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by Dave Rome
February 14, 2020
Photography by Trek
As the sole component, accessory and clothing brand in the Trek Bicycle company, Bontrager’s product range has been steadily growing and improving in recent years. Trek’s strategy to offer a full-service brand is not unique to the industry, but its sheer breadth of products arguably is. And the latest example? Quality road pedals.
Bontrager has been offering pedals across a variety of cycling purposes for a number of years now, however, the new Elite Road pedal is the first that looks worthy of going up against the likes of the Look Keo 2 Max and Shimano Ultegra, and does so at a price of just US$100 / £85 / AU$140.
Using the popular Look Keo-style three-bolt cleat, the new pedals feature a lightweight composite body that spins on a steel spindle via three sealed bearings. Like newer Look Keo or Shimano SPD-SL pedals, these feature a stainless steel surface wear plate and adjustable release tension.
The new Elite Road pedals offer a simple and clean aesthetic.
Bontrager claims its new pedals weigh just 250g, 10 grams less than the Look Keo 2 Max, some 32 grams lighter than its pre-existing (and cheaper) Comp Road pedals, and on par with the far pricier Shimano Ultegra R8000 pedals.
Bontrager has clearly made it easy to gain access to the bearings and so keeping them spinning smoothly should be easy work. Similarly, you can buy Look-compatible cleats pretty much everywhere.
Who makes these pedals? The cleats will tell you.
One close Look at the supplied 6-degree float cleats reveals these are in fact manufactured by pedal-experts Wellgo. Wellgo themselves offer the R168, a composite-body, triple-bearing 250g road pedal. However, Bontrager has clearly made some specific (and arguably aesthetic-based) modifications in order to make the Elite Road pedal its own.
Further to that, what the likes of Exustar and Wellgo can’t offer is Trek’s extensive distribution network, warranty and generous 30-day money-back guarantee. And so while the pedals themselves may not be anything truly unique, there’s something to be said for buying a big brand when the price is right.