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Yoshimura Chilao Flat Pedal

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
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Yoshimura Enters MTB with the Chilao Flat Pedal

Another moto brand jumps into the mountain bike component market.

Rating: Vital Review
Yoshimura Enters MTB with the Chilao Flat Pedal

If you are into motorcycle racing or tuning, you know Yoshimura. Founded in 1954 by Hideo “Pops” Yoshimura, the company has an endless list of innovations and wins to its name, whether on the road or in the dirt. For proof, look no further than the current supercross standings where Ken Roczen is locked in a tight battle for the top spot, or the excellent start by team HRC in MXGP. But what does this have to do with mountain bikes you ask? It turns out that the president of American-based Yoshimura R&D, Yusaku Yoshimura, is an avid mountain biker, and it didn’t take much for him to start looking at his ride and wonder if his company couldn’t make some of the parts on it. Sure enough, Yusaku put his engineering skills to work and not long thereafter, he was out testing his own prototype pedals. Fast-forward to present date, and Yoshimura R&D is launching the Chilao.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Great grip
  • Comfortable shape
  • Compact design good for avoiding rocks and obstacles
  • Strong leading edge
  • Quality construction
  • Short PTA ("Pin-To-Axle") may not suit riders with bigger feet/wider stance
  • Expensive

Yoshimura Chilao Flat Pedal Highlights

  • CNC machined body from 6061-T6 billet aluminum
  • Contoured shape
  • Proprietary alloy steel CNC machined, and heat-treated spindle
  • Two sealed cartridge bearings on outboard and one bushing on inboard
  • V-ring sealed, dual bearing design
  • 7075-T6 aluminum pins, ten per side (L), seven per side (S)
  • Rear facing pins on front side of pedal for maximum traction
  • Recessed alloy end plug is strike resistant
  • Colors: Pewter and YoshiKote
  • Weight: 340 grams per pair (S) / 375 grams per pair (L) - verified
  • Serialized sets
  • Fully serviceable
  • MSRP: $190 USD (size L) / $180 USD (size S)

Video Review

Initially available only in the US via the company’s new cycling website, yoshimuracycling.com, the Chilao comes in two sizes and two different colors. Machined from 6061 aluminum, it features a contoured shape that is meant to allow your foot to really sink into the pedal. The heat-treated spindle is CNC machined and spins on bearings and bushings, sealed on both ends to protect them from the elements. The Chilao comes in two sizes, with ten pins per side for the large and seven pins per side for the small. The shape offers some concavity thanks to the raised portions along the axle, but most of the effective concavity is delivered by the pins. The center pin is slightly recessed to further contribute to this aspect. At 375 grams for the size large, the weight of the Chilao is competitive, while the $190 price tag is at the upper end of the scale in this market category.

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On the trail, we were immediately impressed by the shape and the feel of the pedal body. The pins are slightly angled to promote better grip, and the overall design delivers a really locked-in feeling. The pedal body sits very close to the crank arm, which is something that Yoshimura says helps keep the overall size of the pedal in check to avoid hanging up on obstacles. If you like to run a wider stance or if you have really big feet, you may want to look at other options, as the Chilao feels slightly smaller underfoot compared to come competitors. But even if you hang your feet off the edge, this pedal still delivers plenty of grip. When it comes to longevity, Yoshimura has done their homework as well. The fully sealed axle system should keep the bearings clean for a long time, and the leading edges of the pedals have extra material around the pins to help avoid mangling the threads or bending the pin shelf in case of a big impact.

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All in all, we’ve been very impressed by the Chilao pedal. The shape delivers plenty of grip and a very secure feeling under your feet. The compact form factor allows it to sneak through tighter trails, while the strong leading edge and sealed axle system will help with longevity. It sits very close to the crank arm which may not suit riders with bigger feet or a wider stance, and it is certainly quite expensive, but the quality and performance are there to match the price tag. A promising first step for Yoshimura in the world of mountain biking, and we can’t wait to see what’s next!

 

More information available at: www.yoshimuracycling.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 46 // Years Riding MTB: 14 // Weight: 190-pounds (~87kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Video by Tal Rozow and Johan Hjord / Photos by Johan Hjord

Specifications

Product Yoshimura Chilao Flat Pedal
Riding Type Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Downhill, Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Body Material Aluminum
Body Material Details 6061 Aluminum
Bearing Type 2 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing per pedal
Spindle Spec Alloy steel, heat treated
Pin Spec 10 per side (L), 7 per side (S)
Colors Pewter, YoshiKote
Weight 0 lb 13.2 oz (375 g)
Miscellaneous Weights:
375 grams (size L)
340 grams (size S)
Price $190
More Info

yoshimuracycling.com

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