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Crankbrothers Double Shot 3 Review

The idea is so much better than the execution, this pedal doesn't provide the performance a serious rider wants.
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Price:  $125 List | $99.99 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Dual sided, thin, attractive design, grub pins
Cons:  Slippery, less mud clearance than others, non-adjustable
Manufacturer:   Crank Brothers
By Joshua Hutchens ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 10, 2019
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53
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#18 of 19
  • Ease of Exit - 25% 7
  • Ease of Entry - 20% 5
  • Adjustability - 20% 3
  • Weight - 15% 6
  • Platform - 10% 5
  • Mud Shedding Ability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Crank Brothers Double Shot 3 is a dual purpose pedal that combines a flat pedal on one side and a clip-in on the other side. This novel idea finds imperfect execution at the hands of Crank Brothers. Much like the Double Shot 2, the 3 has a slightly concave and textured flat pedal surface on one side and an egg beater clipless mechanism on the reverse allows riders to choose to be clipped in or not. The pedals are stylish and thin but lack the performance characteristics that make mountain biking safe and fun. If you're fond of the idea of Clip / Flat pedal, check out the Xpedo Ambix.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Dual sided, thin, attractive design, grub pinsLightweight, 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 Slippery, less mud clearance than others, 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 The idea is so much better than the execution, this pedal doesn't provide the performance a serious rider wants.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 Crankbrothers Double Shot 3 HT Components T1 Shimano XTR M9100 Race Shimano XTR M9120 Trail Shimano Deore XT M8020
Ease Of Exit (25%)
10
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7
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
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Platform (10%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
7
Mud Shedding Ability (10%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Crankbrothers... HT Components T1 Shimano XTR M9100... Shimano XTR M9120... Shimano Deore XT...
Weight per Pair (grams) 404g 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 clip/flat mini-cage no cage no cage mini-cage
Platform Dimensions (lxw) 94 x 78mm 68mm x 83.5mm 71 x 68 mm 100 x 71 mm 96 x 64 mm
profile height 19mm 16.8mm 17mm 17mm 21mm
Q-Factor 57mm 56mm 56mm 56mm 56mm
Total Width from Crank Arm 95 mm 90mm 84mm 84mm 89mm
Entry 1-sided 2-sided 2-sided 2-sided 2-sided
Adjustable Tension no yes yes yes yes
Traction Pins 8 4grubpins 0 0 0
Bearings Igus LL-glide bearing EVO+ dual angular contact, metal retainer dual angular contact, metal retainer dual angular contact, metal retainer
Cage Material A380 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 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.

Performance Comparison


Even with eight grub pins  we had a hard time getting some grip on the small platform
Even with eight grub pins, we had a hard time getting some grip on the small platform

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.


Adjustability


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.

Weight


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.

Platform


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.

the Double Shot 3's length doesn't quite span the distance to give it traction
the Double Shot 3's length doesn't quite span the distance to give it traction
At 94mm  these grub pins end up being largely useless
At 94mm, these grub pins end up being largely useless

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.

One-sided clipless entry and a small slippery platform  can't see that we like much about the Doubleshot
One-sided clipless entry and a small slippery platform, can't see that we like much about the Doubleshot

Best Applications


While we think the idea of this pedal is great, its execution leaves gaping holes in the performance. If you're looking for a pedal to ride mostly in dry weather exclusively as a clipless pedal and want to be able to use that same pedal with a non-clipless, flat-soled shoe than this could fit your bill. Using a clipless shoe on the non-clipless side of this pedal isn't recommended.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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