I am a roadie through and through, and do not ride any technical single track or downhill riding. I bought bebops (the VP1 version) because I have speedplay zeros on a road bike and absolutely love them. I was looking for a SP zero with a more walkable cleat for my touring bike, lots of float, recessed cleat and less plastic in the design. Walking on the zero cleats in road shoes is not great, so I tried Bebops to have similar pedal with a more touring and walking friendly cleat.
The pedals work on the same principle as a Speedplay road pedal; There's a grooved round lollipop pedal and a spring based retention mechanism in the cleat that mounts on the shoe. The SP zeros have a QUALITY piece of spring steel holding the cleat to the pedal. The retention on the bebop was weak. The foot pulled out WAY to easy pulling up on the pedal. The retention tabs needed to be bent back and they then they wouldn't grab the pedal body and clipping in was a pain in the butt. To hard to clip in or pull out to easy were the choices I had. The tabs in the cleat bent way to easily and I wonder if these are even made out of spring steel. The cleats are junk and to finicky to setup.
I want a floaty pedal with a recessed cleat and two sided entry for my touring bike. The bebop design is really promising but the cleats need better quality control and need a better more thought out design. The retainer clips in the cleat would simply work better if they were made out of the same metal that the SP Zero clip is made out of and were better supported in the cleat body.
I'm going to stick with SPD pedals for now and will try SP frogs as I think they are my only option for a two sided, recessed cleat pedal with lots of float... With the bebops the concept and intent is great, the pedal seems solidly constructed, but the cleat execution is terrible.
Strengths: Superior float, superior retention, nothing is lighter, cleats last a good long while, and the stack height is so low you often need to modify the shoe lugs to have clearance for the axle.
Weaknesses: Bearings good for only a year or two of heavy use, cleat can clog when mud is thick or with slushy snow and ice.
I pick them up on Ebay or at gear swaps for pennies on the dollar (okay, like $30 to $60 for the chromoly and stainless versions). I have them on my cross/road, SS, and geared bike. They're also on both my wife's bikes, and the kids' bikes, so there are like 10 pairs floating around the house/garage. Between the four of us, we need about one new pair of cleats a year. The pedal body looks small, but you actually support on cleat which is a bigger platform than most SPD pedals -- neither I nor any members of the family report hotspots on the sole of the foot. Release is very clean and predictable, otherwise my wife wouldn't ride them. Vastly underrated pedal.
I am only me
Date Reviewed: April 13, 2012
Strengths: Bomb Proof.
Float freedom is great
Weaknesses: For mountain riding, thick sticky mud may hinder entry until thoroughly squished out of the cleat. I have found that twisting your shoe back and forth until the cleat is clear usually does the trick. For road use NONE
I have been putting these pedals and cleats through hell for 3 years and love them. I use the same shoe/cleats for MB and road riding and have had no problems from all the abuse, ie. walking/running on the cleats for extended periods and dragging them on concrete at night to see the pretty sparks.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 13, 2011
Strengths: Outstanding road pedal, easy in, easy out.
I've never come out unexpectedly. Fine pedals, highly recommended, no problems
Weaknesses: none after two years, despite claims od premature cleat wear I'm using same cleats - WD 40 every once in while
Have no reason to switch pedals ever. Bebops are perfect.
Weaknesses: The first pair I got - the threads were wrong - had to return - that I could not belive - whare is the quality control.
I would buy them again - just difficult to understand how the first pair could could make it to the customer with an obvious flaw (could not even thread left side at all). I use the Bebops on a Catrike R, it is a must to have the 20% travel float is a must with recumbents. Please quality control on the threading.
from Westport, CT, USA
Date Reviewed: May 31, 2009
Strengths: free float all the way to release, no false releases, light, shortest stack height possible (I even had to put my seat down a little when I installed them). Clamp is in cleat for sleek pedal look (I'm in to esthetics, what can I say?). Cleat recessed on MTB shoes for easy walking.
Weaknesses: platform retaining bolt FELL OUT on a killer ride after only a few months of use. Bolt hidden under rubber cover does not seem to require servicing. Now concerned that this could happen again once I replace it.
Great pedals, but the bolt coming loose and getting lost on a great ride is a real big bummer. Looked for the bolt, but to no avail, thus I had to abandon the ride and call for a car pickup.
Similar Products Used: Look Keo Sprint (good pedal, clunky cleat), Shimano SPD MTB
Bike Setup: Look 555 frame, full Campagnolo Chorus drive train and brakes, Campagnolo Sciracco wheels, Thomson seat post and stem.
a Cross Country Rider
from Ashland Oregon USA
Date Reviewed: January 29, 2008
Strengths: Light, compact, simple, won't cut you if you slip off of them, float, easy to get in and out of.
Weaknesses: Out of business? Have to carve up shoes to clear the spindle. Mud can jam the cleats and you have to dig it out to get good engagement.
I originally bought some early generation bebops which I brought down on a rock and the cage snapped real easy. Bebop replaced these for a fee and sent me a newer version with the red plastic end cap. This was a much better design than the original and I've put them through much use from XC racing to bike messengering, touring, whatever. It's super important to keep the cleats a little lubed up or else they can get sticky and hard to get out of. Also you've got keep crap from getting jammed up in the cleats. If you use them for mountain biking, they're really best for dry conditions. I think they're way more sensible for road and track riding than mountain. It's too bad Bebop's no longer around because after all these years, I think they're a good design despite being a little needy and finicky.
Bike Setup: Fixed gear, I've had them on my Ibis Alibi and some road bikes too.
a Cross Country Rider
from Trabuco Canyon, CA
Date Reviewed: January 11, 2008
Strengths: Weight only
Weaknesses: Clip out = ranges from OK to dangerous Pull out = unexpectedly
These are the new VP versions of the Be-Bops. Bought in Mid 2007. They've got the orange or yellow spindle plastic caps (not red like the old Be-bops I've seen).
I bought them to save weight and a friend of mine likes his. I do not like them. I crashed and injured my ribs because for the life of me I could not clip out of them. Actually crashed several times, but the last injury was enough. I gave them 3 months of riding for me to get used to them, thinking it might just be me.
Several times I'd be laying there on the ground STILL trying to get out of them !!! Then they unexpectedly would clip out when I pull up, especially around uphill hairpin singletracks, and I'd fail to make rideable sections. If someone out there knows how I could be misusing these, please let me know, but they don't work for me. Going back to the Times. Heavier, but safer, and I can't risk it anymore.
Bike Setup: Shoes were Answer Speeders if that makes a difference
from Bay Area, CA
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2007
Strengths: Light weight. Lots of float. Easy for road and mountain applications. Easy clip in / out. Easy maintenance.
Weaknesses: Bebop is no longer is business so finding pedals and cleats can be tricky. Small pedal surface area (by road pedal standards) is a little less efficient and can put stress in a smaller area. Stiff shoes help this issue.
These are fantastic pedals that I highly recommend to anyone for road, cross-country or all-mountain use. All the strengths I listed above make for an excellent pedal system relative to the other options available. I really like that they're at home on both road and mountain bike b/c it simplifies maintenance needs. There are a couple points people complained about, and I think unfairly blasted these pedals for. First, someone commented about the cleat wearing to the point it disengaged. This happens! To all pedal systems! It would be nice if there was a cleat cover available a la the SPDs, but you can preserve cleat life (and wood floors) by not walking around on them extraneously. I've had various pedal / cleat sets on numerous bikes / shoes and never has a cleat needed to be replaced within the first 3 years. My brother has had the same experience riding Bebops since they first came out.
Also, someone had mentioned the cleats are huge and don't fit on mountain shoes. I have a set of Pro Carbon Specialized MTB shoes and the cleat fit was a total non issue. There's plenty of lateral and vertical clearance. Not all pedals work with all shoes though.
Finally, someone mentioned customer service. I agree, it sucks. That's because Bebop isn't in business anymore.
Similar Products Used: Speedplays of all types, Eggbeaters
Bike Setup: Road: 2007 Orbea Opal & 2007 Rocky Mountain Solo 10 Mtb: 2007 Specialized Stumpjumper. Soon to be 2008 Enduro
a Cross Country Rider
from Columbia, MO USA
Date Reviewed: October 10, 2007
Strengths: Light! My Stainless version sare 198 grams for the pair. Great bearings. Rare (a bonus in my opinion). No rider weight limit. No adjustments are needed.
Weaknesses: Cleats are big, can slip when walking on concrete and rocks, and require you to cut treads off most shoes before they engage the pedal.
Rare (can't trade bikes with buddies unless you're willing to trade shoes as well).
I originally bought these simply because they were light. I hated them for the first couple days because they have so much float that you feel like you're standing on ice. However, after a few rides, I began to like them so much that, when I tried my Shimanos again, I realized I could never go back to SPDs ever again. I have never cleaned them or given them any thought as far as maintenance is concerned. After seven and a half years of off-road abuse, they still perform like new.
Expect the cleats to last about three years or so. I'm about ready to buy my third set because the right one occasionally pops out of the pedal.
a Weekend Warrior
from Hollidaysburgh, PA
Date Reviewed: October 1, 2007
Strengths: Light weight, lots of float
Weaknesses: Cleat is huge, and slippery to walk on. Float action binds up from friction between cleat and pedal. Hard to engage sometimes because pedal is so small, and doesn't face UP all the time.
Update from below:
My left cleat wore to the point where it will no longer stay engaged to the pedal when pulling up vertically on my left foot. I found this out the hard way when sprinting from a dog on a local bike trail. My left shoe disengaged from the pedal while spinting hard, causing me to crash, and resulting in a nice gash over my right eye and possible concussion. I've already taken these pedals off the bike.
a Weekend Warrior
from Hollidaysburg, PA
Date Reviewed: August 14, 2006
Strengths: Lightweight, float, easy release on road bike use.
Weaknesses: Large cleat, have to cut up shoe sole for MTB style shoe to make it fit. Can be hard to clip into pedal in a hurry for me.
I bought these back in 1999 for $47 when Nashbar was closing them out, reason why I bought them was light weight and cheap price. I have them on a rarely used road bike...by "rarely used" I mean I have about 600 miles on this bike in 8 months this year...and yeah, the pedal AND cleats are now 7 years old.
I like the pedals for their light weight and amount of float. What I didn't like when I first got them was having to carve up the rubber treads of my Specialized MTB shoes to get them to work. Also the cleat is pretty big, probably about as long as my old Look road cleats, and can be a pain to walk around on...as in wearing them out by walking on them and the noise they make...compared to SPD style cleats. I can't see using these off road and walking over rocks, etc...for ME...I just prefer the smaller SPD cleats for that type of use, that's why they're on the road bike and not my MTB. Another thing I don't like about them (again for ME) is that I find them harder to engage than the SPD type cleats. By that I mean that because the pedals are so small It's harder for me to "feel" where the pedal is on the bottom of the shoe when engaging them, which can be a problem when starting from a stop going across road intersections. It just takes me longer to clip in....it doesn't help when the pedal isn't face-up either, it's harder to tell if it's face up or 90 degrees to where you want it to be, and you're actually standing on the side of the pedal instead of the face. Sometimes I have to look down to see if it's facing up or not, and then flip it with my shoe. I don't think I'd be able to use these on my MTB especially when trying to clip in quickly when going from a dead stop uphill.
I'll give em 4 stars for value for the price I paid, especially when considering how simple these pedals are...they must be dirt cheap for Bebop to manufacture...but I wouldn't pay $200 or whatever they're selling for now. I'll give em 3 stars for overall, because I know if I had them on a MTB like they're designed for I'd hate walking on those big metal cleats, and I'd have problems clipping in fast when needed.
Similar Products Used: Nashbar/Wellgo SPDs, Look road pedals.
Bike Setup: 1990 vintage Schwinn 434 aluminum road bike.
a Weekend Warrior
from Redmond, WA ,USA
Date Reviewed: July 26, 2006
Strengths: Light weight, durable, good for road and mtb, easy to get in and out of, low stack height, no adjustments needed, can't pull out of them, easy to service, non-fatal breakage modes, humorous web site (bebop.com)
Weaknesses: A little costy but worth it. Inner seals may go bad and bearings can then rust if you don't fix the seals. The little catch spring on the cleat can break too, but you can continue to ride. Yet I think reliability is above average, and other pedals have a way of breaking such that you can't keep riding. Carry a spare cleat with you and ride in confidence!
A remarkably versatile, reliable, and durable pedal. Safe too - I had a big endo-style crash on the road and the bike just came off my feet - while in the air and above me I think - without having to think about it (my thoughts were mostly, am I going to live?) On the MTB I used to get stuck in muddy SPDs and me and the bike would fall over as a unit, but Bepobs are great in the mud. They can get sticky in long sandy rides (had to lube them 2 or 3 times a day on Canyonlands tours). Road shoes don't seem to clip in quite as easily, could be a function of Sidi shoes, but always easier then my buddy's Campy pedals. The inner seals can creep up the spindle, but I haven't seen that in my newer units. Was able to get replacement seals directly from manufacturer. I really believe these are the best pedals made.