Time Iclic Carbon Pedal Review

When I started riding, my first clipless pedals were SPDs, followed by my first ‘real’ road bike with Look Keos.  Once I got the Vaytanium, with its delicious Crank Brothers Candy 3s, I decided to change pedals on my road bike.  I threw a set of Candys on it too, so 1 pair of shoes could cover all of my bikes (all then either being eggbeaters or Candys).  That way, I could keep a spare pair of bike shoes in my car, and always be covered (as I had a bad habit of forgetting shoes).

When I posted the first Ridley Noah review, I received a bunch of feedback from people who said that using Candys was a bad idea…and who suggested that riding with road pedals would be more efficient and result in greater power transfer.  I received similar comments from some who suggested that this was a bunch of bunk.

I decided to try out the theory and throw some road pedals on the Ridley, to give it a go, when I got my Bontrager RXLs.  I talked to the peeps at North Central Cyclery, and Tobie was kind enough to loan me a pair of his spare Time IClic2 pedals to try out.  After a couple hundred trial miles, I picked up a set of the Time IClic Carbon pedals.

Spring tension in the iClics is non-adjustable…it is set by a carbon fiber leaf spring in the bottom of the pedal.

Clicking in and out is easy–the cleats are somewhat triangular at the front…you dip your toe in, and then step down to a resounding (and reassuring) loud SNAP.

Unlike the Candys, there is never a question about whether you’re clipped in or not.  In that pic (above), you can see the oversized main bearings that the pedals ride on (at the left, by the pedal).  It is an order of magnitude larger than the bearings in the Candys.

They’re quite delicious looking, if I dare say so.

The cleats are relatively low profile, and as far as clipless road pedal cleats go, reasonably easy to walk in.

So…now having compared the two back to back on the same bike, with a several thousand miles on the Candys and a few hundred miles on the Times, here are my impressions:

  • I think the Times will ultimately take less maintenance than the Candys.  They seem to be a bit sturdier and I am greatly appreciative of the larger bearings…notwithstanding the fact that the Candys are aluminum body and the Times are carbon.
  • While the Candys are light, the Time + cleat is significantly lighter than the Candys + road cleat.
  • There is much less ‘float’ in the Times.  I didn’t realize how sloppy I was with my pedaling, rotating my heels around relative to the pedals, until I rode with the Times.  Once I had my cleat angle dialed in, they’ve been great–no knee discomfort, and much more stability.
  • On flat roads and normal pedaling, I’m not sure what the efficiency gain (if any) is.  That’s the honest truth.  But…
  • When climbing, cranking, standing, pedaling hard, or otherwise exerting, my perception is that there is a direct, significant and measurable difference in pedal efficiency.  With the Times, I feel clipped in.  I feel mechanically connected to the bike–with no wasted effort between my push on the pedals and the bike surging forward underfoot.  Throw the Times on a stiff carbon shoe, on a bike as stiff as the Ridley, on wheels as stiff as the ENVES, and it’s a recipe for fast.  There’s no hiding on this bike…whatever you have is whatever you get.  There’s no energy lost.

I had borrowed the Times expecting to find that there was no appreciable gain.  I was planning on blogging about how the Candys are still the schiz-nit, and this whole “road pedal” thing is a farce.  I was wrong.

In my opinion, there is a direct, palpable efficiency and power transfer gain to be had riding a road specific pedal/cleat, as compared to riding the Candys.  I don’t have a power meter and cannot quantify it, but it is palpable–you can feel it the first time you rise out of the saddle to crank.

I’m not in a position to comment on the long-term durability of the Times.  So far, with a few hundred miles under foot, no problems.  I’ll be curious to see the long-term durability of the cleats as well…that was a big advantage of the Candys (the durability of their quattro road cleat).  Clipping in and out is simple and predictable, and I prefer the tight, mechanical feel of clipping in and out on these to the Candys (and, from what I remember, to the Look Keos I used to run).

So in summary…they’re lighter, better built, and result in greater efficiency.  And they look hot.  What’s not to love?

Two post-notes:

1.  I thought this would be self-evident, but I would only use the Times for road use.  For off-road use (or even for gravel efforts like the Vaya), the Candys are undoubtedly better suited.  Rock strikes would not be well taken by the Times.

2.  Clipping out:

Clipping out:

Here’s the deal…clipping out is totally different from the Candys. The Candys have a low force requirement, and a relatively large heel turn required to clip out.

The i-Clics take a higher amount of force (nothing strenuous…not even moderate), and a smaller heel swing.

Adjusting to clipping out took no serious effort. With the Candys, you turn your heel and the shoe turns and comes right out. With the Times, you apply a little force and once you apply that force, your shoe pops over a bit, and you’re out. It’s definitely a more positive engagement and disengagement.  I have had 0 problems clipping out, even in those rare occasions where you need to clip out quickly at low speed (e.g. ‘man, I thought that light was going to change.’)

19 thoughts on “Time Iclic Carbon Pedal Review

    • Clipping out:

      Here’s the deal…clipping out is totally different from the Candys. The Candys have a low force requirement, and a relatively large heel turn required to clip out.

      The i-Clics take a higher amount of force (nothing strenuous…not even moderate), and a smaller heel swing.

      Adjusting to clipping out took no serious effort. With the Candys, you turn your heel and the shoe turns and comes right out. With the Times, you apply a little force and once you apply that force, your shoe pops over a bit, and you’re out. It’s definitely a more positive engagement.

  1. Interesting review. Using MTB pedals I’m aware of the road vs. MTB pedal efficiency power argument, but I’m glad to see you bring up other issues that are important to the discussion(i.e. the feeling of connectedness, float and clipping). I thought I’d mention one thing.

    While you’re specifically discussing the Candy pedals vs the iClick one gets a vastly different feeling from other pedals. I used both egg beaters and candys for a while, but switched to XTR pedals on everything about 6 months ago. The extreme float, and the need for a very wide swing to disengage is gone. It’s far easier to engage/disengage, I feel far more connected to the pedal, and unlike the iClik or Crank Brothers pedals I can adjust the tension across a wide range. They’re pretty darn serviceable, rather durable against rock strike, and don’t have a reputation for breaking. The engagement mechanism also doesn’t destroy my carbon soled shoes.

    Used on a road bike there is no argument that they are heavier than some road pedals, but assuming you’re using a stiff shoe there’s no other performance loss I’ve noticed. (well, in a wind tunnel you might see a slight aero disadvantage ;) Just thought I’d toss that out there!

    Cheers.

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  3. Any one have issues with creaking bearings with these pedals? I can feel a palpable vibration. a creakiness, on the sown stroke, left side.

    How to overhaul, replace bearings?

    Thanks.

  4. Do you think the clip-out is faster and require less effort then SPD-SL? Had a few falls on long ride on the weekend when slowed down to nothing on the weekend, so am looking for something that can clip out easier. Seems that when the SPD-SL is not lubricated it takes much more force to clip out. thanks

    • No, I don’t.

      I believe the engagement with the Iclic is more positive, and I think the Iclics feel more efficient/direct, but I’d also say it takes a bit more effort to clip out of them.

      • So there is no advantage of Time over SPD-SL Ultegra apart from lighter weight? I have not tried anything else so can’t say much about float. Float and movement on the Ultegra is quite limited. Thanks

      • I think there are advantages over SPD-SLs. In my opinion, the Iclics:
        1) Are easier to clip into–the toe point works really well to engage the pedal.
        2) Have a more positive engagement. I feel more connected to the pedals, particularly in hard efforts and when standing. They feel more efficient.
        3) Have a more effective engagement mechanism. The SPD-SL is certainly tried and true, but the mechanism of the Iclic is more like a ski binding in the way it locks in. I cannot comment on long term durability yet, but I’m very, very pleased with how they work (and how positive they clip in) thus far.

        Personally, I don’t like a lot of float…

      • Also sometime I struggle with clip-on of the SPD-SL when accelerating out of traffic lights and can be dangerous, ie clip-on of first pedal is easy because I am stationary but the 2nd can be lengthy because the pedal is not at right position & requiring to rotate it using tip of shoe for correct side up. May be it’s just my lack of experience.

      • Question: The Time takes more effort to clip-out but is the movement more intuitive so I am less likely to fall off? thanks

      • The reason I ask so many questions is that I want to get a pair of Time I-Click 2 carbon in a day or 2. But if it’s not compelling than i am hesitant to spend $. Thanks

      • I haven’t had any issues with clipping in or out. I would say that the toe guide on the Iclics works better, for me, at catching the pedal and engaging than does the SPD-SL system. I’ve also found that because the way the pedals are built, with a heavy emphasis towards weight at the rear of the pedals, they default to a ‘rear down, front up’ position that is very easy to catch with your toe when clipping in…and that makes clipping in easier.

        The engagement is far more positive feeling to me–you know if you’re in or not. But I can’t say I’ve had problems using SPD-SLs, either. Given a choice, I would (and did) pick the iClics.

        Have you tried adjusting the tension on your SPD-SLs?

      • yes. tension is at minimum. I had a lot of road dirt after 110km ride the 1st day, did another 110km ride the 2nd day, & fell a few times 2nd day because clip out was more difficult than usual. I forgot to lube the contacts.

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