MKS Prime Sylvan tour are essentially copies of the time honoured Campagnolo rat trap having as much to offer tourists and commuters as period bikes/retro builds thanks to their combination of classic looks and solid build quality. The aggressively serrated cage is drilled for toe-clips but entertains pretty much any footwear from sandals to steel toes for added convenience. However, urban terrorists should note their predisposition to grounding when cornering hard.
Despite period feel £29 buys a host of 21st century practicalities including tastefully anodised cages, polished alloy bodies and super strong Cro-moly axles. Bearings are weather sealed and fit for purpose, bedding in after the first hundred miles but I’d still be inclined to strip and pack to bursting with marine grease.
Cro-moly axles might lack the pizzazz of more exotic materials but strike a good balance between strength, weight and rigidity. Out of the saddle efforts couldn’t cajole any infuriating squeaks or creaks, providing the perfect interface whether riding a period classic in ultra stiff, cleated road shoes or ten-hole steel toed safety boots so should laugh at the inevitable, casual abuse inflicted through utility riding and commuting.
With this in mind, ours were subjected to a series of off-road jollies, submerged in deep, muddy puddles, before a spot of river riding for full effect. The latter resulted in some minor water infiltration but packing with marine grease and repeating the experiment solved this, suggesting they’re dependable enough for classic rough stuff or cyclo crossers too.
Unfortunately, broad cages are a double edged sword, giving plenty of support but restricting cornering clearance- carving into roundabouts, junctions and even some swooping singletrack notched up a few battle scars on the pedals…and with my shins.
Solid choices for period builds and commu-tourists alike, albeit at the expense of flat out cornering
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Make and model: MKS Prime Sylvan Tour pedal
Size tested: Gold
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"With polished body, end cap and axle the Prime Sylvan Touring pedal is smoother and more sophisticated than the standard Sylvan. For those that appreciate performance and great looks.
With Allen Key Axle tightening and Ti colour cage".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Polished alloy body, ti anodised cage, cro-moly axle,sealed (loose) bearings, polished internals for a smoother bearing surface.
Surprisingly good but prone to grounding-especially on a fixed.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Basically old Campagnolo pattern copies, the faithful rat-trap design adds the finishing touch to a post war classic, tourer or indeed commuter thanks to broad, versatile platforms that can be used with clips and straps,half clips and/or indeed open. Decent weather seals and fundamentally solid construction means they'll also handle a bit of green laning too-although the bearings feel slightly arthritic for the first hundred miles. That said, with yearly strips and regreasing they should notch up high, trouble-free mileages. Broad platforms are something of a mixed blessing-really comfortable regardless of footwear choice but present clearance problems-especially fixers with longer crank arms.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Classic, simple to service design with good build quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)