At first glance these platform pedals from Straitline don’t appear to be extraordinary in any way, and they’re not. However, with the input of Jeff Lenosky, Straitline has incorporated a number of features that make a noticeable difference both in the ride of the pedal and its ongoing maintenance.
The way I see it there are three basic requirements in a platform pedal: grip, shape, and durability. Straitline has all three well covered. Fourteen ultra sharp pins per side provide fantastic grip. The pedal body is relatively wide and thin, giving a dependable platform even when your foot placement is a little eccentric. At 519 grams per pair these pedals are not the lightest, but with a sturdy CNC machined body and a solid cromoly axle they have, to date, proven to be robust for all types of riding.
Unlike a lot of competitors’ products, Straitline pedals run on bushes rather than roller bearings. The only impact this has on the ride is that rather than having a very free fast rotation they turn with a little resistance. Despite what you might think, this slight resistance actually feels reassuringly pleasant, and also means that when you do remove your foot from the pedal it typically holds its position, making it a little easier to find your footing.
When the time comes to replace those bushes, or for a little lubricating love, disassembly is an absolute doddle, as Straitline claims. I’m not going to go into detail but if you want a demo there are a couple of very informative videos on their website, including one where a pedal is stripped down and rebuilt using nothing but a piece of paper, a pair of scissors and a rock. I was able to do the same in just a few minutes with a flat bladed screwdriver. The pins are also unique to Straitline, featuring a small male hex at the base, rather than a female hex at the tip. This has two advantages. Firstly, the pins should prove to be stronger, and secondly, if they do get damaged they should be easier to remove.
In terms of performance, nothing about these pedals would lead me to describe them as exceptional. They are very good, but there are a number of other very good pedals on the market. I think what sets them apart from others is the attention to simplicity in their design and construction. Congratulations to Straitline for acknowledging that the people who use their products are often the people maintaining their products, and that we’re not all trained mechanics. Let’s keep it simple. LEIF ROY

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