ISSi 2 triple pedals are a dual sided SPD clone aimed at commuters, tourists, mountain bikers and of course, gravel riders. I've found their relatively low, yet supportive profile well suited to fixed duties too. However, our samples' soft paint was slightly disappointing.
Starting with cosmetics, their aluminium bodies are offered in no less than eight traditional and funky colours to co-ordinate with pretty much any theme. Ours were particularly striking blue, which was a perfect match for both my pared-to-the-essentials time trial and crosser/gravel fixer framesets. Chromoly axles turn on buttery smooth sealed bearings, which enjoy good spares backup and feel markedly smoother than the big S's counterparts.
Axles and cleat mechanisms sport black chrome finishes. Not just a pretty face, when properly applied this finish offers superior corrosion resistance to standard electroplating. ISSi have responded to earlier criticisms regarding cleat compatibility, redesigning the release angle to 14.6 degrees for improved dis/engagement with genuine Shimano cleats and their pattern brethren.
Aside from one heart-in mouth moment during our maiden voyage, when trickling through stop-start early evening traffic, clipping in and out has been instantaneous with VP, Wellgo, Shimano and cheap-as-chips store branded variants. My minimalist fixer usually sports Wellgo RC-703, single sided SPD homages.
During my initial 20-mile blasts, I attributed improved comfort to 'new contact point syndrome' but extending rides to fifty miles or so, suggested the iSSi 2 triple's marginally broader platform offers better support and less fatigue around the ball/arch areas. Float is genre typical too, thus knee friendly.
The nature of riding fixed wheel means if the wheels are turning, you are pedalling. Plenty of fast, sweeping bends confirmed cornering prowess wasn't an issue and the song remained the same off road too. Unless you are running a fixed-wheel conversion with a really low bottom bracket and 175mm cranks, likelihood of grounding is pretty remote.
Critics would point out that at 70kg, I don't challenge components in the same fashion as powerfully built 90kg sprinters. However, fixed ratios of 78 and 81 inches demand a fair bit of oomph when climbing.
With my full weight dancing on the pedals up one-in-four ascents, flex, squeaks and creaks were conspicuous by their absence.
Finish aside, the Issi 2 triples lost none of their charm when ported over to my rough stuff workhorse for some rides on the wild side.
Their mud and grit shedding prowess isn't on a par with Time Atac pedals in wet, boggy conditions but it's pretty good nonetheless and never led to clogging or difficult entry/exit.
I've really enjoyed using the iSSi 2 triple pedals for general riding. Shimano pattern fittings and plentiful spares are a definite plus but the finish is disappointing. Given the pricing and the fact spares for genuine Shimano pedals can be found pretty much anywhere, Shimano M540s would get my hard-earned, especially for touring.
Pretty pedals with nice internals but expensive compared to Shimano benchmarks
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road.cc test report
Make and model: iSSi II Triple Pedals
Size tested: Sky Blue
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"All-purpose minimalist pedal
Simple all purpose design that performs as well on the trail or the 'cross course as it does on the commute.
Compatible with SPD pedals & cleats
Compatible with two-bolt style shoes". Broadly agree but not necessarily better than a wealth of similarly competent competition.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Bushing and sealed bearing system
* Chromoly spindle, ED-coated
* 8mm hex broach
* 52.2mm spindle length with +6mm and +12mm options available
* Black chrome hardware
* Adjustable spring tension
* 4° cleat float
Well made, shame about our sample's relatively soft paint.
Good by genre standards and feel really solid too.
Good value overall but at full rrp, I'd stil plump for Shimano's venerable M540.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, these have performed extremely competently in accordance with their design brief. I've been delighted with their buttery smooth bearings, supportive platforms and rigidity-on and off road. However, in a heavily saturated, dare I say; discounted market, it's difficult to recommend them over Shimano's M540 and there are several equally competent homages, offering comparable performance with smaller price tags.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Smooth, solid and to me at least, visually alluring.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Quite possibly but not at full rrp.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Worth a look but not in preference to Shimano's M540.
Use this box to explain your score
I really enjoyed testing these and freely admit to a fascination for pattern parts. However, taking everything into account its difficult to recommend them over Shimano M540
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)