Hands-on Gear Review

RockBros Platform Review

RockBros Mountain Bike Pedals
Price:  $36 List | $25.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, they look cool from across the street, decent grip/traction.
Cons:  Weak platform design, poor mobility around axle, traction pins also hold pedal together, won't resist impacts.
Bottom line:  A great gift for your ex-girlfriend.
Editors' Rating:   
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Weight per Pair (g):  385 g
Platform Dimensions (mm):  100x90
Platform Profile (mm) - not including pins:  15mm
Manufacturer:   RockBros

Our Verdict

We weren't familiar with these pedals before this review but they seem to sell like hot cakes online. Since it's our job to know all the latest and greatest, we figured maybe they were "something really cool that we don't even know about." Although we were fans of the gold and black Batman logo looks, these pedals were clearly not designed for anything we would consider to be actual mountain biking. One poorly placed pedal stroke resulted in a pretty considerable bend.

They are relatively lightweight at 385 grams and offered decent grip, but the open cage design was anything but robust. Made in China, the packaging offered comic relief, with botched attempts to appeal to western markets that were far superior to the performance of the pedals contained within. We're not even sure if RockBros was trying to make a quality product or just the illusion of one. We probably should have been more skeptical, considering printed right on the side of the box is "the appearance of a new upgrade." If you need a cheap pair of pedals to slap on your commuter, these might be worth a look. If you're hitting drops and smashing through rock gardens, we hope you're wearing a good full face helmet.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Flat Pedals for Mountain Biking


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Sean Cronin

Last Updated:
Wednesday
January 11, 2017

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If it made any sense at all, we would think that these pedals were designed to break. The pins that help grip the sole of the rider's shoe are also the screws holding the opposing aluminum plates that form the pedal platform together. Clever, if those screws didn't have a tendency to loosen up, causing the pedal to come apart. Further, the shape of the pedal seems more adept at snagging rocks than deflecting off them. Even the name "Palin" was never explained anywhere. Perhaps it was this Chinese company's way of describing something woefully underqualified for its job.

Performance Comparison



Grip/Traction


The traction pins on this pedal are allen bolts that also serve to hold the platform of the pedal together. They tighten from the top, like those on the crankbrothers 5050 3 and Funn Python. Should you ever come up with a plausible reason, you can easily take this pedal completely apart. By removing all 24 pins, the gold (tested) platform cage can be entirely removed from the pedal body. The pins are some of the largest diameter of the test, besting even the wide Bonmixc 9/16" pins and we found that they didn't seem to penetrate or grab the sole of our shoes as well as many others.

Platform


Removing the pins from this pedal takes the whole platform apart. Thankfully, no other pedal in our test shared this feature. By constructing a pedal in such a manner, they succeeded in making an extremely fragile pedal.

The caged design of the Bonmixc 9/16" proved fragile as well. Granted it's a bit more money, though yo would be much better off with our very strong Best Buy winning VP Components VP-Vice or the cold-forged Spank Spike. Perhaps by having the pedal explode upon impact, damaging forces are dissipated and not transmitted to more expensive parts — like your cranks or bottom bracket.

We'll give you a free  broken pair of Crank Bros. pedals if you can give us two good reasons why being able to take your pedal platform apart should be a design consideration.
We'll give you a free, broken pair of Crank Bros. pedals if you can give us two good reasons why being able to take your pedal platform apart should be a design consideration.


Mobility


These pedals have a very snug feel regarding their rotation on the spindle. Placing a foot back on the pedals was unnerving for our lead tester and we scrapped the idea after a single lap through the jump line at our local bike park. Coming down on a vertically oriented pedal is a great way to snap an ankle.

Weight


At 385 grams, there were four other pairs of pedals that were lighter — the Race Face Atlas, Bonmixc 9/16", Deity Bladerunner, and Funn Python. These pedals looked lightweight with four wafer thin plates of what appeared to be a stamped alloy. But they were not the lightest pedals in the test and we continued to grappple for a reason why these pedals ever got past the drawing board.


Service


You will probably break these pedals before servicing them becomes an issue.

Best Applications


You will probably obliterate these pedals if you're an aggressive downhill or enduro rider. If you haven't already put these pedals out to pasture, that's the only place you should be riding them.The only use for which these pedals are relevant is very casual riding where pedals strikes are all but impossible. Such as bike paths and dirt roads. The best application for these pedals might be when you're looking to replace a broken pedal on a bike that you use to get groceries.

Value


These were the least expensive mountain bike pedals in our test. However, we strongly caution potential buyers to consider their durability, or lack thereof. It took one pedal strike to put a significant dent in our test pedals from a casual glancing blow that happens multiple times on any ride. You could spend hundreds of dollars on these pedals if a new pair was needed every time their cadence was interrupted by a rock.

Conclusion


Many will argue that you can't expect the performance and durability of $100 pedals from $35 pedals. We'd agree with that. Our research suggested it was less experienced mountain bikers using these pedals on smooth, relatively benign terrain, that applauded their performance. If you are that person, perhaps these pedals will suffice. But these pedals to offer few advantages over entry-level or stock pedals.
Save your lunch money a little bit longer and get something that can hang tough with you getting rad.

Other Versions


There are a variety of other pedals under the RockBros name and they all appear to share the same trademark build with the traction pins holding together the opposing sides of the pedal platform. They're all around $16-35. Amazon.com seems to be the place to find them.
Sean Cronin

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Most recent review: January 11, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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