Benjamin Marinier joined SRAM from TIME Sport as part of our acquisition of the iconic pedal maker. He now serves as TIME Pedals product manager. We asked the native of France about himself and about what sets TIME Pedals apart from the pack:
What is your history with cycling and with TIME pedals?
I started to ride since I was a child (like everybody!). But my first cycling club license was taken when I was about 15 years old, more than 13 years ago now. I’m young compared to TIME’s history of more than 30 years, but this was my first experience with TIME pedals.
At this time, I didn’t know anything about pedals and, in general, about bike equipment. A friend of mine who was a good racer sold me his old pedals, the TIME ATAC XS (The older version of the current TIME ATAC XC8).
This was my first time on a well-performing pedal. The first memory, feeling, that I had was the weight of the pedal, clearly lighter than what I was used to. TIME was one of the first brands to develop pedals in composite materials. The other good impression that I had was the capacity of the pedal to clip-in in all situations. Even if you ride into mud during training session or race the pedal mechanism would remain clean and ready to clip in!
Benjamin Marinier, a native of France, is passionate about TIME Pedals, at work or play.
What is the simplest way to understand TIME’s lineup of pedals? First, we’ll start with road. What are the main differences between XPRESSO and XPRO pedals?
The XPRESSO pedals were a big innovation for TIME, with the invention of the ICLIC technology and the integration of carbon blades in place of classic stainless steel compression spring.
Because of those new systems, TIME pedals gained in performance and comfort.
The XPRO pedals launched in 2017 to offer another product line at the premium level while still offering riders the option of our XPRESSO pedals. XPRO models have several key improvements:
- A bigger platform to increase comfort and power transmission.
- Lighter weight.
- More durable body.
- The possibility to increase the retention of the mechanism (in adding a second carbon blade).
- The protection of the carbon blades with a plastic bottom cover.
ICLIC Technology (TIME Sport patent) makes clipping off the starting line or off the stop light easy. Our patented pre-opened pedal engagement system allows easy, secure engagement every time. Clipping out pre-opens the system for the next step in. All XPRO and XPRESSO road pedals feature ICLIC technology.
What rider benefits does ICLIC Technology produce that other pedals do not?
The ICLIC technology is unique to TIME pedals. With this technology, when the pedal is not clipped, it’s always in pre-opening position. That means to clip-in the pedal, the rider just needs to put his or her foot on the pedal and apply a little pressure on the ratchet (the little lever that holds the mechanism open) and ta-da, the pedal is correctly engaged on the cleat.
TIME pedals are easy to clip-in—to get an idea the load to engage the mechanism is between 40 to 140N, depending to the spring tension setup, and our main competitors are between 100 to more than 300N. It’s a very good innovation to improve the comfort of riders.
What about MTB pedals? TIME offers options for every discipline.
Yes, true. We have a pedal for almost every discipline. All the MTB pedals are equipped by the same technology for the mechanism: the ATAC design. Again, this technology is unique to TIME. We used this technology since the first MTB pedals created in 1998.
For cross country, cyclocross and gravel riding, we have the TIME ATAC XC range that match perfectly for them. They are light, reliable with a self-cleaning design. For all-mountain and trekking we have the TIME MX/DH range, pedals equipped with a platform that’s reliable and easy to engage.
For the gravity practices (Enduro and Downhill) we have the TIME SPECIALE range, aluminum pedals designed for good retention and reliability with a self-cleaning design. We also have for adventure or commuting another pedal, the LINK. This pedal is equipped with two different sides, one with the clipless mechanism and the other one without the mechanism but instead a concave platform to use this pedal without specific cycling shoes.
ATAC allows for a wide angle of step-in for positive engagement that allows for natural foot movement. What’s more, a clean pedal is an efficient pedal. If only cleaning the rest of your bike was this easy: Each time you step in, ATAC clears away mud and debris as you step in.
How does TIME’s ATAC design help MTB riders?
TIME ATAC design stands for Auto Tension Adjustment Concept. The effectiveness of this technology comes from the movement of the mechanism placed on the front of the pedal. This movement on the front is easier for the rider to engage compared to the mechanism in the rear used by our competitors.
This is because when a rider wants to clip-in, the natural movement of the leg is to move from the rear to the front—like a kick.
When you have the front arch of the mechanism move, it’s easier to engage. Also with this concept, with each clip-in movement, you clean the mechanism. You push forward all the debris held in the mechanism. Also, the technology improves rider comfort. Comfort and bio-performance were always the main focus for TIME pedals.
In your experience, what are the main reasons riders decide to make the switch to TIME pedals? Cyclists often are quite faithful to their pedals.
You’re right, usually people are very faithful to their pedals. It’s difficult to change their minds.
But the main offering of TIME pedals is the comfort. On all of our products, we made it our priority to improve rider comfort.
With TIME Pedals, riders can remove the pain that they had previously without any compromise with to performance. This benefit comes from the various plays/floats (angular/lateral), spring tension adjustments and specific technologies. This is the huge advantage TIME offers.
Bike photos by Getty Sport
Team SD Worx continues the tradition of top pro teams relying on TIME Pedals. Show here is Roxane Fournier of France.