Product Test: Azonic Switchback Pedals
Azonic has been in the game of making wheels, pedals, handlebars and stems since the late ’80s. Today, Azonic continues to develop products for gravity riders and racers. The Switchback pedals are Azonic’s answer for riders who want the support of a large platform pedal and the security of a clipless cleat. This month, the MBA wrecking crew spun the cranks to put Azonic’s Switchback pedals through the torture test.
Built with an aluminum body and an SPD-compatible cleat, the Switchback pedals position themselves as the perfect mix of flat pedals and clipless pedals. The platform measures 110mm wide and 100mm long. The thickness measures 17mm. Each pedal offers a CNC-machined chromo axle with two DU bushings and one sealed bearing. Azonic gave the Switchback pedals 24 pins per side, along with some spare pins in the packaging should you lose any. The SPD-capable cleat is double-sided and offers adjustable tension. Azonic claims the weight of these pedals is 572 grams per pair with the pins pre-installed.
Field test results:
The ideal customers for the Switchback pedals are downhill and enduro riders looking for a more supportive clipless platform. Clipping your cleats into these pedals offers a solid connection over rough trails and adds support during big-hit landings. We tested the pedals with a pair of Giro Ventana shoes, and then mixed it up with Leatt 5.0 shoes. Both made clipping into these pedals easy; however, clicking out of them required a little more finesse due to the pedal pins catching our soles.
The benefit is that the pedals offer security for your shoes, but in panic situations the pedals weren’t the easiest to get out of. To solve this problem, we adjusted the pins closer to the pedals, allowing our shoe to float more freely. The pedals are roughly the same size as many flat pedals on the market, yet when the trails get rough, your feet stay right in the center of them thanks to the cleat. Our testers found that the Switchback pedals excelled over rocky downhill courses where a rider’s feet might get tossed around. Any riders looking for bombproof downhill or enduro pedals may find Azonic’s Switchback pedals are what they have been searching for.
• Large platform allows easy clip in
• Highly supportive during big hits
• Firmly plants feet over rough trails
• Pedal pins can catch, making it hard to clip out
• Large platform is more likely to hit rocks than smaller clipless pedals
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