An incredibly well-executed mid-cage clipless pedal from HT, the T-1 strikes just the right balance to be our Editor's Choice. These pedals are lighter, lower profile, and less expensive than the Shimano XTR M-9120. If that's not enough, they also shed mud better, offer more adjustability, and have more shoe interface than any other mini-cage pedals in our test. They offer 4 or 8 degrees of lateral float and the grub pins up front help the pedal orient for quick access.
HT Components T1 Review
Cons: Heavier cleats, float isn't as smooth as Shimano
Manufacturer: HT Components
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The CNC machined Chromoly steel axles ride on Evo+ precision sealed bearings and IGUS bushings. The pedal bodies are CNC machined extruded aluminum and available in a staggering fourteen colors including stealth black that feature an anodized black clipless mechanism and spindle.
The platform, feel, and adjustability of the HT T-1 was all excellent. Excelling in almost every category, the HT bested the venerable Shimano XTR M9120, notably being lighter, lower profile and featuring more adjustability.
Ease of Entry
Getting into your pedals should be quick and easy, allowing you to put the power down immediately. The machined aluminum pedal body of the HT T-1 is designed to catch the toe of the shoe with its two grub pins and orient the pedal for quick engagement. The mechanism is simple, and the pedal is thin and wide, offering a large target without much bulk to hang up on trailside obstacles.
As with the Look X-Track En-rage Plus, the traction (or grub) pins can help orient the pedal for quick entry. The traction pins are adjustable allowing the rider to fine-tune the amount of grab they get from the toe of the pedal. Throughout our test, we found the T-1 was easy to engage; it felt wide, easy to orient, and didn't require much thought. Even when wet the engagement remained smooth but never felt overly slippery. One notable difference using either cleat is that increasing release tension causes an increase in the pressure needed to engage, that's not the case with the SPD design.
Ease of Exit
The HT T-1 offered effortless release but due to the lateral float in the cleats though it wasn't always as consistent as the Shimano XTR M9120. The pedals can be disengaged by turning your heel inward or outward, and release produces an audible click that won't leave you wondering if you're engaged or not.
The friction between shoe and pedal didn't change much with moisture as the shoe engages the smoothly machined aluminum platform.
Featuring adjustable release tension, height adjustable grub pins, and two sets of cleats offering different degrees of lateral float, the HT T-1 is remarkably adjustable. The T-1's adjustable release tension seemed to have greater range than the Time Speciale 8 or the Shimano SPD system. At their lightest setting, they released with almost no effort, on the opposite side of the tension adjustment they felt vice-like and required significantly more force to release than any other pedal in the test.
Release tension is easily changed using a 3mm Allen key and you can dramatically change the pedal's feel. The T-1 gives a reasonable 4 or 8 degrees of float using the 62 gram X-1 or X1-F cleats respectively. The HT cleats are a bit wider and chunkier looking than the more prevalent SPD cleats, but they created no issues in any of our test shoes.
Although the grub pins on this pedal are adjustable with a 1.5mm Allen key, they don't interface with the shoe when clipped in. As with the Look X-Track En-rage Plus and the Time Speciale 8 the grub pins act only to catch and orient the pedal for engagement.
At 372 grams, the HT's are the lightest mid cage pedal we've tested. Almost an ounce lighter than the XTR M9120 that don't have grub pins and 77 grams shy of the Look X-track En-rage Plus pedals. We found the HT's combination of low weight and solid platform quite compelling.
Weight-conscious riders may not opt for the additional weight of a mid-cage platform, but aside from the few additional grams, there would be very few reasons to eschew this pedal for XC use. They're a touch thinner than even the svelte XTR M-9100 with a profile height of 16.8mm placing the rider closer to the axle and keeping the bottom of the pedal that much further from trail side hazards.
The wide platform provided a solid footbed and unlike the XTR M-9120 wasn't comprised of useless real estate. The width of the CNC machined aluminum body underfoot felt substantial and stable under sprint and technical conditions. Additionally, the forward placed grub pins helped to orient the pedal as we kicked for entry.
We found the HT's to be top performers in their ability to shed mud, the fore mechanism is wide open and doesn't give mud anywhere to hide. While we've long regarded the fluorine coated Shimano pedals to be front runners in the mud shedding game, they've met their match with the HT's open front end. The Shimano mechanism, by contrast, is cupped in the front and only the rear of the mechanism articulates. The additional movement in the HT provided a solid connection with every type of mud we jammed into the cleats and got our top score for mud shedding ability.
This is a stellar pedal with very few compromises. It's light, low profile, adjustable, wide underfoot and sheds mud better than its competitors. The pedals had no durability issues during testing and have not needed readjustment with the included tool.
This pedal is best paired with an enduro shoe (95-105mm in the toe box) where the soft rubber sole can take advantage of the wide platform. Shoes like the Specialized 2FO Cliplite worked particularly well.
— Joshua Hutchens