With cyclocross season just around the corner, our mini review of a not-so-well known pedal option, the Xpedo CXR, comes at a good time. Featuring compatibility with Shimano’s venerable MTB cleats, three cartridge bearings, chromoly spindle, five color options and a great price, the Xpedo CXR is worth investigating…
We featured a sneak peak of the CXR’s in February, and since that time, we’ve racked up plenty of training miles. Touted by Xpedo as weighing 295 grams a pair, we were pleased they came in below the manufacturer’s specification; our pair tipped the scale at 293 grams. With a titanium axle upgrade kit promised for 2016, their weight can only decrease.
After installing with an 8mm allen key and appropriate grease, we were ready to roll. On the repair stand, the pedals didn’t spin as freely as we would have liked, but they quickly loosened up after some break-in miles. Each pedal contains three cartridge bearings, a huge improvement over older bushing-equipped Xpedo pedals.
Robert Marion of the American Classic Cyclocross Team provided input into the design of the CXR’s. He requested they be weighted in such a manner for them to drop a little when disengaged – which helps with re-entry. The pedal is intended to drop to an angle roughly equivalent to 45 degrees, beneficial for catching the front of the cleat, helping with a fast clip in; essential for cyclocross!
In our experience, the CXR’s didn’t always drop to an optimal position for re-entry every time, but overall they were easy to “locate” and engage.
Pedal tension for both sides is adjusted using the tension bolt and a 3mm allen key. Untouched out of the box, pedal tension is on the loose side, good for easy disengagement. This setting may be good for cyclocross, but not optimal for gravel road riding. On at least two occasions involving hard bumps and a pothole, our shoes made an ungraceful exit from the pedals – a little unnerving. In defense of the CXR, this issue was rectified and never experienced again, simply by increasing pedal tension.
Xpedo’s CXR pedals are 100% compatible with Shimano SPD cleats. However, they work best paired with Xpedo cleats, which feature a larger surface area and engage / disengage perfectly. Shimano’s SH51 cleat engages nicely with the CXR’s, but have a tendency to hang up at the front of the pedal during disengagement. On the positive, this is related to release technique – we figured a method to ensure disengagement almost 100% of the time, but for best results, stick with the included Xpedo cleats.
After several months of use in nice and not-so-nice conditions, the CXR’s are holding up well. Bearings remain smooth with no signs of play, usually the fail point of many pedal systems.
Available in five anodized colors: black, gray, blue, red and orange, the CXR’s are well priced at $US 109.00 a pair.
This is a guest post from Jayson O’Mahoney, AKA the Gravel Cyclist. For more information about the Xpedo CXR, check out Gravel Cyclist’s long term review.