Crankbrothers Pedals Reviews

Eggbeater Pedals Review

April 14, 2019

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Eggbeater Pedals Review

Crankbrothers Eggbeater Pedals
4.4

Summary

After riding with Crankbrothers Eggbeater pedals for many years and thousands of miles, I’ve found they offer ease of use, durable performance, lightweight design, and a lot of overall bang-for-your-buck. They’re also rebuildable when the time comes, with a broad lineup that appeals to a wide range of budgets and biking preferences.

However, their cleats wear quickly and are relatively expensive to replace, so Eggbeaters (or any Crankbrothers pedal, for that matter) might not be ideal if you frequently walk while cycling, or on especially rough surfaces.

  • Price
  • Quality/Durability
  • Ease of Use
  • Adjustability
  • Overall Value

Pros

  • Unique design allows for ultimately easy clip-ins
  • Competitive prices
  • Tried and true performance tested by tens of thousands of cyclists over nearly 2 decades
  • 4 models in the lineup to match many riders’ needs
  • Cleats attach easily and sit flush with shoe tread
  • Durable construction w/Refresh Kits available
  • Sheds most debris well, including mud

Cons

  • Brass cleats can wear quickly and aren’t inexpensive
  • Not ideal in snow
  • Minimal footbed support, depending on terrain and personal preferences
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As the oldest—and perhaps most popular—pedal in their lineup, Crankbrothers’ Eggbeaters offer a lot of bang-for-the-buck. In this review, I’ll combine details from the company with my experience, along with a comparison between competitors, to help you decide if they’re right for you.


About Crankbrothers Eggbeater Pedals

Crankbrothers’ Eggbeater pedals have been around since 2001, at which time their four-sided entry, simplicity, and lightweight design were revolutionary. Even with their largely unchanged design, they remain one of the most popular bike pedals available today.

Together with recessed brass cleats that sit flush with your shoe’s tread for easy walking, as well as customizable float and release angles, the company advertises that Eggbeaters are among the easiest pedals to clip in and out of. In fact, the website indicates “it’s virtually impossible to not clip in.”

Furthermore, Eggbeaters are easy to service and are backed by a five-year warranty from Crankbrothers. But, does all of this add up to the right pedals for you?

Here, I’ll walk you through how Eggbeaters work, how to install them and get set up, what I’ve experienced after riding with them for years, and how they compare to close competitors. Why? So you can make a more informed decision.

Let’s start by zooming in on each Eggbeater pedal.

Taking a Closer Look at Eggbeater Models

Overall, there are four different pedals in the Eggbeater lineup.

Eggbeater 1

Crankbrothers classifies all Eggbeater pedals as a cyclocross/gravel/cross-country/trail version, with a minimal design and unique four-sided entry system that promises to deliver easier clip-ins, along with superior mud shedding.

Taken from the user manual, we can see here a screenshot of Eggbeater’s spring-loaded, four-sided entry and sealed axle, along with Crankbrothers’ proprietary cleat that sits flush with your tread. Credit: Crankbrothers

Even though it’s classified as their entry-level pedal, the Eggbeater 1 is engineered to allow for customizable float and release angles (15° or 20°) and features an Igus LL-glide inner bearing and enduro cartridge outer bearing, stamped steel body and wing construction, and a weight of 290g.

You’ll also find a Forged SCM 435 Chromoly steel spindle, 300 series stainless steel spring, a 52 mm q-factor, slotted endcap, and no restrictions on rider weight.

The Eggbeaters’ unique four-sided entry allows Crankbrothers’ cleats to engage whether you’re pressing forward, straight down, or backward. Credit: Crankbrothers

All Eggbeater pedals come with a five-year warranty against material and/or workmanship defects, along with two premium brass cleats.

Eggbeater 11

Considering its meaningfully higher price tag, it might not come as much of a surprise that Crankbrothers’ Eggbeater 11 pedals are the most technologically advanced in the lineup.

Features include ultra-light titanium body and spindle components, an Enduro sealed needle bearing, and an ultra-light weight of 179 g per pair.

Eggbeater Pedal Comparison
Body Material Weight Per Pair
Eggbeater 1 Stamped steel 290 g
Eggbeater 2 Cast stainless steel 285 g
Eggbeater 3 Cast stainless steel 280 g
Eggbeater 11 Titanium 179 g

Eggbeater Pedal Installation & Cleat Setup

Installing Eggbeater’s axle—9/16 x 20 threads per inch—isn’t necessarily different or unique compared to competing pedals (more soon).

What is unique is that the left pedal’s flange features a shallow groove for identification purposes, with spindle threading slopes up to the left and installs counterclockwise onto the crankarm. Comparatively, the right pedal’s threads slope to the right, meaning its spindle installs clockwise onto the crankarm.

The left Eggbeater pedal (installs counterclockwise) is designated by a groove on the spindle flange, whereas the right pedal (installs clockwise) does not. Credit: Crankbrothers

Just insert your 8mm hex through the backside of the hole in the crankarm and into the Eggbeater’s spindle, turn until the flange makes contact with the crankarm, and tighten to 35-40nm. Reverse the process to remove.

Note: Eggbeater pedals only come with one level of spring tension (it’s not adjustable).

Eggbeaters install using an 8mm hex, tightened to 35-40nm. Here, you can see my series 2s set up, in the process of threading, and completely installed.

There’s a lot more room for customization when it comes to installing Crankbrothers’ cleats, which include short and long screws and two shims per pedal, depending on the thickness of your shoe’s tread.

Package instructions include a cleat-fitting guide that you can quickly cut out and line up your cleats.

Pro tip: Lose your instructions? You can download whatever you need on Crankbrothers’ Eggbeater Technical Documents page.

Once you’re set up, all you have to do is line the cleat up with your shoe’s holes, place the included hardware over the top, and insert the appropriate screws.

Crankbrothers cleats—which you can fit using the guide found in the user manual (blue above)—attach to your shoes using minimal hardware and sit flush with your tread. Credit: Crankbrothers

When tightening to a max of 4Nm, Crankbrothers recommends starting in the middle, which allows “enough wiggle room to make fore, aft, and side adjustments.”

Crankbrothers’ cleats are unique in that you determine the release angle by which one you mount to your right shoe —the cleat with a dot delivers 15°, while the side without a dot is 20°.

Finally, the cleats included with your Eggbeater pedals provide six degrees of float. Zero-degree cleats are available separately (about $20 from third-party retailers).

My Experience with Crankbrothers Eggbeater Pedals

I’ve logged thousands of miles on different Eggbeater series 1 and 2 pedals over many years, and in every imaginable condition, across much of the western U.S.—from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Northwest.

And before that, I reliably used Crankbrothers’ Candy model, which features the same core design as the Eggbeater, but with a small platform surrounding the four-sided entry mechanism for extra support.

And whether during an asphalt century, gravel session, tight singletrack, or a mixture of all three in the same ride, I’ve found Eggbeaters deliver reliable performance across the board. I’m extraordinarily comfortable with them, and they feel like home.

But, like any other bike pedals, they’re certainly not perfect or suited to every rider. Here, I’ll quickly distill my experience into a few short paragraphs so you can decide where you fall in the mix.

Eggbeater Pedal & Cleat Installation

Pedal installation is perhaps one of the easiest maintenance tasks to perform on a bike, and in this regard, I’ve found that Eggbeaters are as easy to work with as any other brand.

The cleats are a piece of cake to install using the included cleat screws, washers, and your own 4 mm hex wrench. I’ve never needed to use the shims, although Crankbrothers includes some to accommodate different tread depths.

My Crankbrothers cleats attached to my Giro Privateer shoes. Over thousands of miles, they’ve worn a groove into my footbed just behind the cleats, but have otherwise left my shoes unscathed.

How Eggbeaters Stand Up to the Elements

While opinion certainly varies between riders, my Eggbeaters shed mud well—even the peanut-buttery mixture found along the Colorado Front Range.

Sure, my shoes might require some kicking against the ground to dislodge all the mud and other sticky debris from my cleats, but I typically clip back in with minimal effort afterward.

The most significant problems I’ve encountered were with snow, which tends to pack tightly inside the pedals’ four-side entry, as well as between my cleats and my shoes’ tread. The fastest option for getting clipped back in when this occurs is breaking out a multi-tool and spending a few seconds chipping away at the ice.

During the dryer seasons, dust tends to accumulate and cause some minor squeaking, which is usually addressed with a bit of WD-40 or Boeshield T-9.

In most instances, my Eggbeaters simply wash clean using soap and water and are ready to provide reliable service for whatever I put them through.

Different angles of my Eggbeater 2 pedals, attached to my Canyon Inflite. The Park PCS-10 in the background.

Eggbeater Pedal Functionality

Clipping in and out of my Eggbeaters is super easy, with a firm, noticeable click once my cleats engage.

Except for the small amount of wiggle room offered by my 15° release angle, my feet remain balanced and firmly in place whether I’m riding pavement, gravel, or singletrack. I find it’s more than adequate across gravel and mountain-oriented riding and is something I especially appreciate on rougher terrain.

As Crankbrothers’ cleats wear down, though, I’ve found they tend to get a bit sloppy in the pedal. In fact, in the past, I’ve worn them down enough that I’ve inadvertently slipped out during the upward motion of my pedal stroke on more than one occasion.

With their minimal design, there’s also no platform to speak of with the Eggbeater pedals. However, I’ve learned to gently rest my cleat on top of the pedal, or even just behind the cleat, which provides some level of support and pedaling ability without clipping in for situations where it’s necessary.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that Eggbeaters are basically just spinning cylinders—ones that, in order to open its spring and engage your cleat, requires you to apply downward and forward pressure with your foot.

As a result, perhaps Eggbeaters’ biggest flaw is their tendency for your foot to roll forward as you’re trying to engage, which can quickly throw off your balance. It’s not necessarily dangerous, but I’ve experienced many “oh shit” moments over the years as a result.

Another consideration is that although Crankbrothers cleats—which aren’t inexpensive to replace—are universal across all of their pedals, their soft brass construction means that they wear down relatively quickly, even from normal use. Add contact with the ground to the mix, and you could quickly experience increased play with your pedals and perhaps reduced performance, depending on your preferences.

Eggbeater Durability

Overall, I’ve found Eggbeater 1 and 2 series pedals are well-made, with a long service life that can withstand everything from city riding to repeated rock strikes on mountainsides, with zero rust.

For some reason, I’ve my Eggbeater 2s have withstood more abuse and lasted meaningfully longer than my series 1s, whose Igus LL-Glide bearings had slowly moved outside the pedal body and were actually resting against the flange.

I attempted to update all of the pedal’s internals with one of Crankbrothers’ Refresh Kits. Alas, they were too far gone, so they, unfortunately, ended up in the trash. I’m still rolling with my series 2s, though, which run like a top.

My Eggbeater 1 pedals worked great for several years, and offered an incredible value at a competitive price.

Crankbrothers Eggbeaters vs. Other Bike Pedals

When it comes to clipless pedals designed for all-road and aggressive terrain applications, there really are only three types of entry mechanisms available to cyclists: Crankbrothers, Shimano (also commonly referred to as ‘SPD’), and Speedplay.

While there’s no way to adequately cover the pros and cons between all of these different mechanisms here, it’s important to point out that Crankbrothers offers the only four-sided entry among them. So, if this is your top must-have, they’re currently the only game in town.

Comparatively, while Speedplay pedals are perhaps the most similar to Eggbeaters from a compact design perspective, they only offer two points of entry. Shimano (SPD) pedals come in single and dual-sided entry models.

With these details in mind, let’s take a brief look at how some of Eggbeaters’ close competitors compare.

Model Weight Per Pair Body Materials
Crankbrothers Eggbeaters 179g–290g Stamped steel, cast stainless steel, titanium  
Crankbrothers Candy 249g–355g Stamped steel, 17-4PH stainless, 6al / 4v titanium
Speedplay Zero 164g–216g Chrome-moly, stainless, titanium   
Speedplay Ultra Light Action 216g–788g Chromoly, stainless, titanium 
Shimano XT PD-M8000 500g Chromoly
Shimano XTR PD-M9100 314g–374g Aluminum
Shimano M424 472g Chromoly

Outside of design differences, we can see that some Eggbeater models are priced among the lowest in our table, and are also among the lightest. And while spring tension isn’t adjustable, their simple, durable design has been around for many years and is popular among cyclists of all stripes.

Looking for More Support?

However, if you ride mostly aggressive conditions and prefer more stability, I’ve found Crankbrothers’ Candy pedals worked wonderfully with minimal weight penalty for the added footbed support. They’re also priced in the same range as Eggbeater models and made from the same materials.

Is 1 or 2-Sided Entry OK?

On the other hand, if you’re willing to explore outside Eggbeater’s four-sided entry mechanism, some Speedplay Zero models could deliver less weight at a lower price. However, their cleat design might not be ideal if you primarily ride off-road or muddy conditions.

And despite their name, some of Speedplay’s Ultra Light Action pedals are anything but, depending on your weight tolerances.

Perhaps the Best of All Worlds?

Shimano pedals offer a middle-of-the-road option among close competitors in our table above, from both price and weight perspectives. However, they’re only available in chromoly and aluminum, and also only feature single or dual-sided entry mechanisms.

Where does all of this leave you when it comes to Eggbeater pedals?

Bottom Line: Are Crankbrothers’ Eggbeater Pedals Right For You?

Combined, I think there’s a whole lot to like about Eggbeater pedals.

They’re competitively priced, lightweight, uniquely designed, seasoned (they’ve been around for nearly two decades), highly-rated among diverse segments within the cycling community, manufactured by a company with a solid customer reputation, and feature small cleats that easily recess behind shoe tread.

Pulling these details together, Eggbeater pedals might be right up your alley if you’re looking for a no-fuss solution that’s easy to use, clips securely to cleats, withstands abuse, sheds mud well, and offers more than one option when it comes to release angles.

On the other hand, you might consider looking at some of the options above if you want spring tension adjustability, frequently ride in deep snow or on rocky, uneven terrain (e.g., hike-a-bike scenarios), due to quick Crankbrothers cleat wear. Even under normal use, I typically replace two pairs of cleats per year, so keep this in mind as well when it comes to your overall budget.

Keep rolling: Panaracer Gravelking SK Review

Derek has more than two decades of experience as a cyclist. He currently travels full-time with his family via RV, enjoying the country's best biking destinations. A secular Buddhist, Derek frequently explores the intersection of cycling, mindfulness, and compassion in his writing. #rolloutblissout
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