Boutique components and bike brand Chromag has nearly two decades of experience making flat pedals in Whistler. That makes it exciting, and somewhat of a surprise, that the always-bright brand is now making two different clipless pedal options. We were happy to get a pair of both the Pilot and the larger, more gravity-focused Pilot BA in for review.
After spending a year on both pairs of Chromag pedals, the brand’s first clipless offering isn’t perfect but they are pretty dang impressive. Here’s our review of how the Pilot and Pilot BA compare to each other, to our own heightened expectations of a Chromag product and a really, really detailed look into how they compare to some other popular pedals out there right now.
The pedals: Chromag Pilot and Pilot BA
As you would expect from Chromag, neither Pilot model is a race-light cross country pedal. The Pilot is the more trail-focused but still surrounds the cleat mechanism with a sizable, 87x110mm platform. The Pilot BA provides more support with an even larger platform (105x110mm) and more pins. Impressively, while the pedal platforms are sizable both leave enough space that they shed mud effectively.
Chromag equips both with chromoly axles, using a combination of double seal (these pedals are from B.C.), inner bushing and an outer cartridge bearing. The Pilot BA uses Chromag’s G.3 axle while the F.1 system. The Pilot BA’s larger platform also gives them a slightly wider stance at 60mm versus 57.5mm on the Pilot. As you would expect, the larger platform adds weight, too, with the BA sitting at 595g per air while the Pilot are 520g.
Both use adjustable height pins, eight on the Pilot and 10 with an additional placement option on the BA. Both pedals are compatible with all two-bolt SPD cleats. Chromag offers both versions in the same array of five different colour options.
Both pedals had a consistent entry and exit and a predictable release angle. Engagement strength remained fairly consistent, with only very occasional adjustments required to re-tighten the cleat mechanism. There was also measurable range of adjustment, so you can really clamp your foot into the pedal if you want or make the Pilots relatively easy to release from.
Friendly fire: Pilot versus Pilot BA
Just looking at the Pilot versus the Pilot BA, the difference in intent is clear. My experience on the trails went about as you’d expect. The BA provided more support, both side to side and in terms of spreading pressure…