A clipless pedal that performs well for gravel and XC use with a minimal size that will appeal to some riders but smaller platform might not be ideal for all.
Jan 11 2021
Positive clip in/out
Paint wears off fast
Bearings need time to become smooth
You want a cheap, light set of pedals that have good engagement
The Ritchey Comp XC pedals offer excellent value and good performance with enough adjustment and an open, mud-shedding design. With several colours to choose from besides black they offer something a bit quirky, although the paint rubs off easily and the size of the platform might not suit everyone.
The Comp XC can be installed with either a 15mm pedal spanner or a 6mm hex on the axle. The cleat release tension can be adjusted with a 3mm hex found in front of the pedal, rather than on top, which takes it out of an area likely to be filled with mud... but puts it in more vulnerable position for pedal strikes.
The range of adjustment for the tension is generous, going from almost too light up to a considerable effort to unclip. For me, the middle ground is ideal for both mountain bike and gravel use, and I never accidentally unclipped.
The platform is small and the cleat mechanism is low profile, which helps with mud shedding – even in gloopy mud, clipping in and out proves reliable. One downside to a smaller platform, though, is there's less support your feet if your shoes are not that stiff.
Though the bright colours are welcome (there's also white, yellow, green and orange available), the paint wears away quickly, both from the body and the jaws – and right from the first few rides.
The bearings were initially quite tight and felt restrictive, but loosen and smooth out with use. Even after several hundred kilometres they are still not quite as smooth as some, such as Shimano for instance, but there's no play evident at all.
Quoted float is four degrees, which is less than similar pedals from LOOK and Shimano, though in use this didn't cause problems – in fact, they feel the same. Where the Ritchey pedals really deliver is how confidently they engage and disengage, with a distinct click and an easy, yet secure, unclipping movement.
The cleats provided are SPD compatible, and feel identical in use to Shimano ones.
The Comp XC Pedals offer good performance. The bearings might not be as smooth as some, but they should last a long time – though unfortunately the same can't be said for the colour and those impressive looks.
Matt is an endurance nut who loves big rides and big events. Former full time racer and 24hr event specialist but now happy riding off-road on gravel bikes or XC mountain bikes and exploring the mountains and hills of Mid Wales.