The TIME ATAC pedal system has had raving fans for decades. The simple spring design allows easy clip-in combined with plenty of float — all great attributes for mountain bike pedals. I’ve used standard ATAC pedals regularly for several years, so naturally, a caged version would be of interest for a little more forgiveness when clipping in. With a few hundred miles on them now, let’s dig in.
TIME ATAC MX 6 Pedals Features:
- ATAC clip-in design
- Composite platform design
- Cleats included (13 or 17-degree release options)
- 5-degrees angular float with 5mm lateral
- 19mm pedal stack height
- Weight: 195 g (actual, each)
- MSRP: $95
ATAC with a platform
One of the hallmarks of the ATAC design are the parallel spring clamps that allow easy entry, smooth float and consistent exit. With the TIME MX 6, that’s also paired with a composite platform for added forgiveness when clipping in on technical terrain. Built for all-mountain and enduro riding, but you can certainly use them as your daily drivers on whatever trails you ride. Compared to the standard XC 6, you’ll gain 100 g. of total added weight and a composite platform.
So far, I’m 200 miles into the MX 6 aboard the Trek Top Fuel 9.9. While I’d typically install a straight-up XC pedal on that type of bike, it’s capable enough that a composite platform should come in handy.
My testing miles have been with the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elevate and the Louis Garneau Hillbilli shoes. The standard cleat placement offers a 13-degree release angle, which suits me just fine. Going with the 17-degree option requires extensive angulation and can cause toe/crank release interference. At the end of the day, it’s great that TIME offers the choice.
Entry into the ATAC pedal design is pretty straightforward. You simply step, catch the cleat in the forward and step down. The forward mechanism then expands to allow entry and then retain your cleat with a fixed rear mechanism. There’s no retention adjustments — you get what you get. With that, you’ll enjoy plenty of float for happy knees. If you’re not getting full float, check out your outsoles for interference. Sometimes a little rubber trimming is needed.
On the trails, my knees really appreciate the float of the ATAC system. I can climb for days with all that float. When it comes to more challenging terrain, there’s never been any premature release. I can angulate, manual and otherwise throw the bike around without clipping out. There’s no play and each pedal stroke delivers all your power to the cranks.
I feel like the MX 6’s are more harmonious with an enduro/dh shoe like the Pearl Izumi X-Alp, which grip the platform a little better in a pinch. When wet, the rounded metal hoops can be slippery and hard to engage. You’ll notice that the MX and XC metal hoops are completely different and the XC design is easier to clip into under all conditions.
- Tons of knee-friendly float
- Nothing to adjust — they just work
- Platform is better with more enduro-style shoes
- Respectable weight
- Great price point
- Curved metal clamping system gets slippery when wet
- Cage is only useful with DH/enduro-type shoes
The Bottom Line: TIME ATAC MX 6 Pedals
With a modest platform, the TIME ATAC MX 6 pedals are an affordable mountain bike pedal for daily use. They are more forgiving when wearing a shoe with a hiker-style outsole. I love the added float and consistent release that offers fuss-free retention. No adjustments here. Just step in and ride.