The Candy 2 from Crankbrothers is a small-platform clipless pedal that's ideal for cross-country mountain bikes and gravel bikes. The quality bearings and mud-shedding design impress, but despite the upgrade to an alloy body it's heavier than the functionally identical – yet far cheaper – Candy 1.
The Candy 2 is very similar to the Candy 1 we tested in 2018. They're shaped the same, use the same mechanism, have the same bearings, and spin on the same steel spindle.
The inner bearing is an Igus LL-glide, while the outer is an Enduro cartridge bearing. Both completed the test without a hint of complaint, spinning happily around the forged 435 chromoly steel spindle that's a staple for much of the range.
The four-sided mechanism rotates 360 degrees inside the body, and pairs with a provided brass cleat with either a 15 or 20 degree release angle – you choose which by swapping the cleats from right foot to left, or vice versa.
You can customise this further by buying alternative cleats with different release/float options from Crankbrothers. My personal favourite is the Easy Release kit, with either zero or six degrees float and a 10 degree release angle, as it suits off-roading well. I like less float – I find it unnecessary for gravel and XC, plus it gives a vague and slippery feel – but a small release angle for quick, positive exits.
Interestingly, the Candy 1 is sold with Easy Release cleats, while the 2 is not.
The mechanism doesn't capture or release as positively as the likes of a Shimano M530 or HT T1, but it's relatively easy to engage. The Candy 2 sheds mud well too, and even after taking filthy sections on foot, clipping back in just takes a swift tap to clear mud.
The Candy 2 features the clip-on 'traction pad' – interchangeable pads for raising the pedal to meet your shoe along the axle – seen elsewhere in the range, such as the Mallet DH's. They work badly here, though. The outer pads fell off mine on the first ride, while the inners only stuck around as they encircle the axle.
About the best thing I can say about these traction pads is that, given the small body of the Candy, it's unlikely you'll miss them – you'd chose a bigger-platformed pedal in the first place if you wanted that much support. And as for why 'traction pads' have smooth surfaces... shrug.
A pair of Candy 2 pedals comes to 338g. That's significantly more than the composite-bodied Candy 1s at 294g. As they're rotating weight, that's something to bear in mind, especially as the composite version is over £30 cheaper.
So Crankbrothers Candy 2 pedal costs more than the entry-level Candy 1, is heavier, has traction pads which don't work, and features the same grade of internals. Yes, the alloy body is probably stronger and almost certainly more rigid – plus it comes in subtler colours – but you pay a hefty premium both in price and weight to get it.
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