Over the past few years VP has established itself as one of the de facto choices in the entry and mid level pedal market, but they’ve recently begun expanding their product line. In addition to their line of bottom brackets and headsets, the company launched a new line of clipless pedals last year, and this month at Sea Otter – they officially launched a premium flat pedal offering.
Dubbed the Harrier, the new pedal has been in development for over a year and was designed with input from dirt jump phenom Andrew Taylor. Armed to the hilt with steel pins, the B52 sized platform is claimed to offer impressive traction and durability at a very respectable weight. We’ve had a review pair installed on a trail bike for the past few weeks, so jump past the break to see how they’ve performed.
On our scale, the VP Harrier pedals came in at 373 gms. The original pre-production units were a few grams lighter, but in the name of long term durability, the company switched to a beefier axle and a different bearing configuration.
To avoid the uncomfortable bulge found on slim pedals that use a cone and cup style bearing, the Harrier sports an inboard IGUS bearing. An external lock nut on the end of forged cromoly axle allows users to adjust tension and any play that might develop.
To give you an idea of the scale of the new pedals, here are a few comparison shots next to one of our favorite models by Deity. As you can see in the image, the difference in the platform area is not drastic, but it is fairly noticeable.
With dimensions of 120mm x 110mm x 12mm, there are only a handful of pedals on the market with a platform this large.
For traction, the Harrier employes twenty pins per pedal of two varying types. The combination of taller outside pins and shorter pins on the inside make the platform feel virtually concave.
During testing, VP experimented with different pin types, including breakaways, but found that that the breakaway pins bent as often as they broke and could be difficult to remove. So this combination of pins offered the best compromise in terms of durability, grip, and ease of use.
On the trail, supportive is the one word that best summarizes the new VP Harrier Pedals. And that’s not our term, it’s actually Brand Manager Erik Saunders. As he explains it, that was the company’s principal design goal in developing this pedal, and they have more than succeeded.
The massive platform pulls no compromises in the pursuit of maximum grip. Unlike some pedals, you won’t need to swap in different pins to keep your feet glued in place. Even with flimsy skate shoes, the performance is surprisingly good. And with proper riding shoes, you won’t mistake the Harriers for any of these new wave flats that sacrifice sandpaper like traction so you can “adjust your feet more easily.”
We’ve only put a few rides on these behemoths but first impressions so far are great. With these pedals mounted up, our feet stayed in place on the hairiest of descents, and we felt more surefooted when navigating technical single track climbs. Only time will tell how these pedals perform in the long run, but for now, we highly recommend the Harrier pedals. They’ll soon be available in red, silver, or black, and will retail for $130.