VP Components VP-Vice Review
Cons: Small-ish platform, some may want more grip, slight hump underfoot at axle
Manufacturer: VP Components
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The VP-Vice is neither immoral nor wicked, like its namesake implies. Unlike many guilty pleasures, this one is affordable to boot. We feel this pedal offered great versatile traction for a number of applications, ensuring us that it's the only pedal you'll ever need. It had a sturdy platform that held up marvelously to abuse from rock strikes and a thin enough 14 mm profile to avoid most trouble in the first place. If you dirt jump, ride downhill, race enduro, or just want a really sweet pedal to put on your pub cruiser, don't think twice. Give in to the Vice.
Each pedal has 24 traction pins (12 per side). On each side, eight of the traction pins were bottom loading M4 spec bolts and the other four were grub screws. The grip we experienced with this pedal was an excellent balance between the "locked-in" feel of the super grippy competition and the floaty feel of the others. The mix of different traction pins gave the best of both worlds with good side-to-side foot retention from the grub screws residing on the far inner and outer edges of the pedal. These screws could also be fine-tuned and adjusted lower or higher. The diameter of the other pins was a nice middle-of-the-road size that gripped effectively.
The middle section of the platform along the axle rides a millimeter or so higher than the rest of the pedal body. The axle could be felt underfoot, whereas concave designs allowed our feet to drop into the pedals a bit more naturally and offered increased foot retention. Our lead tester liked the way the 105 x 96 mm platform had plenty of fore/aft surface area for his size 12 feet. He stated the narrower width made performing freestyle tricks like can-cans easier for him, as he had less pedal to avoid when kicking about mid-air.Some other riders we interviewed at the bike park admitted to liking a larger platform, stating it gave them a more secure feeling and better chance at landing on the pedals during tricks.
This pedal features a forged and heat treated Chromoly axle. A 6 mm allen key removes the exterior dust cap that actually serves a much greater purpose than a simple dust cap. The dust cap is approximately 20 mm long and fills the space at the end of the axle within the housing. This allows for a shorter axle, which reduces the lever arm at the crank. A shorter axle is less apt to bend under severe loads.
The axle remained true and straight throughout our test period despite taking some pretty good hits. The pedal did feel a touch grainy moving around the axle when compared to some of the smoothest spinning competitors, but it was not something we detected during riding. When our feet left the pedals during tricks, we were happy to find the pedals right where we left them to help us land confidently.
We feel the Vice pedals have a pretty robust internal design. Just inside the dust cap towards the end of the axle are two sealed cartridge bearings which can be removed by using a 6 mm allen wrench as a punch. The LSL self-lubricating bearing on the inboard side of the pedal is removed with a half-inch tap. All the tools required for a rebuild of VP pedals are non-proprietary and can be found at most hardware stores.
The inner axle seal is a step-down seal that nests snugly to keep grease in and dirt out. It was a better design than the more typical O-ring type seal used on some other pedals. Rebuild and pin kits are available.
The Vice are a pretty average weight at 415 grams per pair. If weight is a top priority, you can pimp these pedals with a titanium axle upgrade and shave 70 grams per pair. With that upgrade (not tested or verified for actual weight), the pedals would drop to 345 grams per pair.
At retail, these pedals hit that super appealing price point of being "less than a hundred bucks" which for anything involving mountain bikes, feels like a bargain these days. For the price, you get an ultra-versatile pedal that is great for pretty much all types of bike riding. VP describes this pedal as great for "dirt jumping to all-mountain trails and even commuting or the occasional pub crawl." We'd add BMX, freeriding, and enduro to that list. Whatever your favorite discipline, the Vice will suffice.
You don't always want to be glued to your pedals. Our author who typically rides clipless pedals felt most comfortable on these pedals when he opted for flats. The grip was solid but not overkill, and allowed small adjustments of foot position similar to the amount of float offered by many clipless pedals. Rock-solid construction we could work on (with tools we already had in our toolbox) made us smile. Whether hitting the bike park, riding epic high elevation singletrack, or bombing rocky descents in the tall pines, these pedals will get the job done.
VP Components Forged Titanium Axle Upgrade
- Cost - $58
- When used with VP Vice Pedal, shaves 70 grams off total pedal weight
- Also compatible with VP-69 pedal
— Sean Cronin