Wolf Tooth Waveform Review
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Wolf Tooth Waveform
|Price||$199.95 at Backcountry|
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|$39.00 at REI|
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|Pros||Natural feeling platform, exceptional grip, replaceable parts, low weight||Maximum grip, large concave platform, built with high quality parts, versatile||Tough and durable, won’t break the bank, good mid-range size||Excellent price point, well-rounded performance, service kits readily available||Inexpensive, functional, lightweight|
|Cons||Expensive||Expensive, sometimes too grippy, thick profile, top loading pins, heavier weight||Smaller platform, Only 8 traction pins, No traction pins along the spindle||Convex shape might be polarizing, not the grippiest||Questionable durability, not the grippiest|
|Bottom Line||One of the best-feeling and best-performing pedals that we have tested; we’re impressed with its grip, platform, and ease of service||These burly, quality flat pedals have next-level grip||Overall an affordable, well-built, and durable pedal that will last a long time||A well-rounded and effective composite pedal at an unbelievable price point||An inexpensive but functional pedal that does well on most trails for those on a tight budget|
|Rating Categories||Wolf Tooth Waveform||Deity TMAC||Race Face Chester||OneUp Components Co...||RockBros Nylon Fiber|
|Grip and Traction (25%)|
|Specs||Wolf Tooth Waveform||Deity TMAC||Race Face Chester||OneUp Components Co...||RockBros Nylon Fiber|
|Measured Weight (per pair)||373 g||440 g||358 g||359 g||367 g|
|Traction Pins (per side)||11, 3 mm head bottom loading||14, 2 mm hex head top loading||8, 2.5 mm hex head bottom loading||10, 2.5 mm hex head bottom loading||10, 2.5 mm hex head bottom loading|
|Platform Dimensions (millimeters)||105 mm x 99 mm||110 mm x 105 mm||110 mm x 101 mm||114 mm x 104 mm||99 mm x 99 mm|
|Platform Profile (millimeters) - not including pins||13.96 mm perimeter, 12.63 axle||19 mm leading and trailing edges, 14 mm at axle||14 mm leading and trailing edges, 17 mm center of spindle||13.8 mm leading and trailing edges, 16.9 mm at axle||16.25 mm at leading edge, 14 mm at axle|
|Concavity||Dual concave 1.5mm difference permieter to center||5 mm difference from effective edges to center axle. Super concave 2.5mm pedal profile per side.||3 mm difference from effective edges to center of pedal||slight convexity||2.25 mm difference from effective edges to axle|
|Q Factor / Distance from cranks to furthest pin||100mm||113 mm||103 mm||106 mm||103 mm|
|Bearings||Three sealed cartridge bearings and one igus bushing||Multi micro sealed bearings and Deity DU bushing internals||Cartridge bearings and DU bushings||DU cartridge||"High-Speed Bearings"|
|Body Material||6061-T6 Aluminum||Forged 6061-T6 aluminum||Nylon Composite||Nylon Composite||Nylon + Molybdenum Steel|
|Pedal Wrench Type||8 mm hex||15 mm pedal spanner, 8 mm hex||15 mm pedal spanner, 8 mm hex||15 mm pedal spanner, 6 mm hex||15 mm pedal spanner, 6 mm hex|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Wolf Tooth Waveform has outstanding on-trail performance. Featuring a dual concave platform that cradles the foot and 11 pedal pins, this pedal has one of the best-feeling platforms we have tested and increases control and confidence on the trail. Servicing the pedal's axle and replacing the bearings is quick and easy. Earning high marks in nearly metric, the Waveform is hard to beat and is our top choice for mountain bike flat pedals.
Grip and Traction
The Waveform blends grip and traction with 11 bottom load hex head screws per side. These screws extend from the pedal body about four millimeters and grip incredibly well. We tested the Waveform with four different shoes and did not experience any problems with slipping or movement throughout our testing. Wolftooth also makes a shorter pin that extends beyond the pedal platform by three millimeters for riders who prefer a bit less grip. This also allows one to mix and match pin length based on preference to dial in one's optimal grip.
Finding our ideal foot placement was incredibly natural with the Waveform, and we were struck by how little repositioning we had to do once we sat our foot on the pedal. Whether we were climbing, descending, cornering, or riding flat ground, the pedal pins gripped our shoes and held them in place. Even on chunky climbs where foot movement is more likely, our feet remained secure, allowing us to power up and over ledges easily. While descending, our feet remained confidently planted. Wolftooth has created a pedal with great grip and deservedly scores well in this metric.
The Waveform is available in two sizes, small and large. We tested the small pedal, shared among our size EU 40 and EU 46 testers. All testers noted how supportive the platform felt underfoot; even those with the larger foot were not using the ideal size platform. The small platform measures 105 mm x 99 mm, making it one of the narrower-width platforms we have tested. The Waveform falls into the middle of our line-up regarding the pedal's profile, or depth, which measures 13.96 mm at the perimeter and 12.63 mm at the axle. The narrower width and profile were immediately noticeable on the trails, where we had considerably fewer rock strikes.
The dual concave platform is perhaps Waveform's best attribute. Everyone who tested the pedal noted how "natural" the pedals feel underfoot. The dual concave platform cradles the foot side to side and front to back, resulting in a great connection between the shoe's outsole and the pedal. Finding ideal foot placement is as easy as placing the foot on the pedal with minimal to no repositioning required.
The Waveform uses three low-friction, fully sealed cartridge bearings inside the pedal body at the end of the axle. These bearings have a smooth rotation that is neither fast nor slow. The bearings have enough drag so they will not spin out of position easily, meaning the pedal will likely be in the same location if you lift your foot off. When we flicked the pedal with our foot, it rotated about one full rotation on the axle and usually returned to a similar position as it started from.
Our testers were impressed at how well the Waveform blends grip with mobility, as generally, there is a trade-off between the two. Despite the grippy pins, repositioning your foot on the pedals is easy and only requires sliding it around with the slightest unweighting. The smooth rotation and ease of foot repositioning earn it high marks for mobility.
The Waveform requires a few tools to service, but most are ones that most riders will already have in their repair kit. You need a three-millimeter, six-millimeter, and eight-millimeter hexes or Allen keys, a pick, and a torque wrench to service the Waveform. Wolf Tooth provides a step-by-step video and detailed written instructions with graphics on their website to guide you through the service process. Disassembling the pedal body is easy and begins with removing the endcap with a six-millimeter hex. An eight-millimeter hex and three-millimeter hex are then used to loosen the axle bolt; once the bolt is removed, the axle slides out, making greasing the axle quick and easy.
A six-millimeter hex can be used to push the bearings out of the pedal body, and no special tools are required to replace the bearings, only to replace the bushing. A torque wrench is required to tighten the axle bolt to five Nm and the end cap to seven Nm. The process is quick and easy, especially if you have a torque wrench. Wolf Tooth has what they call "Right to Repair", meaning that all of the pedal's parts are completely replaceable and rebuildable, leading to a longer life span.
The Waveform tips our scales at a respectable 373-grams for the size small platform, making it a lightweight aluminum body pedal.
Should You Buy the Wolf Tooth Waveform Flat Pedal?
We acknowledge that the Wolf Tooth Waveform has a steep price tag. Still, the dual concave platform feels incredibly natural underfoot; it has great mobility and grip and is one of the best-performing pedals we have reviewed. Having fully replaceable parts is a bonus and helps extend the pedal's life. Overall, we feel its performance and repairability make it a great choice for any flat pedal rider.
What Other Mountain Bike Flat Pedals Should You Consider?
If you're looking for a great performing pedal at a lower price than the Waveform, we recommend the HT Components ANS10 Supreme. The Supreme has a weight and platform size similar to the Waveform but is a few millimeters thicker, meaning you may experience additional rock strikes. Grip and traction are very good with the Supreme, but servicing the pedals deserves a word of caution as overtightening the axle nut is easy to do and can result in binding up the bearings.
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