e*13 LG1+ pedal - Tested





The novel LG1+ pedal employs a plastic and aluminum body, custom pins, and a 'Spin Control' feature that lets riders set their rotation resistance.

e*13 LG1+ pedal details:
- Interchangeable 'Impact Flexure Design' deck plates
- Webbed aluminum body
- Body spins on two IGUS bushings
- Adjustable rotation resistance via 'Spin Control' dial
- Custom pins in 1, 4, and 7mm lengths (included)
- Heat treated CroMoly spindle
- Colours: black/gold or white/gold
- Weight: 468g/PR (claimed), 482g/PR (actual)

The Details

Dual-material pedal body
The body of the LG1+ pedal utilizes a clever dual-material construction, with replaceable plastic deck plates that conceal a webbed aluminum skeleton. A separate plastic plate is used on each side of the pedal, with e*13 claiming that they offer a slight amount of deformation upon impact, a layout that they refer to as 'Impact Flexure Design'. The idea is to allow the plastic section to absorb any impacts rather than the metal pedal body, possibly preventing fatal damage to the pedal that would occur otherwise. Interestingly, the exact same material is used to manufacture the bolt-on taco chain guards on e*13's chain guides. The IFD deck plates have been molded to fit quite snugly over the pedal body, tight enough that we can't see any debris being able to get underneath, and each plate it held in place by the thread-in pedal pins. Besides protecting the pedal's metal body, the deck plates also give the LG1+ pedal its shape, with leading and trailing edges that measure 21mm thick, an 18mm height directly over the axle, and 15mm in the central webbed sections of the body.


The form-fitting IFD deck plates protect the pedal's webbed aluminum body.

Bushings, not bearings
In contrast to the common arrangement of a sealed bearing and bushing combination found within many pedals, the LG1+ uses two IGUS bushings to allow the body to rotate on the axle. A somewhat standard bushing is found at the inboard end of the body, but a concave-shaped bushing is used at the outboard end. The shape of the bushing matches the profile of the steel cone that acts as the inner race, allowing e*13 to adjust the pedal's ease of rotation via their 'Spin Control' system. The IGUS bushings are self-lubricating, meaning that they are designed to run clean and dry. The seals, however, will benefit from a touch of light teflon-based lube every now and then.


e*13's Spin Control exposed. From left: the steel cone that runs on the concave IGUS bushing, a thin washer, gold anodized adjustment dial, the locking T20 torx screw.

Spin Control
e*13 allows LG1+ pedal owners to adjust the level of rotation resistance via a clever dial on the outboard end of the axle. The Spin Control system employs a steel cone that runs on a concave IGUS bushing that matches its profile. When not locked into place, the cone can be moved in and out on the axle in order to provide more or less friction between it and the IGUS bushing, and it features a square inner profile that matches the shape of the axle end, thereby keeping it from rotating. The cone's postion is determined by where the gold coloured aluminum adjustment dial is set - thread the dial in on the axle threads and it pushes the cone up against the bushing with more force, but back it off and the pedal will be able to spin easier. A thin washer between the cone and itself helps it to turn easier, and a dual-lip seal on its inboard end works to keep out dirt and moisture. Everything is locked into place with the T20 torx screw that threads into the axle end and butts up against the gold adjustment dial. The screw locks the adjustment into place after you've set the desired amount of free spin that you're looking for. Both the gold adjustment dial and the locking T20 torx screw are tucked away within the pedal body cage, making the possibility of a rock strike very slim.


A lot of thought has gone into the custom pins used on the LG1+ pedal.

Custom pins
Whereas many platform pedals use off-the-shelf components like grub screws or standard hex head screws, the LG1+ pedal employs custom designed pins to provide traction. The pins use a relatively course thread on a wide base that should prove to be much sturdier than a smaller diameter section, and they then flare out to a wider stepped shoulder that looks to offer even more support where it interfaces with the plastic IFD deck plate. Externally, a large circumference lip tapers down to the biting tip of the pin, which is enhanced with multiple edges machined into the end of each one. A 2.5mm hex key is used to install or remove each pin from the front side of the platform, with tool access coming from underneath to prevent damage from pedal strikes and allow you to remove a bent pin easily. The pedal comes with both 4mm and 7mm pins, as well as 1mm tall blanking plugs that can be used to tune the feel of the pedal underfoot.

Performance

Traction
While other elements certainly do come into play, out and out traction is the defining feature of any well-designed platform pedal. But the amount of traction between the pedal and your shoe is a factor of multiple details, not just how large and pointy the pins are. Pedal body size and shape (platform area and amount of concave), body thickness (a thicker body will tend to want to 'roll' underfoot), as well as both the amount of pins employed and their placement all come together to determine if your feet feel glued in place or if they'll shift at the first sign of rough terrain. There are many pedals out there that are thinner, and there are others with more concave and more pins, but e*13 has managed to trump every other design on the market when it comes to traction - the LG1+ pedals simply have no peer when talking about grip. And this was in completely stock form, with the standard 4mm pins fitted. Replacing the central pins with the 1mm tall blanking plugs in order to add a degree of artificial concave produced a positive feel that no other pedal we've used can boast about. Jumping up to the toothy-looking 7mm pins on the leading and trailing edges multiplied that effect to the point where we would say that it might be overboard for all but the most aggressive riders. We wouldn't recommend this setup for those who are learning to ride with platforms because, although the grip is truly mind blowing, the consequences of a slipped pedal will be horrendous.


Battered but far from beaten. The plastic IFD deck plates have proven to be very resilient, showing only cosmetic damage after our time on them.

The amount of adhesion that the LG1+ pedal provides certainly adds a degree of confidence on the trail, especially of you are coming off of more run-of-the-mill platforms. We actually can't recall accidentally un-weighting the pedals while in the air or coming off of a lip awkwardly, and the insane traction gave us confidence even when our feet weren't placed in the ideal position, a big plus when rolling towards a tricky move without the time to reposition a badly placed foot. As you might expect, the bonkers traction that we're raving about does have a downside, though, with it certainly requiring a bit more effort to adjust your foot postion. It takes a conscious effort to make a change, and we sometimes found ourselves actually waiting until we were in the air to move our feet slightly. Can a pedal have too much grip? We think so, but the LG1+'s pin size and placement options let you decide how much you require.

The LG1+ pedal offers a massive amount of real estate for your feet, with a platform size that measures 110mm front-to-back and 100mm wide. That's more surface area than most other options out there, and we found that it resulted is less foot-overhang and therefore more support. This fact might not rate highly for those with average to small sized feet, but larger riders are sure to appreciate the added support that comes from the vast platform size. Riders who suffer from hotspots on the soles of their feet should take note.


You want traction? The LG1+ pedal is your best bet.

Reliability
At 21mm tall at the leading and trailing edges, the LG1+ pedal could be considered thick by today's ultra-slim standards. Despite this, we can't complain about more pedal strikes than usual, although this will be a function of your local terrain and the bike that they are fitted to. They did well to brush off the impact of hitting the ground when they did make contact, though, with the plastic IFD deck plates taking some solid hits without any fatal damage. The custom steel pins that e*13 has employed have held up very well. Yes, a few have had their tips ground down, especially those on the outer flanking edges, but most still have a very effective biting tip to them. We are also admittedly surprised to not have bent or knocked any of them out of the pedal body, likely an attribute of their large shoulder that provides plenty of support. Swapping pins couldn't be easier thanks to the protected reverse-tool access that ensures that you shouldn't ever have to resort to vice grips.

Spin Control
Compared to using a simple grub screw that is threaded in or out to provide more or less friction, e*13's Spin Control feature is unquestionably a more refined way to adjust spin resistance. Is it worth the extra complication? e*13's Chris Costello thinks so, saying that grub screws "are a necessary evil sometimes but are prone to getting clogged, stripped out, and end up stuck in place, particularly in places that see a lot of dirty, wet abuse". We have to agree, with those sentiments being especially true when talking about use on a platform pedal. The Spin Control system, on the other hand, is simple to use even after slamming the pedals into rocks and roots during a Summer of abuse. The tension is adjusted by using a T20 torx to back off the locking screw, and then turning the gold dial either in for more spin resistance, or out for less. Once you have it set where you want, snug the torx screw back up and you are set. In the real world we found that the gold tension adjustment dial can be quite hard to turn with your fingers (a small box wrench helps), and that we couldn't get the LG1+ pedals to spin as free as we would have liked them to. This is partly down to the use of IGUS bushings instead of bearings (although the Spin Control system requires the bushings to function), but also due to the type of seals that e*13 has used to keep Mother Nature out.



While the system is simple to use, we do have to admit that we suffered a technical issue that was 100% caused by us and not a fault with the Spin Control design. While trying to get the pedals to spin with less resistance, we inadvertently rode them with the adjustment dial and locking screw back out too far. The steel cone that would normally be running on the concave IGUS bushing was then sitting out slightly too far on the axle end, causing a small burr to form on the axle that kept us from being able to adjust its postion. Again, this was an issue caused by us and one that we fixed with a file in only a few minutes, but LG1+ pedal owners should take a second to check for too little tension by trying to rock the pedal body on the axle - if it shifts, you need to tighten up the Spin Control dial and lock it in place.
 
Issues
Our single complaint with the LG1+ pedals boils down to the amount of spin resistance they have, even when the Spin Control system is completely backed off. As mentioned above, this can be a positive attribute when using the pedals in a true downhill setting, allowing for consistent pedal positon when dabbing for a corner. But the downside is increased friction when pedalling. This bone of contention keeps us from recommending them for us on an all-mountain bike given that a pedal that doesn't turn free is akin to a wheel that doesn't turn free, neither being issues that we'd want to be dealing with when facing a long climb. That is a bit of a shame considering how much traction they offer - we would love to run these pedals on all of our platform-equipped bikes; they are that good. It looks like e*13 agrees with that sentiment because they are releasing an updated seal kit that they say will greatly reduce friction, thereby opening up the adjustment window of the Spin Control system. Upcoming production versions will be fitted with the new seals, and earlier models can be retro-fitted as well.