Perhaps you can recall some of our tests on Exustar’s clipless pedals over the years. As one of the largest pedal companies around, Exustar offers options for all levels of riders. Over the last five years, the company has outgrown its former factory and moved into new facilities. This has allowed Exustar to expand production, organize smoother operations and upgrade machinery to construct a more advanced product. We decided to take the entry-level Exustar E-PM239 out on the trails to see what it could withstand.
The E-PM239 clip-in pedals have a thermoplastic platform surrounding the main body. The body is double-sided and uses a spring-loaded chromoly plate to attach to the cleat. The plate tension is easily adjusted to suit a rider’s preference. Exustar utilizes a CNC-machined chromoly axle that is heat-treated and fitted with sealed bearings. The cherry on top is that the pedals are compatible with Shimano SPD cleats and retail for $85 with a set of Exustar E-C05F cleats in the box.
At first, most would go for the typical 8mm Allen to thread on the pedals; however, Exustar’s spindle design uses a 6mm Allen for proper installation onto the cranks. We found this to be a notable bonus when doing a simple bike check with only a multi-tool available. Out of the box, we did feel the E-PM239 pedals needed to be tensioned tighter. We did about three to four clicks tighter on each side of the pedal to avoid unintentionally clipping out. Once that adjustment was made, the interaction between the cleat and pedal body was smooth and placed the foot securely into position. After the main break-in ride, we did have to re-tension a few clicks tighter to keep from unclipping. The plastic platform is a bit wider than other pedals we have tested in this style and proved to be very durable.
When we first clipped in and hit the dirt on the E-PM239 pedals, we noticed how well they performed. The wider thermoplastic that surrounded the pedal body supplied us with a comfortable platform for climbing and descending. After more testing adventures, the pedals still fulfilled our needs without being adjusted further. Not only did the platform provide a comfortable surface to hammer the pedals, but it also gave us a bit of protection from flinging rocks and trail debris. We were thrilled to learn during an extended time of use that the sealed bearings in the pedals did not develop a grind or have any play.
Exustar categorizes this pedal as a “sport” clipless mountain bike pedal. While our test riders agree that the E-PM239 is an amazingly affordable product for anyone new to clipless, it also serves as an exceptionally well-rounded option for the budget-minded rider for all-day trail adventures.