Crankbrothers Double Shot 3 Review
Cons: Slippery, less mud clearance than others, non-adjustable
Manufacturer: Crank Brothers
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Crank Brothers Double Shot 3 pedals are born from a good idea. It seems logical that having a dual purpose pedal would appeal to a large range of cyclists. They have paired their egg beater mechanism on one side with an aggressive flat pedal on the other side. Can they pull it off? We think not. At first glance, we were quite impressed. They're thin and relatively light with a rough textured finish on the bodies. They have an industrial and somewhat futuristic look that is highly stylized and well finished. Crank Brothers is renowned for its cool looking design of products and packaging.
Ease of Entry
The platform is a large enough target for your shoe but small enough that either the front or rear grub pins get lost in your cleat recess. This results in only a couple of the pins making contact with the shoe at any given time. Clipping into the Double Shot was straight forward most of the time, but we had a couple of incidences of slipping off the clipless side. Amongst the pedals we tested, the Double Shot 3 received the lowest score.
Ease of Exit
The Double Shot 3 pedals gave us mixed results in the exit tests, most of the time they were quite easy to disengage but when mud, sand, grit or debris was present on the pedal we had less consistency. The quarter egg beater mechanism doesn't hesitate to release your shoe, but its proximity to the pedal body meant that foreign objects that come to rest between the clipless mechanism and the black wing could seriously impede your release. For this reason, the pedal ranked lowest on our ease of exit metric.
The lightweight brass Crank Brothers cleats can be configured two different ways allowing for release angles of 15 or 20 degrees. The grub pins that are exclusive to this version of the Double Shot pedal are adjustable in height, but this is where the adjustability ends. The Xpedo Ambix, in contrast, offers the same amount of adjustable grub pins, albeit with better spacing and adjustable release tension.
At 404g per pair, the Double Shot 3 pedals paired with the 33-gram Crank Brothers brass cleats weigh in a single gram heavier than the more capable Xpedo Ambix which weighs 384 grams but has 52-gram cleats.
The mildly textured A380 aluminum body has a rough feel that would seem to indicate it offers traction. The eight grub pins on the concave body would also seem to indicate a solid connection with rubber soled shoes, but unfortunately, it doesn't offer much in terms of stability or grip. The platforms size we found just a touch too small rendering half of the grub pins useless as they fail to make contact with the rubberized sole of the shoe. Using a 5.10 flat soled shoe, we were able to get a great connection with the platform, but these shoes are built for clipless shoes, and the cleat recess in all of our test shoes is just longer than the pedal itself.
Using a hard-soled XC shoe complicates the already poor traction and is thus not recommended.
Mud Shedding Ability
In the world of clipless pedals, it is accepted as fact that the Crank Brother's egg beater design performs exceptionally well in mud. It's a wide-open design that leaves ample space for mud to evacuate.
On the Double Shot 3's clipless side, the egg-beater design was modified to work on just one side of the pedal. With this design, it's held in place by a black wing-shaped insert. To clip in you just need to push your foot down on the egg-beater mechanism. The wings spread, and the cleat engages. If there is any mud in the cleat or the mechanism, it's easily pushed out of the interface through all of the open space. Debris can easily become lodged, however, between the X-shaped insert and the engagement wing. This phenomenon fouled our test pedals on multiple occasions resulting in drastically different release characteristics.
As with the Double Shot 2 the platform insert is a choking point. By messing with their proven egg-beater design to make it one-sided they have reduced its effectiveness at shedding mud.
The Double Shot 3 is the top dog option in the Double Shot line up, and while not incredibly expensive, we'd recommend the less expensive Xpedo Ambix over this pedal to anyone seriously considering a two-sided pedal.
We think there is great potential in the market for pedals that can pull double duty as flats or clip-ins. Unfortunately, the Double Shot 3 misses the mark in several ways. It gets the job done, but we recommend other models before these.
— Joshua Hutchens