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Xpedo Thrust SL Ti in Review

Xpedo Thrust SL Ti in Review

20.06.24 07:31 109Text: NoPain (translated by AI)Photos: Erwin HaidenGentle "stress test" of the super-light racing bike pedals with carbon-reinforced plastic body, innovative MDU elastomer, hollow-drilled titanium axle, and classic Look-Kéo standard.20.06.24 07:31 156

Xpedo Thrust SL Ti in Review

20.06.24 07:31 156 NoPain (translated by AI) Erwin Haiden
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Gentle "stress test" of the super-light racing bike pedals with carbon-reinforced plastic body, innovative MDU elastomer, hollow-drilled titanium axle, and classic Look-Kéo standard.20.06.24 07:31 156

The Xpedo Thrust SL are among the lightest road bike pedals with Kéo standard on the market and are popular among professionals, amateurs, and NoPain alike. The latter has already had the opportunity to experience the lightweight Xpedo M-Force 8 Ti MTB-SPD Pedals, which continue to impress on the gravel bike to this day despite their uncompromising lightweight construction and a maximum rider weight of 86 kilograms.

Similarly, his 2-month review of the Xpedo Thrust SL including titanium axle could be summarized: Great functionality, uncompromisingly light, however, with a weight restriction and expensive - at least according to the MSRP, which, however, is never really charged in any online store. Keyword: moon price.

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  • Xpedo Thrust SL Ti in ReviewXpedo Thrust SL Ti in ReviewXpedo Thrust SL Ti in Review

 Great function, uncompromisingly light, but with a weight restriction and expensive. 

NoPain's First Impression
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  • Xpedo Thrust SL Ti in Review
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  • Xpedo Thrust SL Ti in ReviewXpedo Thrust SL Ti in Review
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Technology: XPedo Thrust SL Ti

At first glance, the XPedo Thrust SL pedals appear to be a successful imitation of a Look Kéo (Blade Carbon) pedal, which does not do justice to the product from the world's second-largest pedal manufacturer - after Shimano. The Thrust SL, weighing only 164 grams, are not only lighter than the slightly more expensive titanium version from the French (190 grams; 310 euros), but also offer several technical advantages.

As the first of its kind, instead of a metal or carbon leaf spring, an MDU (Microcellular Ductile Urethane) elastomer ensures a solid entry and exit, whose release hardness is also continuously adjustable - so you do not have to commit to a specific pedal tension of, for example, 8, 12, 16, or 20 Nm before buying. The range of motion is also variable to a certain extent and can be selected using the two included Kéo cleats (black for 0°, red for 6°). Additionally, thanks to the proven Kéo standard, you can choose from countless cleats and shoes with a 3-hole system.

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XPEDO Thrust SL Titanium Road

Application Road Bike/Triathlon/Time Trial
Pedal System Kéo (Look)
Product Number XRF11CT
Material Pedal Axle Titanium, hollow-drilled
Material Pedal Body Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (Carbon Injection Molded Body)
Material Contact Surface Titanium
Mechanism MDU Click Mechanism with Elastomer
Color Black/gold
Bearing 3x Ball Bearings
Range of Motion 0° or 6° (two pairs of cleats)
Release Hardness Continuously adjustable
Q-Factor 53 mm
Weight 164 grams weighed (Manufacturer's specification: 168 grams)
Rider Weight max. 86 kg (rider, clothing, and possibly luggage)
Scope of Delivery Pedals incl. 2 pairs of cleats (0° and 6° range of motion), mounting screws
Price (MSRP) € 299.95
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The high-end product is rounded off with three sealed groove ball bearings and a hollow-drilled titanium axle. The Q-factor is 53 mm, just like the Look pedal, and the contact area is logically the same.

Those who are unable to adhere to the prescribed weight limit of max. 86 kg including clothing and luggage can opt for a slightly heavier model with chrome-molybdenum spindles.

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 Instead of a metal spring or a carbon leaf spring, an individually adjustable MDU (Microcellular Ductile Urethane) elastomer ensures precise engagement and disengagement. 

MDU Click Mechanism
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  • Xpedo Thrust SL Ti in Review
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In Practice

The pedals are incredibly light - especially in direct comparison to my old Speedplay Zero. Of course, there is also a catch: the previously mentioned weight limit of 86 kg. Fortunately, I just fit into this limit, and I also don't do HIT training with all-out sprints on a smart trainer or a rigid trainer bike.

I also love the style of the matte black pedals with their subtle golden lettering, not least because it perfectly matches my ABUS Gamechanger 2.0. The design is still neutral enough to fit any crank, all bikes, and of course, any helmet.

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The Assembly

Mounting the Kéo cleats was also a treat: quickly and dirtily screwed on, briefly clicked in to check position and angle, minimally adjusted, tightened - done. When I think about mounting the Speedplay cleats with their total of 18 small Phillips screws, I still shudder today.

The package included two pairs of cleats, one with 0° and one with 6° of freedom of movement, which is very practical. For riding in the great outdoors, I chose the red cleats with 6° and for my indoor training shoes, I slammed on the black ones with 0°. Clicking in is very precise with both cleats; only the adjustment screw for the release tension was a bit awkward - on one hand mushy, on the other hand without a fine adjustment range. You should definitely take your time, only make short turns, try out the result in between, and by no means overtighten them. But no matter how hard you set them - unclipping is just as secure and precise as clipping in.

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In Operation

I can only praise the function during the ride without any criticism. The entry is intuitive, as the pedal always hangs in the optimal position downwards. The wide support surface feels great - I was not used to that anymore because of my Speedplays - and, as mentioned, the exit is always perfect too.

After several rides in the rain, I noticed a slightly slower entry, which is why I lubricated the mechanism with Variolube S200 spray (probably Ballistol, WD40, or silicone spray would have also worked). After that, the original function was sustainably restored.

A real pleasure is the silent operation, completely without any cracking at the axle or the annoying creaking of the leaf springs that I knew from the Look Kéo Blade Carbon. Also, there is no carbon spring that could break at Xpedo, since their "spring" is made of MDU. I am naturally neither a physicist nor a chemist and I don't have a crystal ball, but I am confident that the elastomer will last.

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Conclusion

Xpedo Thrust SL
Model Year: 2024
Review Duration: 2 months / three bikes
Price: € 299.95 RRP
+ Very light
+ Elegant design
+ Precise entry/exit
+ Secure hold
+ Top bearings
+ No creaking noises
o Weight limit
o Spongy adjustment screw for release tension
- List price vs. selling price
BB-Verdict: Silence is golden.


Although the Xpedo Thrust SL pedals appear to have been on the market for several years, they seem to have only recently made the leap to Europe or into well-known online shops and specialty stores. Accordingly, current user experiences are rather sparse. A more detailed search reveals feedback from other parts of the world on the normal Thrust pedals with steel springs and an earlier SL version that did not yet have an adjustment screw for release tension. Most owners were thrilled, only a weight-weenie reported several bearing damages on the axle.

We have already ridden the pedals for two months on three different bikes (Canyon Endurace, Yamaha Wabash, and a new TREK) and were pleased with "lightweight construction without compromises in function." Furthermore, this Xpedo product is also exquisitely designed, ergonomically constructed, quiet, and runs smoothly, and thanks to the Kéo standard, it is compatible with many cleats and shoes. True to the motto "Don't waste - reuse," axles and cartridge bearings can be ordered separately for possible repairs after the warranty period.

Ultimately, in our eyes, a real purchase recommendation for weight-weenies and connoisseurs. Those who are heavier and/or ride harder should opt for the CrMo axle (210 grams). You can somewhat choose the price yourself - a quick search online will help.

  • Xpedo Thrust SL Ti in Review