Race Face Chester Review
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Race Face Chester
|Price||$39.00 at REI|
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|$39.50 at Evo|
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$26.99 at Amazon
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|Bottom Line||Less-expensive flat pedal option for those who like to put their equipment to the test||A quality composite pedal at an outstanding price point||A budget oriented pedal that offers adequate grip and a midsize platform but may be less apealing compared to established brands||An inexpensive pedal that works great as a commuter, but less suitable as a true mountain bike pedal||Does not match up with similar priced budget pedals in terms of grip and mobility but still finds value within commuter style applications|
|Rating Categories||Race Face Chester||OneUp Components Co...||Fooker Nylon Fiber||Puroma Nylon Fiber||RockBros CNC Aluminum|
|Grip and Traction (25%)|
|Specs||Race Face Chester||OneUp Components Co...||Fooker Nylon Fiber||Puroma Nylon Fiber||RockBros CNC Aluminum|
|Measured Weight (per pair)||358 g||359 g||370 g||359 g||301 g|
|Traction Pins (per side)||8, 2.5 mm hex head bottom loading||10, 2.5 mm hex head bottom loading||8, 2.5 mm hex head bottom loading||8, 2.5 mm hex head bottom loading||8, e4 torx socket top loading|
|Platform Dimensions (millimeters)||110 mm x 101 mm||114 mm x 104 mm||110 mm x 100 mm||105 mm x 98 mm||99 mm x 94 mm|
|Platform Profile (millimeters) - not including pins||14 mm leading and trailing edges, 17 mm center of spindle||13.8 mm leading and trailing edges, 16.9 mm at axle||14 mm at edges, 18 mm at axle||16.5 mm at edges, 19 mm at axle||9 mm at edges, 17 mm at axle|
|Concavity||3 mm difference from effective edges to center of pedal||slight convexity||4 mm difference from effective edge to center of pedal||2.5 mm difference from effective edge to center of pedal||8 mm difference from effective edge to center of pedal|
|Q Factor / Distance from cranks to furthest pin||103 mm||106 mm||103 mm||105 mm||102 mm|
|Bearings||Cartridge bearings and DU bushings||DU cartridge||3 sealed cartridge bearings||Sealed cartridge bearings||Sealed bearings|
|Body Material||Nylon Composite||Nylon Composite||Nylon Fiber||Nylon Composite||CNC Aluminum|
|Pedal Wrench Type||15 mm pedal spanner, 8 mm hex||15 mm pedal spanner, 6 mm hex||8 mm hex||6 mm hex||6mm hex|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Chester is a great bargain for the quality you get from this mountain bike flat pedal. Raceface has hit the nail on the head with the construction of this versatile nylon composite pedal with a Chromoly steel axle that weighs in at only 358-grams. These convex flats offer decent grip, a great platform, and inexpensive rebuild and service kits. For all these reasons, one of our testers owned a pair of Chesters before this review, so they've been thoroughly tested.
The Race Face Chester has stellar grip and traction as long as your foot remains evenly placed on this pedal. With only eight traction pins per side and no pins along the axle body of this pedal, good foot placement is imperative before you head down a chunky rock garden.
The pin spacing makes the pin traction quite grippy, as long as your foot is placed ideally on the platform. The biggest concern is if you get your feet muddy, as there are no traction pins in the center of this pedal, which can cause some slipping.
The Chester platform size holds its own, considering its smaller dimensions. Race Face may not have given this pedal the largest platform, but the 110 mm x 101 mm platform feels larger than it is. The platform is comfortable and allows the rider to have good foot placement, especially when doing tricks or dirt jumping. For riders with a men's size 10 or larger shoe, the platform may seem a little small, but those with a smaller shoe size should have no issues.
Our tester with smaller feet felt these pedals were a good fit, with no extra wiggle room on foot placement. When pedaling uphill, the Chester's platform has great contact with the sole of the shoe. The compact size helps keep the foot from wandering off to one side or another. While the Chester's profile isn't particularly large, it provides a balanced feel and support even through the most technical rock gardens.
The Chester's has a 14 mm profile on the trailing edges and is approximately 17 mm at the spindle. The thicker middle portion of the pedal can become slightly problematic when the fore and aft pins become worn down or are scraped off from rock strikes, thus reducing the connection between the sole and the pedal. However, the Chesters have a reasonably thin profile and have held up well to any pedal strikes we've encountered. While some composite pedals measure on the thicker side to combat the strength characteristics of the composite material, the Chester's do not feel like a bulky pedal, and we had many more pedal strikes with other pedals than the Chester.
The mobility of the Race Face Chester is very good when the pedal is firmly planted under your foot. The pedal has great rotation without the nuisance of pedals spinning wildly or gouging your shins if you slip. We appreciate the reliability of the Chester when doing a trick or dab in a tight corner, as the pedal is always exactly where you left it. Mobility is also good while climbing with this pedal, as the spindle moves freely with the foot and does not stick when you are conquering steeper terrain.
For such an inexpensive, highly durable pedal, Race Face puts in the time when it comes to the serviceability of the Chester. The Chester has a Chromoly steel axle with cartridge bearings and DU bushings. These quality internals add to the longevity of this pedal, especially when you put it to the test. Knowing you can rebuild the internals is good peace of mind if the bearings or bushings start acting up. The rebuild kit for these pedals can be found on several cycling supply websites and can extend the life of the pedals, especially if they have been put through the wringer.
Due to the high reliability of a nylon composite platform body and slightly smaller size than other models, the Race Face Chester has a pleasantly lightweight feel and tips the scales at only 358-grams. Even with such a lightweight feel, strength and durability are not lacking in this pedal. The nylon composite is strong enough to withstand hard rock strikes without flinching.
Should You Buy the Race Face Chester Pedal?
The Race Face Chester offers outstanding value for the flat pedal rider, especially for those who are newer to the sport, don't ride frequently, or are more mindful of how they spend their dollar. The Chester provides a supportive platform, and fairly good grip, although they don't perform as well in mud or as pedals in our review with more pins. The straightforward serviceability adds value to these pedals, making them a great choice.
What Other Flat Pedals Should You Consider?
If you're looking for a flat pedal with a bit more grip and a larger profile, we recommend considering the OneUp Composite, whose 104 mm x 114 mm platform fits larger shoe sizes better than the Chester. The OneUp Composite also has 10 traction pins, two of which are along the axle and provide additional grip.