First of all I should start off saying I am a sponsored athlete, and these are products I have received for testing. The following review is my personal opinion and experience.
In mountain biking Shimano has set the bar and been market leader with their SPD-pedals since the early 90’s. Others have attempted different materials, buckles, bearing solutions etc but it all comes down to a compromise between durability, functionality and weight. The current XTR (M9000) pedal weighs 310g.
While Shimano has full focus on reliable performance and durability, Crank Brothers have in my mind gone too far focusing on weight (Eggbeater 11: 174g). Their pedal is light but very clumsy to use and with brass cleats that wear very quickly. Their inner bearing is a needle bearing and has more resistance and lower durability than ball bearings.
The flagship model from Xpedo: MTB MF-08 has a titanium axle. This makes the pedal lighter, but also sets a weight limit for the rider to 85 kg. The cleat interface is Shimano SPD compatible, so spare cleats are easily accessible. Cleats are made from steel, so they have long durability. They have also saved weigh on the pedal body. It’s not as easy to enter as the Shimano, but weight comes at a price and it’s a training matter.
Earlier versions of Xpedo pedals had bushings on the inside of the axle and that hurt it’s rumour. But they have addressed that matter and upgraded it to 2x slim ball bearings on the inside and 1x ball bearing on the outside. Making it a very reliable and also easy serviceable pedal. With it’s low weight at only 210 grams it’s almost as light as the CrankBrothers, but a lot more reliable and also a bit cheaper.
The functionality and feel of the pedal is also good. The spring tension can be adjusted and you get a distinct ‘click’ as you enter the pedals. It does not feel like an endless float as on the CrankBrothers.
With their use of exclusive titanium it also extends the price. It costs 2,7 times the XTR (made of steel) but also saves a full 100 grams – 33% lighter!! As long as you can afford the extra cost of upgrading your bike with some quality titanium, I really recommend this 100g weight saving.