Have you ever asked yourself what do you want in a pedal? Are you big on clipless or do you prefer flats? What kind of riding are you doing? Smooth, groomed multi track or twisty singletrack? And of course the big question, what do you want to spend?
I’m a big proponent of flats. I love them. The ability to move my feet around while I ride is a huge plus (I don’t like being locked to my bike). I understand the clipless, I really do but for wintertime riding, flats are the way.
Tio Gomez decided that I should be the one to try out these new Chester Pedals from Raceface and put them to the test. At a price point of about $50, combined with the color choices and 100% serviceable bearing/bushings, I thought, this must be a mistake. Crappier pedals on the market cost about the same, so how could this be? Well it be my fat loving friends, it be. The nylon base is a fantastic choice in my opinion due to the colder temperatures winter can bring. Nothing like putting your foot on an all metal base and wonder why your feet are so cold so soon. Oh sure, you’re wearing thick boots, it won’t affect you. Bullshit. Go out for a 3 hour ride and tell me it doesn’t make a difference. You’re toes will agree with me that nylon is the way to go, plus it’s lighter at 340g (if you’re into weight savings) than other comparable pedals on the market.
Enough talk, let’s go out for a ride…
For this review I used a pair of Columbia hiking boots with a meaty tread pattern and I also used a pair of FiveTen Impact High shoes. Let me start with the FiveTens because if you have a pair, you already know how great a shoe they make. Have you ever stepped in gum? How about tar, or mud so sticky it removes your shoes for you? Well if you answered yes, then you can understand how sticky the FiveTens feel against a set of flats. While using the Chesters, they had me feeling like I was clipped in because no matter how many roots or rocks I decided to smash over, I couldn’t shake my foot loose. The climbing was fantastic and being able to jockey my foot around yet still feel secure left me all warm and fuzzy inside. Nothing worse than slipping a pedal on a climb (We all have the scars to prove that), thank you 510!
Now let’s get into some real winter riding conditions. It’s windy, cold, icy, and I want my feet to stay toasty! I don my massive hiking boots which make my legs look like toothpicks being stuffed into potato sacks, but hey, my feet will be warm. Hitting the snow machine trails, I can instantly feel my feet gripping the Chesters. The 8 pin setup really does a great job holding my clod stomper boots down and I still get that sticky feeling when applying pressure to the crank. On a few occasions I had my foot slip a bit but it never completely left the pedal. Dipping into some single track I expected my feet to be pogoing around the pedal but to my surprise, I only skipped around, never off and even with just the toe catching a small portion of the pedal I could still keep the pressure on and readjust later. Not once did I slip off and smack my shins. No bullshit, not once. It’s a great feeling to know your pedal is biting into your boots because that’s just one less thing to think about while on a blissful ride. I loved the fact that when I needed to hike-a-bike I was able to jump right back on and go, no snow or ice clogging anything up (cough-cough-clipless). I love simplicity that works well and Chester hits the nail on the head. It’s just a nylon pedal right? Wrong! It’s the most important part of your drivetrain if you ask me. What good is a flat pedal that doesn’t hold your foot in place? If you’re looking for a great set of flats that don’t take money away from your beer funds, go pick up a set of Chesters and give them a shot. Grab your favorite color and plant your foot with confidence.
I give the Raceface Chester Pedals 5 out of 5 shrunken heads