Renowned dropper post and brand, Wolftooth, has recently stepped into the flat pedal market with its new Waveform flat – a high-end machined aluminium pedal available in two sizes and four colours.
By assumption, a flat pedal is just flat right? Not exactly. The best flat pedals have a slight amount of concavity machined into the platform, the idea being this keeps your foot centred on the pedal. Think of this as the difference between a plate and a bowl – a ball (as in the ball of your foot) will naturally roll to the centre of a bowl. Also allowing your shoe to sit in, rather than on the platform, it increases grip and control because you can push laterally against the sides.
The optimum amount of concavity is open to debate, but the reason some manufacturers don’t bother scooping out the platform is because there’s not sufficient height in the pedal to remove material directly above the axle – some pedals are just too thin. Wolftooth’s Waveform is 14mm thick at the perimeter, and this has allowed the company to create a profile with dual concavity, which simply means it curves front to back and side to side.
Wolftooth is also offering the Waveform in both large and small (112mm x 106mm /105mm x 99mm) to match different size feet, or for riders who want a bigger or smaller landing zone.
The Waveform platform is machined from billet aluminium and has rounded corners and nicely chamfered edges. Even with the large size, cornering clearance was pretty good, and although I’ve dug the pedal into the ground a few times (one of the pitfalls of riding an e-bike) there’s not a lot of wear to show for it. That said, my local trails are not particularly rocky, so the level of scuffage will vary depending on your local geology and how mindful you are about not avoiding pedal strikes. Although, if you’ve spent £190 on a pedal, chances are you’ll want to look after it.
It’s fair to say that the quality of any pedal is only as good as its bearings, but Wolftooth has that covered too. The Waveform runs a modular system combining three mini cartridge bearings and a high-quality IGUS bushing. The bearing is smooth, with just the right amount of friction to stop it spinning too much. There’s no hint of play or graunchiness after several months’ use, and you can also service the pedal easily with two Allen keys, which is a welcome change from a 10mm socket. To back it up, the pedal is also covered by a five-year warranty.
The Waveform has 11-pins per side and these are inserted through the platform, meaning you also add mini washers to vary their height. The pins are sharp, but they don’t quite have the bite of a set screw, like you’d find on a Nukeproof Horizon. However, grip is won and lost by the shoes you wear, and with Five Tens my feet were totally planted on these pedals.
We’ve tested several boutique pedals recently – the Hope F22, Burgtec Penthouse MkII and Pembree D2A – and the Waveform is totally comparable in terms of grip, but it has a slightly nicer finish. Hopefully the bearings will also last longer, but it’s too early to tell and you are paying more at the outset. The bottom line, then, is that this is a top end pedal with a top end price.
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