MARIN OSO FLAT PEDAL REVIEW
Words & Photos by Robert Johnston
Best known for their great value mountain bikes, Marin Bikes is slowly growing their product range to include a variety of components with the same value-minded, high performance mindset. We’ve been beating on a set of their OSO pedals for a while now, and it’s safe to say they’re a solid flat pedal offering.
The Marin OSO pedals were designed to provide solid and sustainable performance thanks to their durable and fully rebuildable design. The body is made from a Nylon Composite, with a platform measuring in at 108mm wide, 112mm long and 18mm tall at the axle (21mm at the leading/trailing edges). The body has a slightly concave profile to help to keep your foot in place, and there are nine replaceable threaded pins on each side of the pedal to provide the grip.
The Nylon Composite bodies spin around a machined chromoly steel axle on a bushing and bearing system, which can be replaced easily using the $15/£15 pedal rebuild kit to get the pedals back to spinning like new. The Marin OSO pedals are offered in a choice of Black or Blue, with a retail price of $55/£40, and tip the scales at 408g.
Pedals like the Marin OSO serve as a great reminder of how good plastic pedals can be these days. That’s not to say they quite offer the refined performance of a thinner (and usually much more expensive) aluminum pedal, but they do a good job of keeping your feet in place comfortably. The overall size and shape gave just enough platform for my EU45 (US 11.5) feet to be comfortable, but the one critique for riders looking for the absolute most grip is that the pins could stand to be a couple of millimeters longer. Replacement pins are easy to source, but it would be nice to see Marin either supply longer pins with washers, or give customers the choice between sizes to tailor the grip to their preferences. Otherwise, the 1.5mm concavity helps to lock your feet in place relatively well when conditions aren’t muddy enough to overwhelm the relatively short pins.
The biggest benefit of a plastic pedal – especially when they have a ramped leading edge like present on the OSO pedal – is that they have a tendency to slide when you hit them, rather than sticking. This helps to prevent you catching a pedal and hanging up, reducing the likelihood of a crash from this kind of impact. The flip side is that the OSO pedals are on the thicker side, increasing the chance of catching a pedal in some situations. But even so, their shape lets them get away with this thickness without too much issue, and on the hits that they have taken they’ve shrugged them off without any issues – it’s clear that Marin has sided on the burly and durable side with the OSO pedals, so you’re unlikely to break them prematurely. Similarly, through a good haul of riding across a wide range of conditions, they’ve continued to spin smoothly and avoid any play, so it seems like it’ll be a little while until the rebuild kit needs to be utilized.
The Wolf’s Last Word
At $55/£40, the Marin OSO pedals are a very solid offering that pack a good bit of longevity. Riders with particularly large feet may be served better by a larger platform, and those looking for ultimate pedal grip should look to replace the pins for a longer offering, but otherwise there’s little to complain about.
Price: $55 /£40