Time are looking to re-establish their position in the pedals market with their new Xpresso models that are lighter than previous offerings, with a larger surface area contact, and more competitively priced.
Arguably, the French brand lost focus a little over recent years, while Look and Shimano have become increasingly dominant in the road market. But there has been a big shakeup at Time recently, and they’re back with a new range that’s entirely designed and manufactured in France.
The Xpresso pedals have been developed from Time’s iClic system, with a leaf spring – a simple strip of carbon or composite – providing the tension to hold the cleat. It’s a little like Look’s Kéo Blade design in that respect.
Here are the other important features of the Xpresso design:
• Rather than being closed when the cleat isn’t engaged, the cleat retention mechanism sits open, the idea being that it’s easier to clip in that way.
• You get 5° of angular float in each direction. In other words, you can angle your heel up to 5° out from straight so that you’re slightly pigeon toed, or 5° in so that your feet are slightly splayed. We’re all built differently and this allows you to pedal with your feet in their natural orientation.
• The two cleats are slightly different from one another and deciding which shoe you mount each to will alter your Q-factor. Mount them one way and the distance from the crankarm to your foot will be 2.6mm greater than mounting them the other way (it’s 51.7mm fro the crankarm to the centre of the pedal, or 54.3mm). Again, this allows you to reflect your natural pattern of movement.
• You also get what Time call a Sensor Elasticity Tuner (SET) which allows you to alter the feel of the movement within the float angles – how easy it is to alter the angle of your foot. There are three different setting.
• The contact surface area between the cleat and pedal is large at 700mm2. Time say that this leads to better distribution and transfer of your power and ensures plenty of stability.
Time make a lot of the Xpresso’s 14.2mm bioposition too – the distance from the platform where your shoe contacts the pedal to the centre of the axle. Time reckon this is important because, “The closer your foot is to the axel of the pedal, the more you reduce the uneven “swinging” motion of pedalling, and the rounder you will pedal, therefore the ore efficient your pedalling will be.’
The XPresso’s bioposition is larger than you get with Speedplay Zeros and a little larger than you get with Time’s RXS pedals, but lower than Look Kéos. We must say that if that’s an advantage, it’s a very, very small one.
There are five Xpresso pedals in the range, each with either an interchangeable pedal platform or an interchangeable plate on the platform that can be replaced if it wears out.
The entry-level model is the Xpresso 2 which is priced at £42.99. This one comes with a steel axle and a composite body and blade with the complete system weighing 305g – that’s 220g for the pedals and 85g for the cleats. That’s really light for something at this price. We have a pair of these in for review.
We reckon that the Xpresso 8 will prove popular too – we did a Just In story on it the other day. It takes over from the iClic2 Racer and is the first model in the range with a carbon body, as opposed to composite. The steel axle is hollow to keep the weight down: the pedals weigh just 280g the pair, Again, that’s a complete system weight: 195g for the pedals and 85g for the cleats.
These are priced at £124.99. That compares to Look’s Kéo Blade Carbons with a cromo axle at £159.99.
The top-level Xpresso model is the 12 Titan Carbon (main pic and above) which replaces the iClic2 Titan Carbon. It comes with a hollow titanium axle and a carbon blade and weighs 240g a pair (155g for the pedals, 85g for the cleats).
You have to pay considerably more for these: £224.99. Still, Look’s Kéo Blade Carbon pedals with a titanium axle are £274.99 and Shimano Dura-Ace pedals are £229.99 (these are all prices from the official importers), so the pricing is aggressive.
The RXS models remain in the Time range, by the way. There are three models, all a little heavier than the Xpresso models. It’s a little hard to see why you’d spend £56.99 on a set of RXS First pedals (358g) when you could get a pair of Xpresso 2s (305g) for £42.99, but they’re available if you want them.
The ATAC off-road pedals continue too, although all the models have either been altered or renamed. One new model that might interest commuters and tourers – and anyone else who wants a cleat that’s recessed into the sole – is the ATAC Alium. It has a steel axle and an aluminium body and it’ll set you back £49.95.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.