Assiomas not meant for gravel?

I have been in touch with Favero tech support about a few readings that the pedals were giving me to verify that they are correct. I sent them a few fit files to look into and one of a gravel ride and this is part of their response.

“In addition, please consider that the pedals shall not be used on a gravel bike. They have been designed to be used on road bikes and to be used on smooth pavements only.”

Does this make sense to anyone? I see the thread about converting them to MTB pedals, people using them offroad all the time, or is this just covering themselves in case they get broken off road?

Nope.

I think they see the thread and don’t want people doing that (obvious reasons particularly it should void all warranty).

For gravel, I would assume most people use SPD, so they probably assume the hack.

I agree that they were not “designed for gravel” in their default configuration, as sold.

  • It’s a basic pedal design that was clearly meant for road. Nearly identical in design and concept to the Look and Shimano road pedal options (to name a few).
  • Some people do use road pedals in gravel applications, but they are accepting the risk and limitations of the related design. (Durability in a harsher environment from bumps, thrown rocks, etc.)
  • Favero seem totally right in that statement about road use only, IMO. It’s their product and their rules when it comes to support and warranty.

The fact that they can be hacked and used with a different body is a totally separate question and discussion.

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Yes, but that doesn’t have anything to do with functional data on gravel.

It’s one thing to say that it’s a road pedal, and another to say that it shall not be used and for smooth pavement only.

That specific wording seems like a CYA statement to me.

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I would think that riding on a rough gravel surface would have a significant affect on the force data collected by the pedals. They likely have not tested this case at all during development. It may work fine, it may not. I recall that GPlama has found some power meters work fine on a smart trainer, but when taken outside they have issues in some conditions. I imagine that this has a similar root cause - riding on rough surfaces is likely affect the raw data collected by the force sensors and could therefore have an effect on accuracy.

That specific wording seems like a CYA statement to me.

It probably is, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable. They have not advertised this as suitable for gravel (and may not have even tested those cases), so they don’t want to deal with supporting issues that arise from non-intended uses of their product.
If they start denying warranty claims that are not due to external damage (ie crashes or pedal strikes) because it has been used off-pavement, then I do think that would be an issue and is not reasonable. This is exactly the same as me riding my SPD-SLs on gravel - I don’t think that should void the warranty (crashes excepted.)

Power would be force and time. I’d argue there would be some impact, but not a huge impact. On average, it would be fine. There would be increases and decreases and some intermittent spikes. But, the same can be said when I ride over rough pavement.

Also, there may be some power abnormalities, but most any software can filter out abnormal spikes below a certain threshold of time, and ignore it. I know that Stages L only would get spikes off-road. Someone I know goes through that all the time, when they ride L foot forward on descents and get power spikes when there was no cadence.

I haven’t seen that one. I’ll look for it, because I’m not sure what it’s referring to. Thanks for the tip.

They haven’t advertised that it’s “smooth pavement only” as well. Potholes? Rough roads are also invalid and “shall not be used”? I looked at their site and the user manual, and it’s only about pedals with a particular cleat. There’s no mention of smooth pavement only or any of this.

At the end of the day, it’s just a tool for measuring power. It should work wherever, in a reasonable manner. Reasonable being the keyword. If the argument is that the forces on the pedal can vary over rough surfaces, then so can forces on a chain, and therefore the same argument applies to all power meters. As someone who owns multiple meters, they all seem reasonably capable, on or off road.

So, I don’t buy the argument that you shall not use it on gravel. I think it’s more about the secondary implication that it probably involves the SPD hack.

Edit: Just to make it clear. I know people who use road pedals on gravel. There are plenty of people in my cycling clubs.

I’m guessing you don’t have any experience dealing with raw sensor data. Even something as simple as a push button switch is not simple. Yes, the idealized math behind power meters is pretty simple. That is why so many up and coming manufacturers succeed in this space, since it’s so easy to do. /s
Dealing with noise and other data anomalies is likely what a significant portion of the development effort goes into on power pedals. Riding on gravel and rough surfaces significantly changes the level of noise and other spikes in data readings that are not related to actual power transfer. To say that this ‘should just work’ vastly underestimates the complexity of the problem.

It is perfectly reasonable that Favero is not going to support data anomalies when their products are used outside of their advertised and intended uses. I don’t think Favero has advertised or represented their products as being appropriate for gravel use.

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I’ve used my Assiomas with the stock pedal bodies on gravel plenty of times. My main 15 mile loop has about 4 miles of gravel that I ride multiple times a week and I’ve done a few gravel races. Durability has never been an issue and I haven’t noticed any serious abnormalities from my power data on any of these rides. The Xpedo style pedal bodies aren’t friendly to sandy environments though, you’ll lose your float if you get a bunch of sand on your cleats.

However, I think its plenty fair Favero to not provide support for that use case with as finicky as power data is and their designed use case for the pedals.

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Yeah, I have a feeling that Favero are not making the claim that the pedals will not work on gravel or that you will see anomalies in the power due to gravel. They are simply making a statement that they do not support the pedal use on gravel.

This is most likely covering themselves against warranty claims due to damaged pedals. If they cover gravel then they would have to define what “gravel” is, which nobody can do. Your gravel may be smooth dirt roads, mine may be chunky midwest gravel, someone else may be miles of single track with 15 creek crossings. Where would they draw the line at what is covered under warranty as “gravel”? Road is a pretty well defined and understood concept on the other hand.

I don’t fault Favero at all to say the pedal is not supported on gravel. Will it work on gravel, probably. Do they want to be responsible for the warranty cost of covering every ride imaginable, probably not.

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Actually, I do. Even in pristine conditions you get aberrations and variances for any number of reasons.

And my point was that they are equatable. If you have something for road you have to include work for rough surfaces. Roads are not all pristine blacktop with no aberration. Otherwise they need to put it plainly that they only support smooth pavement, in documentation as a warning for potential buyers.

The fact is they have to include work for aberration. That was the point.

Agreed.

For what its worth I’ve used them for 4-5 gravel rides and they’ve performed well, very spiky power but that is the nature of our route and the group makeup. My gravel is very smooth for 98% of the ride but the 2% is single track and I’m not willing to damage them so I switched to MTB pedals and will just deal without power for those rides.

ive done the hack and used on both my MTBs (Enduro and DH), they work fine, including long fireroad traverses which are when they come in exceptionally helpful.

agreed that this feels like a CYA more than anything else.

Clarify that while its on a gravel bike they are from road use, they are going to be in a bind.

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