In the clipless pedal market, there is a great divide between the Crank Brothers system and the Shimano SPD system and, whilst there are merits to both; it's hard to argue with the precise and positive nature of the SPD design. Funn has incorporated this SPD system into the Mamba S, a large pedal body with some substantial pins which, on paper, looks like a winner.
The pedals on test are the dual-sided clipless, although there is another option which is clipless on one side and flat with more pins on the other – handy if you like to switch between the two.
Out of the box, the pedals feel like a quality item with the fit and finish well thought out and feeling like they've been engineered to last. Fitting the pins was straightforward with the small tool provided, and helpfully, there are a couple of spare pins included. It's encouraging to see how maintenance has been considered. Funn's patented GRS (grease renew system) allows the bushings to be revived without taking the pedal apart and replacing axles (with internals), pins, and pins cleats are available to keep these pedals turning.
How do they ride?
Funn Mamba S_3.JPG, by Ty Rutherford
First ride impressions were not very positive. Using a pair of Shimano AM9 shoes and moving from Nukeproof Horizon CS pedals (also SPD), the Mambas weren't as easy to find the clip-in point. Locating the toe of the cleat proved tricky and, after a couple of hours, started to get frustrating.
As the pedals wore in, this struggle has significantly reduced; however, finding the hook for the toe of the cleat is not as positive or engaging as it can be on other SPD systems. The large body (85mm wide x 92 long) and hefty pins are very welcome when you unclip mid-trail. In these situations, the Mamba's excel, the four large pins give plenty of grip to hold onto whilst getting through the next tricky section of trail.
Funn Mamba S_2.JPG, by Ty Rutherford
The extra width, particularly on the outboard side of the pedal, is the biggest advantage. It provides additional support to the shoe, increasing stability and provides a more connected feel to the bike. For reference, the pedal body is 17mm thick, including the cleat mechanism 28mm thick.
Value and verdict
Funn Mamba S_5.JPG, by Ty Rutherford
At 477g actual (claimed 465g), the Mamba's weight is on par with the competition. For example, they are lighter than the Nukeproof Horizon CLs (526g claimed) and near enough to HT X2 (460g claimed). Retailing at £110, these Mamba's are priced sensibly; however, they have some hot competition from the Nukeproof Horizon CL for the same money with a smoother clipping mechanism or the HT X2 at £120, but Rach reckoned was very stiff to get in and out of.
The Funn Mamba S pedals have a lot of good things going for them. The serviceability is a big plus, and the extra-large platform provides a lot of stability whether you're clipped in or on top. It's a shame the cleat system is fiddly to get into, but if you're precise enough with your feet placement, these are a well-performing set of pedals.
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