HT Components D1 Review
Cons: Clipless entry is poor, relatively expensive
Manufacturer: HT Components
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The sleek and slim packaging is the first hint the HT D1 gives of its slender and exceptionally thin profile. Opening these pedals is a rewarding experience, the pedal bodies are extruded, machined and anodized, creating a high-quality feel. The combination of sealed bearing, needle bearing, and Igus bushing gives this pedal the best hand feel of the bunch, which is to say it's very smooth. Unfortunately, its performance doesn't match its appearance.
The D1 includes cleats allowing 4 degrees or 8 degrees of lateral float, one of the few pedals on the market to do so. The clipless side features adjustable spring tension and five removable traction pins while the flat side features nine traction pins.
The Time and HT pedals are the only ones that allow lateral float. Lateral float is the side to side movement of the forefoot, essentially a variable Q-factor. (A typical clipless pedal allows the heel to float while the forefoot remains anchored.) While often touted as beneficial for those with existing knee issues, the resulting inconsistent release point doesn't seem worth the potential upside.
Ease of Entry
The traction pins are a bit too aggressive on the clipless side of this pedal. We ran through all of our test mountain bike shoes and both cleat configurations and still could not quite engage the clipless side of this pedal while the pins were present. The only remedy was to remove the traction pins from the clipless side altogether, losing the stability and grip they provide. A lower pin height would be a welcome addition for this reason.
Most troubling was that once while fumbling around trying to get clipped in, and mashing our shoes into the pedal, it finally stuck, but not in the engagement mechanism. The cleat lodged in the front half of the pedal, the back of the cleat stuck underneath the front retaining spring. After a moment of panic, it pulled loose. You can see the bizarre situation in the photo below.
Ease of Exit
While the flat side of this pedal offers excellent grip and a nice large platform, the clipless side feels far less refined. The traction pins were obstacles to entry and release, but even with all the pins removed, the pedal didn't provide consistent release tension.
Lateral float pedals can suffer from inconsistent release tension because the cleat's nose is not held in a rigid position. It can shift between positions, some of which work better when you initiate a release.
Having a pedal that offers adjustability allows us to tailor its traits to our liking, and the HT D1 brings loads of adjustment, more than most pedals we tested.
For starters, the D1 provides cleats for 4 or 8 degrees of lateral float. They also sell an X2 cleat that allows 4.5 degrees of lateral float. You can adjust the release tension with a 3mm hex. There are five removable traction pins on the clipless side. The flat side of the pedal features nine traction pins and an exceptionally low profile height of 14mm.
A glorious 388 grams, the HT is the lightest pedal in this comparison and amongst the lightest of any clip-flat on the market. The D1 weighs only a few grams heavier than the acclaimed XTR M9120 Trail
The extruded and machined pedal body holds five traction pins on the clipless side and nine on the flat. The pedal is extremely thin, measuring only 14mm. This allows you to feel low in the cockpit while minimizing your risk of pedal strikes. The platform feels low, and the traction pins bite effectively.
The HT's performance wasn't hampered when the conditions turned wet and muddy. The spring mechanism and a rather minimal pedal body stayed clean enough to get the job done. That said, we found the engagement on this pedal quite difficult at times. It's just that the mud didn't make it worse.
The priciest pedal in the group lists many features and a fair bit of adjustability. The poor performance of the clipless mechanism, however, leaves us reluctant to recommend them.
Beautifully machined, extremely slim, lightweight, and svelte, they bring together an exciting array of features and adjustability. Unfortunately, the HT doesn't offer the reliability of performance that we strive to recommend.
— Joshua Hutchens