XPEDO Thrust 8 Titanium Pedals Review
Saving a little money usually means adding weight, giving up features or very frequently a combination of the two. Xpedo decided that neither were required for the Thrust 8 Ti pedals. They’ve have been knocking out solid product for a while but it wasn’t until recently that I paid proper attention.
Xpedo are the race / high end project shop for Wellgo, the largest OE manufacturer of pedals on the planet. Without knowing, most avid cyclists could name 3-4 companies whose pedals come from Wellgo… bit of poking on my end and I can now name 15.
So Xpedo get to take all of that manufacturing capacity and expertise and rather than working through the probably tedious game of design and manufacture for other folks, they get to let their R&D geeks run wild(and unlike several other manufacturers all these geeks do is pedals). The result is a product made to (or beyond) the level of specification of premium brands at a substantially less than premium price tag … The Thrust 8 Ti.
Xpedo have a good understanding of short fiber carbon composite molding and they start there, as the foundation of the Thrust 8.
The body is a solid platform and clip section that helps keep the weight down but isn’t flexy. Xpedo designed this well, getting right up against the lowest weight possible without giving up the stiffness of the body that ensures crisp / accurate clip in and out.
Staying clipped isn’t an issue at lower settings for my riding style and I like float, so keeping things at the light setting made sense.
However, making adjustments are simple with a hex bolt twist and it’s easy to check the spring tension on both feet with a standard tension gauge that’s disappeared from lots of models these days.
Adding this feature is a no brainer if you go with something as tried and true as a spring closure.
The Thrust 8 gets to add “Ti” to its name for a couple of reasons, first being the axle…
Nice detailed machining / finish and the standard hex head hole for mounting (and as I sit here I’m trying to remember the last time I used a pedal wrench for pedals…).
The second bit of Ti sits in a spot where most folks are using aluminum or steel but any way you slice it, wear plates are a must with composite body pedals.
The plate is plenty wide and with a little flare at the outside edges to cover more of the typical wear area.
The other area of concern for pedal wear is at the bearings and T8 does the business here with three cartridge bearings…
That’s two on the crank side and one on the outside.
Xpedo make this pedal darn easy to service with a standard Hex wrench.
There’s another hex head inside the larger hex head cap btw.
Xpedo will sell a replacement kit shortly, but the bearings are sizes and types that you should be able to find on your own.
The stack height on the Thrust 8 is relatively good (low) as well.
I don’t know many people that really feel much difference and or are genuinely concerned with pedal clearance but these are on par with their LOOK and Shimano counterparts.
Xpedo supply two sets of cleats (and hardware) for the Thrust 8.
A fixed grey set and a Red set offering 6 degrees of Float.
Both cleats are co molded with a hard compound for pedal body contact and wear and a softer edge that makes walking a less slippery affair.
These are Look cleat Compatible. (Look Keo for the three of you readers still running Deltas…)
I can’t think of anyone’s top of the line pedal that doesn’t function well these days and the Thrust 8 Ti are no exception.
At low to mid tension, snapping in and out isn’t even an afterthought. A solid “clack” lets you know you’re in and there’s tension toward the end of the float to let you know you’re getting close…
For folks that want zero float, you’re very likely going to want to dial the tension up a bit from minimum. At the lowest setting, the fixed position cleats felt roughly the same as the “sticky” float you used to get with older PP series Look pedals. Dial it up half way and you’re nice and snug but can still clip out relatively easily.
The float for both Xpedo and Look cleats was good. There’s really not much difference function wise between these pedals and Look’s top line Blade Ti…
That can be said for the stability as well. The nice wide cleat and nice wide platform on the Thrust 8 make for a planted feel that 3 hole pedal lovers want.
There are a couple of differences between the Xpedo Thrust 8 Ti and their more readily recognized Look Blade Ti counterparts, first among them is price… The Xpedo’s can cost you some place near 30% – 40% less.
Another difference is in weight… The Xpedo’s are lighter…
On the home Park scale, Blade Ti’s tip in at 188 while the Thrust 8 Ti go a tad lower than their claimed spec.
And the last difference is that Xpedo give these pedals a 180 pound weight limit.
I’m going to guess that the weight diff here is basically in the axle and retention system.
The axle for the Xpedo’s will have a slight bit more flex than the Blade Ti, but I very frankly had to pedal my 150 +/- pounds in as nasty a fashion as I could to notice it… Flex isn’t a performance effecting degree for either Look or Xpedo at least as it relates to my weight.
The last notable seems to be the retention system and the Blades are a pain in the ass to swap. The Thrust 8 Ti is easier than a Kardashian at an NBA allstar party. But that’s pretty much a non-dif given the Blades are dialed well enough that not many people honestly want to adjust them.
Now that said…
A little something should be ready for show around Interbike (very shortly) that Xpedo are prepping that changes the retention system…
So that’s that.
If you’re hunting a high end carbon composite pedal with Ti axles, simple 3 hole cleats that function very well, and tip the scales @10% less than the top brands top product, hit up Xpedo at www. XPEDO.com.
If you’re shop/retailer hunting a product like this for your customers, see em at Interbike or give them a call directly. From what I understand, Xpedo are also lighter on the typical BS that dealer set up can sometimes be.