Plastic pedal that packs in the features from more premium pedals.
Plastics used to be seen as the cheap option for flat pedals. But as the Nukeproof Neutron EVO shows, a ‘budget’ pedal can cut it with the big guns when it comes to performance.
The main body uses a nylon-reinforced composite with a relatively flat profile across the platform. Nukeproof has managed to endow the Neutron EVO with an impressively low profile for a plastic pedal at only 17mm in thickness (the same as a DMR Vault)
The platform isn’t as large as some, but at 98mm x 95mm it is in the ballpark. As well as the standard (read useless) moulded pins, Nukeproof fits the Neutron with seven replaceable alloy pins per side. These are reverse fitted and can be adjusted to fine-tune grip.
The Neutron EVO spins on two sealed bearings and a DU bushing per pedal. It uses a CroMo axle and rubber lip seals to prevent water and muck getting to the bearings.
For a pedal costing less than thirty quid, the Neutron is surprisingly smooth. The sealed bearings spin noticeably better than the unsealed versions you might expect to find at this price point.
The Neutron offers confidence-inspiring grip no matter the shoes used with the pins at full length. In fact I ended up adjusting the pin height, as there were times when resetting foot position after dabbing was pretty impossible without physically lifting my foot off and placing it in a different position. This is fine on steady trails but on steeper or more technical trails it was not ideal.
The pedal suffered a lot of rock strikes whilst riding regularly on Welsh trails but the nylon body has survived relatively unscathed. Going back to the pins however, they haven’t fared well against the rocks. One particularly jarring hit sheared off two of the outside pins completely; it seems the alloy construction is more brittle than a steel pin. The good news is the reverse nature of the pin fitting makes replacing a doddle.
The platform size felt relatively stable against my size 10 feet but the lack of concavity seemed to push my weight more to the outside of the pedal where the lower position of the pins couldn’t push back.
After a few hectic days at Bike Park Wales there was noticeable play in the axle and bearings. Fortunately a quick nip up of the alloy end cap took this away completely, leaving them spinning smoothly again.
The other bonus of the plastic construction is the Neutron EVO is a great way of shaving a few grams off your bike. At less than 350 grams the Neutron is lighter than a lot of premium pedals.
The Neutron has the performance to compete with some of the best metal flat pedals. The price and weight also make them very appealing. It's only the fragile nature of the pin material that stop the Neutron from being a perfect option.