Gravel Issue #015 Review

Tatze MC-FLY TI – SPD pedals with a large contact area for gravel bikes

According to Tatze, the MC-FLY TI are the lightest trail and enduro pedals on the market. Weighing just 306 g with a short, compact cage, they could also work for the off-road drop bar faction… right? We bolted them to a gravel bike to see how they perform.

Tatze MC-FLY TI | Dimensions (W x L x H): 67 x 56 x 13–17 mm | Axle length 55 mm | 306 g (pair) | € 229 | Manufacturer’s website

The Tatze MC-FLY TI is currently the only pedal from the Austrian brand with a double-sided SPD mechanism. Its body is entirely machined from a solid block of aluminium and anodised mostly black. As the name suggests, they also feature titanium axles that are bolted to the crank arm using a 6 mm Allen key. Tatze market the MC-FLY as a mountain bike pedal but due to its compact dimensions and the relatively low weight of the titanium version, we saw no reason why they couldn’t be used on a gravel bike. After all, a large part of our editorial team relies on comparable models (Crankbrothers Candy, Time ATAC XC).

The titanium axle of the Tatze MC-FLY spins on a needle bearing on the outside and a wide needle bearing on the inside.

Inside the Tatze MC-FLY, you’ll find a standard ball bearing on the outside and a less common wide needle roller bearing on the side closest to the crank. Most other manufacturers shy away from the extra costs or the additional weight this results in and rely on plain bushings instead, which usually don’t last as long. At € 229 these pedals aren’t cheap but compared to the competition with titanium axles (Crankbrothers Candy 11 for € 450 or Time ATAC XC12 for € 290) they make for an interesting alternative. If you don’t care about weight, you can get the Tatze MC-FLY with steel axles and save yourself € 80.

At 306 g, the Tatze MC-FLY are slightly heavier than the competition from Crankbrothers or Time but offer a significantly larger platform for your shoes.
At 30 mm, the SPD click system of the MC-FLY is about 5 mm flatter than the competition from Time and thus corresponds to a classic Shimano SPD pedal or the models from Crankbrothers.

Though the Tatze MC-FLY TI looks rather compact, the platform, precisely the part that is important for gravel shoes, is significantly larger than you’ll be used to from other XC pedals. It’s no wonder since they’re marketed as trail and enduro pedals. Similar pedals with a titanium axle and a small cage are around 50 g lighter (like the Crankbrothers Candy 11 at 249 g or Time ATAC XC12 at 248 g), but these are more expensive and, significantly, have a smaller contact area. If you want to nitpick, it would make more sense to compare these with trail pedals like the Shimano M9120 or an HT T1, though these pedals’ extended cages at the front and rear offer no benefit with the stiffer soles of gravel shoes. The Tatze MC-FLY TI pedals dispense with this and thus offer the perfect dimensions for gravel bikes – a bigger platform than classic XC pedals but still more compact and lighter than full-size MTB pedals. However, an axle length* of 55 mm says quite a bit about their heritage. The classics like the Time ATAC (53 mm) and Crankbrothers Candy (52 mm) are a bit narrower and Shimano’s XTR pedals are available in two axle lengths (52 and 55 mm). To summarize, the Q-factor is 4-6 mm wider with the Tatze MC-FLY. That may not sound like much, but some people will feel the difference.

*The axle length of pedals doesn’t correspond to the actual length of the axle but the distance between the outside of the crank and the centre of the clipless mechanism. Some call it the Q-factor, but this is usually the distance between the two outer sides of the cranks. Adding both together gives you the stance width.

The Tatze MC-FLY TI cannot deny its heritage: the 55 mm axle length (centre of the click mechanism to the outside of the crank arm) is somewhat wider than comparable models.
Tatze rely on the tried and tested SPD mechanism. The feeling, float and release angle are therefore almost the same as you might be familiar with from Shimano pedals. The stiffness of the release spring offers a wide range of adjustability.
For a firmer grip, you can screw in four pins to various depths on each side of the pedal.

The click mechanism is Shimano SPD compatible and designed accordingly. With a 5° float, it gives you the usual range of movement and the 12° release angle also corresponds to that of most other manufacturers with a similar system. Clicking in and out of the Tatze MC-FLY feels as defined as with other SPD systems and depending on the spring preload tension, more or less crisp. The preload adjustment range is very wide, allowing you to go for any feeling from Post-it to epoxy. If the maximum spring tension still doesn’t keep your feet glued to pedals strongly enough, you can also screw in up to four pins per side for an even firmer grip. However, after a short test, we decided against the pins since the fit with our Specialized Recon 3.0 shoes was perfect as is.

The feeling of the Tatze MC-FLY is excellent. The long and wide contact surface provides noticeably more stability and less foot fatigue. Shoes with a softer sole benefit from this most.

The wide contact surface is clearly noticeable while riding, keeping your feet stable in every position and making a high-quality impression that feels secure and defined. While riding, we didn’t encounter any play between pedal and shoe and they feel almost like classic road pedals, just with more float. Off-road shoes with a less stiff sole benefit most from the increased support. The friction of the seals also feels just about right – not too loose, not to tight. Overall, these pedals perform exactly as expected at this price point. Our only criticism would be the poorer self-cleaning properties of the SPD system compared to mechanisms from Crankbrothers and Time.

The Tatze MC-FLY are excellent pedals for gravel bikes, even if they were originally designed for mountain bikes.

We don’t (yet) know how they perform on a mountain bike, but with the MC-FLY TI, Tatze have accidentally created an excellent pair of gravel bike pedals! The performance, feel and appearance of all the parts are top-notch and for those who don’t do a lot of riding in the mud, they make for an interesting and high-quality SPD option with a large contact surface.


  • high-quality feel
  • large platform despite compact dimensions
  • silky smooth performance


  • poorer self-cleaning than Crankbrothers/Time
  • axle length and thus wider Q-factor could annoy some

Rider: Andi
Duration: 3 months
Price: € 229 (with titanium axle)
Weight: 306 g (pair)
Dimensions (W x L x H): 67 x 56 x 13–17 mm
More info:

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