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Review: Eggbeater 3

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Launched nearly a decade ago, the minimal design of Crankbrothers’ Eggbeater clipless pedals can still grab attention. The pedal line comes in four builds and costs between $60 and $425 per pair. For this year, Crankbrothers revamped its Eggbeater SL pedal, renaming it the Eggbeater 3 and placing it second from the top of the line at $120 for the set.

The Eggbeater 3 pedals are made of stainless and chromoly steel. They weigh a feathery 278 grams per pair and have a five-year warranty against defect.

Crankbrothers Eggbeater 3

One notable upgrade, the new pedals use needle bearings for their inner and cartridge bearings for their outer (instead of cartridge bearings for both). Needle bearings are typically stronger and produce less friction than cartridge bearings.

I tested out the Eggbeater 3 during a summer of riding in Colorado. As a longtime Shimano SPD pedal user, I found the Eggbeaters initially difficult to clip into. And once clipped, the Eggbeaters have a substantial amount of “float” or side-to-side play, making it hard to tell whether or not you’re clipped in right.

This extra float is a signature, and deliberate, feature of the whole Eggbeater line. Some riders love the slight side-to-side play (including Gear Junkie founder Stephen Regenold, a longtime Crankbrothers devotee). Other riders are sketched out by the movement. It’s a personal preference.

For me, being used to Shimano SPD pedals’ solid click and strong underfoot “clipping-in” sensation, the Eggbeaters took time to trust. With the minimal Crankbrothers design, you don’t feel much of a click when clipping in and out.

Exploded view: Crankbrothers Eggbeater 3

The Eggbeaters have minimal surface area. This prevents them from getting caked with mud, which was historically one of the pedals’ biggest claims to fame. The minimal design also keeps the weight down.

But because of that mud-shedding minimal surface area, don’t expect to take your steed on an impromptu grocery run sans cleated-shoes. With regular shoes, it’s hard to keep your feet on the pedals.

Overall, the Eggbeater 3s are solid. Shimano SPD users will have to make some adjustments to get used to the Crankbrothers design. After some use, you’ll learn to trust the Eggbeaters underfoot.

For the price, the new Eggbeater 3s offer a lightweight pedal that should stand up to years of serious muddy, pedal-spinning abuse. $120. www.crankbrothers.com

—Ryan Dionne

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