Review: Crank Brothers Candy Tread Sleeves

When ordering a second pair of Crank Brothers Candy 3 pedals recently, I came across the company’s Tread Sleeve accessories.  The Tread Sleeves ares snap-on pads that serve to raise the pedals’ contact area in order to make for a more stable platform on otherwise loose shoes.  Seeing as my Mavic Razors have a shallow cleat pocket and can be a bit wobbly compared to my other shoes, for $10 I  figured that I’d give the Tread Sleeves a try.  Read on to see how things have gone…

Coming on a molded plastic tree, each set contains four pads (enough for two pedals) each in 1mm, 2mm, and 3mm thicknesses. Tread Sleeves in hand, I headed to the workshop to install a set.

Given that I  wanted my Candys to work with all of my shoes, I started with the 1mm Contact sleeve.  The outboard sleeve popped right on and I removed my pedals to install the inboard sleeves.  Once off the bike (and already noting that switching between thicknesses wouldn’t be an on-trail operation), I realized that the pedal axles’ flange was larger than the tread sleeves’ holes.  Grumbling a bit, I pulled the Candys’ axles (they did need a bit of cleaning and fresh grease) and snapped the inboard sleeve in place.  I reassembled the pedals and re-mounted them, ready to ride.

As promised, the Tread Sleeves made for a noticeably more solid interface between the Razors’ tread and the pedals.  At the same time, the added interference between pedal and shoe meant that smooth float that draws many riders to Crank Brothers pedals was reduced.  Nothing, it seems, comes for free.

Out on the trail, the Tread Sleeves did make the Razors feel more connected to the bike, without interfering with my clipping in or out.  I found a number of rocks to bash them against as well, which the Sleeves’ material just shrugged off.  Unfortunately, while engagement with the Mavics was much better, that extra millimeter of material made clipping in with my Shimano mountain shoes a much more deliberate act.  It’s not that I couldn’t clip in, but there was too much interference between even the thinnest Tread Sleeves and those shoes to make doing so easy.

Ultimately, I decided to remove the Tread Sleeves from my pedals.  If the Mavics were my only shoes, or if the Shimanos worked similarly, I would have embraced them- as I expect many will.  The need to disassemble the pedal, while not actually that difficult, is a bummer.  Look at it as an opportunity to add a bit of grease and keep your pedals spinning nicely.  Knowing what I learned during installation, I didn’t remove the pedals from the bike to uninstall the Tread Sleeves- just removed the end cap and the 8mm nut inside.  The fight that the Sleeves put up during removal left me impressed with the plastic material that Crank Brothers used- they should last a good while.  For anyone whose shoes could be a bit tighter on their pedals, the Tread Sleeves are probably well worth the $10 and 20 minutes.

marc

www.crankbrothers.com

Comments

CW - 08/23/11 - 11:12am

I have to run a 6mm shim under my right cleat because of a leg length difference and I could never run CB’s properly with that setup. I have been using the eggbeaters with the tread sleeves for about a year now and this is the perfect answer to my problem. Awesome idea for $10.

boobie - 08/23/11 - 12:46pm

Still unclear on why anyone would buy these problem pedals over a Shimano SPD? They need to be rebuilt, break more frequently, and have the same upfront cost. CX is the only style of riding I see them as a good fit for.

LomaAltaMater - 08/23/11 - 2:22pm

hi boobie, are your experience with the candys before the recent redesign? I got frustrated with the old design and was about to move on to a new pedal but then they sent me the new design as warranty replacement. These new ones with the metal body seem to be much more durable insomuch as they did not develop play as quickly, spin smoother longer and the springs haven’t broken off at the end bend.

RICHARD - 08/23/11 - 2:44pm

@ boobie the nube
the old ones had the same warrantee as shimano!!!!! nube!!! and they cleaned better and lighter for LESS money!!! they were a racers dream!!!!!! the new ones are like heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and crank brothers is awesome to deal with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mountguitars - 08/23/11 - 2:52pm

CB sucks when dealing with warranties that’s why i gave up on these pedals years ago. went to shimano right away. i never had to rebuild my shimanos and never had to deal with warranty issues in the 1st place.

Blah - 08/23/11 - 4:25pm

@Richard
If you’re dealing with the company, they’ve failed. You should be dealing with the dealer. Once. When you buy them.
Oh, sorry: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!

boobie - 08/23/11 - 5:50pm

They are only lighter because they are made of materials that break easier.

Shimano’s pedal design does not require maintenance – who wants another part to maintain on their bike for a whopping grams saving of, what, like 50 grams? Unless you are at the elite level of racing, you don’t need to save 50 grams in your pedals. And if you are at the elite level, you aren’t buying your own pedals.

fanboy - 08/23/11 - 6:36pm

and yet they STILL haven’t fixed the main flaw/problem (they they claim does not exist) that if the pedal bearing locks up, the pedal body will unscrew off the axle.

leaving it attached to your shoe.

and a nice pointy axle sticking out of your crank arm. in a place where it might, I dunno’, spike you in the calf!

Not a dream, not a fantasy, this has happened to MANY people I know.
Including with both the OLD and the NEW improved (supposedly) models. To a magazine editor.

Stick with Shimano. They work. They last. And you don’t have to deal with a company that puts style before substance and released product before it’s tested.

Or has everyone forgotten the revolutionary Cobalt cranks? The Joplin post? The Freewheels on the wheels?

RICHARD - 08/24/11 - 2:10pm

@ boobie the nube and blah

have you ever looked at the tiny clips on the shimano pedals????? noob!??? hit those on a rock and they will break just like any other pedal!!!!!!!!!!! as far as cheaper materials where do you get that info!!!!!! they are both stainless steel!!!!!!!!! smart one!!!!!!!! they did require more maintenance but who would not benefit form saving $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and weight!!!!!

they have been great dealing with the company!!!!!!! it probably does not matter where u deal with!!!!!!!!

Kippsters - 08/24/11 - 7:18pm

I switched to Shimano a few years back after breaking three sets of CB in about 1 year. I was amazed at how much better the contact point was, felt way more efficient and connected. I am still using the same set of Shimanos, and have another pair on the SS, and put on way more miles than I used to, not one problem. I want to like the CB but just don’t see an advantage other than weight and maybe clip in.

Nex - 08/25/11 - 6:45am

Shimano is rubbish compared to these. Switching was the best thing I ever did. I have 3 sets on 3 bikes and love them. Have never had a problem and they are easy to re build if you need to. You guys sound like Shimano spammers to me!!

Uri - 08/30/11 - 2:21pm

@Nex

Richard might be.

Ben - 01/30/12 - 11:22am

I just got a set of Candy 3 pedals and the tread sleeves. I was able to put the inner tread sleeve on without having to take the pedal apart to do it. It didn’t just slide on, but a little tap on one edge of the sleeve and it popped on. They work great with my old worn down shoes and using the Sole Saver plate. The plate pushes the cleat out 1mm and doesn’t mesh well with the pedal due to worn down shoe soles. Nice having the ability to customize the pedal due to shoe wear.

BrB - 05/11/13 - 1:29pm

One huge advantage of the CB pedals is that they have a shoe support area other than at the SPD sized cleat. This full support is especially noticable on long rides and definitely on road bikes where the slightest shoe wobble/play is bothersome to me. Personnally, I only use mtb pedals and shoes on a road bike when touring.

Regarding the OP/thread topic, there is a key point missed and by Crank Bros themselves, that the sleeves for either the Eggbeater or Candy can also be used in conjunction with canting shims.

For example, on one shoe I have stacked 2-1mm cant shims (fabricated from another product not CB), plus 1-2mm CB sleeve to fill the gap on the raised side only. With the shoe angled, the non-raised side sits directly on the pedal body. The cleat is perfectly level with the pedal body. The raised side of the sole is at an angle to the sleeve, but there is good contact there regardless. If it needs more support in the future (ie: shoe sole wears down), then I’ll install a 3mm sleeve and perhaps modify the shoe tread to match the angle and mate those surfaces perfectly. For now, it works fine.

The Eggbeater/Candy configuration has far superior pedal support and adaptability than can be achieved with typical SPD pedals where the cleat is the only contact point.

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