This is actually my first pedal upgrade–and while this is a specific pedal review–it also serves as a strong word of advice to beginners: pedals are a cheap and extremely noticeable first upgrade to a bike.
I held off on any upgrade that wasn’t necessary until I had my bike for almost two years. I upgraded my front wheel as a necessity when it bent beyond truing, but that was about it. I didn’t want to upgrade until I thought I would truly understand what that upgrade would do for me. In other words, I wanted to fully understand every aspect of my bike before I could even think of changing it. While this may have been a bit of a masochistic way to improve my skill, there are still some really easy upgrades I wish I had given into earlier. If I could, I would tell my beginner-self to not be so stubborn or stingy.
I upgraded from my stock GT platforms (nicer than typical stock pedals, but still not very grippy) to these Wellgo’s and after testing them in the driveway with slippers on, the difference was immediately tangible. When I put my Vans sneakers on, I couldn’t believe the grip. My feet had been slipping off my old pedals every time I rode. I never thought too much about it; I figured I would work on heavy feet, my technique, etc. While building skill is an absolutely valid way to keep your feet on the pedals, it’s not shameful to make a small upgrade.
I’d read tons of pedal reviews because I’m the kind of guy who researches a product extensively before purchasing, no matter what I’m buying. I found the Wellgo CNC B38‘s for 44% off on Chainreactioncycles.com (List price: $65.98, Sale price: $37.10) though apparently now they’re discontinued. The CNC B54 is practically the same pedal, with a very similar list/sale price. I knew I wanted platforms, and a good deal.
For the price, I really don’t think I can beat the performance. The alloy feels tough and the finish is attractive. As seen in the photos, it’s kind of that Macbook Pro silver finish- more silvery than the product image on Chainreactioncycles. The replaceable pins have a really effective gripping power, and I am able to even get some added grip lifting my rear wheel up, which I never felt with my old pedals. I can pull the back of my bike up a lot easier, which is really helpful on the trails I ride (lots of logs, roots, obstacles). The grip is strong at any angle I keep my foot, and whether I have the front or middle of my foot locked in.
- Sealed cartridge bearings
- Alloy body
- 8 replaceable pins
- Cro mo axle
Pros: Great grip, very sturdy, wide surface area (They also match my bike)
Cons: Fairly heavy (though not a huge concern for me)
I would recommend the B38’s as a fantastic pedal upgrade from stock pedals for any rider. I haven’t been able to put them through a beating yet, so no word on longtime durability.
|They look pretty great covered in mud, too.|
If you’re like me, and like to look at as many shameless photos of a potential product before you buy, scroll through this Imgur gallery. You’ll find the pedals photographed clean and dirty, as well as a couple size comparison shots.