TIME are a brand from the south of France that were founded in 1986 and manufacture pedals for road, XC and enduro bikes. About two years ago they were purchased and are part of the component giant SRAM now. We pitted the SPECIALE 12 against five other clipless pedals.
The TIME SPECIALE 12 are the enduro pedals in the line-up of the SRAM subsidiary. The pedal cages are made of aluminium, and have a neatly integrated clipless mechanism. At just 404 g for the pair, they’re the second lightest clipless option on test – only the svelte HT pedals are lighter. But that comes at a price, as the SPECIALE 12 cost a whopping € 290, making them the most expensive pedals on test. The more affordable SPECIALE 8 pedals only cost € 158, but they also have smaller cages. Both variants rely on TIME’s in-house clipless system, which is fixed at the rear while the front part is spring loaded. It’s the exact opposite of the Shimano SPD system. The spring preload of the TIME system is adjustable, but it gives you just three increments and the difference between them is hardly noticeable on the trail. The pedals have a 5° float and, depending on the cleat, you can have a 10°, 13°, or 17° release angle. However, the cleats can’t be adjusted from side to side, so you can’t fine-tune the stance width. The pedal cages have four pins per side, consisting of grub screws that screw in from above. If they get damaged, they become very difficult to adjust or replace. In addition, home-mechanics will be annoyed by the fact that you need a special tool to open the pedals.
The TIME SPECIALE 12 pedals on the trail
Clicking into the TIME SPECIALE 12 pedals is tricky. The rear part of the mechanism is rather tall, making it somewhat difficult to get the cleat in as you slide over the mechanism instead. Even after several months of testing, none of our testers could really get along with this clipless system. Your failed attempts at clicking in will also scratch the beautiful aluminium cages behind the mechanism. Once you’re clicked in, the pedals have a pleasant, free-floating feeling that feels similar to that of the HTs – the pedals allow you to move your feet freely, but you can clearly feel whether you’re clicked in or not. The self-cleaning of the SPECIALE 12 pedals is good, since dirt gets pushed out through the open front bracket when clicking in. However, the pedal cages are somewhat sensitive and even slightest impact has them looking worse for wear. Due to the large cages and height-adjustable pins, however, they provide a lot of grip even when you’re not clicked in.
The TIME SPECIALE 12 pedals look great and they’re among the lightest pedals on test. That said, the hefty € 290 price point is quite the ask. The pedals rely on an in-house clipless system that allows you to adjust the spring preload and the release angle via the use of different cleats. Although they feel quite pleasant once you’re clicked in, getting in can be tricky. While the SPECIALE 12 feature good self-cleaning, they’re not the most hard-wearing.
- good self-cleaning
- hefty price point
- spring preload adjustment doesn’t make a big differenceclicking in is tricky
You can find out more about at www.sram.com
Click here for an overview: The best pedals for mountain bikers
all pedals in Review: Acros Clipless Pedal | Crankbrothers Mallet E LS | Hope Union | HT T2 | Shimano XT PD-M8120 | TIME SPECIALE 12 | Chromag Dagga | Crankbrothers Stamp 7 | Hope F22 | Look Trail Fusion | Nukeproof Horizon Pro Sam Hill | OneUp Composite Pedal | Race Face Atlas | Sixpack Kamikaze RA | SQ Lab 50X | Tatze Link Composite |
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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Jan Richter