Since their launch, Time’s Xpressos have always been lighter than the competition, but shedding grams is expensive. The entry-level Xpresso 2s only weigh around 100g per pair more than our top-of-the range 15s.
Central to the Xpresso design is its carbon flexion blade, which, unlike a steel spring, is always open until cleat entry snaps it shut. You can easily adjust between its three tension settings using a screwdriver, turning an eccentric triangular cam against the blade. This customises resistance for the built-in +/- 5 degrees of smooth angular float that has always been a major selling point for Time pedals to riders with knee concerns.
The iClic cleats are reasonably hardwearing, are easy to walk on and allow you to adjust the Q Factor (the distance between the pedals) by 2.5mm depending on which shoe you fix them to. Engagement with the pedal is extremely rapid, although as the pedals aren’t weighted at the rear, you’ll occasionally need to flick them in to position first. They feel very positive and efficient in use, with their 13.5mm sole-to-pedal axle distance, and large 700mm2 pedal platform ensuring excellent support and stability. Security is equally impressive, with a release angle of 15 degrees making accidental release almost impossible.
The Xpresso 15 shares the Xpresso 12 Titan Carbon’s hollow titanium axle, carbon body and interchangeable alloy plate to protect the body from cleat abrasion. The price difference is down to the 15’s use of Ceramic Speed bearings, which are ‘drag free’ (which we take to mean exceedingly low in drag), and save around 11g per pedal, bringing the Xpresso 15s in at an amazing 71g each, although two cleats plus six bolts weigh 87g extra.
Picking them up, they feel unbelievably light. Spinning the pedals by hand is incredibly slick and smooth. On the bike, to be honest, they feel exactly like our regular Xpresso 8s in use, the functionality is the same, but – and it’s a very expensive but – the bearings theoretically should outlast all our other pedals, and remain virtually friction-free. Whether you can justify the extra cost for marginal watt savings is another matter.