Review: Straitline AMP Pedals – What the Squeak?
Flat pedals aren’t complicated things, but getting that perfect combination of light weight, reliability, and grippyness can be a challenge for manufacturers. A few years ago, Straitline components created a new pedal, the DeFacto, which sent shock waves across the DH scene. It was a pedal that threw two middle fingers in the air at weight weenies and compromised nothing in the pursuit of grippyness.
Now that 40 lb dedicated downhill rigs have fallen out of favor, traded in for 6″ bikes by guys sporting half lids and goggles, Straightline has created new generation of it’s DeFacto pedal – the AMP (All Mountain Product). Using the same internals, the AMP is the DeFacto, with a tummy tuck.
The pedals are beautifully packaged in a little black box, like jewelry for bikes. Inside the nug jar is a set of pre-locktited pins and a set of plastic washers for rebuilds. Early users complained about friction causing the pedals to spin poorly, so Straitline now offers users two options. The stock white washers are slightly thinner for freer spinning pedals and the slightly thicker black washers for dedicated DJ and DH use.
Weight for the $185 MSRP pedals with the a chromoly axle is 330 grams on the kitchen scale. Just 6 grams heavier than the claimed 324. An extra Benjamin for the titanium axle drops the weight to a svelte 272 grams (claimed).
The AMP pedals have 7 hexagrip pins per face, exactly half the number found on the DeFacto. Despite the drastic decrease in pins, the pedals remain relatively grippy, which can be attributed to Straitlines wonderful pin design. These pins are available aftermarket in a bag of twenty and are retrofittable on the majority of top mount style pedals. A worthy upgrade if you want to breathe some new life into a haggard set of flats.
A set of ridges machined across the axle also help to increase traction.
The axle system, (again) borrowed from the DeFacto, spins on two Igus bushings and a pair of circle clips on the outside of the axle for reliability. The system is easily rebuidable and Straitline provides a series of how-to-videos for the mechanicaly curious here.
Unfortunately, this is where our experience with the AMPs started to sour. On our first ride, the squeaking from the sole of my Teva’s rubbing against the circle clips was loud enough to scare away the wildlife and the sound has never subsided. If any of my sneakers even looked at these pedals funny – squeeeeeeak.
Despite the relative light weight and parking lot grippyness, other issues quickly came to light after only a month of casual abuse. The platform itself isn’t that large. At 93x103mm it’s dwarfed in width by many of it’s competitors and that’s painfully obvious on the trails. The hexagonal Straitline pins go a long way to correct the girth deficiency but the pedals just don’t offer enough support when climbing or smashing through rough sections.
The AMPs have also developed side to side play in an astonishingly short amount of time. It’s hard to feel when grabbing the pedal and pulling, but when pedaling, you can feel the platforms moving slightly underfoot.
The Straitline AMPs have been available for nearly two years. If these issues hadn’t been caught during product testing, they should have been addressed in the intervening years. Our long term impression of the original Straitline pedals was filled with praise for their overall grip but dinged points because they required constant rebuilding, roughly once every 200-300 kms (120-180 miles).
Between the squeaking, the play, the small platform, the frequent service intervals, and the high price, it’s hard to recommend these platforms.