written by: J.A. Caldwell
Specialized doesn’t need much of an introduction. Almost anyone that has spent any time looking at bicycles should know Specialized as a quality brand with a deep product line. Based out of Morgan Hill, CA Specialized is ever improving their products and developing new technology in order to give riders the best experience possible.
For this review I’ll be taking a look at the Lo Pro Mag II platform pedals. This is Specialized’s second edition of this pedal with improvements over its predecessor. Check the features below.
Specialized Lo Pro Mag II pedals (click to enlarge)
low profile body comparison (click to enlarge)
spindle detail (click to enlarge)
concave pedal body design (click to enlarge)
needle bearing detail (click to enlarge)
Specialized stock image of bearing detail (click to enlarge)
platform pin placement detail (click to enlarge)
The Lo Pro Mag II pedals I received were fully powder-coated with no missed spots. The spindles spun smoothly with a slight bit of drag in order to allow the pedals to not wildly rotate when your feet are not on them. Specialized was thoughtful by adding an Allen key slot on the end of the spindle so that if you don’t have a pedal wrench handy they can also be installed or removed with an 8mm. The method of keeping the pedal body secured to the spindle could be called questionable as it is secured via one nut on the end of the spindle. The threaded section this nut is attaches too is also not very thick. It is advisable to check this nut periodically in order to make sure it is tight and secure. If the nut were to come loose the pedal body would easy come off of the spindle and could cause a serious crash.
The magnesium body of the pedal is a softer metal than other materials available but it did not seem to scratch or mar overly easy during my testing. The knurled surface did become marred in a few places due to collisions with objects and the outside edges shown minimal wear from scraping rocks and laying them down on pavement and concrete. This softness can also come into play when changing out damaged pins. More discussion on this topic in the Issues and Concerns section. The pins themselves were sturdy during testing and I did not have any problems with bending or deforming them. Not all of the pins had access from the reverse side. 4 of the pins on each side of the pedal require an Allen to be inserted into the top of the pin to remove or change them.
The Lo Pro Mag II pedal platform measured 3 5/8â€ long by 3 1/2â€ wide and 11/16″ thick (very close to the same size as Wellgo’s MG-1 in length and width) and had a concave design to help keep your feet in place. The platform felt average sized under my rather small (size 8.5) feet with ample room available on the inside and outside of the pedal. The pins on the Lo Pro II are 1/8â€ long where as the pins I’m used to riding are 3/16â€ or longer. It doesn’t seem like that would be that much longer in size but it is easy to notice the difference. This didn’t cause any major issues with traction while pedaling or descending, but there was a difference in how easily it was to adjust my feet as well as get on and off of the pedals during different situations. These pedals were tested using the same Helly Hansen Jaeger shoes I always ride with. I’ve found Wellgo MG-1’s and Straitline’s are harder to adjust my feet when compared to the Lo Pro II’s due to their longer pins. The pin pattern on the platform has a decent amount of configuration adjustment so that you can set up an optimum design for your needs.
During testing the low profile design helped in making sure obstacles were more easily avoided as well as helped to keep the weight down. When obstacles were hit the Lo Pro II’s didn’t have any problem taking the abuse. I banged these pedals severely from several different angles without seeing any major damage to the pedal body or the spindle.
As for the spin resistance adjustment, I’ll discuss this in the Issues and Concerns section.
Issues and Concerns:
The first issue I had with these pedals was with one of the features that I have purposefully removed from the feature list above, which is adjustable spin resistance. One of the first things I wanted to try out was how this feature worked. The pedals came with no instructions and when Specialized was asked about this feature they were unaware of how to adjust it themselves. They said no one had ever even asked to know how to perform the adjustment. While I felt this feature was trivial for my needs, I was still astounded by the fact that no one knew how this feature functioned.
As mentioned previously I had an issue with thinking the pins were a bit short. While not detrimentally short, I do believe they could be a bit longer or Specialized could make an optional set that are longer. This would allow the accommodation for varying riding styles and preferences.
Another issue with the platform design and its pin installation/removal is the problem with changing damaged pins. Although I had no issues with a bent pin during my testing, it is possible with this design to ruin pin placements due to damaged threads. When a bent pin is retracted through its threads the magnesium could be deformed due to its relative softness compared to the pin. This could possibly damage the threads of the pin placement rendering it unusable once the pin is removed. The 4 pins that aren’t removed via recessed Allen heads also pose a problem if the pin is deformed badly enough that an Allen can’t be used to properly remove the pin. Other means of removal must be used which can be time consuming and problematic.
The security aspect of these pedals also needs to be addressed. By only securing the pedal body to the spindle via a single nut lends itself to having possible issues down the road. The nut needs to be checked periodically so that it doesn’t completely detach from the end of the spindle. Thread lock is a possible suggestion to prevent the nut from loosening. I’d also like to see a little more girth at the end of the spindle to allow the nut and threads to have more strength in holding the pedal on the spindle.
spindle detail (click to enlarge)
Weight: The pedals weighed in at 501g.
Pricing: $78.00 MSRP
The Lo Pro Mag II’s are a decent pair of pedals that offer a decent weight and low profile design. They are adjustable enough for most riders and offer ample platform real estate. The pedals offer multiple installation/removal methods as well as a quality bearing package.
While the pedals felt secure under my feet in most situations, I felt the pins could be longer. I had no problems with feeling insecure but I also didn’t feel as locked in as with other pedals that have longer pins. This issue as well as instructions for the pedal spin resistance adjustment could be easily fixed by Specialized without much trouble. The magnesium pedal body and single nut securing method are also debatable features that may or may not cause you trouble in the long run.
For more information on where you can buy the Lo Pro Mag II’s or any of Specialized’s other products, please check their website.