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Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3 Review

For the weight-conscious XC riders that don't care about platform or adjustability and are looking for a simple solution, this is your pedal
Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3
Photo: www.crankbrothers.com
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $135 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 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 colorsCapable, versatile, inexpensive, easy to use and adjustableGood traction on the flat side, adjustable release tension, great valueDecently lightweight, lightest adjsutable tension pedal we've tested, CHEAP
Cons Can be difficult to engage, small pedal platformHeavier cleats, float isn't as smooth as ShimanoSlightly heavy, bulky for some uses, painted platformNot as much platform support as we prefer on the clipless sideMinimal platform, only come in black
Bottom Line For the weight-conscious XC riders that don't care about platform or adjustability and are looking for a simple solution, this is your pedalThinner, lighter, and less expensive than the XTR Trail with more usable platform and more adjustabilityAn adjustable, full-featured pedal offering stability and ease of use at a reasonable price pointGreat dual purpose pedal, offers good performance on either side and great valueThe lowest cost clipless model tested that's also among the lightest
Rating Categories Crank Brothers Egg... HT Components T1 Shimano ME700 Xpedo Ambix Shimano M520
Ease Of Exit (25%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Ease Of Entry (20%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
9.0
Adjustability (20%)
3.0
10.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Weight (15%)
9.0
8.0
5.0
8.0
8.0
Platform (10%)
1.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
3.0
Mud Shedding Ability (10%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Crank Brothers Egg... HT Components T1 Shimano ME700 Xpedo Ambix Shimano M520
Weight per Pair (grams) 280g 372g 482g 384g 374g
Weight of Cleats and Bolts (grams) 33g 62g 50g 52g 50g
Cleat Type Crank Brothers brass HT X1 or HT X1F SPD mountain XPEDO XPC (6° Float) SPD Mountain
Style no cage mini-cage mini-cage clip/flat no cage
Platform Dimensions (lxw) 32 x 75 mm 68mm x 83.5mm 100 x 74mm 102 x 84 mm 42 x 61 mm
profile height 21mm 16.8mm 19mm 19mm 22mm
Q-Factor 52mm 56mm 55mm 56 mm 55 mm
Total Width from Crank Arm 88mm 90mm 93mm 100mm 80 mm
Entry 4-sided 2-sided 2-sided 1-sided 2-sided
Adjustable Tension no yes yes yes yes
Traction Pins 0 4 grub pins 0 8 grub pins 0
Bearings Igus LL glide bearing / Enduro cartridge bearing EVO+ dual angular contact, plastic retainer 3 Sealed Cartridge Dual Angular Contact
Cage Material n/a extruded/CNC machined aluminum painted aluminum Aluminum n/a
Pedal Wrench Type 8mm allen 8mm allen 6mm allen or 15mm open end 8mm allen 8mm allen

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.
Photo: Michelle Powell

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

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

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
Photo: Crankbothers.com

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.
Photo: joshua hutchens

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.
Photo: joshua hutchens

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 M8120, 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...
The best mud shedding pedals of this test, from left t right, Time ATAC XC 8, Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3 and XTR M9000.
Photo: joshua hutchens

Value


The retail price of the Egg Beater 3 is fairly reasonable, so they don't feel overpriced. They do, however, cost a fair amount 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