads but also lend a better platform for power and comfort for the rider coming from a road background. In this way the Cyclo range can be seen as a sort of hybrid pedal- with elements of mountain and road pedals. Here is what TIME says about the Cyclo range on an information page sent out with the test pedals:

What the gravel market has been asking for: road pedal performance with mountain pedal functionality. Cyclo pedals are road pedals built around a mountain cleat allowing the use of a mountain bike shoe while maintaining a road performance. A secure connection with tight coupling and tension adjustments ensures great power transfer, support, and performance. Using our ATAC mountain bike clamping mechanism and cleat, the Cyclo pedal is perfect for gravel and adventure rides. Our well known easy entry system and self-cleaning design will allow this pedal to consistently perform in adverse conditions.

Detail of the TIME Cyclo 6 pedal
The prototype pedals sent out have a longer threaded axle section than what production pedals will have.

The Cyclo range is made up of three models: The Cyclo 10, Cyclo 6, and Cyclo 2. Riding Gravel was sent the middle of the range Cyclo 6 which has a glass fiber body as opposed to the 10’s lighter carbon fiber body, and a solid steel axle instead of the 10’s hollow one. All other features remain the same. It is important for us to note that the pedals Riding Gravel received are prototypes and not 100% indicative of what the actual TIME Cyclo 6 production pedals will bring to market. Our prototypes differ in that the pedals were assembled by TIME’s engineering team, not on the production line. This particular pair of pedals also has a bit longer threaded axle section than production and the seals are very precise and tight so that free rotation of the pedals is affected. Production models will spin freely and have a bit shorter threaded interface than what we show here. All other parts which make these pedals up do represent what the rider will get.

Detail of the Cyclo 6 pedal showing the retention adjustment screw.
The green arrow points out the retention adjustment screw.

The Cyclo 6 also features TIME’s iClic trigger which partially opens the cleat retention mechanism when unclipped. This makes entry into the pedal much easier since you do not have to work against full spring retention force when trying to clip in. A tension adjustment screw is located on the back end of the pedal to allow a rider to make adjustments to the spring retention as well. The open loop at the front of the pedal serves as a “kick” to level up the pedal for entry. It serves no other structural or retention duties.

TIME claims that the Cyclo 6 pedals should weigh in at 134 grams in production form. (This is for each pedal. Apparently, this is how the French do weights on pedals) The prototypes sent to us weighed in at 258 grams for the pair (NOTE- they are not production pedals). The cleats weighed 45 grams. MSRP is $110.00 USD.

Close up of a right side TIME Cyclo 6 pedal
The right side TIME Cyclo 6 pedal after a few gravel rides.

First Impressions: The TIME pedals are an alien concept to me, as I have been a straight-up Shimano SPD pedal user for…..a long time! Going back into the ’90’s, for sure, and I have not deviated from that path since. Not as far as clipless pedals are concerned. Even my old, old road pedals were two bolt SPD Shimano pedals. So, the TIME Cyclo pedals presented me with my first experience with a pedal platform outside the norm.

The idea here, as far as I was concerned going in, was to gain some sort of pedal stability and a better feel for power transfer over my SPD pedals. The loss of a two-sided entry meant that I may have a steep learning curve, and with no experience outside of the familiar, this Cyclo 6 pedal might be a trial for me. In fact, initially it was. Unbeknownst to me, I received incorrect cleats to start out with, which resulted in an immediate tipping over and subsequent issues. However; once I learned the cleats weren’t right I waited for the correct ones, (which were promptly sent out) and then my experience was completely different.

Once I had the correct cleats, entry and exit were really not that big of a deal. Actually, after about four hours in, I was clipping in without looking easily. Hey! This wasn’t so bad after-all! In fact, I could tell that the iClic system was so easy to engage it was silly. I kept checking to see if I was really clipped in, since it felt like almost no effort was necessary to clip in. (I suppose a higher retention setting might alter that? This will get tested.) Exiting the pedals felt no different than with my tried and true SPD’s. Easy-peasy.

A side view of the right Cyclo 6 pedal
The shiny metal insert is the platform which makes a big difference in pedal feel.

But what about the pedaling platform? Was it a more secure feeling pedal? Was I getting more power to the pedals than before? Hmm……. Some of that is going to be hard to verify, but my initial impressions are that yes- There is something to this road pedal idea.

I could feel that I was a bit more “connected” to the bike, if that makes any sense. You cannot roll your foot laterally without pressing the pedal platform whereas on an SPD pedal, there is some free movement there. The cleat had some float, so this felt similar to the SPD’s I was so used to, but in terms of control laterally, the Cyclo 6 was a more secure feeling pedal. Power transfer felt great. I would liken it to wearing very stiff carbon soled shoes, but I wasn’t. I was wearing some old 45NRTH Fasterkats, not a paragon of shoe sole stiffness by any means there.

Oh, and by the way, SPD cleats will in no way work with these pedals. I know….. (It was an accident! I forgot my Fasterkats and wore another shoe on a ride! Whoops!)

So Far: The TIME Cyclo 6 promises to marry elements of road pedaling platform efficiency and control with the walk-ability and convenience of a mountain biking shoe. This pedal, claimed to be what an adventure cyclist or gravel rider needs, works well and is easy to use. The iClic system is really nice. The platform feel is a more secure, more connected experience for me. Will this pedal hold up to hours and hours of gritty gravel travel? How about seeing what changing the spring retention does to the exit/entry of the Cyclo 6? These questions and more in my next update coming in a few weeks.

Until then you can see more about the TIME Cyclo 6 on their webpage here: https://time-sport.us/collections/gravel-bike-pedals/products/cyclo-6-gravel-pedal

Note: TIME sent over the Cyclo 6 pedals at no charge to Riding Gravel for test and review. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

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Guitar Ted

Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004, he 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 backroad events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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29 thoughts on “TIME Cyclo 6 Pedals: Getting Rolling

  1. Been riding Time road and mountain for 30 years, including the Atac, which is still my fave Mtn Bike pedal ever. Tried Speedplay’s, Crank Bros, you name it, but always go back to Time. If you like SPD’s, give Time a try. I’m curious to test these new gravel pedals.

  2. Already sold out at the Time website. A picture of the cleats would be helpful. So far Time isn’t selling extra cleats — at least not on their website — which would be limiting if you rotate among shoes (e.g. for warm, cool, or cold weather).

    1. @PStu- I am sorry, but I do not have a good image of the correct cleat to add to this story now. I will get one and post that on the “Checkpoint” post coming soon.

  3. Looking through their website and didn’t see a weight limit. Any mention of this in your conversations with Time? I usually hover around 200 lbs.

    1. Thanks for the clarification. They could have included some language along the line of “use your existing ATAC cleats” or something similar. They muddied it by including an empty link for a cleat matching the new pedal.

      1. @P Stu- The paragraph in Italics in the post above has this line “Using our ATAC mountain bike clamping mechanism and cleat,….”

        I thought that was fairly clear.

        1. @Dan – Sorry! I have no idea. Productions initially was delayed due to a manufacturing issue, then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, closing down many cycling manufacturing facilities. I suspect that ‘one-two’ punch knocked the release date way back.

          I haven’t heard anything more from my contact on this situation, but as the pedals are currently sitting on my work bench as a reminder to me, I hope to get a message off in the next day or so to inquire about the situation. Any further information I get that I can pass along will be shared here. Thanks!

  4. How do these compare to Shimano a600, which have a similarly wide platform and single-sided entry? The shimanos can be had for way less too.

    1. @Kirill- They don’t really have anywhere near the real-estate, from a platform standpoint, that the TIME Cyclo has. Plus, these Shimano pedals have not gotten the best track record when it comes to longevity. They are fairly popular with RAGBRAI riders and recreational cyclists, so I have seen them come through the shop where I work part time as a mechanic. The Shimano ES-600 looks a lot closer to the Cyclo and they have a much more robust construction. They are about the same price as the Cyclo 6 is.

  5. Another Time ATAC user here. I really like Time pedals and look forward to adding these to the stable when they become available. Since they use standard ATAC cleats I’m good to go with my current shoes.

    1. @Hefe- Not yet, anyway. They are still coming. A slight imperfection in initial productions has delayed their entry to the market, but they are still coming.

  6. Hey gt,

    I’m very interested in these pedals, as a long time Time pedal user on the road I have been looking for something easy to clip into and a bit more robust for gravel riding.

    I’m trying the Speedplay Syzr at the moment but these are heavy and I find it hard to find where the cleat is to clip in.

    Hoping these will be easier to clip into. One question re shoes is there any issues here in terms of what shoes may or may not work with this pedal in terms of clearance? I have a DMT DM3 mtb shore.

    Thanks Antz

    1. @Antz – Looks like there is plenty of room for the TIME cleat on those DMT DMS shoes. I checked them out online and I cannot see why the TIME cleat won’t work. It really isn’t much bigger than a SPD cleat for reference.

      I think with the iClic feature the Time pedals are really easy to get into. I have been having no issues once I got past the learning curve.

  7. I recently started using the Time ATAC XC12 pedals on my cross bike and they are great. The entry is easier than Crankbrothers eggbeaters, which is saying something, and there’s a very nice support feeling under the foot, which is not true for eggbeaters. If these new Cyclo pedals are even easier entry i’ll definitely get a pair.

  8. Probably due to the coronavirus, these got pushed back to year’s end release… Sad! If you look over on VeloNews though, there is now a (bad) review of these, which was a bit surprising. Author Ben Delaney claims they hang upside down all the time and he ultimately ditched them in frustration.

    1. @Talabardio – I wonder if, like me, Mr. Delaney got the pre-production media samples. Those were hand built by TIME’s engineers and did not come off the production line. They had a tendency to not hang correctly when not engaged with the shoe due to very tight tolerances- tighter than production spec.

      The ones I have do this, but I left it out of my impressions as it was clearly stated in our media kit that these would not act correctly when disengaged. Now- to be fair- I do not know what Mr. Delaney received from TIME, but unless he clearly stated this, as I have in this post, that these were pre-production samples or they weren’t, then that may be why he had troubles with that facet of the pedal’s performance. Following is the paragraph from above explaining this;

      ” It is important for us to note that the pedals Riding Gravel received are prototypes and not 100% indicative of what the actual TIME Cyclo 6 production pedals will bring to market. Our prototypes differ in that the pedals were assembled by TIME’s engineering team, not on the production line. This particular pair of pedals also has a bit longer threaded axle section than production and the seals are very precise and tight so that free rotation of the pedals is affected. Production models will spin freely and have a bit shorter threaded interface than what we show here. All other parts which make these pedals up do represent what the rider will get. “

  9. I’ve been riding these pedals for 10 days now and unfortunately I’m pretty disappointed. See a copy of my email below.

    Hi,
    I am a long time user of Time Atac XC pedals and have used almost every generation since the 90s. These days I just cycle gravel and have been using ATAC XC6s. After the initial reviews of the Cyclos last year I was delighted to see them finally available in the last few weeks and ordered a pair.

    I am using the 13/17degree cleats supplied, in the 13 degree position on Shimano XC7 shoes. Tension adjust is set to the lightest position.

    The positives; Great platform support, nice amount of float, light release action – when it works.

    I have two issues with them.

    The first; clipping while moving on rough ground.
    Numerous times the Iclic mechanism has “clicked” before the cleat is fully engaged as I rattle around trying to locate the cleat. Once this happens I find it impossible to clip in no matter how I try or how much downward force I place on the pedal. Trying to slightly rotate my foot to help clip in does not work either. I have to get off the bike, find a suitable piece of stone and push back the sprung bar to allow the Iclic spring to pop back up. Hardly ideal. Clipping in on smooth tarmac or from standing works fine but it seems to me that the Iclic mechanism needs a single smooth engagement and is not well suited to multiple attempts while my foot is bouncing off the pedal on a rough gravel descent.

    The second is not something I blame the pedal for as such but if I am experiencing it then its likely so are others. Somehow there is a position where my shoe clips in and will not release without extreme force and aggressive flicking outwards of the heel. A normal unclipping motion will not cause the cleat to release. Shimano shoes are not uncommon and my cleats are centred and straight. I feel clipped in and there is no indication that there is anything different until I try to unclip. Unclipping in this situation usually leaves the Iclic spring in the down position and I have to use the stone technique again. I am assuming that the cleat is not engaged properly with the pedal or the sole of the shoe is somehow interfering but I have tried to figure out what happens in this situation and cannot.

    I will probably give them another few spins to see how they go but at the moment I feel I would be wiser to go back to the Atac XCs as the Cyclos are so close to being untrustworthy, unpleasant and just possibly dangerous to use; one fall to due to being stuck in the pedal is all to takes… which is a pity as they are way more comfortable over a long spin.

    I’m hoping you will have some feedback and not just dismiss this…

    Many thanks “

    1. Similar issue. Would note I recently did a long ride on the road where 75% of the time the mechanism would not open when clicking out (right pedal only). Thankfully it happened towards the beginning of the ride, so we grabbed a pair of pliers at my house and I did my best to just no clip out of the right pedal.

      I’ve contacted Time about a warranty replacement and I’ll let you know what I hear back.

    2. Quick update. I had increased the tension setting on the right pedal by 1.75 turns (manual says you can do a max of 2). I found at that setting, the bar that holds down the rear part of the cleat was moved forward enough to impinge on the metal plate that springs up to hold the mechanism open when you dismount. Once I backed off on the retention setting by a full turn – no issue on a small family ride.

      1. Hi Dennis,

        I was in touch with Time also. I had good communication with their pedal R&D department. You should be able to clip in even with the “ratchet” as they referred to the spring plate, down.
        Anyway they asked me to send the pedals back for replacement. I hope they work as once clipped in they are comfortable over long spins with better lateral support than the Atacs.
        Really good customer service though, so no complaints there.

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