Review – VP Components: VP-001
I had the great fortune of following VP Components on Twitter and was chosen as the last winner of their pedal giveaway contest. At first I was skeptical, because I never win anything (except the occasional t-shirt or swag item). But, as requested, I followed through with an email to Erik Saunders, who gladly allowed me to select any pair on their site. I chose the VP-001.
Before I get into the actual review of the pedals, let me give you a little bit of a disclaimer. I’m not a bike component enthusiast. Lately, I’m the guy that will go to the sale rack or the spare parts bin to find the components that will ‘just do’. Occasionally, I’ll admire those high-end, well-designed, super light, pricey parts advertised in magazines or enclosed in the glass display at my local bike shop. But, given my limited bike budget, I often find them a bit out of reach. Quite frankly – from my perspective – I couldn’t see how much better they could possibly be to justify the cost.
Why I Chose The VP-001:
I’ve been trying to wean myself off the SPD clipless pedals from my mountain bike years. I love the functionality of the SPD pedal, but for my current type of street riding, I found it a bit cumbersome to clip in and out at every red light. I decided a traditional platform pedal was more ideal for quick starts. I chose the VP-001 pedals because they were rated between mountain and urban usage. Plus, if I missed the security of having my feet attached to the pedal, they are designed to be compatible with foot retention straps.
Also, I would be lying if I said I didn’t choose them for their looks. Their sleek, angular lines mixed with a rugged industrial design (available in 3 anodized colors) appealed to me the most. Other than that, I wasn’t thinking much about the other amazing attributes — like the extruded and CNC aluminum body, Cromoly axle or the LSL and sealed cartridge bearings — which come together to make a durable yet lightweight pedal.
With the suggested retail price of under $80*, the VP-001s aren’t the most expensive pedals on the market – but more than I would typically spend for platform pedals.
My First Impression:
The VP-001 pedals were surprisingly light coming out of the package. Having no concept of what 345 grams were, my expectations were surpassed – especially considering how solid and well built they are. It wasn’t until I pulled off the OEM pedals from my bike, that I was able to really gauge how much lighter the VP-100s were. It was pretty significant.
Installation was pretty easy with a standard fit.
How Do They Perform:
At first, skeptical me couldn’t see how much a lighter pedal would effect my ride. I’m the guy that still thinks that CRMO is the better choice for rock solid bike frames – I’ve never owned an aluminum, carbon fiber or titanium bike. I subscribe to the notion that shaving off bike-ounces won’t help until I can shave off some body-pounds.
I couldn’t have been more wrong about how these pedals would change my ride. Immediately, I noticed an increase in the responsiveness in each stroke. It seems weird, but it feels like I have more control – even with a strapless/clipless pedal. The power transfer seems to have increased, giving each kick a little more punch. I’m not sure if I’m going faster, but I do feel like I’m not wasting as much energy in my push.
It’s worth noting that part of the increased control had to do with the strategically placed replaceable pins – something that’s not available on my cheap, OEM pedals.
The VP-001 is a quality pedal and well worth the price.
Now that I’ve experienced a well-designed pedal, I’m becoming a bike component enthusiast. I’m discovering that I shouldn’t be so frugal when it comes to outfitting my ride and that it’s worth holding out for the better choice. I’m sure there are other components out there that may be cheaper and perform as well, but in the end, when I discover a brand like VP-Components that follows through with well-designed, high-quality products, I become a devoted fan.
* Please note that this isn’t and official price. I found that information via Google and may not reflect the actual retail price.
Just in case you were wondering if this review was bias based on the fact that these pedals were won as a prize, I purchased my second pair for my other bike. That’s right, I liked these pedals so much, I didn’t mind dropping the cash for another set.