Race Face Chester (2016-2018) Flat Pedal (discontinued)

Average User Rating: (Excellent) Vital Rating: (Excellent)
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Discontinued
Race Face Chester Flat Pedal
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Tested: Race Face Chester Flat Pedals

Rating: Vital Review

by Justin Schroth

Thanks to a market flooded with pedal options, it has become increasingly more difficult for brands to distinguish themselves and standout a sea of anodizing. Race Face looks to break free from their traditional mold (pun intended) of aluminum platforms with the new Chester pedal. The Chester is a composite pedal that looks to offer durability and function at a more reasonable price tag than their metal counterparts.

Race Face Chester Features

  • 
Weight: 356 grams (per pair)
  • 110 mm long x 101 mm wide x 15-18.44mm thick
  • Nylon composite body
  • Chromoly steel axle
  • Sealed bearing // bushing system
  • Cartridge bearings
  • DU bushings
  • 16 removable hex traction pins per pedal
  • MSRP - $54.99

Initial Impressions 


The first thing you will notice is the hard nylon composite material that makes up the body of the pedals. We could say hard-as-hell and seemingly bombproof, but time will tell if that translates into durability in life on the trail. Eight steel pins grace each side of the pedal, with access from the opposite side for removal and maintenance. At 356-grams for the set they are not the lightest composite pedals on the market, but they would still save some weight compared to most alloy flats. We did notice the Chesters did not have a concave profile that some competitors (and riders) swear by. The bearings have a smooth feeling but with a resistance to free spinning that some will prefer (especially dirt jumpers). 


On The Trail


We tested the Chester pedals with Five Ten Freerider Contact shoes. Although not one of the thinnest pedals, the platform size of the Chester is above average and provides a more-than-ample platform for those with Clydesdale-sized feet. During seated climbs through rough terrain, we occasionally noticed our feet floating around, searching for the pedals and feeling a bit disconnected. We attribute this to the flatter profile of the pedal and the flat section of the Five Ten Contact soles being in contact with the center of the pedal as opposed to the outside edges with the pins. Once standing with more weight applied to the pedals, they really shined and never let go. Grip was excellent and firm throughout hard pedaling, and we had no issues pushing hard through turns or dropping the heels for some steeper descents.

As we mentioned above, the Chester pedals do lack that concave profile we typically associate with mega-grippy flat pedals. Despite that, and the fact that the Chester pedals aren't the thinnest pedal on the market, we found the overall stability of the pedals to be better than we had expected. In rough sections where we tend to drop our heels and let the suspension do its thing, even when we'd have a slight hang up due to a big square-edge hit, our feet resisted rolling forward on the pedals and blowing off. Overall we're quite happy with the level of grip and stability offered by the Chester pedals.

Long Term Durability

The Chester pedals were unfortunately (or fortunately) tested on a bike with a low bottom bracket and they were victim to many a pedal strike. Despite all efforts to test the pedals to failure, we were only able to inflict surface wounds to the pedals and a managed few slightly bent pins. Surprisingly none were completely sheared off or fully damaged. Because of the underside access to the hex head, pin replacement is not an issue. 
The pedals still feel as smooth as day one, but Race Face touts complete serviceability with the Chester pedal if needed down the line.


Things That Could Be Improved


The biggest improvement we could see with the pedals is obviously a more concave profile to increase grip. But an easier solution would be to offer longer pin options, or even include a longer set of replacement pins.

What's The Bottom Line?


While it may lose a few points due to its shape, the Chester pedal gained more back with its size, durability and grip when it counted most. From the aggressive trail rider who still loves to go foot-out in the turns, or the dirt jumper who feels the need to pull a good ol' fashioned heelclicker, the Chester is a more than durable option that won’t break the bank.

For more info, visit raceface.com


About The Reviewer

Justin Schroth has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years, experiencing first hand the evolution of the industry from thumb shifters and MCU cartridge forks to carbon fiber frames and single-ring all mountain bikes. As an East Coast rider, he loves trails with a combination of jumps, technical downhills, and the occasional loose corner for some foot out action. With a Mechanical Engineering degree, Justin's instinct is to always consider how it works over how it looks. After many years of racing the Northeast Norba and Collegiate series, Justin hung up the race plate and his diploma to go behind the camera at Lucent Productions, creating mountain bike video content for several clients such as Highland Mountain Bike Park.

Killer Pedal, Without the Killer Price

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Light weight, Great Grip, Color Choices, Sealed and Serviceable Bearing/Bushing, Strong, Large Platform

The Bad:

Very flat!

Overall Review:

A good pair of pedals is a very important part of any bike, but the price of even a middle range flat pedal is killer! Well, with the Chester you can forget about spending $100+ for a light weight, serviceable, large platform pedal. The Chester is an amazing pedal that uses a nylon composite body in place of aluminum or magnesium, something that the BMX world has been using for years and with great success. The Chester is Race Face's first nylon pedal and they nailed this growing market perfectly.

When comparing the Chester to Race Face's other pedal offerings, the choice is kind of a no brainer. The Chester has a larger platform then the AEffect, about 20 grams lighter, uses the same serviceable bearing and bushing cro-mo axle, and is over $50 cheaper! Comparing the Chester to the Atlas your getting a slightly smaller platform, but the pedals weight are almost the same (I found my to be 355 grams total) and the Chester will save you about $100! The only real concerns with the Chester pedal is the lack of any profile, they are FLAT, and 8 pins per side compared to many pedals having 10+ per side. Personally for me I have found the Chesters to still provide a great amout of grip and good feel under foot.

But product details alone don't a great pedal make. I have been riding the Chester pedals for a little over 2 months and they have provided me with a great experience. The pedals are strong, there is no flex in them and I have bounced them off logs and rocks with no damage, not even much of a scratch. The pedal feels great under foot, the size fits well (I wear a size 11 shoe) and grips nicely. At first the pedal spin was a bit stiff, but that has loosened up with use.

Overall this is a great pedal, I would highly recommend it to anyone for really any use. The Chester is an all around winner and will not be coming off my bike anytime soon!

Good all around flat pedal from someone that usually clips

Rating:
The Good:

Economical, decent grip

The Bad:

Feels like you're standing on the axle

Overall Review:

I don't ride flats often but will switch back when the old ankle is jacked up (2 surgeries). Overall they are pretty good. I do feel like you are standing more on the axle compared to other flats. It's hard to get too worked up pedals that are this budget friendly.

I typically clip in w/ Time pedals such as the MX series or Speciale 8 so by no means am I an expert. I use them w/ Five Ten Freerider Contacts. Overall they're a good economical pedal.

Great bang for the buck

Rating:
The Good:

Durable
Metal pins
Cheap

The Bad:

Completely flat

Overall Review:

Got a lot of miles on these pedals on several bikes. I use them for myself and for loaners.


Really happy with the durability 


Grip is good but not great. I think a little concave would help. But for the money I love that they come with metal pins. I’d highly recommend these for day to day use or as spares. Super good budget pedal. And they’re great on you dad pump track bike or your kids bike. I put a set on my daughters bike and she loves them.

Specifications

Product Race Face Chester (2016-2018) Flat Pedal
Riding Type Trail, Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill
Body Material Other
Body Material Details Nylon composite
Bearing Type Cartridge bearings and DU bushings
Spindle Spec Chromoly steel
Pin Spec 16 SHCS hex traction pins per pedal (8 per side)
Colors Black, Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red
Weight 0 lb 12 oz (340 g)
Miscellaneous 2016-2018 model years
Price $54.99
More Info

This tough and burly nylon composite body provides a large platform with the same grip as traditional alloy pedals via the bottom loading 8 hex traction pins per side. Thin and lightweight is the name of the game with Chester, featuring a cro-mo axle that is fully sealed and a 100% serviceable bearing and bushing system. This pedal offers performance for a wide range of riders at a price that leaves plenty of cash in pocket to spring for that round of bevies at your local watering hole after hammering out a day of hot laps with the crew.

For more info, visit the Race Face Website.

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