VP VX Adventure Race Pedal Review

16-Jul-2016
by Jacob Carmichael

The VP VX Adventure Race is the top tier pedal in VP’s lineup and feature a large platform and forged chromoly axle aimed towards the enduro and gravity crowd. Utilizing the tried and true SPD cleat and binding system these pedals make for an easy transition from their Shimano counterparts, and the adjustable release tension will have beginners to experts clipping in and out with consistency and ease. After 16 months on the trail the pedals exceeded initial expectations and make them a solid competitor in today’s field.
Key Facts
  • Fully SPD® compatible
  • Aluminum body with full platform for max stability
  • 72mm width
  • Heat treated steel VX bindings
  • Forged, Heat Treated, CNC Machined Chromoly Steel Axle
  • High Quality oil seals for superior longevity
  • Roller and double sealed cartridge bearings
  • Rebuild kits available
  • Adjustable release tension
  • 460 grams per pair

Installation
Installation of the pedals is smooth and easy. Cleat installation will be a familiar process to anyone coming from a history of Shimano pedals. Included in the box are a set of metal spacer plates for under the cleat and after initially riding with the plates installed I found removing them resulted in more support from the platform against my shoe while still allowing easy engagement and disengagement.

Riding
These pedals shine through the competition due to their consistency, durability and comfort. Clipping in is more forgiving and repeatable than any other clipless pedal I have ridden to date. These pedals allow you to get clipped in while riding in rough situations more intuitively then other designs, get the cleat close to its clipped in position and it seems to guide it into place. This allows you to take your feet off in sticky situations and get clipped back in immediately, something I found myself doing as second nature after a few rides on the pedals. The adjustable release tension offers a wide range of release tensions that should cover anyone from a beginner riding clipless pedals for the first time to a world class enduro racer wanting their feet locked into place. Platform size is large compared to trail offerings by other companies and when riding with Shimano AM45 and Specialized 2FO Cliplite shoes provided ample support and comfort.

Durability
From all day epics to long days in the Whistler Bike Park the VX Adventure Race has been my every day pedal for the last 16 months. They have seen no maintenance and been punished with extreme Pacific Northwest mud and many bike washes, a common killer for pedal bearings. After all the abuse the bearings spin amazingly well, when compared to a new set of the same pedals there is no discernible difference in how the bearings feel, and there is no noticeable play. Although it was never needed VP offers rebuild kits and the pedals are user serviceable. Cleat Durability has been exceptional, surviving through long hike-a-bikes up rough gravel fire roads for the entire 16-month period of the test.

Issues and Improvements
Throughout all the time I have spent with the VX Adventure Race’s the only issue has been the toe section of the binding repeatedly coming loose. This is likely due to a lack of thread locker on the screws fastening it on my original set of pedals, an issue which appears to be solved as a new set I just received came with the screws thread locked from the factory.

Overall Impressions
After 16 months of near daily use the VP VX adventure race has become my go to clipless pedal. A familiar SPD system makes transitioning to these pedals from Shimano’s offerings a breeze and allows for use of the same cleats with multiple brands of pedals on different bikes, a huge plus. The 460g pedals are not the lightest or most bling offering out there, but proved to be a workhouse excelling in durability, ease of use and consistency which makes it outshine its competitors and secure a place on my bikes.

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