Project 24 Review: Crank Brothers Candy 3 pedals

See all of our Project 24 posts here!

A long-time Eggbeater user, I can’t say that I was exactly looking forward to exchanging my pedals for a 24 hour race- even if it was within in the same family.  While I understand the attraction of adding a small platform to the frightening-looking Eggbeaters, I’d never had trouble clipping in to the minimalist pedals- in fact, I find it hard not to.  Besides, my experience with the first-generation (composite bodied) Candys was less than ideal.  The first time around, the Candy seemed to interfere with the shoe a bit more than the Eggbeaters, meaning that any given pair of shoes and cleats would only ever work well with one pedal or the other.  Still, with a new low-profile aluminum cage and surprisingly low 305g (actual) weight, I thought that the Candys would provide a bit more support of a long day’s riding- and be worth trying.  Little did I know how much I would end up liking them…

Thanks to the difference in shape, I initially found the revised Candys marginally more difficult to clip in to than the Eggbeaters.  It wasn’t enough to be frustrating, but certainly enough to be noticeable.  The metal cage doesn’t provide a whole lot in terms of a platform when unclipped, and with a pit of practice and a smidge more attention than I was used to, finding and engaging the cleat became largely automatic.  With that sorted, I stopped thinking about them altogether.

I’ve got several hundred miles on the Candy 3s at this point and they haven’t asked anything of me.  In nasty New Mexico mud and gritty sand, they’ve engaged reliably and I’ve never had any issues unclipping while wearing either Shimano or Mavic shoes.  24 hours’ worth of racing came and went without any foot pain, which is no small thing.  It wasn’t until I returned to another bike and standard (previous generation) Eggbeaters that I was really impressed by what I missed.  It turns out that the Candys really are noticeably more stable underfoot than the Eggbeaters- especially with worn shoes.  Not that the Eggbeaters are bad- just that the Candys are better.

This improvement in stability had me thinking.  Surely, the aluminum platform added an unacceptable amount of weight- at least enough that I could happily stick with my old favorites.  In my book, a 26g difference is not enough to justify reduced performance- and that’s the published difference in weight between $120 Candy 3s and $120 Eggbeater 3s.  Will the slight delay in clipping in become unmanageable?  Will the bearings live up to the promise of their 5 year warranty?  I’ll keep on riding the Candys and report back after several months’ abuse, but at this point see no reason not to make the change to Candys as Eggbeaters wear out.  It’s sure can be nice to be surprised.

marc

www.crankbrothers.com

Comments

Mark - 03/03/11 - 11:04am

Got any pics of the shoe engaged to the pedal?
would be good to see where the shoe sits on the platform.
and with both sets of shoes please.

No mention of the cleat set up or photos of the cleats on the shoes.
or shoe protector plate used with these pedals, since the springs have a tendency to wear through carbon shoe bottoms.

Fabricio - 03/03/11 - 2:15pm

I have this since the first moment when came out, maybe since June 2010. I has been a fan of CB since the first moment with the eggbeaters, after switched to Mallets because I liked a bigger platform for my all mountain rigs. My first pair of Mallets stay smoothly today, should have like 6 years now. About this Candy I got hoked with the design and look, my mistake. After riding less than 3 months one of the needle bearings went totally destroyed, for remove it was a total mess I had to damage the interior of the pedal because the design. I figured how to replace it trying to do the less damage. 3 months after, the other pedal needle bearing fail, this scratched the axle because the body got stuck against the axle in the middle of a ride. Same than the first one, for remove the bearing had to damage the inside of the body (previously done by the damaged bearing). Well after all my recommendation is to avoid the top of the line pedals with needle bearings until the seals or bearing types are improved, the feeling, weight and look (when apply) is good, but the bearing issue is a big drawback. Stay with the lower series 2 and 1 to avoid this bad experiences.

Carlito - 03/03/11 - 3:22pm

I don’t doubt for a second that the platform makes a noticeable difference compared to straight eggbeaters. I just recently switch to Time pedals…. I miss the flexibility of being able to clip in heel or toe first, but I don’t miss my feet popping off the pedals in rock gardens. To me, that is the only flaw to the CB pedals… a good whack to the underside will release your cleat. Likewise, the only flaw with the Times is that you don’t get the dual entry. Decisions, decisions.

Fabricio - 03/03/11 - 5:45pm

I has the same model of the review. After riding CB since they showed the eggbeaters I can say that the worst “improvement” are the needle bearings and seals, my pair of Candy 3 failed in this department after just 3 months of use, even when my Mallets still running as butter after 6 years, maybe?… Even for remove the damaged bearings was a total mess I had to destroy part of the bearing seat because was the only way, the needles were all around the axle and body damaging all inside. I can say that the performance at the beginning was good and the look amazing. My recommendation is to stay away of the top of the line series until they fix the needle and seals issues, with the lower 2 and 1 will be ok the plastic bushings instead the needle bearings, if not just check the Mallets, they still as butter.
Good product IME but need improvements.

Cburdick - 03/03/11 - 8:24pm

When I switched from EB to Candy SL’s a long time ago I realized one of the main advantages: when riding the Candy’s, wacking a pedal rarely meant being unclipped, whereas with the EB’s it was a certainty.

+1 for the Candys.

Riley - 03/03/11 - 8:52pm

@Carlito What time pedals are you riding that aren’t dual entry?

Marc - 03/03/11 - 9:05pm

@Mark – I do use Crank Brothers’ shoe shields on my carbon-soled shoes, but not on others- it really does depend on the shoe and the depth of the tread as to what’s interfacing with what. Good note, though…

@Fabricio – That sucks- have you used the 5yr warranty? I’m sure that CB would like to hear about your pedals and may want to see first hand what went wrong. I’ll be riding these for the forseeable future and report back if I have similar issues…

Fabricio - 03/09/11 - 8:41pm

@all- my comment here was heard from CB and Chad Peterson Director of Product contacted me, e-mails went and came back. I explained my whole problem, I´m not from US or a country where the warranty is not easy to apply due the hard to find and keep stock of items(if any dealer is available). That´s one of the reasons of why I prefer to buy my parts directly from US, when they are just hot out from the factory. I´m an avid rider that like the technology behind the components and the good performance. I test any idea or component that fit my ride style in my almost 20 years riding MTB and a 8 years of BMX, the bikes are my drug. The issue with this pedals maybe was a bad batch of seals in the early production like Chad told me, not many failure reports, mine maybe is one of these. I don´t want to say my previous comment was bad or wrong, because the bearing really had a failure. But what I can´t apart is the support of the guys in CB after my problem, they offered any help that I could request, not many companies do that and I have a good record of warranty request. I still running my pedals after the bearing failure and also will update this comment in the next months of use after some races.
Cheers to all here and CB guys.

marc b - 03/09/11 - 10:03pm

@Fabricio: That’s great news- please let us know how things go this time ’round.

solitone - 07/23/12 - 8:53am

I need a new set of pedals, and was considering CB’s Candy 2 or 3.

I like very much their look, but after reading several comments I am a bit concerned about their durability.

Fabricio here experienced failure, but his experience is not isolated. For instance:

- http://www.woollypigs.com/2010/02/falling-out-of-love-with-crank-brothers-pedals/
- http://www.mtbr.com/cat/drivetrain/pedal/crank-brothers/candy-3/prd_451281_135crx.aspx

Mark, have you got any update after several months of usage?

Marc - 07/23/12 - 8:30pm

Solitone,

I still really like how the Candys work, but I’m finding that (given the amount of riding I do), 9 months is about all the bearings can take between replacements. That interval might be longer if I serviced them at all- but would almost certainly be shorter if I lived somewhere wetter. They’re still covered by the 5yr bearing warranty, though.

marc

solitone - 07/24/12 - 6:06am

Thanks for your feedback, Marc.

9 months is not a particularly impressive lifespan! So, as far as durability is concerned, Candy’s perform poorly.

By comparison, I currently have a set of Shimano’s SPD’s that I have been using for 3+ years (also in very muddy conditions) without servicing them at all, and they still work flawlessly.

BTW, will the bearings be covered by the 5 years warranty? If yes, I might consider Candy’s, but I would definitely buy them from a LBS, and not online!

solitone - 07/24/12 - 12:25pm

From Candy’s FAQ:
http://www.crankbrothers.com/support/faq_candy.php


Q. Can I replace the internal bearings, bushings and seals?
A. Yes, the pedals are very easy and fast to rebuild. [...] We recommend rebuilding your pedal once a year (2-3 times a year if you ride in harsh conditions on a regular basis).

So I wonder whether bearings are indeed covered by the 5 years warranty, considering that you should rebuild pedals at least once a year.

Dave Hansford - 12/10/13 - 4:32pm

Just to let everyone know that while I love the latest Mallet 3s, I too have had needle bearing failure after about nine months’ riding, with the consequent damage to the machined axle faces. The remaining bits are a pig to get out…

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.