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Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3 Review

Weight conscious, XC riders that don't care about platform or adjustability and are looking for a simple solution, this is your pedal.
crankbrothers Egg Beater 3
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $135 List | $99.99 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, 4-sided entry, excels in the mud
Cons:  Can be difficult to engage, small pedal platform
Manufacturer:   Crank Brothers
By Joshua Hutchens ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 22, 2017
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 19
  • Ease of Exit - 25% 8
  • Ease of Entry - 20% 5
  • Adjustability - 20% 3
  • Weight - 15% 9
  • Platform - 10% 1
  • Mud Shedding Ability - 10% 9

Our Verdict

This is a lightweight and straightforward pedal; packed with features they are not. If you ride or race in the mud and have experience with clipless pedals, we think you could appreciate these. Due to their small body and lack of adjustability, we wouldn't likely recommend them as anyone's first pair of clipless pedals. The lack of platform and support makes them best suited for use with very rigid soled shoes.


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Pros Lightweight, 4-sided entry, excels in the mudLightweight, 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 Can be difficult to engage, small pedal platformHeavier 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 Weight conscious, XC riders that don't care about platform or adjustability and are looking for a simple solution, this is your pedal.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 Egg Beater 3 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
5
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Adjustability (20%)
10
0
3
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Weight (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Platform (10%)
10
0
1
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
7
Mud Shedding Ability (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Crank Brothers Egg... HT Components T1 Shimano XTR M9100... Shimano XTR M9120... Shimano Deore XT...
Weight per Pair (grams) 280g 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 no cage mini-cage no cage no cage mini-cage
Platform Dimensions (lxw) 32 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 4-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 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 Egg Beater 3 is a subtle upgrade to the previously tested Egg Beater 2, employing stainless wings instead of stamped steel. Overall, the Egg Beater pedal line-up is one of the most iconic designs in the bicycle world. The simple pedal design, with its obvious egg-beater namesake origin, is so straightforward and elegant that they make others look clunky and complicated. They're the only pedal on the market with four-sided entry and have become well known for their ability to resist packing up with mud. Lacking any type of platform or adjustability, their core user group seems to care more about weight than other performance factors. The Egg Beater is offered in four flavors, ranging in price from $60 to $450, for the "lightest pedal in the world."

Performance Comparison


Putting the Egg Beater 3 through the paces.
Putting the Egg Beater 3 through the paces.

Ease of Entry


Despite their four-sided entry, we rated these as some of the hardest pedals to engage. If your cleat doesn't hit exactly where it needs to, the pedal tends to roll underfoot. In technical situations, this tiny pedal can seem like an impossibly small target. With other pedals, there is sometimes a mashing that you do with your shoe until the cleat engages, the Egg Beater doesn't allow for that. Mashing your foot often results in your shoe in the dirt.


The mechanism itself works fine once you find it, but the engagement feels a bit vague. They lack the audible confirmation we've come to appreciate on pedals like the Shimano XTR M9100.

Small target down there  the Egg Beater isn't the easiest pedal to engage.
Small target down there, the Egg Beater isn't the easiest pedal to engage.

Ease of Exit


With nothing to hang up on, they're incredibly easy to get out of. No traction pins, platform or adjustment screws, just release. There isn't much in the way of a click when releasing, but because there is nowhere for your foot to rest, it's essentially ejected once released.


In theory, the stainless wings should be smoother and than the stamped steel wings found on the Egg Beater 2. The wing is the part that interfaces with the cleat, so this should result in smoother float, but our testers were hard-pressed to notice a difference. The stainless wing is more durable and spending the extra forty dollars on the Egg Beater 3 isn't for naught.

Easy to exit but no loitering. if you're not clipped in  this is no place to stand.
Easy to exit but no loitering. if you're not clipped in, this is no place to stand.

We didn't like the release on this pedal as much as the XTR M9100 as its sound and feel were so muted. It's a characteristic of all the Crank Brothers pedals, and it occasionally leaves you wondering whether you're engaged or not. The Time pedals are also similarly vague in their release sound and the amount of twist required to release.

Adjustability


Not much to adjust here, and our scoring reflects that. Depending on the orientation of the Crank Brothers brass cleats on the shoes, you'll have 15 or 20 degrees of float before disengagement. If you're of average weight and skill, the release tension seems adequate. Our lighter weight testers feel the release effort was a bit too high while our heaviest tester occasionally pulled out of the pedal by accident.


There is no adjustability of tension like you'd find on the Time ATAC XC 8, you're stuck with the preset release tension. Crank Brothers sells an aftermarket set of rubber sleeves that can be slipped over the cylindrical parts of the Egg Beater pedal. These rubber sleeves come in multiple different thicknesses and will create more resistance in the float as they obstruct the interface between shoe and pedal. It's the same concept as the traction pads for the Candy 7 and Mallet E applied to the Egg Beater. They do not have an effect on the release tension.

Egg Beater Tread Sleeves
Egg Beater Tread Sleeves

Weight


The small and straightforward Egg Beater is the lightest pedal in our test, weighing in at 280 grams per pair. If lightweight is what you're after, you'll be impressed.


It's worthy to note that Crank Brothers pedals also use the lightest cleats in our test at 33 grams - compared to 65 grams for the Xpedo GFX cleats. For those willing to trade more dollars in the pursuit of fewer grams, the Crank Brothers Egg Beater 11 weighs in at a paltry 179 grams per pair.

Platform


It's safe to say that platform isn't the forte of any of the Egg Beater models.


There are many models of Crank Brothers pedals featuring platforms, but the Egg Beater is for the purists. We'd recommend those purists use some pretty stiff shoes to compensate for their size. For those interested in platform, we'd recommend the XPedo GFX or Crank Brothers Mallet E.

Clipped into the Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3.
Clipped into the Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3.

Mud Shedding Ability


The Egg Beater pedals excel in the mud, as their open design sheds mud exceptionally well.


In real-world Sierra Nevada spring riding, we were unable to clog the Egg Beater 3 or the XTR M9100, regardless of how much mud we jammed in the bottoms of our test shoes.

Mud slinging is what this pedal is made for.
Mud slinging is what this pedal is made for.

It's no wonder that these pedals are incredibly popular for cyclocross racing, earning an 8 out of 10, alongside the Shimano XTR M9120 Trail, Shimano Deore XT M8020, Crank Brothers Mallet E, and Crank Brothers Candy 7. The highest scorer for this category was the Shimano XTR M9100 Race.

The best mud shedding pedals of this test  from left t right  Time ATAC XC 8  Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3 and XTR M9000.
The best mud shedding pedals of this test, from left t right, Time ATAC XC 8, Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3 and XTR M9000.

Best Applications


This pedal is best suited to riders that care more about weight than a solid pedaling platform. Riders with ample experience on clipless pedals will have an easier time clipping in, while newbies might find them a hard target to hit. Cross-country riders and cyclocross racers with stiff shoes can appreciate the open and minimal design. More aggressive riders may benefit from a pedal providing a bit more stability like the Shimano M8020.

We don't always consider value in our tests, and $135 for a pair of pedals is fairly reasonable, so they don't feel overpriced. They do, however, cost $40 more than the Crank Brothers Egg Beater 2 from our last test and weigh five grams less. Are they worth the extra dollars? We'd say no. While the wings are theoretically stronger and smoother, wing strength hasn't been an issue for us, and we really couldn't feel a difference in the float. As for the 5 grams, we're pretty sure we could clean 5 grams of dirt off of our shoes.

Conclusion


This style of pedals will be most appreciated by those counting grams on their bikes. We award them our Top Pick Award for weight savings. The Egg Beater is bare minimum underfoot and delightfully simple. That same lack of complication results in a less than user-friendly pedal, it requires precise aim when engaging and there's not much to adjust. Once accustomed to the size, clipping in becomes second nature and won't likely make you regret buying these. Very stiff cross country shoes will help compensate for their size.

Recommended Pairing


This pedal is ideally paired with a stiff shoe, like the Giro Empire VR 90 or the Shimano S-Phyre XC9. They're best suited for lightweight cross country and cyclocross bikes.


Joshua Hutchens