A sizeable and grippy flat pedal but featuring unpredictability and some performance quirks
Dec 4 2017
Caters for the larger than average foot
Totally useable platform
Good weight for the money
Grip is unpredictable at times
Inherent Crankbrothers reliability quirks still questionably exist
More expensive than higher performing competition
You have larger than average feet or like the idea of a large platform under-foot
The Crankbrothers Stamp 3 is the components brand’s almost entry level flat pedal offering and with two sizes available, there will always be pedal to match your shoe size. Whilst grip is considerable on the large platform with sharp pins, the lack of a concave design on these cheaper versions means they’re often unpredictable just when you’d rather they weren’t.
Crankbrothers have had a turbulent past with their pedals which have at times been thwarted by reliability issues. But, despite these setbacks, they continue to have a loyal following of consumers who love their Mallet range of clipped pedals over any others.
Not too long ago they changed their axle and bearing design with the intention of improving durability and value, something their ardent fans and sceptics alike welcomed with applause. They also released the size specific Stamp flat pedal range, a real issue or an imagined one? I thought I’d decided it wasn’t necessary, surely just make a pedal a decent size and riders with smaller feet just get a larger platform to use. Then, other brands started releasing size specific pedals and I returned to sitting on that fence again - contrary to our beliefs, brands very regularly research these things. They must know something I don't! As such, the Stamps come in 2 sizes - small and large.
I’ve been using their large Stamp 3 offering which is their almost entry-level version. At £89.99 they’re still at the higher end of the ‘budget’ flat pedal field, using a steel axle and a thicker forged aluminium body than their lighter and more expensive Stamp doppelgangers. They’re on the thicker side too at 16mm almost throughout as they also lack the concave shape of their pricier siblings - most unfortunately, to their detriment. The platform of the large is pretty big at approximately 114mm x 111mm, not hugely different to a ‘regular’ alternative but due to not having any bearing housings obstructing the inboard side, it's an entirely useable space. The ten sharp, grub screw pins offer adequate traction and are Allen key adjustable as expected. However, I’m not a big fan of non-through mounted pins, it means once the head is damaged (which they usually always are at some point), the pins are unreplaceable. Acceptable on cheaper pedals, but not when you’re dropping decent dollar on them.
The Stamp 3’s lack of a concave design also makes the pedal somewhat unpredictable as it is generally this shape that forces your shoe’s sole into the outer pins. The absence of one translates to a pedal that can break traction unless your foot is securely planted and pressed firmly downwards. It does mean that adjustments can be made with relative ease however, these adjustments are often not by choice either. They shed mud well due to the large open spaces and the larger platform does enable you to plant your foot easily and in a hurry, which you’ll need to do occasionally when, rather than if, your foot breaks traction with them.
I was also immediately aware that after only two rides the inherent Crankbrothers axle play had appeared, however, its minimal and now after several rides of decent lengths and in all conditions, the play has not worsened and they spin smoothly with no roughness or wobbles. Rather disappointingly, Crank Brothers have also kept their plastic grease port cap at the end of the axle which, in my experience, usually ends up mullered by your screwdriver after only a few attempts to remove it. Pleasingly though, at circa 455g per pair, they’re not overly heavy for a brand’s more economical contribution.
Nevertheless, for me, the word contribution is a good word to describe the Stamp 3 - it does its job to an acceptable level and the large platform is reassuring, but at a price exceeding the number of better performing and cheaper options, I’d personally look elsewhere or price up to the Stamp 7 which, for £40 more, looks to be a far superior choice.
No - might go for more expensive 'Stamps' in the range
If you like or need a large platform at this price point
A self confessed bike geek, Adam has been riding bikes for over two decades and breaking things for nearly as long. With more facial hair than on his head, his appearance is one of a hard paper round! He's friendly, approachable, critical and fair - loves a good stoppie and a turnbar tuesday, real ale and long bikes.