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Crankbrothers Candy 7 Clipless Pedal

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
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Crankbrothers Candy 7
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Tested: Crankbrothers Candy 7

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Joel Harwood // Photos by AJ Barlas

Pedals, like most mountain bike components, are somewhat subjective: engagement, float, and shoe contact differ from brand to brand and depend on setup. One trait valued by every consumer, and arguably the most important, is reliability. Crankbrothers pedals have a loyal following; however converting SPD die-hards has been an on-going challenge, especially with a reputation of product that may have a shorter lifespan than some of the competition. In their efforts, Crankbrothers have been adding functional features, durability, and style to some of their classics.

When Crankbrothers approached us with their updated Candy 7 pedals, we were intrigued to see whether the refined pedal was a step in the right direction and immediately put them to work on our trail bike.

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Crankbrothers Candy 7 Highlights

  • Traction pad technology with customizable interface
  • Ribbed body for improved traction when unclipped
  • Chamfered edges to reduce rock strikes
  • Four-sided entry
  • 15/20-degree release angle
  • New IGUS LL-glide and Enduro cartridge bearings
  • 52mm Q-factor
  • 320 grams per pair
  • Five year warranty
  • MSRP: $165USD

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Initial Impressions

The Crankbrothers Candy 7 pedals looked great right out of the box. Brass cleats, shoe hardware, and a second set of traction pads were included. Our preference for flat pedal "feel" and more contact between shoe sole and pedal body meant that we immediately swapped the 1mm traction pads for the thicker 2mm pads. Even though the new pads were a stubborn install, we were rewarded with a very stable interface between shoe and pedal and can’t see ourselves going back to the 1mm pads. Compared with the Candy 3, pedal contact is drastically improved and much appreciated.

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On The Trail

On the trail we appreciated the float of the Candy 7 pedal. It meant that we were able to use body English to squirm our feet as needed. The more secure interface from the 2mm traction pads also meant that we never had concerns about unclipping accidentally, nor did we experience vibration between our shoes and the pedals. We used the Five Ten Kestrel and Maltese Falcon LT shoes, in addition to the Fizik M3B Uomo. In each case, the interface was much improved over previous generations of the Candy, but this was most evident with the traditional XC shoes.

During situations when things get a little bit wild, the Candy 7’s were just large enough that we weren’t completely terrified riding unclipped. The 10-percent larger pedal body is no doubt an asset in this situation, and the ribbed pedal body provided additional edges for our sticky-soled Five Tens.

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Even though many trail riders are opting for DH-style pedals (presumably for the improved stability and pedal contact), we never found ourselves worrying about it. With stiff-soled shoes and appropriately selected traction pads, we were able to set and forget, and on a few close calls we were thankful for the 52mm Q-factor and thinner platform.

Long Term Durability

The main questions we asked ourselves prior to the test were all related to the durability of the Candy 7. Crankbrothers revised the Candy 7’s internals by using a sealed Enduro bearing and an IGUS LL-guide internal bearing, along with an additional external seal to increase the lifespan of the pedals. We had no issues during the test period, but we plan on running these pedals for the remainder of the season in order to verify whether or not bearing life is on par with, or even better than, some of the competition.

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Unfortunately, on our pre-production pedals we managed to crack the spacer between the inner and outer pedal bodies. The likely culprit would have been a rock strike, but we didn’t notice it until days later as it didn’t affect performance. Crankbrothers promptly replaced the pedals with a production version of the Candy 7, which feature a die cast aluminum spacer rather than the plastic one used on our pre-production version. We’re happy to report that after some serious rock strikes with the production versions of the pedal, our initial concerns were quieted as the replacement pedals seem to be holding up just fine.

Things That Could Be Improved

Other than the broken spacer on the pre-production version of these pedals, we're quite happy with them, especially after they replaced them with the revised production versions. The addition of the traction pads were such a welcome feature that we were left wondering whether an even thicker version of the traction pads might have felt better, or if it might be necessary depending on the shoes. We would love to see a 3mm traction pad in the future should our current crop of shoes wear down a bit. A 3mm pad would easily return that secure and stable feeling we really like with the Candy 7 pedals, even with the worn soles.

It seems as though Crankbrothers have made big steps towards achieving the goal of a balance between durability, performance, and aesthetics and they’ll likely win new customers for their efforts, especially those who use a lot of body English while riding (thanks to the hefty amount of float).

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What's The Bottom Line?

The Crankbrothers Candy 7 is no doubt an improvement over the previous version. The increased surface area and traction pads add cleat retention and reduce vagueness, and it might just be enough to convert some SPD die-hards into Crankbrothers fans. We had similar sentiments in our recent test with the new Crankbrothers Mallet E pedals, as well. If the updated internals can stand the test of time, then Crankbrothers is definitely onto something with the updated Candy 7 pedals.

For more information, visit crankbrothers.com


About The Reviewer

Joel Harwood has been playing in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia for the last nine years. He spends his summer months coaching DH race groms in the Whistler Bike Park, and guiding XC riders all over BC. He dabbles in all types of racing, but is happiest while blasting his trail bike down trails that include rock slabs, natural doubles, and west coast tech. On the big bike he tends to look for little transitions and manuals that allow him to keep things pointed downhill, rather than swapping from line to line. Attention to detail, time in the saddle, and an aggressive riding style make Joel a rider that demands the most from his products. Joel's ramblings can also be found at www.straightshotblog.com.

Specifications

Product Crankbrothers Candy 7 Clipless Pedal
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail, Other (Cyclocross/Gravel)
Pedal Platform Size Small Platform
Pedal Platform Details Integrated traction pad technology to customize and optimize the shoe/pedal interface
Ribbed body for better traction when unclipped
Chamfered edges to reduce rock-strikes
Body Material Body material: 6061-T6 aluminum
Wing material: 17-4PH stainless steel
Spring material: 300 series stainless steel
Bearing Type Inner: Igus LL-Glide Bearing
Outer: Enduro Cartridge Bearing
Spindle Spec Forged SCM 435 Chromoly Steel
Cleat Type Premium brass cleats with shims included
Float 6° float; 15° or 20° release angle
Colors Black/Pink, Red, Black, Electric Blue/Black, USA Edition Red/Blue
Weight 0 lb 11.3 oz (320 g)
Miscellaneous Hex alloy endcap and bash guard for enhanced durability
4-sided entry for superior mud shedding
Customizable float & release angle
Double seal system
Q-factor: 52mm
5 year warranty
Price $169
More Info

crankbrothers.com

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