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Review: Silca titanium cleats for Crank Brothers pedals clip tight, go hard

silca titanium cleats for crank brothers pedals shown on MTB shoes
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At three times the price of Crank Brothers’ standard brass cleats, the Silca Titanium cleats have to do something spectacular to justify the price, right?

Well, sort of, yes, but also they claim to last 4x longer. So, in theory it’s a slight win in durability. But they do two more things better than the stock brass cleats that make them worth the upfront expense.

actual weights for silca ti cleats versus crank brothers brass cleats
Crank Brothers’ brass cleats on left, Silca titanium cleats on right.

First, they’re lighter. Silca founder Josh Poertner loves the “marginal gains” concept, and indeed that’s the case here. Silca’s ti cleat, with the included ti bolts and washer plate is 9g lighter than the standard cleat and hardware per shoe – 18g lighter per pair.

But the real benefit is the cleat’s engagement with the pedals – it’s firmer and feels more secure.

silca titanium cleats for crank brothers pedals shown on MTB shoes

I’ve ridden these with both Eggbeater and Candy pedals and the retention is improved on both. The click upon engagement is audibly more satisfying, but more importantly, it feels a lot more solid, too.

For years I’ve wanted Crank Brothers to make a “pro” cleat that has better retention, and Silca’s version delivers the improved feel I’ve been seeking.

silca ti cleats versus crank brothers cleats side by side comparison
Stock brass Crank Brothers cleat on left, Silca ti cleat on right.

“Yes, they’re shaped differently,” Poertner told me. “They’re a little more boxy. I’ve always thought the stock cleats felt a little vague. So I made the edges a little harder, which gives them a less greasy, floaty feel when you’re riding.”

silca ti cleats versus crank brothers cleats side by side comparison at an angle

FWIW, Crank Brothers has not tested these cleats, nor do they approve them. I’ve reached out about whether they’d void any pedal warranty and will update this review with any reply.

UPDATE: Crank Brothers told me that, in their own testing, Silca’s cleats could cause more wear on the pedal’s wings than the stock cleat, so any warranty claim that arose from premature wear would not be honored if it was due to using these cleats.

Silca says the 6/4 titanium used is still a softer material than the steel used on the pedal’s retention mechanisms, so it shouldn’t wear out your pedals any more quickly than the softer brass cleats used by Crank Brothers. I haven’t noticed any undue wear on the pedals, but to be fair, I rotate through about 5 different pair of Eggbeater and Candy pedals on different bikes, so I’m not putting the same miles on the pedals as I am the cleats.

silca titanium cleats for crank brothers pedals shown on MTB shoes

silca titanium cleats for crank brothers pedals shown on MTB shoes

The Silca cleats definitely appear to be lasting longer than the brass ones, and both engagement and retention continue to feel solid six months after I started riding them.

silca titanium mountain bike cleats shown with T25 torx bolts

I like that they include T25 bolts rather than standard hex bolts. I feel like I can tighten them more securely without fear of stripping them. And, despite concerns that dirt would fill the little Torx grooves and make them harder to remove, so far that hasn’t been an issue at all. And, also, nothing an old toothbrush or toothpick couldn’t resolve.

If you’re looking for an improved feel and retention from your Crank Brothers pedals and don’t mind amortizing a higher upfront cost for longer-lasting cleats, the Silca Titanium cleats are definitely worth trying.

Since I received my test pair, Poertner says they’ve improved their heat treatment process that makes them even tougher, using a process designed for high-wear airplane engine parts, so they’ll maintain their out-of-the-box feeling even longer, and they’ll be a bit smoother when new, too.

MSRP is $85.00, available direct.

Silca.cc

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ReLele
ReLele
2 months ago

Well, $85 doesn’t seem too bad considering they last 4 times the $25 brass originals?

Greg
Greg
2 months ago

Note the bolt length difference. It’s odd, as one would assume that these expensive cleats would be used on expensive shoes with thin soles. They protrude through the shoe by several millimeters, making them noticeable even through some stiff insoles. I had to cut them down.
The stock Crank Brothers cleats come with two sets of bolts of different lengths. These should too.

Patrick
Patrick
2 months ago

Which pedals did you use them on? I find them unbearable on the metal bodied CB pedals like the Candy 7 and okay on the Candy 1. I have the stock height traction pads in. I honestly don’t think I could clip in with the taller pads.

They offer much more resistance clipping in and require a push and twist, like putting out a cigarette, to clip in. Not the usual Crank Brothers step on. The float has a little resistance. They are probably good for a gravel rider looking for more roadlike retention though. I took them off my mtb shoes because it required a little more effort than I like to unclip. Now they are on my RX8 gravel shoes and used with a couple of Candy 1 pedals. I liked the idea of not replacing cleats so often which was why I tried them. I wouldn’t buy another pair and I am glad I didn’t buy two like I initially planned.

Mattew
Mattew
2 months ago

I rode these same cleats and had the inverse experience to this review. The level of retention was so high that I failed to unclip at more than one crucial junction; leading me to topple over in the bike lane like I was learning clipless. Despite these being claimed as a softer metal than crankbrother’s pedal retention hardware, I managed to bend the spring on my Doubleshot 2s. The supplied bolts refused to stay at tension even after greasing and torquing to silca’s spec. I even managed to fracture one of the cleats during regular use (it could have been an early batch, before the added heat treatment mentioned in this article).
Once in the pedal I felt IN THE PEDAL but ultimately this took away from the confident disengagement that I’ve found from standard Brass. Would not buy again.

Patrick
Patrick
2 months ago
Reply to  Mattew

I’m glad to hear some validation. I should try these with one of the Crank Brothers Shims underneath to see if it’s any better.

Doug
Doug
1 month ago
Reply to  Mattew

Thanks for the great review, I only ride doubleshot 3s on all my MTBs. Sick of the brass cleats wearing out mid ride and being so damaged by that time that I have to go home and drill the bolt out to replace the cleats. Failure to unclip is not an option on a technical trail though.

Meme
Meme
2 months ago

Longer lasting cleats, lower lasting pedals.

Meme
Meme
2 months ago

Longer lasting cleats, shorter lasting pedals.

Jaap
Jaap
2 months ago

One of the few times I’m interested in Silca products, now I’m considering crank brothers pedals.

myke
myke
2 months ago
Reply to  Jaap

Slica makes cleats for time and I think Shimano too.

Steve
Steve
2 months ago

Silca says the 6/4 titanium used is still a softer material than the steel used on the pedal’s retention mechanisms, so it shouldn’t wear out your pedals any more quickly than the softer brass cleats used by Crank Brothers.

6/4 Ti is harder than brass. Clearly, this will wear out the pedals faster.

Fraser C.
Fraser C.
2 months ago

The big question here is: Do you really want to trade a few grams for faster wear on your expensive Ti pedals? Because that’s why they make the cleats out of brass. DUH!

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