Or, 'Bout Damn Time! Or, The Times, They Are A Changin'. The possibilities are pretty endless . . . there are a a thousand phrases built around the word "time" and at least that many words that rhyme with it.
If only the pedals were as rad as the word.
Unfortunately, they are not. It's not that they don't work well. They do. But they are made in France, and so naturally, they are difficult by nature - expensive as hell and hard to get rebuild kits for. And proud of it.
I accidentally "standardized" on them ten or so years ago and I've been looking for a way out for the last couple. Trouble is, once you have three or four bikes equipped with a certain brand of pedal and then have those brand-specific cleats on more pairs of shoes than you are comfortable divulging over the internet, you are looking at some serious coin to convert over to a different brand.
I always seem to have at least one pair that is squeaking or grinding and so it was again, the weekend before last, when I went to swap a set onto the fatbike, only to find out that the left one felt like the bearing races were lined with sandpaper. I happened to be down at REI that same afternoon for other purposes, and thought I'd lolly through the pedal section and see what a set of Times would set me back. They had one model in stock, and $179 dollars is the answer. Holy living hell.
But since I was in the pedal section anyways, I chanced a gaze in the direction of the Crank Brothers offerings, and whadya know . . . Candy Ones were being closed out for $39 a pair. And they came with cleats! After a few blazing moments of mind-numbing mathematical calculations, I saw the light, loaded up with a quantity sufficient to convert my entire fleet, and was out the door.
I now have pedals that I can get rebuild parts for and that clear mud and snow as well as the Times and that won't cost me an arm and a leg if I want another set. The only thing on the other side of the ledger is that after having spent more than a week riding them on various bikes and in various shoes, I do have to admit that the Times are a little easier to get in and out of, but that is all.
I can hear the French responding, from across the pond: "But of course they are, they are superior in every way!" (proclaimed with the proper french accent and syllabic emphasis, of course. Feel free to take a couple of minutes of you-time and do your best impression, out loud for your own personal entertainment. Try not to get carried away and make a fool out of yourself, though.)
Anyway, I've gone on longer than intended, as usual. Bottom line though, is that I don't know if it's always true that change is good, but in this case it surely is. I feel like celebrating with a plate of french toast.