Race Face Chester Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Tough and durable, won’t break the bank, good mid-range size
Cons: Smaller platform and only 8 traction pins, no traction pins along the spindle
Manufacturer: Race Face
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Chester is one heck of a bargain for the amount of quality you'll get from this flat pedal. Raceface has hit the nail on the head with the construction of this versatile nylon composite pedal with Chromoly steel axle that weighs in at only 350 grams. These thin concave flats offer decent grip, a generous platform, and inexpensive rebuild and service kits. In fact, one of our tested actually owned a pair of Chester's prior to this review for all of these reasons.
The Race Face Chester offers some stellar grip and traction as long as your foot remains evenly placed on this pedal. With only eight traction pins per side (the least amount of pins of all the pedals reviewed) and no pins along the axle body of this pedal, you had better make sure your foot is in good placement before you scream down a chunky rock garden.
The ideal spacing of the pins makes efficiency in traction quite grippy, never leaving the rider searching for that perfect placement. The only concern is when you get your feet muddy, as there are no traction pins located in the center of this pedal.
The Chester platform size holds its own considering its slightly smaller dimensions. Race Face may not have given this pedal the largest dimensions, but this pedal has the portrayal of being larger than life when it comes to having a platform of only 110 mm x 101 mm. The platform is comfortable and allows the rider to have good placement, especially when doing tricks or dirt jumping. These pedals may seem a little on the small side for a rider who wears a size 10 or larger but for those who wear sizes smaller than that should have no issues whatsoever.
Our tester with smaller feet felt these pedals were a good fit, allowing for no extra wiggle room on foot placement. When pedaling uphill, the Chester's platform allows for great contact on your entire foot. Its more compact size helps keep your foot from wandering off to one side or another. The Chester profile doesn't strike you as a large platform but even through the most technical rock gardens, the platform offered great feel and ample grip.
The Chester's platform thickness is mid-range and measures in at 14 mm on the trailing edges and around 17 mm at the spindle. This thicker middle portion of the pedal can become slightly problematic when the pins fore/aft start to get worn down or are scraped off from rock strikes. However, the Chester's have a fairly 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 never felt like a bulky pedal, and we had many more pedal strikes with other pedals we tested.
Mobility of the Race Face Chester is on point when it comes to having a pedal planted firmly underneath your foot. The pedal provides great rotation without the nuisance of pedals spinning wildly and gouging your shins if you slip one. The Chester's reliability of being exactly where you left it while performing a trick or having to dab in a tight corner is one hundred percent. Mobility is also good while climbing with this pedal. They move freely, and the spindles do not stick when you are conquering steeper terrain.
For such an inexpensive, highly durable pedal, Race Face put 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. If the internals do start acting up, it's a good piece of mind to know that you can rebuild them. The rebuild kit for these pedals can be found on several cycling supply websites for around $22. Not a bad price to extend the life of some pedals that can be put through the wringer and keep coming back for more.
Due to the high reliability of a nylon composite platform body and slightly smaller size compared to other models, the Race Face Chester has a pleasantly lightweight feel tipping 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 take on hard rock strikes without shedding a tear.
When you're looking for style combined with price, typically price supersedes the construction and design, but that's not the case with the Raceface Chester. The composite body gives way to a flat pedal that can take strike after strike in the rocks and keep looking good. When you get a solid, well-built pedal made by a reputable company, you are standing in the winner's circle with Chester on your bike.
Nothing but happy smiles came from testing this flat pedal. The Chester offers a spectacular design with angled leading and trailing edges to aide in deflection of sneaky rock bites. These flats don't have a jaw-dropping price tag attached to them. Instead, they are reasonably priced at just under $50 and are compact in design in the lightweight division. The durability of this workhorse will keep them kicking around in your quiver for a long time. As a well-rated and liked pedal by all of our testers, we picked the Chester as one of our Best Buy award-winning pedals.
— Al Morrison