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.
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).
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.
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 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 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.
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
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: tatze-bike.com
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