The Xpedo name might not sound familiar to you; their parent company, Wellgo, might not even ring a bell. But chances are, without even knowing it, you may have used their pedals. As one of the largest OEM pedal manufacturers, most of Wellgo’s pedals get someone else’s name stamped on them and turn up on all different brands of bikes. Despite their success in the private-label business, Wellgo decided to capitalize on their broad manufacturing resources and take a stab at the aftermarket wars. To do so, they created Xpedo, which showcases higher-end materials such as titanium and carbon, while hitting lower price points than most other aftermarket brands can.
While Time and Look pedals have gone high tech by using carbon springs for retention, Xpedo keeps it simple with a time-proven steel coil retention spring that has adjustable tension via a 3mm Allen bolt at the back of the pedal and a handy indicator window to check tension. Our Thrust 8 pedals had titanium spindles that shave 40 grams off the $200 chromoly spindle version, but come with a 185-pound weight limit; the chromoly spindled pedals do not have a weight limit. The pedal body gets a stainless steel plate where the cleat engages, helping minimize pedal wear and creating less friction between the cleat. Trying to make the pedal as light as possible, Xpedo went with only one cartridge bearing on the outside of the pedal body and a bushing on the inside of the body. The 170-gram weight is sure nice and much lighter than the 251-gram Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 pedals, but the 7900 features three sets of bearings, a potential weight versus longevity trade-off for the Thrust 8.
The Thrust 8 pedals come with two pairs of color-coordinated cleats: the red pair provides 6 degrees of float and the black is for a fixed position. Since we prefer a little float, we opted for the red cleats. With the pedal tension turned down to its lightest setting,clicking in and out was effortless— something that new riders will appreciate as they ease into the world of clipless engagement. As we adjusted the tension to the middle setting, we found a good balance of ease of engagement versus a feeling of confidence that our foot wouldn’t come flying out during a sprint. The Thrust 8’s 60mm-wide platform felt stable under foot, without allowing any side-to-side rocking movement between the cleat and pedal. Over the course of the test, we logged approximately 1000 miles on the Thrust 8 pedals and didn’t experience any problems along the way. Clip-in after clip-in the pedals stayed consistent and predictable. At the end of the test, the bearing and bushing didn’t have any noticeable signs of wear or slop between the spindle and pedal body.
Price and weight make the Thrust 8 a great bargain. And while our pair held up without exception during the test, long-term durability might be an issue for the single cartridge bearing and bushing. The Ti spindle option should only be considered if you’re really looking to shave some grams, and are sub- 185 pounds; otherwise, saving $40 and getting a stiffer spindle are what we would opt for.
• Super light
• Hard to beat for the price
• Might not be the last pedal you ever buy
Weight: 170 grams (pair)