Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Review: Specialized Boomslang Flat Pedal

In development by Jason Chamberlain, the main man behind FSR suspension at Specialized since...wait for it..2010! Yes these pedals has been in development for five years. Now they are finally here, but are these pedals worth the wait? Are the 5 years well spent? or is this pedal left behind by the competition? Read on, and find out.

110x108mm and 10mm thickness.
 Note the spare pins on the side. Its a neat feature, but does this feature solve a problem that doesn't exist? Think about it for a sec.. You still need the tool right?
(click to enlarge)

Claimed weight: 430grams
Actual weight: 435 grams
(click to enlarge)

To keep the pedal as thin as possible, Specialized came up with a way to access the outboard needle bearing via a “trap door” in the middle of the pedal. This helps in keeping the pedal as thin as possible without resorting to laying bare the axle in the middle or having to run super thin bushings instead of bearings. This rotating "trap door" is held in place by two traction pins. Its definitely a different way of doing things.
(click to enlarge)

11 pins per side. It might be a bit hard to see, but the pins are time-glass shaped. The grip is okay, above average I would say. I usually advocate against pins that has to be uninstalled by removing them backwards, but I think Specialized got around the potential problems with its design, largely thanks to the time-glass shape.
(click to enlarge)

Specialized is promoting the Boomslang as being big. Well perhaps it is for some, but not in comparison to the TwentySix Predator pedal. The Predator is 1/3 lighter as well. Both are equally thin.
(click to enlarge)

Btw, take a look at this old 2011 prototype with 8mm pins! I wish Specialized at least offered these pins as an option.
(click to enlarge)
Overall the pedal was a surprise grip-wise, but a disappointment size wise. Pins are an important factor of a pedal, and Specialized did alot of things right regarding just that. But with a relatively small pedal body, I end up being unimpressed. Your foot has to be placed just right on the pedal to get the most out of it, whereas a bigger pedal allows more freedom of foot placement.
I can't comment the reliability, as this isn't a long-term test, I'm returning these pedals soon. 

In the end, this is a pedal that stands in the shadow of the TwentySix Predator pedal. (I'm testing version 2 of that very pedal and will post a review once I break the 14 month barrier) For pretty much the same money you could get the Steel axle version of the Predator pedal, and its a pedal that I regard better in every single aspect.

The Good:
-Pins bite well into FiveTen shoes
-They feel tough
-Overall pin-design is smart

The Bad:
-Medium sized at best. (Shut up, I know my pedals)

Score: 4/6

1 comment:

  1. The shape you refer to is generally referred to as an "hour glass."