Spotted: Velo-Orange Sabot Pedal vs. Thin Gripster

There’s no better way to start the new year than with a bike ride. I joined some friends on what would be a sunny and cold ride through the West Hills of Portland ending at tacos in St. Johns. On the ride, I got to talk to a guy named Aaron that just moved from Rochester, NY who also happened to be an old EC reader! How fortuitous. He was riding a lovely Trek, well appointed with all sorts of rando goodness, but what drew my eyes while we were stopped was his Rivendell Thin Gripsters.

NYD Ride

Many of you know, I’m a big fan of flats, having given up clipless a few years ago. I had been eying the Gripsters for a while but never saw any in the wild until today. After I posted my review on the Velo-Orange Sabot pedals, I got lots of questions comparing them to the Gripsters. While I didn’t get to ride the pedals, I did take a snap that shows the relative sizes and pin placement pretty well.

The Thin Gripsters were really thin. I didn’t shoot a profile view, but they seemed noticeably thinner than the VOs. The VOs definitely take it in terms of sheer real estate. I was actually a bit surprised at how small the Gripsters looked in comparison. In terms of traction pins, the Gripsters used grub screws which probably have more bite than the pins on the VOs.

So who’s the winner? Hard to say. They each have their own aesthetics, some will prefer one over the other. The VOs definitely win in sheer supportive real estate. But, the pin placement and aggressiveness may give the Gripsters an edge in stickiness. To make it even more complicated it all depends on what sort of footwear you’re wearing too. Flip-flops. Sandals. Vibram bottoms. Etc.,

If you own or have tried both, I’d love to hear your thoughts!