by Nick Zuzelski
There are two crucial points of control you have with your bike - your hands, and your feet. Loose either by accident and it's usually not pretty. If you are one of the many riders out there running flats, you know that flat pedal design has recently evolved towards a thinner, sleeker, and wider platform with plenty of pins to keep your feet glued on at all times. Loaded Precision's latest offering, the new AMX Signature pedals, fall into this category and our feet were excited to take them on a date to see what kind of trouble the two of them could get into.
AMX Signature CroMo Pedal Highlights
- Material: Alloy Body, CroMo Spindle
- Platform Size: 100mm(W) x 110mm(L) x 12.9mm(H)
- Bearings: 6x Sealed Bearings
- Colors: Black, Gray, Silver, Gold, Red, Green Blue
- Narrow Q factor design
- Price: $139.99
- Weight: 326g (without pins)
Loaded offers these pedals in enough colors to keep the custom color themed bike freaks happy. Being a bit more low key, I ran the anodized black set to keep things on the stealthy side. I have been a flat pedal rider for a long time and have a stack of platforms in the garage that have seen their days on the trails. I was initially surprised by the low weight of the AMX's as I unpacked them and that sent me off to rummage through my collection - lo and behold, these are now the lightest ones I have. (Editor's note: there is a titanium axle version available for those who want to go even lighter).
The thin profile (12.9mm thick) and large platform are very noticeable when you first see the pedal on your cranks. The rectangular platform shape gives these pedals a simple but pleasing look. Some of the newer pedals out there seem to look more like a spaceship, but Loaded kept it classy with this design. Sporting 10 pins per side, things in the grip department also seemed solid. The time had come to go find out how all this would translate to performance where it matters.
On The Trail
After throwing these on my bike and lacing up the trusty Five Tens, I hit the trail. I immediately felt comfortable with the support and feel of the larger platform. This is not only due to the size and shape of the platform itself, but also the pin placement. The 10 pins per side are all located along the perimeter of the platform, which provides a pronounced concave feel and also gives a lot of grip. Most flats I have ridden feature a few pins in the center of the pedal. That was definitely not a feature I missed as I quickly got used to the more concave feel of these perimeter pins and the grip and controlled adjustability this configuration gives your feet while riding.
The thinner profile as well as the narrower Q factor of the AMX pedals were more noticeable than I would have thought. The slight clearance gained by the thinner pedal seemed to help avoid rock strikes during technical rides. The narrower Q factor was also noticeable, not in regards to pedaling feel, but again in regards to avoiding rock strikes. These pedals don't stick out to the sides (laterally) as much as most pedals, which meant I didn't tend to hang up as frequently in technical sections where rocks can easily grab/scrape/smash the sides of your pedals. Always a plus in my book when you get through the rough stuff with as little contact as possible.
Loaded's AMX Signature Pedal moves the outer platform point inboard approximately 0.5-inches compared to the Shimano Saint pedals. That's a total of 1-inch narrower and has led to a noticeable decrease in rock contact on sniper lines.
Things That Could Be Improved
This is a common beef with almost all pedals out there these days, but it is still a noteworthy issue: removal of damaged pins. Since the pins on the these pedals are threaded through the platform from the opposite side, any damaged pins must be threaded back through the platform material to be removed. If you have ever tried this with severely damaged pins you know the pain. Even if you cut the pin flush using a Dremel, you can still ruin the threads in the platform if the pin is really mangled.
Another downside is that no extra pins are sent with the pedals, which means you'll be scrambling to order replacements when you start breaking them. At $139.99 for a pair of pedals, a few spare pins wouldn't seem entirely out of place.
Long Term Durability
It's been a few months, and so far, these pedals have held up remarkably well. The bearings are still smooth and have not developed any play or slop. Scratching and wear from various impacts are as to be expected, but it is also worth pointing out again that these pedals have seen a bit less abuse thanks to their low profile and narrow Q-factor.
What's The Bottom Line?
If you are in the market for new thin flat pedals, the AMX Signatures should make your shortlist. Pricing-wise, you can find cheaper pedals, and you can find more expensive pedals, but in terms of features and performance, these definitely offer value for money. With ample real estate and featuring perimeter pin placement for a great feeling pedal, your feet will be the last thing you think about the next time you go charging through a rough section.
Visit www.loadedusa.com for more details.
About The Reviewer
Nick Zuzelski began riding motocross at a young age, a sport that would eventually lead him to the world of downhill. As a Colorado native, racing downhill, dual slalom, or a chill dirt jump session were never far away, and he eventually worked his way up the ranks to the Pro level. Now residing in Eastern Pennsylvania, he recently changed it up from Rocky Mountain dust to East Coast loam, world class dirt jumps, and rocks... lots of rocks. If a trail has fast flow and some fun gaps, he is grinning ear to ear and getting after it. Living by the assumption that basically everything feels better with a short stem and wide bars, you can count on him keeping it real with a laid back attitude and flat pedals most of the time. Mechanical Engineer by trade, rider by heart, he enjoys riding it, finding out how it works, and making it better.