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…
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.