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Crank Brothers Candy 7 Review

A simple design and predictable performance, compromises aren't always bad.
Crank Brothers Candy 7
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Price:  $169 List | $119.99 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Simple, great mud clearance, lightweight
Cons:  Not much platform, non-adjustable
Manufacturer:   Crank Brothers
By Joshua Hutchens ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 22, 2017
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 19
  • Ease of Exit - 25% 8
  • Ease of Entry - 20% 6
  • Adjustability - 20% 5
  • Weight - 15% 8
  • Platform - 10% 3
  • Mud Shedding Ability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

A noticeable upgrade over the less expensive Candy models, the Candy 7 strikes a great balance of performance and weight savings. Lack of adjustability will deter some riders but traction pads may improve your experience with this pedal. Their simple design, excellent mud clearance and below average weight will be just the right combo for other riders. Read on to see if the new Candy 7is a good fit for you.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Simple, great mud clearance, lightweightLightweight, adjustable, low profile, inexpensive, available in many colors.Lightweight, low profile, available in 2 different axle lengthsSilky smooth float, lightweight, great mud shedding, additional platform widthPlatform feel, proven durability, good value
Cons Not much platform, non-adjustableHeavier cleats, float isn't as smooth as ShimanoNarrow platform, expensive, not recommended for trail or all-mountain ridingExpensive, rear platform is under utilized, questionable durabilityHigher stack than the XTR, lower mud clearance
Bottom Line A simple design and predictable performance, compromises aren't always bad.Thinner, lighter, and less expensive than the Shimano XTR Trail with more usable platform and more adjustability.A highly evolved, race proven pedal that provides exceptional stability for its size.Top of the line offering from Shimano, they're silky smooth, adjustable and renowned for their consistency.This do it all pedal for most riders it renown for its durability and value.
Rating Categories Crank Brothers Candy 7 HT Components T1 Shimano XTR M9100 Race Shimano XTR M9120 Trail Shimano Deore XT M8020
Ease Of Exit (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Ease Of Entry (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Adjustability (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Weight (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Platform (10%)
10
0
3
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
7
Mud Shedding Ability (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Crank Brothers... HT Components T1 Shimano XTR M9100... Shimano XTR M9120... Shimano Deore XT...
Weight per Pair (grams) 320g 372g 314g 397g 404g
Weight of Cleats and Bolts (grams) 33g 62g 51g 51g 50g
Cleat Type Crank Brothers brass HT X1 or HT X1F SPD mountain SPD mountain SPD mountain
Style mini-cage mini-cage no cage no cage mini-cage
Platform Dimensions (lxw) 68 x 75 mm 68mm x 83.5mm 71 x 68 mm 100 x 71 mm 96 x 64 mm
profile height 21mm 16.8mm 17mm 17mm 21mm
Q-Factor 52mm 56mm 56mm 56mm 56mm
Total Width from Crank Arm 88mm 90mm 84mm 84mm 89mm
Entry 2-sided 2-sided 2-sided 2-sided 2-sided
Adjustable Tension no yes yes yes yes
Traction Pins 0 4grubpins 0 0 0
Bearings Igus LL glide bearing / Enduro cartridge bearing EVO+ dual angular contact, metal retainer dual angular contact, metal retainer dual angular contact, metal retainer
Cage Material 6061 Aluminum extruded/CNC machined aluminum annodized aluminum annodized aluminum annodized aluminum
Pedal Wrench Type 8mm allen 8mm allen 8mm allen 8mm allen 8mm alllen

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Crank Brothers Candy pedals are their mid-size, small platform pedals, offered in five different models. The Candy 7 that we put through the wringer is the lowest priced model you can get featuring their new traction pads. Crank Brothers describes them as lightweight yet durable and dependable. Most performance oriented mountain bike products strive to strike this balance, and the Candy 7 succeeds. Let's look at the rest of the story.

Performance Comparison


The Candy's open body and chamfered edges provide just enough platform.
The Candy's open body and chamfered edges provide just enough platform.

Ease of Entry


The mini platform of the Candy makes them much easier to access than standard Egg Beater. Although the mechanism features four-sided engagement, the mini platform makes it essentially a two-sided pedal. Similar to our thoughts on the Crank Brothers Mallet E, the engagement mechanism isn't always in the proper orientation inside the pedal which can complicate entry. The feeling of engagement is typical of Crank Brothers and not incredibly consistent, sometimes you hear a snap while other times, it's a vague click. You get used to it after spending some time on them and doesn't tend to be an issue for most of our testers, just our observation. The Shimano XT M8020 by contrast, give a decisive engagement sound, a reaffirming audible 'click'.

Ease of Exit


The Candy is quite easy to get out of. Without any traction pins to get hung up on, a simple heel twist and you're free of the pedal. The sound and feel of release are also a bit vague, but release comes at the angle dictated by the cleat installation, 15 or 20 degrees. When twisting out, you're not sure if you're pushing against the spring tension or just encountering friction from the traction pad. You can swap out the traction pads with different thicknesses, resulting in more or less friction between the shoe and pedal. Getting the right fit helps to distinguish between the forces holding you in. We felt the Candy 7 release was far superior and more reliable than the Time ATAC XC 8. While they both had a faint feel, the Candy released with the same level of effort on each attempt.

Unclipping from the Candy 7.
Unclipping from the Candy 7.

Adjustability


Other than cleat placement and traction pad thickness mentioned above, the Candy 7 offers no adjustability. It's a limiting factor on the Crank Brothers pedals but if you're of average skill and weight, the mechanism seems to do a pretty good job keeping you secure and releasing when you needed. The traction pads provided with the pedals are either 1mm or 2mm thick and swapping them out changes the level of contact with the shoe's sole.

By increasing or decreasing this interface, it gives more or less friction to your heel float. Crank Brothers also offers a 0-degree float cleat that enhances pedal efficiency. The inability to adjust the release tension is a product of the simple design; we like the design, but the pedal loses points to every non-Crank Brothers pedal in the test for its 'one size fits all' tension.

Weight


At 320 grams, the Candy 7 is a lightweight pedal. This is the upside of having no adjustability, you're not weighed down by the extra hardware. The XTR M9120 pedal featuring adjustable release tension came in 52 grams heavier on our scales and the steel Shimano SPD cleats add 17 grams over the Crank Brothers brass cleats.

Even after a good scrubbing  they're holding an extra gram of dirt.
Even after a good scrubbing, they're holding an extra gram of dirt.

Platform


In many ways, the size of the platform on the Candy 7 is nice. It achieves the objective of aligning the pedal with the cleat and the surface of the traction pads provide a reasonable pedaling platform. The platform stops the pedal from rolling underfoot but as with the Mallet E, hides 2 of the entry points. Analyzing pedal to shoe fit, the Candy 7 and Mallet E have almost identical amounts of contact on our cross country test shoes. Using the softer rubber soled Five Ten shoes, our interface was greatly increased with the Mallet E. We rated the platform much better on the Mallet E because of this. It's important to pick the right shoes to utilize the size and function of your pedals.

Measuring the platform length on the Candy 7.
Measuring the platform length on the Candy 7.

We find the Candy 7 to be the sweet spot of the Candy pedals price point. At $169 you get the traction pads that the 3 less expensive models lack and you're not dropping $450 for the titanium-clad Candy 11. Crank Brothers pedals haven't exactly been known for their durability but starting in 2016 all models have been upgraded to new Igus LL Glide Bearings, Enduro cartridge bearings, a double lip internal seal and a new external seal. Keeping the muck out should prolong the life of these pedals or at least the stints between servicing.

Conclusion


The Candy 7 is a noticeable upgrade over previous iterations of Candy pedals. If you're not discouraged by their lack of adjustability we think they provide a nice compromise of light weight, ease of entry and mud shedding ability. We'd recommend these pedals for a wide range of bikes, light enough to thread into a racing hardtail yet stable enough to grace our 5" trail bikes. We find the pedal caters better to those using stiffer soled all mountain and cross country shoes.

Recommended Pairing


This pedal can be worn with either a stiff shoe, like the Sidi Dominator 5 Fit, or a slightly softer shoe like the Giro Terraduro. Even better it can go with a shoe that falls in the middle and has a stiff sole and sticky rubber, like the Pearl Izumi X-Project Pro. Matching it up with a more substantial shoe like the Five Ten Kestrel has diminishing returns. It can also be used on almost any type of trail bike, from hardtail to 5 inches of travel.


Joshua Hutchens