Switching pedal types is not something an old codger like myself takes lightly. You get something, get used to it and stick with it. Thousands of miles later, you put up with some of the oddities because the cost to switch seems high. That’s been me with Crank Brothers pedals, but the Time ATAC platform is similar and has proven itself to be as good and better in many ways. But, am I truly converted?
Time ATAC XC 8 Carbon Pedals Feature:
- Carbon body
- Hollow steel axle
- Cleats offer 13 or 17 degrees of float (10-deg “beginner” cleats sold separately)
- Weight: 145 grams each
- 3-position release tension
- 5-degrees of angular float with 6mm lateral float
- MSRP: $225
Solid engagement, reliable release
After riding Crank Brothers pedals for over 10 years, I hadn’t even thought of switching to anything else. With a variety of shoes and pedals at the ready to slap on three or more test bikes at a time, the cost of switching seemed too much. And, seemingly, there was no reason to switch. Frankly, I enjoy the Eggbeater platform, so I’ve had little reason to look elsewhere.
But, then there’s the Time ATAC that looks somewhat similar to the Crank Brothers design but it’s just two-sided and the spring is only on the toe. Beyond that, the ATAC platform offers superior adjustability and much more positive engagement. In fact, the engagement of the ATAC’s truly delivers a tell-tale “yes, you’re in there” feeling that Eggbeaters lack. That feature alone has been beneficial and wasn’t something I anticipated heading into my miles aboard the ATAC’s.
Time achieves a high level of adjustability on the ATAC’s using a combination of cleat configuration and release tension. The left/right cleat can be changed to achieve the desired float (13-degrees by using R/L correctly or 17-degrees by swapping L/R). Swapping them is an easy change, but I kept them in 13-degree for a comfortable and easy release.
You can adjust the release tension by turning the screw on the side of the pedal. I found this to be effective should you wish to change the release tension. But, the problem is there’s no markings to indicate what tension you’re at. And, the notches come at odd spots in the rotation. As such, I just returned them to the factory setting and called it good. Not once did I feel as if I needed more or less tension, so I just kept it there.
Something that Time speaks to is the mud-shedding ability of the ATAC platform. I have not had an opportunity to test these in the mud, but CX racers will certainly appreciate that feature. Other, independent tests have confirmed this quality.
I’ve found these to be easy to step into on-the-fly. It is a little different from Eggbeater’s in that you do need to do toe-first. That process should be familiar to SPD riders. I think I do still prefer the Eggbeater’s for entry since you can just stomp down. It’s not a huge drawback here, but just different. Again, the positive engagement is far superior to that of the Eggbeater though.
Float is important with any pedal and Time is one of the best on the market in that regard. Moving around the platform feels natural comfortable with no knee issues whatsoever. What’s unique here is the 6mm lateral float where the cleat can actually move left/right in the pedal just slightly. Some reviewers have mentioned that this made for a sloppy feel, but I never noticed any issues and I’m sure my joints appreciated the flexibility.
- Solid, positive engagement
- Float galore = happy knees
- Adjustable to suit your taste
- Step-in is easy and reliable
- High price (but they do offer lower-priced offerings starting at $80)
- No markings to indicate release tension settings
The Bottom Line: Time ATAC XC 8
The XC 8’s offer significant adjustability with a hefty dose of float for what might be the most personalized pedals on the market. I loved the positive engagement and felt confident aboard these pedals on all my rides. Durability has been good thus far with no issues to speak of.
Buy Now: Available at JensonUSA.com