CRANKBROTHERS STAMP 1 V2 PEDALS REVIEW
PLASTIC AND FANTASTIC
Words by Robert Johnston | Photos by Mountain Bike Connection – Roo Fowler
Crankbrothers has made their entry-level Stamp 1 for a while now, making use of a plastic composite body to shave pennies from the price compared with their aluminum offerings. The original Stamp 1’s had not quite delivered the performance that Crankbrothers saw possible, so they set about creating the Stamp 1 V2 to boost the performance offered without adding considerable cost. We’ve been putting a set to the test for the last few months, and it’s safe to say the updates have paid off, but they’re not perfect.
The Crankbrothers Stamp 1 V2 pedals are built with a nylon composite body, which is offered in two different sizes: Small for feet sizes US 3-10, and Large (tested) for US 10-15. By selecting the correct size pedal for their feet, each rider should get the best blend of support, traction and clearance to deliver the best performance on the trail. These pedals have a footprint of 100mm x 100mm and 114mm x 110mm respectively. They both feature the same concave profile with a 13.5mm to 15.5mm body height from axle to leading/trailing edges, helping to keep the rider’s feet locked in place.
The nylon composite bodies of the Stamp 1 pedals spin around a forged SCM 435 Chromoly Steel axle with the same internals as their premium Stamp 7 flat pedals. They make use of Igus LL glide bearings – which you may call plastic bushings – to provide the spinning, which have self-lubricating properties and are well proven by this point. Crankbrothers offers rebuild kits for around half the price of a new set of Stamp 1 pedals to refresh the pedals, should the bearings begin to wear excessively and develop undesirable play.
Crankbrothers opted to employ a new pin design for the Stamp 1 V2, using an extra-long grub screw which goes all the way through the body – ten pins provides the grip for both sides of the pedal. These long grub screws use a 2.5mm hex key to tighten and remove, and should allow for removal from either side of the pedal in case they become damaged.
A pair of the Crankbrothers Stamp 1 V2 pedals tips the scales at 350g, and comes with a 5 year warranty against manufacturing defects. They’re available in a choice of five colors, with a retail price of $59.99 / £54.99.
From the first day riding the new Stamp 1 Gen 2 pedals at the Mountain Bike Connection summer 2023 event in Andalo, Italy, I was impressed by how far plastic pedals have come. Shimano was also showcasing their new shoe range and supplied me with the new GF7 flat pedal shoe to test too, so my first impressions of the grip offered by the Stamp 1’s was a little uncertain, but I had little to complain about with this combination so was excited to get them back home for some testing with more familiar shoes and on more familiar trails.
It turns out these pedals are pretty damn good, but they can expose weaknesses in less grippy shoes. With shoes that use a harder rubber compound in the sole, grip proved to be lacking, which I attributed to the fairly “fat” pins that Crankbrothers is using, which are unable to bite into the rubber quite as well as some thinner options. Of course, this comes at a trade off of durability, and I’m yet to bend a pin on the Stamp 1’s after numerous hits to rocks and roots on the trailside. I found that there was notably reduced traction on one side of the pedals when wearing less grippy shoes, since one side of the pins is closed off and the other has the hex key slot down the inside that allows them to latch on better. I considered swapping the orientation of half of the pins to balance out this traction, but decided a grippier shoe was a more suitable remedy. With a suitably grippy set of shoes – such as the excellent Five Ten Freerider Pro Mid VCS, or the aforementioned Shimano GF7s (review coming soon) – traction worries disappeared, and my feet were met with a supportive and comfortable pedal that feels every bit as good as their more expensive metal cousins.
The bushing system employed by Crankbrothers does a good job, but does feel to produce a little more resistance than some systems using roller bearings. They managed to fend off the elements well and avoided feeling “gritty” or getting notchy for the whole test period, but a little bit of play did develop in the pedals from a couple of months into the test. This play can’t be felt when your feet are loading the pedals, but there’s a slight amount of movement between the pedal body and axle in the hand. As for the bodies, after multiple pin-threatening hits; scrapes on the edge of ruts and big bottoms out, they’ve proven to hold up well and have given me no concerns for their longevity.
The Wolf’s Last Word
With composite pedals getting serious engineering attention, and being equipped with great platforms; premium internals and durable solutions to their pins, the existence of alloy pedals begins to feel threatened. There’s no denying the allure of a metal bodied pedal, but in terms of bang for your buck, the new wave of plastic pedals is very hard to argue against. Crankbrothers has done a stellar job with their Stamp 1 Gen 2 pedals.
Price: $59.99 / £54.99