On the bike
I’m a longtime Shimano SPD pedal user. Because of my preference for gravel and mountain biking, I’ve actually put mountain bike pedals on all of my bikes, road included. I far prefer the double-sided entry of the pedals and the walkability of the shoes. This does mean that I also have to use washers to maintain similar Q factors among bikes. The different spindle options helped with that. I put the longer spindle Trail model on a gravel bike with narrower road cranks and the Trail Triple with its 52.5mm axles on a mountain bike with wider MTB cranks. Swapping between them was seamless.
Both models install using an 8mm Allen key. On the slightly fancier Trail Triple model, small details like printing L and R on the pedal spindles means less trial and error when installing.
Both sets of the iSSi pedals worked, as claimed, with both the included cleats as well as Shimano SPD cleats. Engagement action is fantastic. Clipping in and out is just as you’d expect from an SPD model. Like Shimano pedals, the iSSi Trail models feature adjustable tension. The iSSi cleats offer 4 degrees of float but it isn’t as free a movement as Shimano XT or XTR SPD pedals. I found that the float was a bit freer with the iSSi cleat, but that may have had to do with shoe differences as well.
I can’t find fault with the functionality of the iSSi pedals. If forced to nitpick, I would say that the finish is perhaps a half step below Shimano, but the pedals did hold up well in muddy, snowy and dusty conditions.
It’s also worth noting that spindle kits are sold aftermarket for $52 so that iSSi pedal users who already own compatible pedals can benefit if fit requirements change. This also allows shops to order pedals and install the extended spindles on a case-by-case basis. Likewise the Trail pedals can be ordered with longer spindles in limited colors.
With comparable MSRP pricing, the iSSi Trail pedals offer a real alternative to Shimano pedals and one with fitting and color options that the Japanese giant doesn’t provide. The iSSi Trail pedals are a win for mountain bike clipless pedal users who want more, like me.
For more info visit rideissi.com.