I am a bit of a retro MTB fan.
My every day mountain bike is a Marin Mount Vision from 2005 stacked with period and classic parts including a pair of tresured 20 year old Shimano DX pedals, the classic red SPD’s. So when I recently took a late 90’s GT in I started dreaming of the old rigid days and wondering if I was being romantic or if it realy was better when we didnt have suspension?
I stripped the frame and was pleased to find it was in great condition for its 20 years of age, threw away a lot of the worn out running gear including the horid crank set and bottom bracket it came with and started digging through my parts bins to find all those long lost bits of bike porn form the 90’s; Some period riser bars, a short stem [100mm they didnt make them short in those days], GripShift, Magura rim stops for the front, V brakes for the back, some unbranded four arm cranks and a big question mark over drivetrain.
The wheels that came with the bike were actually very good, they run true, they are light and strong and have double butted three cross stainless spokes. The Shimano free wheel made some of the decisions for me. An XT 8 speed rear mech and matching XT 8 speed cassette were dug out of a draw to go with the GripShifter and the back end is together. I fited a new KMC chain and a RaceFace narrow/wide single speed chain wheel.
On the front I fitted a new Onza Fly Guy fork, dropped it into the original headset after a service and fitted the Maguras.
Tyres, I have a choice of Schwalbe City Jets or Crazy Bobs, we will ride it on both and see how it goes. I want a pair of red walled Panaracer Fire XC Pros and a sunny day for the dusty trails but we are not there yet. For now its a 26″ BMX!
There is only one thing missing, pedals.
It has to have flats;
BMX style pedals, they have to be red [dont ask] and they have to look the part. I havent got any in stock so I start cruising the pages of our suppliers web sites. I have a RaceFace Chainguide and bash guard ready to fit if I can find some spacers for the bottom bracket so Im looking at Raceface to supply the pedals. On the Silverfish-UK web site I find the Chester Pedal.
All of 3 minutes later I had a pair of red ones on order! … waits a couple of very frustrating days for them to arrive then find I am too busy servicing other peoples bikes [doing the day job] to finish the build and try them.
I did have time to open the packet over a coffee break and was immediately pleased with my purchase. The packaging impresses, a sturdy, branded RaceFace Chester box and sleve. Opening the box I find a pair of perfectly presented red pedals, excited now!
A whole week later and the pedals are on the cranks along with the final elements of the build. Time to ride.
This is what RaceFace have to say about their Chester Pedals;
A new edition to the Race Face pedal line-up: the Chester Pedal. The 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 the Chester, featuring a cro-mo axle that is fully sealed and a 100% serviceable bearing and bushing system. This pedal offers great performance for a wide range of riders at a price that leaves plenty of cash in your pocket for that round of bevies at your local watering hole after hammering out a day of hot laps with the crew.
- Nylon composite body
- Replaceable steel pins (8 per side)
- Fully sealed
- Smooth and durable sealed bearing and bushing system
- Cro-mo axle
- Thin and lightweight concave platform
- Large platform with same grip as traditional pedlas
SPECS & COLOURS
- BUILT FOR: Trail/DH/FR
- BODY MATERIAL: Nylon composite body
- AXLE MATERIAL: Chromoly steel
- HEIGHT: 15mm – 18.4mm
- PLATFORM SIZE: 110mm x 101mm
- WEIGHT: 340g
- # OF PINS: 16 SHCS hex traction pins per pedal (8 per side)
- BEARINGS: Cartridge bearings and DU bushings
- COLOUR: Black, Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow, Purple
This is where a small admision has to go, I started riding and compleatly forgot about the pedals.
I played with the saddle height and position fore and aft, I decided I need a dropper post [well new tech has its place, A Thomson 27.2 please] so I can ride it in to town with the post up and then drop it for the traffic surfing. I play with the brakes doing stopies and re learning those trials moves, jumping kirbs and bunnyhopping. I decide the stem is way to long and the bars are to narrow so they will have to change, send me some propper risers at least 670mm wide and a 60mm stem.
Im running the Schwalbe City Jet Active Line 26″ Tyres (with Kevlar Guard); 2″ on the back and 1.5″ on the front, both pumped up hard and they are FAST. the handling is so sharp its catching me out as Im leaning in to bends to early and having to stand it up again.
The bike is so light that my usual MTB ride; a Marin Mount Vision feels slow and heavy compared to this. Throwing out the suspension and most of the gears has given birth to a very fast, responsive ride thats just doing what its told. Im going to have to live with this, we might see a renaisonce of rigid MTBs in the heart of Suffolk.
Ah yes, the pedals. They just did what they were told, they sat quietly under my feet, behaved, didn’t complain when I scraped them, the pins stayed sharp and once they were hosed off they looked as good as new again. What more could you ask of a pair of pedals?
I give you; the RaceFace Chester Pedal.