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Time Speciale 8 Review

Exceptionally good pedal that checks all the boxes and looks good doing it.
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Price:  $125 List | $118.94 at Amazon
Pros:  Solid platform, lightweight, exceptional mud shedding, reasonably priced.
Cons:  Lateral float feels slippery, entry and exit aren't the easiest, higher profile height.
Manufacturer:   Time
By Joshua Hutchens ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 10, 2019
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 19
  • Ease of Exit - 25% 7
  • Ease of Entry - 20% 7
  • Adjustability - 20% 9
  • Weight - 15% 7
  • Platform - 10% 8
  • Mud Shedding Ability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

Time is a French pedal brand that offers up a distinctly unique feel that sets their pedals apart from the masses. This is an enduro pedal with a solid feel that operates incredibly well in the mud. It offers tremendous adjustability, and the platform is exceptionally stable. While the lateral float can be disconcerting to some, this is hands down the best Time pedal we've ridden. They strike a balance of platform and float that just might convert the typical SPD rider. Sharing some architecture with the HT T-1 the Speciale 8 was a surprise hit, read on to find out how it checks our boxes.


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Time Speciale 8
Awards  Editors' Choice Award    
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Star Rating
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Pros Solid platform, lightweight, exceptional mud shedding, reasonably priced.Lightweight, 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 Lateral float feels slippery, entry and exit aren't the easiest, higher profile height.Heavier 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 Exceptionally good pedal that checks all the boxes and looks good doing it.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 Time Speciale 8 HT Components T1 Shimano XTR M9100 Race Shimano XTR M9120 Trail Shimano Deore XT M8020
Ease Of Exit (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Ease Of Entry (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Adjustability (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Weight (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Platform (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
7
Mud Shedding Ability (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Time Speciale 8 HT Components T1 Shimano XTR M9100... Shimano XTR M9120... Shimano Deore XT...
Weight per Pair (grams) 399g 372g 314g 397g 404g
Weight of Cleats and Bolts (grams) 44g 62g 51g 51g 50g
Cleat Type ATAC cleats HT X1 or HT X1F SPD mountain SPD mountain SPD mountain
Style mini-cage mini-cage no cage no cage mini-cage
Platform Dimensions (lxw) 90 x 65 mm 68mm x 83.5mm 71 x 68 mm 100 x 71 mm 96 x 64 mm
profile height 22mm 16.8mm 17mm 17mm 21mm
Q-Factor 54mm 56mm 56mm 56mm 56mm
Total Width from Crank Arm 87mm 90mm 84mm 84mm 89mm
Entry 2-sided 2-sided 2-sided 2-sided 2-sided
Adjustable Tension yes yes yes yes yes
Traction Pins 4 grub pins 4grubpins 0 0 0
Bearings Steel EVO+ dual angular contact, metal retainer dual angular contact, metal retainer dual angular contact, metal retainer
Cage Material 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 Time Speciale 8 is a compact aluminum bodied enduro pedal from the famed French pedal company. The pedal is fitted with two grub pins on the front of each side to help it orient for engagement. The clipless mechanism is micro-adjustable, and like the HT T-1, they provide lateral float. The premise behind lateral float is that the entire foot can move side to side, not just the heel like SPD pedals offer. Proponents of lateral float claim itis easier on the joints, particularly the knee. We found them to be reasonably lightweight and well suited for the mud, making them competition worthy.

Performance Comparison



Ease of Entry


A perfect sized target, the pedal doesn't roll underfoot, we found the Speciale 8 easy to engage but not quite the magnetic feel we experienced with the Shimano XTR M9120. When you engage the cleat into the pedal the sound is quite similar to the Crank Brothers Double Shot 3, subtle and a bit vague. Like other Time pedals we've tested, the Speciale 8 have a uniquely floaty feel. The lateral float feels a bit more slippery than we experienced with the HT T-1. This can be disconcerting if you're not accustomed to it. The float may be better for your joints, but it certainly takes some getting used to. Many riders swear by this system.


Ease of Exit


The lateral float in the Speciale 8 allows the entire cleat to shift within the range of the bars. Depending on where your cleat is positioned in the float, releasing from the Speciale can vary somewhat. Add to that the fact that these pedals require more degrees of twist to release from and they can be much harder to disengage from until you're used to it. Its something you can learn to live with and seasoned Time riders have no issues with, but the reality is that it results in an inconsistent release effort and that cost the Time pedals a point here.
While the HT T-1 also features lateral float, the release comes sooner at 4 or 8 degrees vs. 13 or 17 degrees with the ATAC cleats. Additionally, the HT-T-1 provided more friction between the cleat and shoe, resulting in a more secure feeling.


Adjustability


Incredibly adjustable, the Speciale 8 feature adjustable release tension that is accessible using a 2 mm Allen, tension varies from barely holding on to pretty firm. You also have the option to adjust the release angle depending how you mount the cleats to your shoes. The standard brass cleats allow you to set them up for either 13 or 17 degrees, and a set of "easy" cleats can be purchased to reduce the release angle to 10 degrees. They also feature adjustable grub pins on the fronts of each pedal giving them a bit more adjustability than the Shimano XTR M9120.



Weight


At 399 grams, they look to be 2 grams heavier than the Shimano XTR M9120 but that doesn't capture the whole picture. When paired with their respective cleats, the Time system is actually 5 grams lighter than the Shimano system. The extruded and machined aluminum pedals feature hollow steel axles and plastic end caps.
The Time ATAC cleats feature 13 or 17 degrees of lateral float and weigh 44 grams.
The Time ATAC cleats feature 13 or 17 degrees of lateral float and weigh 44 grams.

Platform


The platform on the Time Speciale 8 we liked quite a bit, it's higher profile but supportive, offering a feel very similar to the HT T-1. Unlike the Shimano XTR M9120, the platform felt purposefully designed and put the material under your foot, adding to the pedals stability. Time machined this pedal down to 17mm in the center, but where your foot rests it measures 22mm, that's 5mm thicker than the low profile HT T-1 at 16.8mm.


While the platform felt about as stable as the Look X-Track En-rage Plus, it was a bit more slippery feeling, likely due to the lack of texture at the contact points.

Mud Shedding Ability


Sharing some of their architecture with the HT T-1, the articulating front bar of this pedal leaves nowhere for mud to hide. The deep recess in the center of the body gives mud and debris a place to evacuate. We found them to perform well in a huge range of conditions, they shed mud with the best of them and never jammed up with dirt or other trail debris.


Best Applications


Enduro riders looking for a lightweight, solid platform and lateral float have two really good options from this test. While the HT T-1 is the Editor's Choice, we think the Time will please many riders looking for a solid enduro, trail or all-mountain pedal with a bit more girth. If clipless pedals have given you knee or hip pain and you're craving for something different, we say, give 'em a try.

Conclusion


The Speciale 8 provides a lightweight, solid platform pedal with a different approach to engagement. It performs quite well against the bigger players and has a well-deserved reputation for keeping you connected regardless of conditions.

Recommended Pairing


This pedal is best paired with a mid-width enduro shoe like the Specialized 2FO Cliplite or the FiveTen Kestrel Pro


Joshua Hutchens